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Best Gifts for Fishermen Reviewed & Rated for Quality

last updated May 01, 2019

Are you looking for the perfect gift for a fisherman (for the purposes of this article, “fisherman” and “fishermen” refer to both fishermen and fisherwomen)? Shopping for a fisherman can be tricky, because they are usually particular about their equipment. A gift card to a sporting goods store is always an option, but it’s not particularly personal, unfortunately.

Don’t stress if you’re having trouble finding a gift for a fisherman. In this article, there are 10 options which are popular among fishermen; useful, practical, and meaningful. As an extra bonus, from the perspective of the gift recipient, there will be no need to get into a potentially awkward situation by exchanging the gift, keeping it out of a misplaced sense of obligation, or the worst possible outcome...getting caught regifting a present that missed the mark, despite every good intention.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 13 hrs of research

icon
Youphoria Microfiber Towel
98/100 our score
Effectiveness
98
Ease of Use
99
Use
97
Value
98
Durability
98
Youphoria Microfiber Towel
Why is it better?

Lightweight, portable, easy to store, perfect for traveling, camping, and fishing

Superior absorption retains large amounts of water

Fast drying; ready to be used again after wringing out

Available in three sizes; from hand towel to full-sized

Microfiber does not disintegrate or leave specks anywhere

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Youphoria Microfiber Towel
Test Winner: Youphoria Microfiber Towel
Researched Sources
15
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
11k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
13
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
10
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Effectiveness Ease of Use Use Value Durability By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98
Effectiveness
98%
Ease of Use
99%
Use
97%
Value
98%
Durability
98%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.05.19)
$12.99
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.4
Effectiveness
97%
Ease of Use
99%
Use
96%
Value
97%
Durability
98%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.05.19)
$39.99
$49.99
See Deal
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.8
Effectiveness
96%
Ease of Use
98%
Use
96%
Value
98%
Durability
96%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.05.19)
$69.98
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96
Effectiveness
96%
Ease of Use
95%
Use
96%
Value
97%
Durability
96%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.05.19)
$33.98
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.2
Effectiveness
95%
Ease of Use
94%
Use
96%
Value
95%
Durability
96%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.05.19)
$61.39
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.6
Effectiveness
95%
Ease of Use
94%
Use
94%
Value
95%
Durability
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.05.19)
$37.99
$39.99
See Deal
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.6
Effectiveness
93%
Ease of Use
93%
Use
92%
Value
93%
Durability
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.05.19)
$9.99
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.6
Effectiveness
91%
Ease of Use
91%
Use
91%
Value
92%
Durability
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.05.19)
$24.99
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.6
Effectiveness
90%
Ease of Use
90%
Use
90%
Value
90%
Durability
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.05.19)
$12.99
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
Effectiveness
90%
Ease of Use
90%
Use
90%
Value
90%
Durability
88%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.05.19)
$24.98
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Youphoria Microfiber Towel
  • UglyStik GX2
  • KastKing Fishing Rod Rack
  • Piscifun Tackle Bag
  • PLUSINNO Telescopic Rod & Reel
  • Buck Knives Folding Knife
  • YYGIFT LED Twin Bells
  • Bluenet Set
  • Dr. Meter Fishing Scale
  • Bits and Pieces 8-in-1 Fishing Tool
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

10 Best Gifts for Fishermen

1. Youphoria Microfiber Towel

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98
Youphoria Microfiber Towel
Effectiveness
98
Ease of Use
99
Use
97
Value
98
Durability
98
best offer for today
$12.99
Pros:

Lightweight, portable, easy to store, perfect for traveling, camping, and fishing

Superior absorption retains large amounts of water

Fast drying; ready to be used again after wringing out

Available in three sizes; from hand towel to full-sized

Microfiber does not disintegrate or leave specks anywhere

Cons:

“Chemical smell”

Color discrepancy

The Youphoria microfiber travel towel is a great gift for just about everyone, fishermen included. It comes with a convenient carrying case and is perfect for a variety of activities; from going to the gym to camping too, of course, fishing. It’s fast drying, absorbent, and budget-friendly.

