It is the time of year when some anglers dream of lures dangling from the Christmas tree, or maybe a rod and reel stashed behind it, away from prying eyes. Or, maybe a boating related item like a life jacket. We usually offer a few ideas for not-too-expensive items for the person on limited funds to an upscale item or two for the angler with a better budget.
Youngsters usually want to give an item their parents will appreciate but just cannot afford it. Here’s an item that every angler or boater will appreciate that won’t cost a penny – instead of giving a ‘thing’, give the boating dad or mom a Christmas card that commits you to a full day of helping clean and wax the boat.
For youngsters who want to give a fishing related item, lures and accessories are always in need. Berkley’s 1-inch brown Gulp Alive Crickets are an excellent choice for bluegill and their PowerBait Crappie nibbles in red or chartreuse work well for crappie. Another great crappie lure is Blakemore’s Roadrunner in chartreuse or red-and-white.
For largemouth bass, there are several lure choices; crankbaits like Bomber’s Fat Free Shad Square Lip, Norman’s Deep Little N, Rapala’s DT06, DT10 or X-Rap Subsurface Walk The Dog, Smithwick’s Rogue, and Strike King’s Rattling Square Bill. Good colors are shad imitations, yellow-and-brown, or yellow-and-blue.
Norman’s Deep Little N and Rapala’s DT06 and DT10 double as great walleye lures but other excellent choices are Berkley’s Flicker Shad and Cordell’s Wally Diver. The colors mentioned above for bass also work for walleye.
Of course, your special angler might pursue white and hybrid striped bass, in that case consider spoons like the Dixie Jet or Bass Pro Shops Strata Spoon. Other good choices are surface lures like Rebel’s Pop-R or lipless baits like Bill Lewis’ Rat-L-Trap and Sebile’s Flatt Shad.
Most of the above lures are available at local tackle stores, if not try Bass Pro Shops or Cabela’s mail order. Just ensure they will arrive before Christmas.
The gift world is not dominated by lures; there are many accessory possibilities that range from $5 to $50. Anglers never seem to have enough hook sharpeners, braid scissors, pliers, cutters, sun gloves or sunscreen for the face, hands, and lips. Other angler friendly items are an electric fillet knife, headlamp, hook removal tool, knife sharpener, landing net, lure de-snagger, rod socks, scales, and scent attractors.
Safety and comfort items could also be in order. Consider a new life jacket, rain gear, flashlight, large waterproof bags for stowing extra clothes aboard, and smaller waterproof bags for cameras, cell phones, and wallets.
For baitcast fishing reels, one option is Abu Garcia’s revamped Revo series. There are four new low profile reels to meet most angler needs with MSRPs starting at $200 to over $300, less at major sporting goods retailers. Other good choices are Bass Pro Shops RCX, about $80 or the Johnny Morris CarbonLite at $130.
Page 2 of 2 - A myriad of spinning reels await bows and ribbons. Just make sure to select size-appropriate models for the species. Light models for crappie and heavier models for bass. For instance there are six Abu Garcia Cardinal models starting at $30 that are designed for line weights of 4 pounds to 20 pounds and six models of Johnny Morris Signature Series Spinning Reels rated for line weights from 6 to 20 pounds that cost $100.
Of course a reel has to be mounted on a rod to make the whole system work and here again, the selection task is daunting, with both spinning and casting models designed for task-specific duties.
An excellent choice in bait casting models is the Carbon X C7. At $190 dollars, it is a quality product that will not ‘break the bank’. This rod has the soft tip anglers need to throw crankbaits but has the power to cast big baits like Rapala’s DT16, Norman’s DD22, or Storm’s Magnum Wiggle Warts.
If the Carbon X is a little too pricey, consider Berkley’s Lightning Rod Shock line of spinning and casting rods with prices starting at $50.
If your special angler has enough tackle and accessories, how about a great set of fishing DVDs? Hook n’ Look Productions offers two DVD packages based in Kim Stricker’s television programs. Kim and his son, Danny, fish first then go underwater to show how the fish they are catching relate to structure. See the DVDs at http://kimstrickerproductions.com/estore/shop, priced from $15 to $60.
That should be enough ideas for the dedicated angler, but what about tackle for the youngster, the pre-teen who wants to get started? The good news is there are plenty of choices. Visit any major retailer who handles sporting goods and check out the youth combos from Bass Pro, Berkley, Shakespeare, and Zebco that range in price from $10 to $20.
These were just a few ideas for your special angler, I hope it helped – Merry Christmas.