You’ve hooked a big one, reeled it to the side of the boat, and then, as you try to flip the fish over the side, the line breaks, or the hook pulls out, and your grand catch swims away. This scenario is easily prevented with the Plusinno Floating Fish Net. Compact and foldable to fit into a backpack or clip on to the side of the boat, this net is easy to carry along. The net is coated so it won’t snag, and the padded handle and ring ensure the net floats should you drop it overboard. It works for all methods of fishing—the 16- by 12-inch net will pull up most fish—and it’s available in several colors for visibility and handle lengths for flexibility. This gift will make sure the catch of a lifetime makes it home. $21.99 on Amazon.
The 15 Best Fishing Gifts for Enthusiasts of Every Level
From rods and tackle boxes to sophisticated electronics, there’s a wide world of gear that can make a day of fishing even more enjoyable for the fishing enthusiast in your life. Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift or a treat for yourself, we can help you find the right fishing gifts.
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Does the first morning of the fishing season mark your favorite fisherman’s annual transition from winter to spring, or will this spring be the first time setting up on the town pier with a new license in their pocket? Either way, having the right gear can make a fishing adventure more fun, relaxing, and productive. Fishing can be a minimalist sport, requiring just a few simple tools, or an excuse to go all-out with the right gear and tackle. Whichever style you choose, the right rod, clothing, and equipment can make the difference between a pleasant morning on the water and several soggy, frustrating hours. Check out this guide to the best fishing gifts for the new or experienced fishing enthusiast in your life.
How To Choose the Best Fishing Gifts
Going on a fishing trip can be an all-day excursion, so there are plenty of tools and accessories to complete the experience. Before you hit “add to cart,” here are some questions to ask to make sure you’re picking out the perfect gift.
- What gear do they already have? There’s no sense buying someone a new rod when they already have one they love!
- Where do they go fishing? Certain tools will be more useful if someone is fishing on a dock or from land, while others will come in handy for fishing from a boat.
- Are they a hardcore fishing enthusiast or just an occasional hobbyist? A fishing kayak is a big purchase to make for someone who goes fishing only a few times a year, but it could be perfect for someone who’s out on the water every weekend.
The Best Fishing Gifts
Catch and reel in the fish, scoop from the water, and clean—then relax, because all the fishing gifts you’re looking for are here.
Gifts Under $25
Your fishing friend can advertise their love of the outdoors with this clever T-shirt from Outdoor Life. “Join the Fraternity of the Obsessed,” it invites, in words encircling a fish that would make any fisherman proud. The soft cotton shirt is available in men’s sizes in three vibrant colors and a neutral gray, and would be comfortable to wear after a day of fishing while relaxing in the yard. $24.99 on Amazon.
Gifts Under $50
Anyone who has tried to carry more than one fishing rod at a time—along with a tackle box, cooler, jacket, and backpack—knows the frustration of reels getting tangled and two-piece rods hooking into each other’s lines. This soft-sided carry bag from Docooler is the solution, and it’s a great choice for lake, river, and ocean fishers. The strong canvas carrier comes in three lengths to accommodate most rod sizes, and it can accommodate two to four rods. Capacious side pockets hold reels, lures, weights, and hooks, along with anything else you’ll need on your excursion. Strong fabric and stitching and the angled shoulder straps make this case comfortable to carry for long or short distances, and it will protect your rods at home. It’s a soft case, so it won’t protect your gear as checked luggage, but for easy, hassle-free carrying, it’s a great option. $28.99 on Amazon.
Pliers probably aren’t the first thing you think of when considering fishing gifts, but the first time you see someone with wet hands trying to cut line or open a split ring with a pocketknife, you’ll understand why they should be. Fishing pliers are multi-tools that make fishing easier and safer, and this pair from KastKing is one of the best of the bunch. Cutting line, crimping weights, holding steel leaders and attaching lures, and opening split rings don’t have to be fidgety, frustrating tasks. The comfortable nonslip polymer handles make the pliers easy to hold (and the attached stretch lanyard means they won’t fall in the water if you do lose your grip), while multifunction jaws and a hook remover can take on almost any task in the tackle box. A sharp and durable blade keeps these pliers rust-free even in saltwater conditions, while an included waist sheath keeps them handy when you need them. $29.99 on Amazon.