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Superior Absorption
If you’ve used microfiber towels before, you know that they are not all created equal. A poorly designed microfiber acts much like a sponge - it becomes saturated quickly, needs to be constantly wrung out, and takes a long time to dry. The Youphoria, however, is amazingly absorbent, retaining a large amount of water at once, and dries within minutes after being wrung out.

Hassle-Free Microfiber
If you wash your car in your driveway instead of taking it through a car wash, this has undoubtedly happened to you. You rinse it down, meticulously scrub everything from the roof to the wheels, rinse it again, and then, to avoid water spots, you decide to dry the car using a chamois cloth or “shammy.” Shammies are commonly made of microfiber, so they seem like a good choice; gentle enough not to scratch the paint, absorbent and effective. However, this often results in tiny pieces of the towel getting stuck to your car. Now, your “clean” is covered in fibers. The Youphoria is carefully designed to withstand serious, heavy-duty use without falling apart.

Cost and Value
The Youphoria has earned 4.5 out of 5 stars based on over 1500 customer reviews. It is practical, affordable, convenient, and versatile. The fisherman in your life will undoubtedly appreciate it. This is a great product at a fair price, making it an excellent value.

2. UglyStik GX2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.4
UglyStik GX2
Effectiveness
97
Ease of Use
99
Use
96
Value
97
Durability
98
best offer for today
more shops
$39.99
$49.99
See Deal
Pros:

Versatile and adjustable; works for children and adults

Graphite and fiberglass for superior sensitivity

Extra strength thanks to Clear Tip design

Scratch and scuff resistant

Instant anti-reverse bearing; allows smooth, streamlined operation

Cons:

Substandard packaging

You may be wondering why you would want to risk buying a rod and a reel for a fisherman, who probably already has a favorite fishing pole (if not several) and knows what he or she likes and dislikes. Well, one thing to keep in mind with fishing is that rods and reels do not last forever, especially with regular use. They break, they get dropped into the water, and they fall apart. So, why go with the UglyStik? It is a versatile, adjustable rod and reel combination that is perfect for fishermen of every skill level. Whether amateur or experienced, the UglyStik is an impressive, lightweight, surprisingly high-performance rod and reel that does not disappoint.

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Fully Adjustable
This combo would make a great gift for a child or an adult; its length is fully adjustable. Whether the fisherman in question is 4’6” or 6’4”, the rod can be adjusted to fit the fisherman’s height perfectly, allowing him or her to cast off with ease. This also makes the pole a suitable gift for a young fisherman because he or she can grow into it.

Sensitivity
The rod is made of graphite and fiberglass; materials which allow the fisherman to detect the slightest tug on the line. This makes it easy for new fishermen to detect when a fish is nibbling on the line. The lightweight rod is easy to raise up to snag the fish on the hook, and the ultra-responsive reel is easy to operate, allowing the fish to be reeled in with ease. Catching your first fish is a big moment for a new fisherman.

Cost and Value
The UgliStik has earned an average of 3.7 out of 5 stars based on over 600 customer reviews. A rating of 3.7 considered out of context may seem satisfactory at best. It is important to consider that the rod and reel combination is incredibly affordable, literally a fraction of the cost of the majority of the competition. Additionally, the versatility and adjustability of the UgliStik also must be factored into its ultimate value. While it is not the rod and reel combo for an ultra-serious, semi-professional fisherman, for everyone else, it’s perfectly fine, and provides a lot of enjoyment out on the water. It’s a decent product sold at a fair price, making it a good value.

