Sportsman's Wish List: 22 Great Holiday Gifts for Fishermen | Field & Stream

Sportsman's Wish List: 22 Great Holiday Gifts for Fishermen

Simms Bulkley Jacket
$280

Whether you need a jacket just to keep toasty while walking the dog, or to keep cold rain from soaking you to the skin during an all day steelhead outing, look no further than Simms Bulkley Jacket. You won't find 10,000 pockets, tool holders, or built-in battery packs here; it's just a utilitarian jacket that's super-comfy, keeps you warm, and keeps you dry thanks to a GORE-TEX two-layer shell and PrimaLoft insulation. Fleece-lined hand-warmer pockets and easy-cinch watertight cuffs are also nice touches. I've been wearing one since October for everything from raking leaves to chasing striped bass and absolutely love it._ - Joe Cermele_

Sun Cloud Zephyr Sunglasses
$50

If you're like many anglers who have a hard time forking out a couple hundred bucks for some polarized glasses (because you know you'll inevitably sit on them, or drop them in the water), but you still want something that performs better than the drug store cheapies, you need to check out Sun Cloud.

The Zephyr is a great rimless model for fishing. I like the brown or rose polycarbonate lenses for most waters. For $50, they're a great gift item, and they're probably the best value-for-cost eyewear option out there. - Kirk Deeter

LifeProof iPhone Case & LifeJacket
$40 - $80

I don't know many anglers (myself included) that leave their iPhones at home during a fishing trip these days. And it's not because we want to talk to people, but because these gadgets take photos of our trophy catches, store maps and charts, show the weather radar, and even tell us what kind of lure to use. Unlike other waterproof cases, LifeProof's isn't bulky, so it doesn't get caught up in your pocket. It's submersible to nearly 7 feet and can stay that deep for up to 30 minutes. That means you could even take underwater photos and videos with your phone. Pop the cased phone into LifeProof's floating LifeJacket and your means of updating your Facebook status every five minutes will never end up on the bottom of the river again. - Joe Cermele

Cabela's Advanced Angler Pro Series Tackle Bags
$27 - $120

Cabela's has produced the Advanced Angler series of tackle bags since 1997, but this year they compiled suggestions from anglers and revamped the line to make these bags tougher and more user-friendly than ever. Available in four sizes--small to super-magnum--tweaks include more water-resistant fabric, heavy-duty zippers, gusseted pockets that keep tools and gear secure, a rubberized mesh tool holder, and a thick padded non-slip shoulder strap. Load the big boy with gear for a long day on the boat, or fill the smaller model with just the essentials for a day on the trout stream or smallmouth creek. All bags are available with or without clear-plastic tackle trays. - Joe Cermele

Patagonia Atom Sling
$89

The sling will definitely be the "new thing" for many anglers in 2013. We've seen a number of fresh sling designs lately, presumably introduced for those of us who are tired of the hot, cumbersome old vest, but aren't fully sold on the chest or fanny pack. Patagonia's Atom seems to be the best of the bunch.

It's very light, yet it has enough capacity for an angler who is more than a minimalist. It slips from back to front easily, even when you're wearing heavy base layers or a rain jacket. The built- in fly box is just the right size to handle "staple patterns" that you shouldn't be without--things like woolly buggers, prince nymphs, parachute Adams, and a few hoppers. - Kirk Deeter

Simms Big Sky Wallet
$50

No, this wallet has no particular fishing functionality. It's not waterproof and there's no secret compartment for your go-to flies. It's just a well made leather wallet that lets the lady at the grocery store or the waiter at a five-star restaurant know that when you're not running errands or taking clients out to a fancy business dinner, you're on a river somewhere whipping a fly rod. There are plenty of slots for all your plastic, and a transparent ID holder for your driver's license…or fishing license. - Joe Cermele

Redington Form Game Rod
$40

The golf world is filled with swing trainers and practice tools--some admittedly over the top on the gimmick scale--so why not more training aids for the fly caster? One of the best I've seen is the Redington Form Game Rod. It's a 50-inch graphite rod with a fly line.

Believe it or not, it really does help you hone the stroke, reminding the caster where to start and stop the rod. When you can't actually get on the river, a friendly casting competition in the basement or back yard might be the next best thing. And it will make you better when it's time to get on the river. - Kirk Deeter

Columbia Ditch Bag
$50

There are a million dry bags on the market, but many of them are made to tote clothes, food, and other wares you likely won't need for just one day on the water. So what if you just want to protect your camera, wallet, keys, and a granola bar or three? Enter Columbia's new pint-sized Ditch Bag. This little guy can be worn on your wading belt, around your shoulder, or clipped to a safe spot on the boat. Between the waterproof roll-top seal and high-tech Omni-Shield water-repellent material, this bag is a great investment for anyone looking to protect the important stuff while playing in or around the water, or toughing it out on the river during a rainy day. - Joe Cermele

