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Woo tungsten has some of the best weights available.. love the combo packs beads weights, and stops!!
Woo tungsten has some of the best weights available.. love the combo packs beads weights, and stops!!
Professional anglers know a thing or two about catching fish. They also know all about the best products that can aid in the cause.
From maintaining gear to staying safe and efficient on the water to catching fish (and keeping warm and dry in the process), these FLW pros’ holiday gift recommendations are perfect for just about everyone.
If you’re looking for the perfect stocking stuffer, a bigger gift for a lucky angler or just something for yourself that can help bag some hawgs all year long, look no further.
James Niggemeyer – Cabela’s Guidewear
I’m always thinking about what I can use to make my day on the water more comfortable. Generally, coming out of winter, it’s always clothing. Most people don’t go out and just buy a new rain suit as a gift; it’s kind of a large ask. But the bibs or pants or rain jacket, especially a nice high-quality one like the Cabela’s Guidewear, is something every fisherman would absolutely love.
James Niggemeyer – T-H Marine G-Juice
T-H Marine’s got a little bottle of G-Juice that’d make a perfect little stocking stuffer. It seems like you never have enough of that stuff when you’re trying to keep your catch alive and in the best health that you can.
Bryan Schmitt – Fitzgerald Rods Bryan Schmitt Signature Swim Jig Rod
We just came out with my signature series swim jig rod with Fitzgerald Rods. We tried to make a lightweight rod with a shorter butt, so we cut 2 inches off the butt. It doesn’t restrict your forearm area if you want to work the jig, almost like you would do with a jerkbait. It’s also good for a vibrating jig, and you could throw a spinnerbait on it, too. The cool thing about it is it’s tough enough that you could put braid on it, but you could definitely go with fluoro, too.
Dylan Hays – Mustad Extra Long Reach Heavy-Duty Fishing Pliers
These are a must-have in the boat in my opinion. A good pair of long needle-nose pliers makes life much easier. I use them for fish that are hooked deep, especially smallmouths. They are also great on fish with teeth or just for hard-to-reach places in the boat.
Greg Bohannan – Lew’s Speed Beam Culling System
I love the speed clips on this culling system. They’re much easier and faster to use than others out there.
Grae Buck – T-H Marine Tackle Titan Lure Hangar
It’s a magnetic strip with five magnets on it. You can stick it to the side of your boat, and you can hang your extra lures that would otherwise be on the floor on it and let them dry off. That’s one thing I really enjoyed having last season.
Joey Cifuentes – Lucas Oil Fishing Reel Oil
You need it because you might possibly get a reel for Christmas, and you’ve got to take care of it and keep it lubed. I oil my reels just one time usually all year during the season, but I know I should probably do it more than that.
Joey Cifuentes – Berkley Line Stripper or Line Stripper Max
These are pretty cool for removing line and re-spooling a lot faster.
Alex Davis – T-H Marine G-Force Troll Jacket
It’s a neoprene sleeve that goes over the wires that come out of the trolling motor, from the trolling motor head to the pedal, so you don’t have black zip ties or electrical tape everywhere. It straps around the wires so if you have to work on one you just undo it, open it up and you don’t have to use 38 zip ties or seven rolls of electrical tape to put it back together.
Josh Douglas – Simms Challenger Suit (Jacket and Bibs)
With all the guiding I do, I always make sure my guys are wearing it. It’s a little bit lighter suit, and it keeps me absolutely bone dry, which is especially nice at the price point where they’re selling it. You get all you’re used to with Simms as a maker of high-end, quality gear, but it’s only $400 for the set (jacket and bibs).
Cody Hahner – GO PUCK
It’s a battery pack for your GoPro so you can have it running all the time. That was a really helpful tool for me last season.
Brian Latimer – Mustang Taku Suit (Jacket and Bibs)
Right off the bat, one great gift is a rain suit. I used to struggle with that all the time, because rain suits are real expensive. I always wanted for someone to buy me a rain suit. It’s kind of a big investment that nobody wants to spend the money on, but if someone can buy it for you that’s amazing. The one I wear now is a Mustang Taku; they’re a sponsor of mine, but if they weren’t I’d still want one.