3. KastKing Fishing Rod Rack

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.8
KastKing Fishing Rod Rack
Effectiveness
96
Ease of Use
98
Use
96
Value
98
Durability
96
best offer for today
$69.98
Pros:

Accommodates up to 24 rods of varying sizes

2015 ICAST design award winner

Efficient use of space; can be stored virtually anywhere

Keeps rods organized, protected, and prevents them from becoming entangled

Lightweight and easy to assemble

Cons:

Unstable “feet” that support the rack

The rods occasionally fall out of place

The KastKing is, in a word, impressive. Most serious fishermen have multiple rods and need a way to store them, keeping them in good condition, safe from damage, and preventing them from becoming entangled. This particular rod rack is in a class of its own. It holds up to 24 rods of varying sizes. It’s a great way to keep your equipment in perfect condition, organized and nicely displayed, making it a wonderful gift.

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24 Rods
The rack accommodates up to 24 rods of varying sizes. Storing fishing rods can be problematic. Sometimes they wind up just leaning against the corner of a garage or basement, suspended on a ceiling, or stacked in a vehicle or boat. The KastKing is a space-saving problem solver that not only looks great but also keeps the rods in excellent condition; neat, organized and ready to go.

Award Winning
The KastKing won a design award from ICAST, a prestigious award bestowed upon the best of the best products in various categories of the sportfishing industry. The rack was chosen based on its efficient use of space, lightweight design, portability, strength, and overall usefulness. Additionally, the rack was commended for its easy assembly and user-friendly design.

Cost and Value
The rod rack has an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars based on over 600 reviews. The customer reviews are overwhelmingly positive, with the rack coming highly recommended. The ICAST award also speaks very highly of the rack’s overall quality, performance, and practicality. Its price is fair and reasonable. The KastKing is an excellent value; a superb product sold at a respectable price.

4. Piscifun Tackle Bag

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96
Piscifun Tackle Bag
Effectiveness
96
Ease of Use
95
Use
96
Value
97
Durability
96
best offer for today
$33.98
Pros:

Comfortable, adjustable, padded, ergonomic crossbody shoulder sling

Water resistant; protects electronics and other valuables from damage

Features two exterior loops for carrying rods

Perfect for fishing, camping, hiking, or serving as carry-on luggage

Reflective stickers for greater visibility at night; an important safety bonus

Cons:

Smaller than depicted

Strength of water resistance questionable

Even if the fisherman for whom you are shopping already has a favorite tackle storage bag (or box), the Piscifun is an absolute game changer. It’s comfortable, spacious, incredibly well-designed, portable, and ideal for traveling. The design is completely innovative and unique, and the bag is fully adjustable. There are pockets, straps, compartments and separate areas for all of your fishing and camping related needs to keep you organized and ready to go.

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Water Resistant
The bag is made of a unique combination of nylon-based materials. The material provides superior insulation and protection from water. Water infiltration is nearly impossible unless the bag is completely submerged for an extended period of time. Your belongings within the bag will be safe, dry and protected, allowing you to store things like your cellphone (and any other small electronics), wallet, medication, food and so forth with confidence.

Ergonomic Design
The Piscifun is designed to hold a substantial amount of weight without straining your back or shoulders. The wide straps are padded and adjustable, distributing the weight of the pack in such a way to avoid putting undue stress on any part of your upper body. The bag has two rod belts for carrying your poles, interior and exterior pockets, and is designed to carry tools, tackle, bottled water, canned food and so forth. The bag can be worn during the duration of a long trek or fishing expedition without the user experiencing pain or discomfort at the end of the day.

Cost and Value
Piscifun has earned an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars based on over 500 customer reviews. The reviews are enthusiastic, with customers extolling the virtues of the bag, sharing positive experiences of using the bag for everything from fishing to serving as carry-on luggage during flights. The price is quite reasonable and the overall quality of the bag is excellent, making it a product of superior value, and a fantastic gift idea for a fisherman, camper, hiker or frequent traveler. It’s the outdoorsman’s dream.

