By Reed Montgomery
If every angler had his ”wish” his gift list would exceed more than one page. Christmas?
When creating a list of things that most anglers really need (or something they just really want), first of all, the one giving the gift needs to talk to the angler and see what he /she actually wants for a gift before giving it.
Most anglers would rather pick out certain items themselves. For instance;
Just like the angler you are giving the worms to, you will have to decide on the length of the worm, the style and action of the worm’s tail, the color of the worm, the brand ( the company that makes the worm) of worm and even some very minuet deciding factors like;
What is the worm actually made up of? Is it made out of plastic? Is it bio-degradable? Did the company that made the worm include an added, blended-in scent, to make the bass want it more than other non-scented worms? Is it a good worm for fishing in clear water or is it a good worm choice for fishing in a off-colored water situations?
Just in fishing tackle choices alone, this lengthy list could easily fill an entire page or two.
Considering a gift for an angler, whether it is for a Christmas gift, a Birthday gift or some other occasion like a Father’s Day gift (and Mother’s day gift as well!), always means putting some serious thought into the selection. Like any gift a person receives — no matter what the occasion — you want them to like it and for it be a gift they really need!
First, ask yourself, ” What does the angler really need? What does he/she talk about all the time, but really cannot afford it? Would this angler (that may a be a family member concerned with today’s economy), be happy with what you spent on the gift? ”
Some gifts may be an assortment of small gifts that will not be to rough on your billfold. While other gifts (like a new $60,000 bass boat!) may be way beyond your means. So actually, this may mean having two gift lists.
One list that may contain a whole lot of reasonably priced items, most of which you can afford. Combining several gifts, means you can give many.
Another, second choice list may consist of several more expensive gifts that may contain many choices to consider. But due to the expense, only one item on this list…may be the only gift that the angler receives from you!
There are so many choices to consider. Does the angler own a boat? Does the boat, the trailer, or the boat’s accessories really need to be updated or is there some things that need to be replaced if its an older boat? Or does the angler just bank fish?
With some anglers there are certain items that always need replacing or refilling.
With today’s economy and often some very unexpected rising gas and oil prices, it may be a good decision to stock up on oil before the price of outboard motor oil goes up.
Fishing Line – Although some monofilament line, braided line, or fluorocarbon line, may have a short shelf life, stocking up on certain line types or a various line size (or pound test), is always a good gift for any angler.
* Know beforehand what type of line the angler prefers.
Consider this, or ask the angler, “ What kind of line, what line color, what pound test, or how often does the angler change line on his / her reels and how much line does the angler want to stock up on? ”
* There are certain line sizes (or pound test), that many anglers use a lot more of.
A small spool of line will need replacing in a few months. While choosing a larger spool of fishing line as a gift, may last the angler all year. Some tournament anglers change the line on each reel they plan to use, prior to every tournament they fish, each week! Like outboard motor oil, most anglers can always use some extra spools of fishing line!
Choosing a new rod, reel, or rod and reel combo, and the many lures your angler may fish with, can evolve into many choices and its very easy to select the wrong one. Check with the angler before you buy any of these items, to avoid returns.
Each an every angler that fishes with any regularity has a certain rod and reel preference. All anglers also have those certain lures they like to fish with and there are always some lures (you do not want to buy them) that they will never use.
If choosing one or more of these gifts for a first time angler, then consult the salesman at the store for suggestions. Most salesman in outdoor-related stores are very informative and some may even fish regularly knowing just what your looking for as a gift for any type of angler.
Rods come in all lengths, actions, styles and designs. Reels can be closed-faced reels, open-faced reels, or spinning reels, that all come in either small or larger sizes for each model. Some rods and reels are cheap at $20-$50 and some outfits are very expensive listing for a few hundred dollars each.
Giving fishing tackle as a gift? If you have not scanned the shelves of fishing tackle stores in the last few years, you may be in for real surprise! Not only in all the selections you may have to choose from in all categories, but the prices as well!
Some lures today cost up to $50 each! Even a small bag of worms that used to sell for less than a dollar are now close to five dollars a bag! One spinnerbait, one crank bait, one top water lure and a small bag of worms could easily total $20!
Besides needing all kinds of lures most anglers replace the treble hooks on their lures as well. A # 4 size treble hook is used on a lot of lures that most of today’s anglers fish with, so give them plenty!
Worm hooks, weights and jig heads come in all sizes, types and even various colors. So check with the angler on what type, size and kind he/she prefers or uses regularly and especially those types that they replace often. They can always use some more!
Basically, unless your absolutely sure what kind of lures the angler uses, it may be best to leave the lure selections up to the angler or you can take the angler shopping and then you pay the bill, as a non-surprise gift!
BOATS, MOTORS, ACCESSORIES AND BOAT TRAILERS
This lengthy list is for anglers that either already own a boat, or they just want a boat (any boat!), or they need a new boat. This list includes dozens of items (or accessories) that just need replacing or updated on a boat, or its trailer.
Still, no matter how new or how old the anglers boat is, there is always a need for newer items or for replacing an old, worn out item on the boat. I know, for I have had several boats throughout my forty plus years of fishing. There is always something that needs updated or replaced on your boat.
So start at the bow (the front of the boat and its trailer) and then meticulously go over each item real good, preferably with the angler at your side. Then decide on what he/she really needs and wants on that particular boat.