Bradford Beavers – LED Headlight
I think a cheap headlight is a really good, practical gift. I use it for fishing in the morning – every boat has a courtesy light, but it’s hard to tie knots with just that. I use them to hunt ducks and deer. I’ve kinda got one everywhere. If you have to work on something in the shop or on a boat or something it’s a lot easier to have one on than to hold a light. It’s practical, even if you don’t hunt or fish. Almost anybody could use a headlight. I get a bunch of cheap ones; they’re like $20 dollars apiece. There are some real expensive ones, but the way I am I know I’m going to break them or lose them.
Larry Nixon – 3-inch Cuda Titanium Bonded Braid and Mono Scissor
The little scissors they’ve got are only about $4 a pair, but they’re incredible. You can throw a pair or two here or there in your boat and truck, and they’re awesome. That’s one of the handiest little presents you can get anybody, and they’re not expensive. They cut braid, fluorocarbon, anything. They last a long time, and they’re cheap.
Buddy Gross – HotHands Body and Hand Super Warmers
I don’t live without HotHands in the cold weather. They last 18 hours. I put them in my Phantom hoodie in the little pocket where your hands go. I put them there, and it keeps your whole body warm. Then I put two in my jacket. On cold, damp days it keeps my whole body warm and keeps me out there on the water longer.
Kyle Cortiana – Seirus Softshell Gloves
I like a good pair of fishing gloves. I know a few other anglers on the Tour that use this exact pair just for cold-weather fishing, but they’re pretty thin so they keep you warm, and they don’t inhibit your ability to use your hands and fingers. I’ve used a bunch of different ones. Most people aren’t comfortable using a baitcaster with gloves with a big thumb. I like these because it feels like I’ve still got my actual hands. They’re thin around my finger, but they’re still really warm. They’re good for gripping, and you don’t lose any mobility.
Cody Hahner – Lake X Lures Dr. Evil
Basically, it’s a larger-style plopper bait. It’s the most popular plopper bait in the muskie industry, which is where the whole plopper craze kind of started. I’m a huge muskie fisherman, and I don’t know of anyone that throws a “tail bait” other than the Lake X. It’s a larger size and something that’s fun to throw around for bass. It’s relatively inexpensive too.
John Cox – Bass Mafia Money Bag
These bags are super durable. You can’t tear them, plus they have a zipper to seal them, so it keeps whatever you put in there protected from moisture. I keep all my plastics in them, jigs with trailers in one, ChatterBaits with trailers in another, and they hardly take up any space. It’s also nice that they are clear so you can see in them really easy. My kids even use them to take their lunches to school.
Sheldon Collings – Floor Jack
My dad actually got me a two-ton hydraulic trolley jack before I went to Florida last year, and thankfully I haven’t had to use it yet, but I guarantee it will save my butt someday. It’s really simple to use and store in the back of my truck, and it’s big enough to hold the trailer up with a boat on it.
Bryan Thrift – Solar Battery Charger
I think one of the neatest things I travel with is a little solar-powered battery charger. I also take a portable battery pack with me, but that solar charger can charge my phone and that battery pack. You just never know when you might not have any power but still need to charge your phone. It’ll work anywhere you get sunshine, and you could even take it out hunting with you. The one I have has a USB port, so it’ll charge most small electronics.
Luke Dunkin – T-H Marine Hydrowave
A T-H Marine Hydrowave, that’s something that would be a cool Christmas gift. Truly, it’s just a tool you need on your boat, like a depth finder or a jack plate or anything else. It actually causes fish to bite. It gets you extra bites. I’ve seen it work over and over and over. Anything that might get me an extra bite or two, I want it on the boat
Tis the season, and we are excited to bring you our annual Holiday Gift Guide. Many of these products we have tested in the field, some are from friends, and some are just too cool not to include. Here are some of our favorite products for 2018!
1. Civilware Striker Folding KnifeThe new Striker Folding Knife features a split frame-locking titanium and G10 handle, with a recurve blade. This has been our go-to knife this year during Flylords adventure. This shot was taken in the Belize salt fishing with Go Fish Belize.
