FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE
Last-minute holiday gift guide
(Editor's note: This article originally appeared in the 2013 Winter issue of Bass Fishing magazine. To read more compelling articles from Bass Fishing magazine each month, become an FLW subscriber member. If you'd like to sign up for a digital subscription to access articles online, click here).
Naughty? Nice? Who cares – Christmas isn’t far away, and any bad behavior can be overlooked for a while as we celebrate the season with presents for those nearest and dearest. As is our custom, we’ve appointed ourselves Santa’s helpers and came up with a few gift ideas. We’ve also selected goodies that cover a range of price options. Regardless of their cost, the following gear, gadgets and clothing would make any angler beam with joy.
Plano Guide Series Tackle Bag
The distinguishing feature of the new series is the “workstation” indented in the top of the bags. The workstation provides a flat surface for an angler to rig up and also keeps small components from rolling off if the boat is pitching. As with previous Guide Series bags, the 3700, 3600 and 3500 models have oodles of storage sleeves and pockets – padded and unpadded – for tackle, tools, smartphones, sunglasses and the like. Four sizes are available. The three largest are packed with six ProLatch Stowaway boxes, while the smallest includes five 3500 Series boxes. $39.99 to $99.99, depending on size. (planomolding.com)
Igloo Yukon 50
Speaking of camping, or hosting one bodacious block party, the Yukon 50 cold locker is the next best thing to having a refrigerator outdoors. Everything about the chest screams deluxe, from the extra insulation to the stainless-steel hinge pins, from the locking telescopic handle to the extra-large nonmarring wheels – it’s made to last a lifetime and then some. As the name suggests, the Yukon 50 has a 50-quart capacity, and it weighs about 32 pounds. Loaded with regular ice or dry ice, it will keep the contents chilled for a period of up to seven days. $329.99 (igloocoolers.com)
A fishing guide designed the Splizzors, which has all the tools that most bass anglers are likely to need. The tool’s stainless-steel scissors can be used to cut everything from light mono to the heaviest braided line or substitute as needle-nose pliers. The rubberized handles contain a crimper and bottle opener. $100 (buckknives.com)
Shop-Vac Tool Mate
This might be the perfect tool box/vacuum combo for small jobs such as cleaning up after adding mounts or accessories to a boat. The 2 1/2-hp wet/dry vacuum detaches from the tool box, which is compartmentalized and large enough to hold just about any tool a tinkerer is likely to want. The vacuum has an 18-foot-long power cord and a hose. Various attachments are stored inside. $100 (shopvac.com)
Coolibar fishing shirt
A number of companies offer sun-protective fishing clothing nowadays, but Coolibar is the bomb when it comes to style and function from head to toe. Its Fishing Shirt features snap closures instead of buttons, mesh underarms and back panels to dissipate heat, large pockets and vertical mesh pockets with zippers, fold-up collar for extra sun protection, and roll-up sleeves with snap tabs. The breathable, moisture-wicking fabric is washable and delivers 50 SPF protection. The shirt is available in six colors. $79.50 (coolibar.com)
Power-Pole Micro Anchor
Anglers who fish small waters in lightweight boats will appreciate the Micro Anchor, a mechanical anchor that weighs just 10 pounds (including transom clamp) and is recommended for boats that weigh up to 1,500 pounds. The anchor’s 8 1/2-foot shaft deploys at the rate of 1.2 feet per second. A control panel on top of the unit is easy to use, and the Micro Anchor can also be paired with a smartphone via a free app. Price is $595 for the Micro Anchor with adjustable vertical mounting bracket. A 3/4-inch spike to use with the driver costs $95, and a transom clamp is available for $49.95. (power-pole.com)
Chef’s Choice sharpener
Every fisherman needs a knife sharpener, and Chef’s Choice offers a dandy in its Diamond Hone Marine Sharpening Station. The unit includes a blade sharpener, line-cutter scissors sharpener and hook sharpener. A pair of AA batteries powers the hook sharpener. The knife sharpener can operate on 120V AC or 12V DC, and power adapters are included. When the sharpener needs a good cleaning, just hose it off with a low-pressure spray – it’s water-resistant. $189.99 (chefschoice.com)
Frabill F-Series Storm Gear
During a lifetime of fishing, a tournament angler is deluged with enough rain to rival Noah’s flood. And how dry he stays in a downpour often determines how well he maintains his focus on fishing. That’s where Frabill comes in. Any angler would be tickled to find one of its F-Series Storm Gear foul-weather suits under the Christmas tree. The series includes the F-2 ($249), F-3 ($399) and F-4 ($599). Though the suits vary in the thickness and extent of their layers and cloth weights, all share the functional design for which Frabill rain suits are famous. Extra padding and layering in strategic areas such as knees and shoulders and waterproof pockets in the jacket and bib overalls ensure that contents won’t get soaked. The suits are available in red, grey, tan, navy blue and green, depending on model.
