Gifts for Your Fishing Friends
It’s again that time of year when we search for the ultimate Christmas gift for the anglers and boaters among family and friends.
Finding something new is a task, indeed, but here’s a guide to the latest gear for the angler.
My favorite baitcasting reel of all time, the Shimano Curado, got an update this year. The new Shimano Curado DC baitcasting reels offer casting control at a level unlike any reel before. Shimano’s new Digital Control braking system utilizes a microcomputer to monitor spool speed 1,000 times every second and apply the perfect amount of brake to prevent backlash and maximize distance. Anglers of all skill levels will appreciate fewer bird’s nests with these new reels.
Shimano’s Tekota reels are known as the toughest and most dependable level wind reels and the new generation of Tekota now features Shimano’s CoreProtect for water resistance and repellency. R brass gears are 100% stronger than previous models, and the palming side plate is more compact for easier handling for a variety of nearshore angling adventures.
For a reasonably priced saltwater spinning reel, check out the Penn Battle II spinning reel, which is available in eight models. The Battle II has a full-metal body, sideplate and rotor, HT-100 carbon-fiber drag washers, and line-capacity rings. Models start at the ultralight 1000 size, which offers 9 pounds of max drag, a 5.2-to-1 gear ratio, and 160 yards of 6-pound braid capacity. The largest Battle II is the 8000, which comes with 30 pounds of max drag, a 5.3-to-1 ratio and 475 yards of 50-pound braid capacity. Battle IIs retail for $70.69 to $126.73.
For those of us who are concerned about the amount of trash that gets dumped into our oceans annually, Costa Sunglasses continues its Kick Plastic campaign to help minimize ocean plastic pollution through its new Untangled Collection—a collection of frames made entirely from recycled fishing nets.
Costa is partnering with Bureo, the pioneer in recycled fishnet products, to turn discarded fishing nets into quality sunglass frames. Discarded fishing nets and gear account for 10 percent of ocean plastic pollution. The collection will include four new frame styles made from 100 percent recycled fishing nets, each featuring mineral glass polarized lenses, recycled aluminum Costa logos, PLUSfoam recyclable temple and nose pads, and a unique tumbled finish. All styles feature Costa’s patented 580 Lightwave® Glass lenses, providing 100 percent UV protection and polarization to offer the clearest lenses available. The Costa 580® color-enhancing lens technology selectively filters out harsh yellow light for superior contrast and definition and absorbs high-energy blue light to cut haze and enhance sharpness.
For those of us looking for tough nets to land big redfish, Frabill debuted a new series of landing nets at ICAST 2018. The Trophy Haul series includes eight new models. The Power Extend 2124 features a handle that extends to 72 inches, a reflective hoop, a three-way LED light for night fishing and a Trophy Haul grip at the yoke for landing monster fish like those bull reds.
A brand familiar with the cutlery crowd, Gerber introduced a collection of 12 fishing tools. The collection includes the 7.5-inch, hot-forged Magnipliers with an ergonomic trigger grip and thumb lock, as well as replaceable jaw tips and carbide cutter. The pliers include a sheath and lanyard. Other tools in the new Gerber series include line-management multitool (with crimper, hook threader and snips), take-apart shears, fillet knives, nipper and braid cutters.
More anglers are looking to protect their hands while fishing. Check out the AFTCO Bluefever Utility Gloves that can be used for grabbing leaders to filleting fish. The utility gloves feature Tacky-Grip technology on the palm and fingers and vent holes to drain water. The vented foam-backed mesh keeps hands cool and protected. Available in sizes S through XXL, the gloves retail for $22.49 to $27.81.
If you insist on opening your pocketbook wider for that ultimate gift for the angler, consider the overall “Best of Show” winner from ICAST 2018, the Garmin Panoptix LiveScope. Panoptix all-seeing gives anglers the ability to see everything surrounding your boat in real time. The Panoptix kit includes a transducer and black box that adds LiveScope capabilities to compatible Garmin sonars and chartplotter/sonar combos.
For a stocking stuffer, consider the new line of lures from LiveTarget, which has both freshwater and saltwater lines. Their lures match the real thing as closely as possible, and their shrimp imitation looks like a fleeing shrimp.
Another newcomer to the lure line is Odin Lure Company, which produces an attractant called Fish Smack. Odin’s lures have a port at the front of the Frigg Plug stickbait to introduce the Fish Smack, which slowly leaves a scent trail as the lure is retrieved.
Hope that gives a few ideas about Christmas gifts. If all else fails, head down to the local tackle stores and fill up the shopping basket.