2. Thomas and Thomas Zone Rod
The Zone series pushes the envelope in both performance and price, bringing the latest R&D from Thomas & Thomas to more fly anglers than ever before.
We have been testing out this rod out for a while now, and we are extremely impressed. Take a look at our in-depth review when we sat down with T&T rod designer Joe Goodspeed.
For the anglers who are on the water enough, the Rod Vault might be the perfect gift this holiday season. Not only will it save you time, but you can also protect your gear!
Built from the highest quality aircraft grade Aluminum tubes, with a non-abrasive plastic liner, and insanely tough reinforced nylon housing, The Rod Vault ensures both security and superior protection for your best fly fishing rods and reels on all your fishing trips! Maximize your time doing what you love.
4. NorthFace Hoodie
Northface Crushed it with this design. The Flylords team spent two weeks traveling through Brittish Columbia this fall, and this jacket was a perfect layer to wear underneath the waders. Unfortunately, it looks like the Duck Camo sold out, which we were suckers for, but the other colors look solid also!
5. The River Rapid by EcoFlow
“Your ultimate charging companion just got a lot smaller: RIVER Rapid is the smallest and fastest lightweight 5000mAh portable charger there is.”
This little gadget has saved our butts quite a few times. In the photo above we are actually stuck in the middle of the BC wilderness. Being able to keep our phones charged with just one bar of service we were able to call for help. The dudes who designed these batteries worked for DJI (The Drone Manufacturers) – The technology they have been developing is pretty insane.
6. Seager Co + Stetson Hat
Let’s be honest. It’s time to grow out of the trucker hat look on the water. JK JK we love the trucker hat look. But we have been pretty obsessed with Stetson ever since our trip down to Montana to visit Bush Creek Ranch. The hat above is a collaboration between Seager and Stetson, check em out!
7. Sight Line Provisions + Simms Bracelets
We love when two badass companies come together to collaborate. And that’s exactly what happened when Sight Line Provisions and Simms came together to produce these killer bracelets. The design is exclusively accented with GORE-TEX tipping on the band, a unique touch that speaks to the craftsmanship of generations of Wader Makers at SIMMS in Bozeman, Montana. Limited quantities available in this one-time offering. Made in USA.
8. Costa Sunglasses Untangled Collection
Talk about a company doing some cool things. We have had the fortune of working with Costa for a while now, and they keep impressing us with not only their innovations but their dedication to conservation and protecting our fisheries.
“We’re taking fishing nets that are at the end of their lives and giving them new ones by recycling them into our latest collection of polarized sunglasses, The Untangled Collection.”
9. Flylords Dancing Bear Skiff T
We are excited to be expanding our collaboration series with the Grateful Dead. Our latest designs include the infamous Dancing Bears on a flats skiff. Illustrated by one of our favorite artists Jay Talbot.
11. Yakoda Fly Tin
Our friends at Yakoda have been cooking up some pretty rad products lately, and we had to include their new Fly Tin in this holiday gift guide. Cudos for the innovation!
“Small and lightweight, the Fly Tin is ready to be outfitted for your next trip—as a creek kit, loaded with tailwater favorites, a hand-picked selection for high alpine lakes, or stacked with the stuff that works on your home waters. Plenty of room for bushy dries inside the lid, 23 small to medium-sized nymphs or dries on the foam and micro midges in the magnet tray.”
12. Railriders Adventure Pants
Railriders Adventure Gear has been supporting flylords trips since day 1. And we can honestly say we have put their clothes through the elements! From battling swarms of insects deep in the Bolivian Amazon, to stalking bonefish for miles in the flats of the seychelles, these clothes have seen it all. It was tough to choose just one item, but the railriders adventure pants are our favorite fishing pants, hands down.
13. Scientific Anglers Amplitude Line
We have been fishing the SA Amplitude series for several months now, and have been blown away by the performance of these lines. They are definitely worth checking out!
“The Amplitude Smooth series of lines are, simply put, the highest-performance smooth fly lines in the world. With up to five times less drag and eight times the durability of traditional lines, this will change the way you look at fly line performance.”