5. PLUSINNO Telescopic Rod & Reel

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.2
PLUSINNO Telescopic Rod & Reel
Effectiveness
95
Ease of Use
94
Use
96
Value
95
Durability
96
best offer for today
$61.39
Pros:

Comes with rod, reel, sinkers, weights, hooks and carrying case

Treated for anti-saltwater corrosion

EVA foregrip for ergonomic comfort

Ideal for new fishermen

12-month manufacturer’s warranty

Cons:

Unstable reel

The pieces are poorly affixed together

The PLUSINNO is not just a telescopic rod and reel; it’s an entire, complete set of introductory fishing equipment to get a new, inexperienced fisherman started. Everything from the rod and reel to baits, fishing line, weights, and a carrying case is included. It’s a great gift for a few fishermen, or, if you are taking a quick trip and don’t want to have to bring a lot of equipment with you, everything can be neatly packed in the convenient carrying case for ultra ease of use.

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A Little Bit of Everything
The kit includes everything a fisherman needs for a fun weekend of casting off. From the telescoping rod to the strong reel, ample fishing line, hooks, and sinkers, simply grab the carrying case and you are off. While the kit is not intended for extended fishing expeditions, if, for example, you are enjoying a long weekend on the water and have a few hours to spend fishing, the kit is perfect. You will be casting off in no time, and when you are done, it only takes a few minutes to clean and repack your gear in the carrying case.

12 Month Warranty
The kit comes with a 12-month manufacturer’s warranty. The seller has an excellent record of having a responsive, fair customer service team. The company seems to truly value your business as a customer, and satisfaction is important to them.

Cost and Value
The PLUSSINO has an average of 4.1 out of 5 stars based on just over 500 customer reviews. It is competitively priced, and the reviews are generally good. Several customers commented that the kit is ideal for a child or an amateur fisherman, but it is probably not intended for a seasoned fisherman. The product, price, and value are all good.

6. Buck Knives Folding Knife

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.6
Buck Knives Folding Knife
Effectiveness
95
Ease of Use
94
Use
94
Value
95
Durability
95
best offer for today
more shops
$37.99
$39.99
See Deal
Pros:

One-handed operation

Razor-sharp blade; easy to maintain

Stylish, lightweight and compact

Made in the USA

Lifetime warranty - no questions asked

Cons:

Difficult to open

Poorly cut thumb grooves

The Spitfire is the perfect folding knife for a fisherman to bring with him or her on a trip. Whether it’s cutting fishing line, cleaning a fish, removing a hook that’s gotten stuck or otherwise, a folding knife can be an invaluable tool to have with you while fishing. The Spitfire is a sleek option that has advanced safety features and is highly effective.

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Razor Sharp
The knife’s blade is exceptionally sharp, like a razor. It also stays that way, requiring little maintenance and infrequent sharpening. The knife does need to be kept clean, but other than that, simply sharpening it from time to time will keep it sharp and effective. While this may seem like a dangerous feature, statistically, it is more likely for an injury to occur when using a dull knife due to the increased amount of force needed to be exerted in order to use it.

One Hand Opening
The Spitfire can be safely opened and closed with one hand. This takes practice, and the recipient of the knife should take the time to familiarize him or herself with how the knife operates before actually taking it out on a fishing trip, to avoid accidental injury.

Cost and Value
The knife has earned 4.4 out of 5 stars based on over 200 customer reviews. The vast majority of customers are nothing less than delighted with the Spitfire, mentioning everything from its ease of use to its superb sharpness. The knife is a superb product sold at a competitive price, making it an item of superior value.

