Are you scrambling to find that perfect fly fishing gift for the passionate fly fisher in your family?
Maybe you’re the kind of person that likes to provide an organized holiday wish list to help out your family and friends. Either way, we’ve got you covered in Gink & Gasoline’s 2013 Fly Fishing Gift Guide. We’ve categorized the list by price range to make your browsing easy, and we’ve also provided links to where each product can be purchased. We’d be proud to receive any of these products as gifts during the holidays.
Fly Fishing Stocking Stuffers – Gifts $30 & Under
If the fly angler is of legal drinking age, we suggest giving them this cool Simms Flask featuring the artwork of Derek DeYoung. They’ll thank you every time they take a swig from it this winter to help them warm up. It retails for $29.95 and comes in two different models. Click the link below to purchase directly from the Simms website.
Every serious fly fisherman will appreciate having these snug fitting gloves on the water whether they’re stripping streamers for trout or chasing hard fighting saltwater species on the flats. They provide 50+ UPF protection, they’ll keep you from getting painful line burns from a fish making a blistering run and they’ll also eliminate abrasions on the fingers when stripping dirty fly line. At $27.00, we think these techy gloves provide great value and they’re probably a piece of gear most fly fisherman don’t already have, and would love to own.
One thing I can’t stand is long sleeve shirts that ride up on me when I’m on the water fishing. In the past couple of years, UPF sun sleeves have become quite the popular trend for eliminating this issue for anglers and increasing comfort. 12wt, a hip fly fishing apparel company, is run by a group of passionate salty fly junkies that specialize in manufacturing saltwater clothing and accessories. We very much like their SUNwt Sleeves and you can buy a pair for $24.00. They’re guaranteed to put a smile on the face and make you look like a rockstar gift giver.
Most of us are trucker hat connoisseurs, and we’ve always got room to add to our collection. They help keep the sun out of our eyes to spot fish on the water, but mostly they’re used as a fashion statement and billboard, to let everyone know we’re passionate about fly fishing. Below are some of my favorite fly fishing trucker hats and all are under $30. Click on the Thumbnails to purchase or find out where you can pick each of them up.
Every fly angler gets tired of lugging around heavy water bottles, especially when they’re hiking in long distances. The Life Straw is an award winning personal water filter and capable of removing virtually all bacteria and protozoa in the field. It’s small and can be stowed away very easily, and it’s capable of filtering 1,000 liters of water. Cost is only $19.95.
Looking for a gift for that dedicated fly tier? As a fly tier myself, I always can use more hooks, and I’m anal about keeping them well organized at my fly tying desk. Orvis provides a Clearwater Hook Assortment that comes with 180 hooks in a slim, magnetic box, that’s also labled. At only $29.95, it’s a total steal. It can be resupplied with hooks or you can turned into a fly box down the road.
One things for sure, about fly fishermen, and that’s the fact that we’re constantly changing out flies and needing a place to stow and dry them. Cliff outdoors makes two versatile foam fly drying or storing patches that any fly angler would enjoy owning. Best of all, both the Cliff Headliner Patch and the Cliff Float Patch only cost $9.95 each, so that means you can pick up both for well under $30, and you’ll have the person covered on and off the water. I love these two products.
Fly lines these days cost a pretty penny, with some costing upwards of $100. The best way to maintain a fly lines performance and longevity, is to clean it regularly. Problem is, most anglers don’t bother because it takes too much time. Loon Outdoors has a nifty fly line cleaning system that attaches to the fly rod for quick and easy fly line cleaning. The cleaning product is eco-friendly, it will last for a crazy long time, and it comes in well under $30 at $23.50.
We couldn’t end the stocking stuffers list of gifts under $30 without suggesting our own 2014 Gink & Gasoline fly fishing calendar. It’s hard to go wrong giving a fly fishing calendar to someone that loves the sport. The print medium has been upgraded and all photos have been hand picked by Louis Cahill himself. At just $17.99, it’s a great way to show your support for G&G.
Fly Fishing Gifts Under $125
If the fly angler in mind owns a drift boat, the Rising Rigging Station is something they’re going to want to have on board their watercraft. It’s perfect for the serious angler or the professional guide.