14. Peak Design Everyday Backpack
The Perfect Adventure / Photographer backpack. Yes at $250 bones this thing is quite pricey, but honestly, we have not seen a backpack engineered like this thing ever. This peak design bag has traveled with the Flylords team for the past year and a half and is still going strong. We highly recommend this for the serious photographer!
15. Mavic 2 Pro with Polar Pro
The new Mavic 2 Pro, is an absolute beast. Faster, stronger, better, all around. We have been flying the original Mavic for about a year now and decided to finally make the upgrade when DJI announced this beast. Here are a few of our first thoughts…
17. Flylords Waxed Canvas Hat
One of our favorite hats, back by popular demand. Waxed Canvas with the Original Flylords logo!
18. Ross Reel Animas
We have been using the new Ross Animas for the past two months and have been really impressed by this workhorse. A great price point, for a truly quality reel. Check out our in-depth review!
19. This is Nowhere – Jermery Koreski
It’s always good to support photographers, especially photographers who inspire you. Jeremy Koreski is an incredible photographer, and his book This is Nowhere features some of his best work. This is definitely worth the purchase and would make a great coffee table book! Check out our exclusive interview with the man!
20. Abel Nippers
Are they expensive, yes. But are you going to find better nippers on the market? Probably not. Made in the USA, these badass little nippers would make a great stocking stuffer for the holiday!
21. Down by the River Children’s Book
Andrew Weiner’s “Down By The River” is the first of it’s kind – a children’s book about fly fishing. The book tells the story of a grandfather, mom, and son going on a trip to the river. Complete with detailed illustrations by April Chu, the book explores nature, family, and fly fishing in a comforting and familiar way.
23. Yeti Panga
Yeti’s Panga series has been an absolute game changer for our team. When it comes to shooting fly fishing content, it’s always a battle with the weather. The Pangabags have been protected our gear for the last year and we can’t say enough good about these bags. Yes, they are pricey, but worth the investment. Kudos to Yeti for another kickass product.
24. Patagonia Danner Boots
We’ve been waiting on this launch for a while now. Two badass companies coming together to develop one of the greatest wading boot ever made. These won’t be ready until February, but had to make our list!
26. Howler Bros x Jay Fletcher
The Howler boys have been leading the way in the fly fishing space when it comes to innovative designs and conservation collaborations. The new Jay Fletcher collab was too good not to be included in this list. Combining one of our favorite brands with one of our favorite graphic designers.
27. Badfish Boat Towel
It’s always good to support the creative homies, and this Boat Towel is pretty Fuego!
28. Las Truchas Permit Belt
Curated by the awesome Maddie Brenneman, The Las Truchas Permit Buckle is created by Chicago-based blacksmith, Wesley Groot at Cityboy Forge.
29. Donate to a Non-Profit
In the mix of all this shopping also don’t forget to give back to some of the incredible non-profits this industry has. Here are a few of our favorites!
30. Eno Hammock
A simple gift that makes every adventure a little more comfortable.
31. Outerknown Blanket Shirt
One of our most comfortable purchases of the winter. Kelly Slaters brainchild Outerknown continues to impress us with innovations and badass clothing.
32. Spawn Fly Fish
Streamer season is now year round! Spawn Fly Fish fly heads are injection-molded for superior durability and consistency. Add an already painted Spawn Head to your baitfish patterns for an irresistibly realistic look. Try the blank heads for a truly customized fly. The new translucent heads will allow your favorite materials to shine through. No matter what you’re looking for, Spawn Fly Fish is your one-stop streamer shop.
Not every person looking to buy their first kayak is a young whippersnapper of 20 or even 30. Lots of new kayak anglers are in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. Allow me a moment, to be frank. As an angler who falls into one of those age ranges, our needs are different than what we would have needed at 20. That prompted the need for this article: The Kayak Buying Guide for Anglers Over 40.
Before we can get into specific brand and model recommendations, certain features and available options need to be discussed. Let’s talk about seats, stability, weight, and propulsion.