Here’s just a short list of some things you may acquire for your anglers boat as a gift;
A New or Rebuilt Trolling Motor or Parts – An older model trolling motor may need a new (or spare) propeller, or the cable may need replacing (or a spare), or it could need new (or spare) switches or have some wiring that may need replacing.
* Some new trolling motors may be only $100. While others can cost over $1000.
Boat Carpet – Older model boats need new carpet or some older boats are being carpeted for the first time…like an old aluminum boat with no original carpet. Even a slightly new boat may need a small piece of carpet replaced like in the bottom of the boat, a deck lid or any carpeted surface where stains accumulate with time.
Boat Seats – Most modern day bass boats have four seats. The front seat (often called a pro-pole) may be a new seat being replaced for the first time. Or the passenger seat on the back deck may need replacing.
Boat Trailer Carpet – On most boat trailers the runners (where the boat sits while being trailered) may need the carpet replaced. Or the trailer’s carpeted side panels (where you guide the boat up on the trailer) may need new carpet as well.
Boat Trailers – Boat trailers often need new wiring, new lights, new wheel bearings or the tires may need replaced. Even the winch and the winch strap may need updating on the boat’s trailer. Some boat trailers feature rubber step pads that become dry, cracked and brittle, that may need to be replaced.
Boat Motors – Smaller boats may need a new small motor or a tune up. Bigger boats may need a new much bigger motor, or a motor tune up, new spark plugs, an oil change, or motor accessories like replacing old worn out water pumps, gas lines, a new gas line squeeze bulb and even a gas filter change may be due.
Boat Accessories – Today’s modern bass boats come with an assortment of accessories and some that often need replaced or updated. Even an older model boat may need many items replaced or some items that just need to be updated.
Fish Finders (or depth finders) – In the past one fish finder unit was all you needed on most boats. Today’s modern day bass boats may have as many as four units! Some fish finder units can be very expensive, costing over $1000. A reasonably priced unit with a cost of about $100 is a lot more reasonable.
Boats In-Dash Gauges – This gift choice can consist of a surface water temperature gauge, that is being added to the boat, or older gauges like water pressure gauges, clocks, or fuel gauges that may need replaced. Or even a new gas reservoir, bilge water pump or fish aerator pump that may need replacing.
Other Items A Boat May Need Replaced or Updated – Boat batteries (some boats have three batteries), running lights, black lights (for night fishing, including a spot light), an anchor or anchor rope, a new boat paddle, seat cushion or a new landing net.
Even wax for the angler’s boat and tow vehicle, cleaning rags, buckets, sponges, brushes, or a new hose and nozzle for washing the boat, all make great gifts for the angler.
Its those little things that the angler does not expect that really helps create those unique, surprise gifts! But that’s not all these anglers need!
CLOTHING AND FISHING ACCESSORIES
All anglers either need or have to replace regularly their rain suits, life jackets, light jackets and heavy jackets (or coats), jump suits, toboggans (caps), hats, goggles, sunglasses, sunscreen, gloves and even face shields or helmets.
These all make great gifts and can even be used as spares (or one for a fishing partner), when an angler already has one or more! Keep the receipts in case it’s the wrong size or the wrong kind, and the gift needs to be returned!
Fishing Accessories – This can be an endless list. There are so many things an angler needs just to go fishing! And no two anglers preferences are alike! So like many gifts you may choose to give, a discussion with the angler beforehand is always advisable.
Line strippers and/or hook sharpeners are needed by all anglers. Boxes that hold spools of fishing line or boxes that hold various types of fishing lures can always be used. Needle nosed pliers, fish weighing scales, nail clippers, scissors, or even a new pocket knife are all great gifts!
What about tools? Every angler needs a small tool box to keep in the boat, loaded with all the necessary items needed for break downs. It should contain all the necessary items.
Like a pair of both small and large size pliers, wrenches of all sizes, various kinds and all types of screw drivers, electrical tape and duct tape, spare fuses and spare light bulbs.
There are always those little unexpected gifts to give to the ones you love like; a new boat cover, a first aid kit, a pair of flash lights, a head mounted light (or visor-type light for hands-free knot tying at night) and even a flare kit for stranded boats or emergencies.
Most anglers would love a “guided fishing trip” to any lake in Alabama! I know, for dozens of guided fishing trips I take throughout the year to many of Alabama’s lakes often begin with a given, “Christmas Gift Fishing Trip Gift Certificate”
These surprise fishing trips (if you can keep it a secret!), make great gifts especially “for those loved ones that love to fish! ” This future fishing trip gift, can also be a Birthday gift, Fathers Day gift, Mothers Day gift, Valentines Day gift, Graduation gift or an Anniversary gift as well! (E-mail me for more info on gift certificates)
Heck, its no secret that your getting him / her a gift! But you can include those little surprises that the angler has no idea you would even think of. So hint around, listen closely and ask for details…to get it right!
But never let in about what you are getting the angler! Keep em’ guessing!
Buying a gift for the angler in your life, one that you really care about very much, does not mean you have to go through a lot of expense or create a future debt. Just showing that you have those caring thoughts and the fact that you are giving any gift at all…is enough for most anglers, to let them know that you really do love them!
Thanks and Good Fishin’