At $74,95, this super functional product is a sure winner for the fly angler that loves to float. They’ll never have their terminal gear unorganized and scattered around the drift boat ever again, and they’ll probably catch more fish. Every drift boat I own will have one of these in it, period. Did I mention it’s made in the USA?
There’s a good chance that the trout angler you’re shopping for is in desperate need of a new fly line. All you need to do is sneak a peak at the weight of the fly rod they use the most frequently, and purchase them an Airflo Super Dri Fly Line. It’s one of the most technologically advanced fly lines currently on the market right now, and it’s being used widely by anglers across the globe. The self lubricating fly line is crazy slick (the slickest we’ve ever felt) and it’s loaded with additional features in the design to help anglers fish at higher levels. It retails for $74.99.
This past year, Umpqua made a big move entering into the fly fishing pack and vest market. Many people were skeptical, but most changed their minds after they got their hands on some of the Umpqua packs, and put them to work on the water. I’ve talked to a lot of fly fisherman, recreational fly anglers to full-time guides, and not once have I heard a single negative comment about the Umpqua packs and vests. That’s pretty amazing when fly patterns and fly tying first comes to mind when think of the brand. At $99.00, the Ledges 500 Waist Pack is a great buy for anglers that prefer waist packs over traditional fly fishing vests. Particularly since most packs these days carry a price tag well over a Benjamin.
For the past year, my favorite pair of fly fishing pants have been the Oyster Creek pants by TrueFlies. I’d wear them everyday if I could, that’s how much I love them. It sounds cliche, but you haven’t felt true comfort until you’ve slid on a pair of these Oyster Creek pants. They wear great standing on the bow of a boat and work equally well under waders. You’ll also find the elastic waist to be a great feature if your weight fluctuates like mine does. There’s very few fly fishing pants on the market today that can cover such a wide scope and still be presentable enough to wear out for a nice dinner. The pants retail for $89.00 and they’re worth every penny.
If you’re shopping for a hardcore fly fisherman that’s not afraid to step out on the water during the winter, we’d like to suggest you look into getting the Simms Guide Fleece Bib for them. It’s a one piece, super warm fleece bib that will keep an angler warm and toaster even during the coldest of days.
It comes with stretchy stirrups to keep the legs from riding up and a full length front zipper down to the crouch, to make bathroom breaks quick and easy. The Simms Guide Fleece Bibs retail for $119.95 and will quickly become a winter angler’s best friend.
If you’re dealing with a fly fisherman that does a lot of traveling, we highly suggest getting them the Orvis Safe Passage Boot Bag, designed for protecting all of your gear and luggage from dirty and soaking wet wading boots.
Most anglers don’t own a piece of gear like this, but would love to, believe me. It accommodates boots up to a size 15, and retails for $59.00.
Let’s face it, beer and fly fishing often go hand and hand, and sometimes the fly angler you’re shopping for, already has all the fly fishing gear they really need. That’s why were suggesting you consider purchasing some Derek DeYong Pilsner Glasses. These 16 oz. Pilsner glasses are vibrantly displayed in Derek’s artwork, and come in four different themes: brook, rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout. There’s zero risk of this gift not being a big winner for the holidays. They retail for $20 a piece. I’m a HUGE FAN of Derek’s work.
Clear Cure Goo and it’s UV curing fly tying products have become very popular with fly tiers over the last few years. And the products have even pushed innovation and creativity in fly pattern design. If your angler enjoys fly tying, you can’t go wrong purchasing the Clear Cure Brushable Kit. It retails for $105.00
Hot Fly Rods for Xmas
The Orvis Ecounter Fly Rod/Reel Combo ($159.00) and the Echo Solo Outfit ($169.99) are both really great gifts for fisherman who don’t own a fly rod & reel yet, and want to get into fly fishing. Everything that’s needed to get an angler on the water wetting a fly line, is provided, and neither outfit will break the bank.