Seats vary across all models. While some are floppy, clip in style seats meant to give a tiny bit of back support and that’s about it, other models of seats have multiple lumbar and back adjustments with height options as well. If you’re like me, once you’ve crossed the 40-year threshold, your back starts to ache without some support. This means avoiding clip in seats that don’t have a frame. Just don’t do it. And while a frame seat is better, they are most definitely not all built the same. Frame seats with no back contour, (think old beach chair), offer much less ergonomic support than a frame seat with a contoured frame to cradle your back.
You’ll also want to pay close attention to adjustment points in the seat. If you are a heavier angler, a cheaply made seat may sag in the seat pan and you’ll be sitting on an uncomfortable crossbar all day. Not ideal.
Good seats typically mean a more expensive kayak because of the detail and ergonomics that have gone into the design.
Another moment of honesty here, my balance is not what it used to be. Getting up from a seated position too quickly can make me a little dizzy. If I plan on standing or at least have the option in a kayak, I need it to be stable. So how do you determine stability in a kayak?
In general, a wider kayak will offer more stability. A 41″ wide kayak will almost always be more stable than a 30″ wide kayak. This can vary however based on the hull design. A catamaran style hull uses channeled water to add stability and reduces the need for a super wide kayak. Another factor is the person standing or sitting in the kayak.
We are all made differently and our centers of gravity differ. Some anglers are top heavy, some middle heavy, others bottom heavy, and a few are well built, evenly spaced specimens who probably will never read this article because they don’t identify as older. Just because your friend who weighs the same as you can stand in his kayak, it doesn’t translate to your abilities. Maybe he’s only 5’5″ and you are 6’2″. Height can play a key as well as it gives the weight a longer plane to be distributed along.
The best bet is to demo to test stability but if you can’t, get something at least 32″ wide.
The weight of your kayak is very important to consider, and it needs to be paired with the transportation mode you’ll be choosing. A kayak that weighs 140 pounds is going to be difficult to load and unload without a trailer or assist devices (which is an extra expense). For me, after nearly 15 years of paddling kayaks and thousands of miles, my shoulders are not at all what they used to be. Hoisting a kayak up onto a roof of a vehicle or a tall ladder rack just isn’t in the cards. Having a truck that I can use a bed extender with however makes it much less of a burden to have a heavier kayak.
Think about how you will move your kayak from location to location and then figure out what weight you can manage based on your current health conditions.
This is a big one. The four main modes of propulsion you’ll see on kayaks are paddle, pedal, sail, and motor. Think about what will work best for you, when considering where you will fish most often and what your current health status is. Specifically, are your knees in really good condition but your shoulders are shot? Are your shoulders and your knees bad? What would be most difficult for you to physically do? Whichever that is, rule it out. For many people, an electric motor added to a pedal or paddle craft works great for a mixture of exercise and a safety net (the motor) in case they tire out or catch an injury. Sails aren’t utilized across most of the country so we won’t be diving into them for this article.
These suggestions will help you narrow down your choices by offering a few suggestions from each category of consideration above.
The Hobie Pro Angler 12/14 has the best seat on the market. It’s comfortable, has tons of adjustment points, and offers enough comfort for all day on the water.
The Bonafide SS127/107 has what I would consider the best seat on a paddle kayak. Again, lots of adjustment points in both the seat and back, with a well-contoured seat frame to allow you to comfortably wear a PFD while seated and still paddle.
The NuCanoe Pursuit gets an honorable mention here. It has a pretty comfortable seat with several adjustment points but also has the option of a swivel base which allows the seat to turn 360 degrees, making fishing out of the side or back of the kayak very easy.
When we talk about width and hull design, the five main players in stability all come in over 32 inches.
The Native Titan 13.5 is the top dog in the width category at 41.5″ wide. With the Propel Drive, anglers use their feet to manuever this kayak through the water.
The NuCanoe Frontier 12 is one of, if not the widest paddle kayak on the market. It boasts a 41″ wide beam and offers a squared off stern which is ready for an electric motor to clamp on and go.