3-Tand Fly Reels
$350 - $600

If you're looking for a gift for the fly fisherman that craves saltwater action and wants gear that'll never quit, a new 3-Tand reel will put a smile on his or her face. Though the company hasn't been around that long, designer and engineer Rob Koelewyn is the mastermind behind such legendary saltwater spinning reel brands as Van Staal and ZeebaaS. This time Koelewyn is jumping into the fly game with another tough-as-nails offering that has a lower price tag than many of the other brands he's developed. Constructed of cold-forged aircraft grade aluminum, 3-Tand reels are available in weights 7 to 15 and feature interchangeable spools of different arbors that allow you to convert line weights while using the same reel frame. The multi-carbon fiber sealed drag is designed for punishment, and after field testing on some gator bluefish this fall, I can tell you it'll take as much heat as you can put on. - Joe Cermele

Do You Feel Lucky? T-Shirt
$30

You might remember seeing a gallery of pop-culture related fish art from artist Paul Puckett on the site while back. He drew everything from the Predator holding a tarpon, to Travolta and Samuel L. in "Pulp Fiction" wielding deadly trout. He also drew Dirty Harry in waders with a big brownie, which just so happens to be available on a T-shirt. It's rad, it's Clint, and it makes a great stocking stuffer._ - Joe Cermele_

Zamberlan Davo Boots
$525

The new Davos from Italian boot maker Zamberlan aren't cheap, but they are made to last a lifetime and are--bar none--the most comfortable pair of boots I've ever worn. Here's what I like: Their height makes them perfect for mucking around the yard, hiking, or fishing, without worrying about mud or water soaking your socks, but there are no laces to cinch up to calf level.

Zippers on the inside of the boots let you slip them on and off in a fast flash, which is great for wintertime angling when you just want to get your cold waders off quickly, get your warm boots back on, and hit the road. And the warm GORE-TEX insulated membranes and synthetic calf insulation (it looks and feels like lamb's wool) keep your toes toasted and trap heat within the boot when you walk. The overall construction and craftsmanship that goes into a pair makes you feel like you're wearing custom boots. - Joe Cermele

LED Lenser H7 Headlamp
$60

Whether you're cruising the beach looking for stripers in the dark, tossing muskie plugs after sunset, or just need to find your keys when you get back to the dock in the evening, a headlamp is a must-have for any angler's gizmo arsenal. The new H7 from LED Lenser has multiple focus settings, allowing you to light up trail far ahead with 155 lumens in a tight beam, or shine a soft 2.7 lumens in a wider circle on a lure you're tying up right in front of your face.

The H7 is light and comfy (I've worn some lights that felt like a brick taped to my head) and water-resistant. It also has a battery life of nearly 5 hours on full blast--plenty to get you through multiple outings before swapping out the AAAs. - Joe Cermele

Abu Garcia REVO SX
$160

Are you or an angler you know in need of a new workhorse spinning reel that can take on anything from redfish to smallmouth without breaking the bank? Here it is. Featuring a lightweight carbon body instead of heavier aluminum, you can cast Abu's new REVO SX all day without the wrist ache.

The aluminum spool is braid-ready, so there's no need for monofilament backing, and Abu's unique carbon-matrix drag system is silky smooth, even during smoking runs. Though it's a minor tweak, I find the flat EVA foam handle grip to be a lot more comfortable than hard grips on other reels. All in all, this is one tough beast that you're guaranteed to have for a long time. - Joe Cermele

Fishpond Westwater Chest Pack
$80

Fishpond has skipped the bells and whistles with their new Westwater chest pack and beefed up in the functionality department. A welded design matched with water-resistant zippers help keep your bugs and leaders dry should you take an unexpected dip. Two interior pockets hold just what you need for a day on the trout stream or bass pond, allowing you to travel light, making this the perfect pack for the angler that hikes to high mountain cutthroat lakes or wades to distant bonefish flats. - Joe Cermele

Tackle Grab Subscription
$12 - $16 per month

If you have absolutely no idea what to get that angler on your Christmas list, I'll make it real easy: a subscription to Tackle Grab. This Internet-based company asks members to fill out detailed profiles about their favorite species to chase, favorite methods, and favorite kinds of water to fish.

