Just What I Wanted! The F&S Holiday Gift Guide 2015

Fabarm L4S Initial Hunter $1,250 • fabarmusa.com
The Italian-made, gas-operated Fabarm L4S Initial Hunter weighs just 63⁄4 pounds in 12 gauge, making it an easy-carrying, hard-hitting, soft-shooting gun. It's good looking and easy to clean, too. After hunting with one this fall, I'd be delighted to see an L4S under my Christmas tree. —Phil Bourjaily
**Brunton Power Knife ** $25 • brunton.com
It looks like a folding knife—but the four "blades" are charging adapters. The standard USB connects to a power source, and the others fit a variety of devices. —Slaton L. White
Legendary Arms The Closer **$1,600 • legendaryarmsworks.com **
With the Closer, Mark Bansner, who designed and produces High Tech synthetic rifle stocks, has resurrected Ed Brown's excellent Model 704 action and built a near perfect all-around hunting rifle at a very fair price. —David E. Petzal
Flambeau Heated Hand Muff $169 • flambeauoutdoors.com
Warm the hands and the heart of any late-season hunter. Powered by a rechargeable lithium battery, it has three heat settings and runs for up to 10 hours. —P.B.
Bushnell Legend L Series Binocular $299 • bushnell.com
This is the perfect gift for you and me. You don't have to spend a fortune, and I get a solid hunting binocular. The original Bushnell Legend started the modern trend of vastly improved affordable glass. And this updated version (in 10x42 or 8x42) is even better. —Dave Hurteau
CRKT Deviation **$70 • crkt.com **
When you already have plenty of classic hunting knives, you want something different—an eye-opener. The Terry Lee Renner–­designed Deviation, with its fast-deploy pivot system and a ­razor-​sharp tanto blade, is all that and then some. —S.L.W.
Shimano Stradic FK $200 and up • fish.shimano.com
The latest upgrade to the wildly popular Stradic won Best
in Show for freshwater reels at this year's ICAST show. I tested a Stradic on the water, and with a cold-forged drive gear and ideal weight balance, it looks good and performs great. —Mark Modoski
**Camp Chef Stryker 150 ** $73 • campchef.com
This camp stove uses 1-pound propane canisters that are available in pretty much every hardware store in the country, as opposed to the hard-to-find mini-butane canisters required for mountaineering stoves. Oh, yeah, and it boils water faster and costs about half as much as most ultralight stoves. —T. Edward Nickens
Savage Gear Hard Shrimp $11 • savagegear-usa.com
Nothing is deadlier in the salt than a killer shrimp imitation—and this one looks flawless. Plus, who doesn't like shrimp at Christmas? —M.M.
Cabela’s Bonesneaker $90 • cabelas.com
Bonesneakers were made for the saltwater flats, but they're also perfect for general wet wading in freshwater. Unlike traditional wading boots that are too big and heavy if you're not wearing them with waders, Bonesneakers are light, fit snugly, and feature Vibram soles thick enough for screw-in studs. —Joe Cermele
Hatsan Carnivore Air Gun $799 • hatsanusa.com
Forget the Red Ryder. I want a serious air gun, and this is it. Available in .30 or .35 caliber, the Carnivore has a two-stage match trigger, shoots up to 890 fps, and can take down medium-size game, with an effective range of 100 yards. —S.L.W.
Fishpond-Voormi High-E Hoodie $229 • fishpondusa.com
This water-repellent wool hoodie may be the warmest (and most comfortable) lightweight thing I've ever worn. I may never spend this much on a hoodie, but I'd love it if you did. —Colin Kearns
Wetterlings Bushman Axe $169 • llbean.com
In addition to chopping, this Hudson's Bay–size ax is good at splitting and pounding, unlike otherwise comparable axes. The handle is hickory and the head is hand-forged and ground; you can get it as sharp as a razor. —D.E.P.
Barnett Razr ICE $1,300 • barnettcrossbows.com
We both hunted with this new bow in the fall and agree: The Ice puts it all together. It's well made, plenty fast at 380 fps, very accurate, reasonably compact, and thanks to a carbon riser, lightweight at 61⁄2 pounds. It's even got a built-in skinning knife, for crying out loud. We'll each take one. —_Dave Hurteau and Will Brantley _
**Browning Bear 4500 Dry Bag ** $100 • browningpacks.com
Tough, 100 percent waterproof, and with an air-release valve to compress contents to the smallest possible package, this roll-top dry bag doubles as a scentproof duffel for hauling big-game clothing to and from the field. —T.E.N.
Yeti Rambler Lowball $25 • yeticoolers.com
What we have here is an overengineered stainless-steel cup. In the morning it keeps coffee hot without burning your fingers; in the evening it keeps your on-the-rocks whiskey cold without the usual sweating of other metal cups. Camp will never be the same. —S.L.W.
Fish-Skull Fly Tester $285 • flymenfishingcompany.com
Sink a freshly tied streamer or nymph into this tank to make sure it has the right wiggle before adding it into your box. —J.C.
Fenwick Fenglass Fly Rod and Pflueger Medalist Reel $200–$250, rod • fenwickfishing.com
$120–$140, reel • pfluegerfishing.com
Love the buttery feel of your first fiberglass Fenglass rod? Miss the old Medalist reel you fished as a kid? You're not the only one. Both of these classics have been reissued this year and make for a killer fly-rig combo, with the soft bend of glass and the sweet sound of a click-and-pawl drag. —J.C.
Knekt Dome $300 • knektusa.com
This funky bubble housing for your GoPro Hero 4 keeps the waterline away from the camera lens, allowing you to nail those half-water-half-sky shots every time. —J.C.
Fishpond Drifty Boat Caddie $100 • fishpondusa.com
Don't let the name throw you. While it does feature hooks designed to attach to a traditional drift boat's gunwale, the Drifty Boat Caddie also has adjustable straps that let you rig the bag on a raft frame, or bolt it permanently to your cooler. —J.C.
Cabela’s X-Socks $30–$50 • cabelas.com
Here are socks a guy can get excited about. All four styles are made of a merino-wool blend, provide joint and tendon support, and circulate air to keep your feet dry. I like the Hunting Radiactor Socks (shown). —C.K.

We know you love us and only have the best of intentions when you buy us hunting and fishing gear for Christmas. We are often overcome—stunned is the word—by your thoughtfulness. (This, incidentally, is why you may not hear “thank you” when we open your gift.)

There is, however, a tragic and built-in rub to buying gear for a sportsman, which is that it’s impossible. Say you’ve learned that your obsessed bass angler favors Gamakatsu extra-wide-gap 4/0 worm hooks with an offset shank. You knock yourself out to get these exact hooks. But when he opens the gift, you can tell—because of his lopsided smile and his overloud use of the word wonderful, which is not a word he has ever used before—that these are not the exact right hooks. Turns out, you bought the Gamakatsu EWG 4/0 worm hooks with offset shanks designed for superline rather than regular line. This may seem like an insanely tiny distinction. But the sad, unjust, and inescapable fact is that these are the kind of tiny details bass nuts notice.

So let us make this easier. Here are some things that we actually want. Hint, hint…