7. YYGIFT LED Twin Bells

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.6
YYGIFT LED Twin Bells
Effectiveness
93
Ease of Use
93
Use
92
Value
93
Durability
92
best offer for today
$9.99
Pros:

Exceptionally affordable cost

Ultra-sensitive sensors

Dual alert system: bells plus bright LED lights

Great for fishing at night

20 pieces included in set; battery powered

Cons:

The lights are not clearly visible in murky, dark water

The batteries are somewhat complicated to use

The YVGIFT set of 20 LED twin bells is a gift that the fisherman in your life will undoubtedly get excited about, and you will be delighted with his or her reaction. The LED twin bells are a wonderful invention. Long story short, when there’s a nibble at the end of your line, the bells will ring and the LED indicator lights up. The guesswork of whether or not you felt a tug at the end of your line is gone, and the bells make the entire experience fun, enjoyable, and even a little bit funny.

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Ring a Ding Ding!
One of the most frustrating parts of fishing is casting out your line, slowly reeling it in, and then suspecting you feel a tug at the end of your line, but not being completely sure. So, you jerk the pole up to snag the fish (or lack thereof) and slowly reel it in. If there’s still bait on your hook, you know you got a little overzealous and either imagined the nibble or tugged on the line too soon. If there’s no bait whatsoever, you know you waited too long, and the fish was able to escape. With the advanced sensors, the guesswork is gone. When there’s a fish nibbling at the end of your line, you know it, and you will hear an audible alert letting you know it’s time to snag that fish and reel it in.

LED Lights
If the bells weren’t enough of an alarm system, the set also includes bright LED lights to alert you that you’ve got a fish on the line. This is an amazing dual-alert system that works exceptionally well, especially if you are fishing at night. In the event you are hearing impaired, it’s raining or there’s some other reason you can’t hear the bells ringing, you will certainly see the LED lights illuminating the water, letting you know that it’s time to reel that baby in, hook, line, and sinker.

Cost and Value
The YVGIFT twin bell set has an average of 4.3 out of 5 stars based on over 100 customer reviews. The price is extremely low, making this not only a fun and practical gift idea but also an affordable one. The twin bell set is a wonderful product sold at a fantastic price, making it a phenomenal value. The twin bell set would make a perfect gift for a fisherman, who will without a doubt get a kick out of the dual alert system.

8. Bluenet Set

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.6
Bluenet Set
Effectiveness
91
Ease of Use
91
Use
91
Value
92
Durability
93
best offer for today
$24.99
Pros:

129 different options included in the kit

Different styles are designed to attract specific kinds of fish

Made for salt and freshwater fishing

Metal and soft construction

Easy to follow guide to identifying which is which and stay organized

Cons:

The soft options are made of poor quality rubber

The Bluenet set is exquisite. It boasts a total of 129 different options, all carefully organized and classified with a guide indicating which attract which fish. Whether you are shopping for an amateur or a professional fisherman, he or she will need a constant supply of new options. Lures get lost, damaged and do not last forever. A beautiful set of 129 different pieces will impress even the most seasoned fisherman.

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Realistic Design
Do not let a large number included mislead you; it’s easy to suspect that because there are so many included in the set, they are cheaply made. This could not be further from the truth. Each product is carefully designed with exquisite detail.

Wide Variety
The 129-piece collection provides a wide variety of styles. Different materials are used (metal construction, soft construction, etc). There are options designed to attract specific fish and different styles for fresh and saltwater fishing. A complete guide to the set is provided, taking the guesswork out of the equation and making it easy to understand and identify which is which.

Cost and Value
The set has an average of 4.2 out of 5 stars based on over 100 customer reviews. The reviews are mostly positive, and the price is competitive. The kit is a practical gift which will prove useful to any and all fishermen, with 129 brilliant, realistic options to choose from. The kit is high-quality, the price is fair, and the overall value is good.

9. Dr. Meter Fishing Scale

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.6
Dr. Meter Fishing Scale
Effectiveness
90
Ease of Use
90
Use
90
Value
90
Durability
93
best offer for today
$12.99
Pros:

Compact, lightweight, east to store and transport

Very low price

Instant, accurate results

Weighs fish of up to 110 lbs.