The Solar fly rod by Thomas & Thomas is the company’s newest saltwater rod line. I had the pleasure of fishing it during the development and it’s unbelievable. I’m pretty sure there’s going to be masses of saltwater anglers making the switch to the Solar this year. It’s far, one of the finest saltwater fly rods I’ve cast in a very long time. You’ll have to order it directly from the T&T website since it won’t be available in the store until 2014. This one might end up being a gift that delivers after Xmas, but it’s well worth the wait. Retails for $800.00
If you’re a fan of Orvis, you’ll want to check out the new Helios 2 rod line. Most agree it’s the best graphite fly rod line Orvis has produced in years and it’s going to build a very strong following moving forward. There’s lots of anglers out there already claiming they’ve fallen in love with the new Helios 2, and many have purchased more than one, to accommodate fly fishing for different species or conditions.
We had the opportunity to test the 7′ 6″ 4-piece, 4wt Mid-Flex, and we thoroughly enjoyed fishing with it. This true casting and smooth action 4-weight fly rod is perfect on small to mid-size trout water, when fishing dry/dropper and light nymph rigs. Retails for $795.00
The Vapen Fly Rod by Redington, is a good choice for anglers that frequent big trout water and like a fast action rod capable of punching big flies and heavy fly rigs into the wind. It’s a strong rod that you won’t have to baby, due to its X-Wrap construction, and it has a mid-range price point at $299.95.
I’ve cast a lot of fly rods this year, and one fly rod that left a very good impression in my mind was the Radian by Scott Fly Rods. Not only is this rod beautiful, it casts like a dream. It’s got a superb action and it’s extremely accurate and responsive. From the conversations that I’ve had with various fly shop owners, the Radian fly rod is selling faster than it can be displayed out on the rod racks. If you’re planning on purchasing a Radian for a holiday gift, you need to get on it right away. Otherwise there’s a good chance they’ll be sold out. Retails for $795.00
I couldn’t finish off the list of recommended fly rods without mentioning the R.L. Winston Boron III X. You’ve got to respect a fly rod that loads smoothly and evenly from the tip all the way through the butt section. Boron is the key construction material that provides the signature “Winston Feel” that so many fly anglers have fallen in love with. It also allows the fly rods to be extremely light weight and amazingly strong. Retails for $795.00
Dream Fly Fishing Gifts (You know, Watercraft)
People buy brand new cars for loved ones every Xmas, it’s not the norm, but it does happen. So I assume it’s safe to say that there’s also some lucky anglers out there that wake up Christmas Day to find themselves presented with new watercraft as well. For those fortunate enough to be shopping for non-motorized watercraft, here’s our top picks.
Adipose Boatworks, in my opinion, manufactures some of the finest fiberglass watercraft in the business. The “Flow Skiff” has a unique hull design which provides superb stability and balance, a low draft, and it rows like a dream. Furthermore, the boat has an open walk around layout and it’s loaded with a ton of premium features you rarely find on other drift boats. Such as: Bow and stern adjustable pedestal seats, 2-Way easy access fly rod storage (up to 10′), and quick-slide adjustable rowers seat just to name a few. The attention to detail and the luxury of functional features that you find on Adipose boats, come from the company owners who spent many years guiding.
For a while now, there’s been a Stand-Up Paddle Board (SUP) mania, and tons of fly fishermen are using SUPs in their everyday fly fishing adventures. When you look at all the brands of SUPs on the market, one brand seems to always be in the spotlight, and that’s BOTE. If we could be fortunate enough to own one of these beautiful SUPs, we’d choose the 12′ BOTE – Bug Slinger Tarbone Edition. It’s a versatile SUP with a design that’s user-friendly. It’s 12′ in length, 32″ wide, capable of floating 350 pounds, and only weighs 29 pounds. If you trick this thing out, it could be an amazing fly fishing watercraft. Retails for $1649.99.
That wraps up our Gink & Gasoline Fly Fishing Christmas Gift Guide. There were a good bit of new products that I wanted to showcase in this post, but many of them will not show up in stores until after the holidays. I plan on doing a follow up gear pick list for the new product for the 2014 year, and I’ll also highlight some other companies that I didn’t have room to put on this list. Unfortunately, you have to end the list at some point. We hope that you found the list helpful in finding that special fly fishing gift for your family member or friend. Please feel free to email or share it so others can also use it.
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