Fishing for the perfect gift for the fisherman or woman on your holiday gift list? Active Junky’s pulled together some of our favorite pieces of fishing gear to keep them prepared from head to toe, and from casting to cooking.
Check out our top picks for best gifts for fishermen below, and have a look at some of our other holiday gift guides from Active Junky and from our sister site, Tom’s Guide. But don’t forget to sign up for Active Junky for the best deals and cash back on your purchases.
Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Combo This spinning combo from Ugly Stik will get you on the water and into some fish in no time. The Ugly Stik Elite has 35% more graphite than the Ugly Stik GX2 making the Elite lighter, but without compromising the durability that Ugly Stik has become known for. The rod is equipped with cork handles that feels great in the hand. Active Junky tested the medium rod power and were impressed with the versatility. The rod is sensitive enough to feel small nibbles from bluegill and other panfish as well as have the power to bring in larger bass with ease. The Shakespeare Reel with the 5-bearing system creates an incredibly smooth experience that keeps you focused on the fishing where it should be, not dealing with gear.
Abu Garcia Revo X Low Profile Combo Starting at: $148.80 Looking to step up your game to baitcasting setup? This combo from Abu Garcia is the perfect entry point. A one-piece rod constructed from a 30-ton graphite blank yields a tough, but sensitive rod. Fitted with foam grips this rod feels good in your hand for hours of use. The 7+1 stainless steel bearing system creates and incredibly smooth retrieve making this combo a dream to use. Constructed of a corrosion-resistant X2-Cräftic alloy frame ensures this reel will be in your kit and working smoothly for years to come. The Carbon Mag Trax drag is strong, consistent, and easily adjustable. The Revo X Low Profile Combo is an incredible value for anyone looking to get setup with a baitcasting rod and reel.
Do you know your giftee’s favorite fish? If so, this Patagonia graphic t-shirt may be the prefect gift. And not just for fishy representation. This long sleeve shirt is also functional on water with wicking material, UPF 50+ sun protection and natural odor resistant fibers. It works great as a single layer or pair with other layers in the shoulder seasons.
Best For: Warm days when the sun is high; cold winter days as a lucky base layer
Yeti Hopper Two 20 $282.00 - $286.50 The perfect companion on any trip to the water? The guy who brings the beers. The Yeti Hopper will outlast even the most diehard fisherman when it comes to keeping food and drink cold on a long session at your secret spot. Like the rest of the Yeti line, this cooler is virtually indestructible. Drop it, drag it, drown it; just don’t let the soft outer layer fool you—this cooler is tough. The puncture-proof, antimicrobial and waterproof features guarantee that you’ll never have to celebrate the catch of the day with a warm beer again.
Best For: Long days or overnights on the water that call for refreshments
Every fly fisher needs a solid pack for excursions. The Filson Fishing Pack is a selection that will style your giftee with overdesigned functionality. Strapping the pack around the waist keeps the wearer’s hands free without worrying about the bag slipping off their shoulders. The front pocket zips open and lays flat to create a working surface for tying flies, and nylon webbing in the adjustable wait strap and handle along with heavy-duty zippers along with top quality design ensure this piece will last long enough to pass it down to the next generation of fishing enthusiasts in your family. The best kind of gift.
Best For: Any angler who has a serious fly collection and appreciates an organized workspace; wading in freshwater
Fly fishing is far too delicate a sport to be stumbling through the river like a bull in a China shop. The Patagonia River Crampon provides advanced and easily adaptable wading technology that fits over your wading boots and will leave you feeling like you’re walking on dry land. Slippery rocks and fast currents have met their maker; you’ll never blow the element of surprise again—at least not because of your wading.
Best For: Long days wading through rocky, fast flowing and slippery rivers
If you don’t get a picture, did it actually happen? How will you prove that fish was thiiiiis big? Lifeproof designs a range of cases that are capable of protecting an angler’s phone from the elements. Don’t let a splash of the tail fin or harsh current ruin your bragging rights again, protect yourself and don’t waste any time getting the shot. Keep ‘em wet!
Best For: Smart phones snapping away on the water
Fishpond Nomad Hand $119.56 - $122.16 Not only does a trout’s slime make it difficult to land by hand, but it’s also their immune system. Fishpond’s line of Nomad nets, which range from hand to boat sizes, have addressed both of these issues with style and grace. Rubberized netting keeps the necessary slime on the trout while the ultra light carbon fiber frame provides an unbelievably strong, floatable net, ready to withstand even the most frustrated anglers’ toss. A variety of graphics allow you to express yourself while the performance does all the talking.
Best For: Anglers who respect the fish they catch
Whether you’re casting to fish feeding in the distance or telling tales of the one that got away at your favorite bar, this is an essential for any great fisherman’s wardrobe. Drirelease technology wicks moisture away as you crank the drag down, or keeps the sweat stains off as you embellish the size of your last catch to suspicious comrades grilling you for more details.
Best For: On the water, off the water, dinner with grandma, you name it…
Behind every great fisherman? A four-legged companion. All those tail wags that occur when your pup sees a splash at the end of your line add up. Keep your furry friend as ready as you are with this stylish travel bowl. No more slobber on the Nalgene or exhaustion at the end of a dog day on the river; your loyal trout sniffer’s hydration is now ready to go wherever you are.
Best For: Two part angling teams made up of man and his best friend
Ready to share the gift of fly fishing with someone else? Whether it’s family, friends, or a loved one, the Temple Fork Outfitters Lefty Kreh Signature II Fly Rod is the perfect gift. Priced well below its caliber considering that perhaps the most legendary fly fisherman of all time, Lefty Kreh, is willing to put his name on it, this is truly a gift that keeps on giving. Forgiving action allows one to present flies to a variety of hungry customers. The Signature II sports precise craftsmanship makes even the likes of Lefty proud—this is truly a first rod that an angler will keep in their repertoire forever.
Best For: The up-and-coming angler just starting a long relationship with the water.
Nobody casts well when hungrier than the fish they’re chasing. This outdoor cooking stove provides a remedy to those days on the water when the phrase, “one more cast” turns into a 5-hour endeavor. Ideal for any campsite or tailgate necessary to ensure your spot in the “honey hole,” this convenient cooker will get even the deepest of sleepers up when they smell the likes of your “on the fly” gourmet cooking.
Best For: The all-day adventure that requires an impromptu/gourmet meal; anyone with a trunk that doubles as shelter some nights of the year.
What’s better than having a real bug collection as a kid? Having a fake bug collection as an adult. These Wyoming born fly boxes range from pocket to briefcase size depending on your flies of choice and the scope of your selection. Locks on the outside of the box and foam interiors designed to grip hooks guarantee that your next slump-buster fly isn’t going anywhere.
Best For: Any arsenal of flies ranging from midges to streamers
Lamson is known for crafting some of the finest fully machined reels in the world and the Guru is no exception. While sporting most of the features of the industry’s more expensive reels, the Guru is priced well below its caliber. The large arbor ratios prevent the reel from freezing up at the most critical times, like a fish’s first run or the point of putting one in the net.
Best For: New anglers ready to elevate their game to the next level; freshwater rods