The Hobie Pro Angler 14 is a kayak that has a width of 38″. Long and wide, the PA14 gives the angler plenty of room to move about the kayak and to help move it along in the water is a pedal system known as the Mirage Drive. Anglers use their feet to propel the kayak.
Another paddle propelled kayak that hits the width and stability marks is the Diablo Amigo. Coming in at 38″ wide, the Amigo is a river raider’s dream.
The Jackson Big Rig is popular among paddle craft anglers and soon to be pedal anglers as well. The Big Rig comes in at 38″ wide and a secondary stability that helps in turbulant water.
The Bonafide SS127 gets an honorable mention here. While it only measures a beam of 34″, the tri-cat hull makes for a stable platform that acts like a much wider kayak. The Bonafide is also a paddle kayak.
I won’t make any specific recommendations here as every transport situation seems to differ.
If you are car topping your kayak (putting it on the roof of your vehicle) I’d recommend staying under 80 pounds.
For a bed extender transport mode, a kayak under 100 pounds usually works best.
Over 100 pounds, I’d really consider some trailer options. You don’t have to but you may really wish you had in short order.
The best in class models for each mode of propulsion, at least how I see it is as follows:
Good stability, 94-pound weight, and a great seat make my recommended paddle craft the Bonafide SS 127.
The second choice for me would be the NuCanoe Pursuit. It has fewer features than the SS127 but has stability for days and a really nice swivel seat that makes fishing weird angles a lot easier.
The flagship for pedal power is the Hobie Pro Angler 14. It will most likely need a trailer but once you’re on the water, it’s luxury in every area (as long as you don’t have to paddle it).
The darkhorse for this category is one that is new to the market, the 2019 Hobie Outback. It is 103 pounds, has the Mirage Drive for propulsion, offers good stability and has a pretty good seat. This is the perfect option for those that want a well-equipped kayak with pedals that don’t need to stand all the time.
Many of the kayaks mentioned here today can work with a motor. The NuCanoes come with a stern ready for a clamp on motor and not much else needed. Other kayaks not as much. There are a few kayaks that come motor installed and of those, the Old Town Predator MK is the leader in the clubhouse. It also comes in a pedal drive version (PDL) if you’d like to go that direction. They are a bit heavy at 118 pounds so a trailer is going to be a needed add on for most folks.
|Length:||13 ft 8 in / 4.17 m|
|Width:||38 in / 96.52 cm|
|Weight:||144.5 lb / 65.54 kg|
|Capacity:||600 lb / 272.16 kg|
|Length:||12 ft 7 in / 3.84 m|
|Width:||33.75 in / 85.73 cm|
|Weight:||94 lb / 42.64 kg|
|Capacity:||475 lb / 215.46 kg|
|Length:||13 ft 6 in / 4.11 m|
|Width:||35 in / 88.9 cm|
|Weight:||82 lb / 37.19 kg|
|Capacity:||500 lb / 226.8 kg|
|Length:||13 ft 6 in / 4.11 m|
|Width:||41.5 in / 105.41 cm|
|Weight:||178 lb / 80.74 kg|
|Capacity:||500 lb / 226.8 kg|
|Length:||12 ft / 3.66 m|
|Width:||41 in / 104.14 cm|
|Weight:||77 lb / 34.93 kg|
|Capacity:||650 lb / 294.84 kg|
|Length:||12 ft 8 in / 3.86 m|
|Width:||38 in / 96.52 cm|
|Weight:||75 lb / 34.02 kg|
|Capacity:||600 lb / 272.16 kg|
|Length:||13 ft2 in / 4.01 m|
|Width:||38 in / 96.25 cm|
|Weight:||93 lb / 42.72 kg|
|Capacity:||450 lb / 201.78 kg|
|Length:||12 ft 9 in / 3.89 m|
|Width:||34 in / 86.36 cm|
|Weight:||103 lb / 46.72 kg|
|Capacity:||425 lb / 192.78 kg|
|Length:||13 ft 2 in / 4.01 m|
|Width:||36 in / 91.44 cm|
|Weight:||117.5 lb / 53.3 kg|
|Capacity:||600 lb / 272.16 kg|
Salted Angler has put together some of the best Cyber Monday deals for gear.