Read More: Best Fishing Pliers
Ideal for light- to medium-weight fishing (but fully capable of reeling in some heavyweights), the Ugly Stik GX2 is a tough, flexible rod that won’t snap just as you’re pulling in your catch. Two-piece construction makes it perfect for packing in a bag for a hike or tossing in the back seat of the car, and the GX2 is sensitive enough to alert you to the smallest nibble but strong enough that you don’t have to treat it like glass. This rod is available in several sizes; the 7-foot rod is a good starting point for most people, but there are 6- and 8-foot options as well. The line guides are one piece instead of split, making casting easier for new users and sturdier for more experienced fishermen. A comfortable EVA grip means this rod is comfortable to hold for long lazy days in a boat or an active day fighting to keep the big one from getting away. Even for the fishing enthusiast who has everything, a new rod can be one of the more creative fishing gifts you can give—having a new option to play with is always a plus. Starting at $38.74 on Amazon.
Read More: Best Fishing Rod Options
Do the fish really bite more when it rains? Maybe, but fish activity could also be the result of the cloudy gray skies making them feel more comfortable. Either way, the LaCrosse Color Forecast Station can help you plan ahead and check the weekend (or weekday) weather. For any day of fishing, you’ll need to know if you’ll need a raincoat or an extra sweater, extra sunblock, or plenty of cold drinks. The Color Forecast Station spells out the daily forecast and trends in bright, easy-to-read blocks after connecting wirelessly to radio signals to pinpoint weather in your area, and can help you be prepared for any weather eventuality. $40.07 on Amazon.
Camping and planning to catch dinner? The key step of cleaning the fish somewhere between the shore and the campfire has to fall to someone, and this knife from Outdoor Life makes it easier. The stainless steel blade is fixed, so there’s no danger of the knife snapping shut and causing injury, and the handle provides a comfortable, stable, secure grip. For additional safety, this knife doesn’t come with a generic canvas sheath: A nylon fiber sheath secures the knife on a belt or bag in a rigid case that keeps users and bystanders safer. If you’re planning to eat your catch on-site, this is a knife that will help you do it safely. $41.99 on Amazon.
Gifts Under $100
The Plano 4-Drawer Tackle box is a spacious, stable supply kit that won’t tip over on the floor of the boat. A four-drawer system provides secure divided space for rings, hooks, lures, and spinners, while the bulk storage area under the lid has space for larger items. In addition, the top compartment has four bait racks to keep bait at the ready when you need it instead of having to root around on the floor of the boat. Tool compartments on the side keep everything handy, and solid brass fittings keep everything secure. And if it doesn’t suit the recipient, it’s not just a fishing gift—it can be used for wood carving tools, leatherwork tools, crafts, or jewelry making as well! $58.96 on Amazon.
Read More: Best Tackle Boxes
Wet feet are annoying and uncomfortable, but heavy boots or galoshes can be a clunky nuisance. These Salomon water shoes will solve these problems. They’re versatile shoes; while they’re great for being out on the water, they can easily transition into other activities. Super-breathable mesh allows water to drain and the shoes to dry out quickly. Plus, the shoes are made from recycled material, so you can feel good that you’re doing something positive for the environment. $90 on Amazon.
Perfect for someone who wants to carry only one bag with all the supplies they’ll need for the day, the Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack has space for everything—but this isn’t a “dump it all in the center compartment” bag. The 18 individual compartments, including a waterproof compartment for a phone and keys, a hard-sided compartment for glasses or sunglasses, and an upper compartment for extra reels and spools, keep things separated and organized. The main compartment includes four snap-tight, adjustable compartment boxes for hooks, weights, lures, and any and all other materials you might need. The fabric is water resistant, and the straps are padded and comfortable. This backpack also comes with a rain shield in case of ferocious weather. Supplies and gear will stay dry, organized, and accessible. $99.99 on Amazon.