Each month after profile submission, that member will receive a box of the hottest new lures from a wide range of big-name and small-time custom lure makers based on their profile. You can change your profile any time if you decide you want largemouth lures one month, and trout lures the next. Just like the "Jelly Of The Month Club" from National Lampoon's "Christmas Vacation," a Tackle Grab subscription is the gift that keeps on giving the whole year through. - Joe Cermele

Thomas & Thomas ESP Series Rods
$720 - $730

Fly rod makers have (thankfully) gotten away from building rods to enhance power and distance, and are instead focusing on the things that really matter like precision and feel. The T&T ESP may well be the best medium-action rod series. Those who have appreciated company founder and now chief rod designer Tom Dorsey's innovative approach to graphite tapers, and T&T's consistent focus on made-in-America craftsmanship, won't be disappointed. The 7'-6" 3-weight I tested is an ideal stick for small streams, but it does have some backbone. Best of all, it's an extremely easy-casting rod. You'll be hearing plenty about a resurgent T&T in 2013, and this rod is a key reason why. - Kirk Deeter

L.L. Bean Pocket Water Combo
$285 - $300

Maybe you like to chase trout on streams small enough to jump across. Maybe you like to whip tiny foam bugs at panfish. But maybe you don't want to break the bank on a rod, reel, and line to build an outfit that's tailor-made to these applications. L.L. Bean has done that for you with the Pocket Water combo. Ranging in weights 3 to 5, and with a maximum length of 7"-10," all Pocket Water rods are four piece and fit perfectly in a small tube that travels anywhere with ease. The Pocket Water click-pawl reel is a little bruiser that balances perfectly with the rod. It comes pre-spooled with backing and line, so all you have to do is put on your hiking boots, trek to a cold mountain brook trout stream and tie on a bug._ - Joe Cermele_

Abel Classic
$450

Here's one for that special fly angler in your life that's been very, very good this year. A nostalgic look and feel meets modern engineering and machining with Abel's new Classic. Available in weights 3 to 5, this reel features an old-school click-pawl drag, but with a new-school adjustment knob that lets you dial in the pressure to pin-point accuracy. In other words, don't be afraid to pit this click-pawl against a fish that's really going to run. A fully enclosed frame adds to the vintage vibe, but this reel will be as at home on the hottest new graphite rods as on that custom bamboo stick your grandpa handed down. - Joe Cermele

Leatherman OHT
$70

OHT stands for "one hand tool." Who better to test that than a fly fisherman? You're fighting the fish with one hand, reaching for the reel with the other, and yet you might want to quickly grab the pliers to unhook the fish… maybe take out a knife to cut a line…anything can happen. There are 16 tools in this one multi-tool. And yes indeed, they are all operational with one hand.

The spring-loaded pliers are ideal for fishing. Overall, OHT is a bit bulkier than most multi-tools, but you'd expect and want the finish to be larger, so you can identify and operate tools purely by feel. I tried it myself. Then I had my 12-year-old son try it. No problems for either of us. It's a slam-dunk stocking stuffer. - Kirk Deeter

Wheatley Fly Boxes
Prices vary by model

There are a few products in flyfishing that are "absolute classics," and when it comes to fly boxes, Wheatley is the traditional standard. Wheatley fly boxes have been crafted by hand for over a century and a half with amazing attention to details, such as their individually hinged window compartments.

Interestingly, the company was acquired recently by American-based REC Components. But rather than move manufacturing from England to Asia or Central America, REC moved the operation to Connecticut, where it still uses authentic metalworking machines and procedures to make each box by hand. Now, however, anglers have the option of buying Wheatley boxes with interesting designs and finishes. There isn't a flycaster in the world that wouldn't appreciate a Wheatley under the tree on Christmas morning. - Kirk Deeter

Costa 580p Sunrise Lenses
$150 - $250

Some of the best fishing occurs early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Duh, right? But it's these times of day that often present the harshest sun angles, and when it comes to sight-fishing in particular, glare can kill your game. To maximize your shots at success during early and late sun, Costa dropped their new Sunrise lenses for 2013. These bright yellow lenses are designed to block yellow light from entering your eyes. That creates sharp color contrast on the water, making it easier to spot movement and pick out depth changes when the sun is low and the glare is at its worst. Sunrise lenses are available in a wide variety of Costa's frame styles. - Joe Cermele

Shakespeare's Hide-A-Hook Kits
$12

Nothing helps promote the sport like proving that Santa digs fishing and can make tackle in the North Pole, too. That's why no junior angler's Christmas list should be without a tackle kit from Shakespeare featuring the new Hide-A-Hook bobbers. These bobbers are unique floats that slide down the line, covering the hook and bait completely during the cast. That means mom, dad, and the dog need not worry about getting a hook in the neck or tail when the little guy or gal is casting. Once the bobber hits the water, the bait drops down to the fish, the bobber slides up to a stopper, and it's game on. - Joe Cermele

'Tis the season once again to empty your wallet on Christmas presents. If you need something for your third cousin twice removed or that aunt you haven't seen since you were still watching Sesame Street, we recommend scented candles.

But if you're an angler and happen to anticipate receiving a few candles yourself, head off those awkward Christmas Day smiles and half-hearted thank you's by sending this gallery to everyone who's going to buy you something.

Fishing Editor Joe Cermele and Editor-at-Large Kirk Deeter have compiled 22 items ranging from stocking stuffer prices on up, guaranteed to make you--or any angler on your holiday list--all warm and fuzzy on December 25. Happy shopping!

Click here For Our Hunter's Holiday Gift Guide

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