Bright, easy to read display

Cons:

The scale can freeze after a few uses

The scale is neither waterproof nor water-resistant

The Dr. Meter Fishing Scale is the perfect gift for the competitive fisherman who has it all. Rather than estimating how much a fish weighs, the digital scale takes away the guesswork. The scale offers instant, accurate results and also comes with a measuring tape so that the complete dimensions of the fish can be recorded.

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Up to 110 Lbs.
The scale measures fish weighing in at up to 110 lbs. Additionally, as previously mentioned, it also includes a measuring tape so that the exact dimensions of the fish can be tracked. The scale provides instant, accurate results on an easy to read, brightly lit LED display.

Convenient and Compact
The scale itself is small and lightweight. It is battery-operated and easy to travel with. Using the scale is easy and the instructions are simple to follow. The measurements can be taken in virtually no time. The scale is easy to maintain and can be easily carried in a bag or tackle box.

Cost and Value
The scale has earned an average of 4.3 out of 5 stars based on over 50 customer reviews; a small sample size. More reviews are needed to get a better idea of the scale’s actual value. Based on the information available, the scale seems to work well. The price is extremely low. Signs point to the scale being excellent value and a great gift idea.

10. Bits and Pieces 8-in-1 Fishing Tool

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
Bits and Pieces 8-in-1 Fishing Tool
Effectiveness
90
Ease of Use
90
Use
90
Value
90
Durability
88
best offer for today
$24.98
Pros:

Eight tools in one

Small, compact, portable

Ideal for hunting and fishing

Includes flashlight for safety

Fair price

Cons:

The tape measure is delicate

The Bits and Pieces 8-in-1 Tool is essentially a fishing-specific Swiss Army Knife. It’s a great, compact, highly useful tool for hunters and fishers that will undoubtedly come in handy. It could even be considered a good option for a survivalist in search of tactical gear due to its versatility and wide array of uses. It’s an excellent gift idea for just about anyone who loves the great outdoors.

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8-in-1
As its name suggests, the gadget includes eight tools in one. These include a miniature weighted fish scale, a hook remover, a serrated knife, a fish scraper for cleaning the fish, a tape measure, a foldable stand, a bottle opener and an LED flashlight. As such, it’s incredibly practical and useful and will serve any fisherman well. Please note that the multi-tool is not intended for use by anyone under the age of 14.

Rugged
The multi-tool is rugged. While it contains eight tools in one, each of the eight tools is strong and reliable. None of the tools are cheap, and they will not break after use. Rather, each of the tools is respectable on their own merits.

Cost and Value
The multi-tool has an average of 4.1 out of 5 stars based on 15 customer reviews. 15 customer reviews are much too small an sample size to get an accurate idea of the multi-tools true value and overall worth. The existing reviews are promising, and the multi-tool looks like it might be worth investing in. The price is quite fair, the (very few) reviews that there are generally good, so the multi-tool does indeed appear to be a good value that would make a useful gift.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Effectiveness

Regardless of which specific gift you opt to purchase, it should be effective at its respective purpose. From multi-purpose tools to fishing scales, whatever the item is, not only should it work, but it should work well.

You want your money to be well spent, while delighting the recipient with a high-quality, well-forming item, no matter how it relates to fishing. For example, if you are purchasing a reel, imagine the satisfaction the reel’s lucky new owner will feel the first time he or she uses it. Plus, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that the person you care about is enjoying a gift that’s a pleasure to use, enhancing his or her fishing experience.

Ease of Use

No matter which of the 10 options reviewed above you are considering, it should be easy to use and get the hang of. An experienced fisherman should not have to struggle to master any sort of fishing-related device. While whichever product you’re considering does not need to be basic in its operation or “dumbed down” by any means, it should not be overly sophisticated to the point where a phone book-sized user manual needs to be studied before it can be actually used.

Whether you choose underwater lights, a rod holder or any of the above, using whichever product should be intrinsically easy, effortless and enjoyable. Anything that causes a fishing line to get twisted, a lure to come loose, or a tackle set to become organized will quickly find its way into a dumpster.