Gifts Under $250
You can take your chances at happening upon a hotspot, or you can take matters into your own hands. The Garmin Striker Fishfinder will show you what’s under the water in vivid color, help you plot your route through the water, and allow you to mark spots where you have luck so that you can return to them later or the next day. Find out where other fishermen are having luck and try out that area by entering the coordinates, then following the screen with your boat, just as you’d follow directions on a GPS in your car. The Garmin will also show water depth, temperature, time to your destination, and speed, among other details. For the fisherman who likes electronic gadgets, this is a durable, long-lasting device that can make a fishing trip smoother and more fun. $110 on Amazon.
There’s no chance of rocks or sticks poking through these tall fishing boots from Xtratuf: Triple-dipped latex neoprene will keep feet dry, warm, and protected from chemicals or acids while weighing less than traditional rubber boots. The slip-resistant soles will provide sure footing on slippery stones while the hand-layered construction allows the ankles to bend freely. Fishing boots have a tendency to develop strong odors when all the moisture is trapped inside, so these boots have a moisture-wicking insole that absorbs impact and lets the feet breathe while staying dry. $124.95 on Amazon.
Even if you think you’ll stay on dry ground, the fish have a way of changing your mind. One step into deeper water than you expected and your day of fishing becomes wet and uncomfortable. These chest waders from Bassdash are triple layered with heavy-duty yet lightweight fabric that will keep you dry without making you sweaty. Available in a wide range of sizes, these waders have a comfortable suspender system, articulated knees for easy bending, and rubber boot feet. Handy features include a waterproof chest pocket for phones and keys, a Velcro patch on the front to hold onto your flies when fly-fishing, and a fleece-lined reach-through pocket to warm up your hands on cold mornings. They’ll keep you warm and dry whether you intended to be waist-deep in the water or not. Starting at $127.98 on Amazon.
Sun glare off the water can make it tough to watch for nibbles—plus it’s dangerous for the eyes. Even on a cloudy day, a good pair of polarized sunglasses can sharpen your vision and protect your eyes from harmful UV rays you’re not thinking about because the sun isn’t shining. These glasses from Costa Del Mar will protect your eyes, but they’re more than just shades. The FERG is designed specifically for water adventures. They’re lightweight and feature integrated top and side shields that don’t look clunky, and they have ventilated, rubberized nose pads to keep them in place even when there’s spray. They’re available in a wide range of frame and lens color combinations so you’ll be able to choose just the right ones as your gift. $167.35 on Amazon.
Gifts $250 and Over
Shore fishing is all very well and good, but perhaps it’s time to get out into the water where the bigger fish swim. No need for a hitch and trailer: This U.S.Coast Guard–certified Intex boat includes seating for five adults, two oars, and a pump, and it has a carry bag for easy transport when uninflated. It’s actually strong enough to hold up to 1,300 pounds, so it can carry people, gear, and lunch with no problem. I-beam construction makes the bottom rigid enough to move around, and fishing rod mounts along the side mean you can set your rods in place and relax. The boat has easy-grab handles and lines, and it’s fitted to hold a 1.5-horsepower motor and motor mount (purchased separately). The Intex is a great way to explore fishing on the water without the commitment and hassle of a hard-sided vessel. $324.49 on Amazon.
How to Get The Best Deals on Fishing Gifts
Finding the best deals on fishing gifts can require thinking ahead. Sales start to crop up in the late spring, just before fishing season ends, and around Father’s Day. But also, there are often excellent closeout sales in the fall—shops need to clear out their inventory in preparation for next year’s releases. Scope out those sales for great bargains. Online sales will usually provide bigger discounts, and you can get added savings by searching for coupons and sale announcements. If there’s a particular item you’re coveting, the best tactic might be patience: Fishing gifts will often edge up and down in pricing, but keeping an eye on the rod or reel you really want will help you learn the pattern of the price adjustments and you’ll know when to jump if the price suddenly drops.
Online, you can use a browser extension like Honey, which will scan the internet for available coupons and try them all in your cart until it finds the greatest savings, or CouponCabin, which combs the internet for coupon codes or gives you cash back if you purchase through their site. Using options to buy online and pick up in stores can save on shipping and let you make sure what you’re buying is of the quality you prefer.
Prices listed here were accurate at the time of publication on 6/30/2021.