Navionics+ Or Navionics Updates
The system starts with a standard SD-card-style map chip. Users can log on to the Internet and fill the chip with maps for any fishery they want to visit. The U.S. and Canada chip covers the top two-thirds of the continent from coast to coast. Navionics+ also includes 12 months of free updates (the database is updated daily) so the user can view the most current information.
Two layers of mapping are included. The Nautical Charts layer offers the same basic mapping information as is currently available on Gold or HotMaps Premium cards. The SonarCharts layer is an HD bathymetry map that’s community-generated. Users can upload their sonar information gathered on the water, and the most current lake-bottom information is then applied to the maps in the form of updated contour lines.
The Navionics+ chip for U.S. and Canada costs $179. Subscription renewals are $99 per year. Check the Navionics website to see if your depth-finder unit is compatible with SonarCharts.
Updates for older-generation Navionics map chips (check the website for specifics) are available for $99. It’ll get you access to the Navionics+ content. (navionics.com)
Typhoon Catamaran sunglasses
When driving down the road or zooming across a lake in a boat, good peripheral vision is a must. Typhoon’s new Catamaran rimless glasses allow the wearer to see everything in front and to the sides without sacrificing UV protection for the eyes. The polarized lenses are blue and recommended for the brightest sunlight. These are Typhoon’s lightest glasses, by the way. Catamarans are packaged in a floating case plus a microfiber bag that subs as a cleaning cloth. Three color options are available. $64.99 to $74.99 (typhoon.com)
The new Tough Series of cleaning products will get a tow vehicle looking spiffy again no matter how much dirt, mud or grime it’s wearing. The specially formulated cleaners include a concentrated Truck Wash, Heavy Duty Bug Remover, Heavy Duty Tire and Wheel Cover, Carpet and Upholstery Deep Cleaner, and Tint Safe Glass Cleaner. The products range from $4.99 up to $8.99 for the 2-quart bottle of Truck Wash. They’re available at Walmart. (gunk.com)
Rayovac 2-hour power plug-in
Nobody wants to run out of cellphone juice in the middle of a lake, but that’s exactly what happens when the user forgets to plug in the battery charger before he leaves the ramp. Such occasions call for a Rayovac 2-Hour Power Plug-In. Available with various plug-ins to fit iPhones and other mobile phones, the replaceable 2-Hour Power Plug-In has a lithium battery inside with a shelf life of 10 years. Toss one in a glove box or storage locker, and dead batteries aren’t a concern – at least for a decade. $8.99 (rayovac.com)
Rockybrook Rigging Kits
Walmart FLW Tour pros such as Charlie Evans, Jay Yelas and Jimmy Houston developed a series of specialized kits that contain everything an angler is likely to need if, say, he’s drop-shotting or fishing a shaky head. Everything from hooks, sinkers and heads are packaged in a clear plastic tackle box. $15 to $25 (rockybrooksinkers.com)
An FLW Membership twofer package
How about adding a membership to FLW to your gift list? Right now, there’s a special two-for-one offer extended through the holidays. For $50, you can renew your membership, which includes tournament eligibility, eight issues of FLW Bass Fishing magazine (and access to the digital version via flwoutdoors.com), an FLW vehicle decal, a Strike King crankbait combo pack and an FLW hat. We’ll also throw in eight issues of the magazine plus an FLW vehicle decal and an FLW hat for your friend or family member. Just let us know where you want the gift subscription and the free gifts mailed and we’ll take care of it. See details at flwoutdoors.com/membership and enter promo code GIFT14, or phone 270-252-1000.
If tournament fishing isn’t your thing, but you like to read about the latest bass fishing techniques and tackle, you can get an eight-issue subscription to FLW Bass Fishing magazine for you and someone you designate for $20. The two subscriptions include the bonus gifts. Look for the signup cards elsewhere in this magazine, or go to www.flwoutdoors.com/subscribe and enter promo code WINTER13. Otherwise, phone 270-252-1000.
When the fishing is done, Odor-Off hand soap comes in handy to remove the eau de bass. Available in a 6-ounce ($9.95) or smaller 1-ounce ($2.95) bottle, Odor-Off can be used with or without water and dissipates all unpleasant scents. (odoroffhandsoap.com)