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Fisherman’s Wish List: The Best Gifts for Every Angler

It’s no secret that the Calcutta Outdoors team lives to fish. From the excitement of chasing saltwater giants to the quiet of casting into a cold-water stream, we enjoy each and every type of recreational fishing. We also know that searching for a fishing gift for friends and family members can be a daunting task. Good fishing gifts—that are appreciated and put to use—can be hard to find.

We hear these questions all the time: What is the best gift for a fisherman? What should I get a fisherman that has everything? What do you give a fisherman for Christmas?

If you are searching for fishing gear for the angler in your life, we are here to help. Whether you are shopping for a boyfriend, girlfriend, dad, mom, husband or wife, we’ve created this essential guide to the best gifts for fishermen and women.

Fishing Coolers 
A dependable cooler is one item that a fisherman can’t live without. Today’s anglers have more options to choose from than ever. Hard coolers can take a beating and still keep their contents cold and fresh. They provide the best ice retention on the hottest days. Look for high-performance coolers that are roto-molded for maximum strength. Must-have features include industrial-grade lid seals, stainless-steel hinges and non-slip, non-marking feet. Soft coolers are also incredibly popular with today’s fishermen for many reasons. Soft-side coolers offer a lightweight option that is comfortable to carry and easy to transport. They have many applications beyond fishing, too, including ballgames and beach trips.

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Rod and Reel Combos
A high-quality rod and reel combo is a gift that will always meet your fisherman’s requirements. Most rod and reel combos come pre-spooled with the appropriate size fishing line and are ready to use immediately. A two-piece rod design saves storage space and makes travel easy. Look for features such as stainless-steel or ceramic guides for durability. Ball-bearing reels will provide smooth, lasting operation. Rod and reel sizes and styles vary by fishing application. Fortunately, there are combos for every fisherman and woman.

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Fishing Tools and Fillet Knives
Fillet knives, needle-nose pliers and other fishing tools make great gifts for anglers. Rigging fishing tackle often requires a combination of pliers, wire cutters and monofilament snips. When the big one doesn’t get away, hook removers are an indispensable tool. A high-quality fillet knife will make quick work of cleaning and preparing the catch after a long day of fishing. Non-slip grips provide a firm hold when wet. Stainless-steel and coated blades resist rusting, which is especially important for saltwater fishermen.

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Fishing Lures
Fishing lure assortments make the perfect gift for the fisherman who has everything. Whether it’s a dry fly for rainbow trout or a curly tail grub for largemouth bass, fishermen are always stocking up on new lures. Not only must they replace lost hard baits and soft baits that they’ve snagged on a tree limb or underwater debris, there’s always new styles and colors to try. An assortment of fishing lures increases your odds of giving a winner. Lures vary by species and type of fishing (saltwater lures and freshwater lures), so find out what your fisherman prefers.

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Fishing Tackle Storage
Tackle bags and boxes help fishermen keep their fishing lures, floats, sinkers and other essentials organized and stored securely. Modern tackle bags are multi-functional and work for a variety of fishing activities. They’re built to contain multiple tackle trays, which separate hard baits, soft baits, swivels, snaps, fishing weights and more. The trays are easily removable so fishermen can pack only what they need for their trip. Premium tackle trays will feature heavy-duty latches and watertight seals. Getting to the fishing spot may require a long walk, so look for tackle bags that include an adjustable shoulder strap.

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Performance Shirts
Staying comfortable and protected from the sun’s harmful rays can be more challenging than catching the big one. Thankfully, today’s performance shirts check both of those boxes. A lightweight, high-performance shirt is a must-have for fishing. They’re designed to wick moisture and dry quickly, which is critical when you’re spending hours on the water. Performance fishing shirts with a UPF 50 rating block 98 percent of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Long-sleeve versions offer more protection, while short-sleeve shirts are popular for their breathability.

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Sunglasses
No matter what time of year, sunglasses are always at the top of every fishing gear checklist. Available in countless shapes and styles, sunglasses make the perfect gift for your boyfriend or husband, girlfriend or wife. However, not all sunglasses are created equal. Sunglasses for a fisherman should offer 100 percent protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays. Polarized lenses help anglers spot fish under water, which can mean the difference between a trophy catch and the one that got away. Premium sunglasses often feature scratch-resistant lenses, which is important for fishermen.

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Visit a Fishing Tackle Store
Need more gift ideas? Stop by your local bait and tackle store. Fishing tackle retailers are the experts when it comes to anything related to fishing. They will be happy to share their knowledge and provide trusted advice. Best of all, local tackle shops typically stock many of the items on this list. You can often find everything you need for the fisherman on your list in just one stop.

Great Time to Go Fishing
Recreational fishing has always been a favorite outdoor pastime for adults and kids. Fishing is a relaxing hobby and a wonderful way to bond with friends and family members. Fishing’s popularity has been growing in recent years. According to the American Sportfishing Association, more than 11 million people went fishing in the United States in 2020. Approximately 29 percent of those were first-time anglers and 23 percent were women. If you’ve never wet a hook or felt the tug of a fish on the line, what are you waiting for? Now is the perfect time to give fishing a try.

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