Use

Use is a general and vague term, but when considering gifts for a fishing buff, you want to select an item that is useful, clever and helpful. Ask the question - will this make fishing easier for the recipient? Will it make going fishing less complicated and more streamlined?

Another question, though as obvious as it may seem, is will he or she actually use the item? If the particular fisherman already has a rod rack, perhaps opt for something else. However, if he or she has made a few comments about being on the lookout for a new rod or folding knife, take note. Giving a gift that meets a need is a rare opportunity.

Value

Cost and value are two different, though related things. If you are not on a particularly tight budget and are surfing the internet for the best possible gift in the fishing-related category, it is tempting to choose the most expensive product, assuming that the most expensive option is the best. This is a common misconception, though it is almost always a fallacy.

While some expensive items are indeed high in value and do justify a hefty price tag, this is usually the exception and not the rule. Yes, the old adage “you get what you pay for” undeniably has some truth to it, but due to the way supply and demand have changed, prices across the board have become more consumer-friendly.

Durability

Durability is a quality you should look for in virtually all products. Unless you are buying an antique vase or a Faberge egg, “delicate” and “fragile” are terms you want to avoid at all costs. Think of what fishing involves. It’s obviously an outdoor activity, sometimes involving casting off from a pier or a grassy point on a riverbank, sometimes it’s done on a boat in a pond, river or the ocean, and sometimes it’s done while the fisherman actually stands in the water, such as during fly fishing.

All fishing-related gear needs to be sturdy, strong, tough, and ready to withstand serious use. Fishing gear needs to be built to last and should not need to be replaced (assuming it’s properly taken care of). Otherwise, this greatly brings down the overall value of the product.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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#1
Use
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#2
Effectiveness
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#3
Ease of Use
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#4
Durability
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#5
Value
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Check Multiple Sources

As always, when doing your research before making a purchase, consult with multiple sources, particularly when shopping online. There are many sponsored sites that appear to be unbiased reviews from sources unaffiliated with the seller, and these sites are cleverly designed to fool even the most discerning shoppers. This includes even video tutorials that demonstrate how to use a product. A major red flag is constant brand name dropping; a clear giveaway that the video may actually be a veiled advertisement. Check multiple websites, including those you trust for fair, unbiased reviews that are unpaid to evaluate products. This might take a little time than simply consulting the first website you come to, but it’s well worth it in the end, and a good way to avoid getting ripped off.

Do Your Reading

Someone who fishes often probably has a good selection of essential gear. For example, a fisherman probably already has a decent fishing pole, tacklebox, net and so forth. Unless you happen to overhear the fisherman in question actually state that some important piece of equipment needs to be replaced (e.g. something broke, or they’re in the market for something specific), then don’t waste your time considering buying a large set of assorted fishing hooks. The odds are, he or she has a favorite kind already, and plenty of them. How does one go about solving this problem? Check out a reputable source with a list of thoughtful, clever, practical suggestions. Again, avoid any list that is affiliated with any of the endorsed brands, because you are essentially reading an advertisement. Look out for small print that reads “sponsored ad” or “promoted content.”

Other Factors to Consider

Brand

It is not necessary to purchase fishing gear from one of the biggest names in the industry, but you may want to avoid no-name brands that you’ve never heard of. Of course, this can be unfair to new sellers trying to break into the market, but a seller which you can find virtually no information about should be avoided. It’s okay if it’s a seller who’s new to the market, as long as there are legitimate customer reviews and you can get a good idea of the quality of the products being sold, the fairness of the company’s customer service policies, and the company’s emerging reputation.

That said, there are some advantages to purchasing an item from a well-known and trusted brand, as they have established reputations and typically adhere to policies that are customer-friendly. Again, just take a look at customer reviews and ratings. The biggest brands are not always the best.

Water Resistance

Most fishing-related gear is going to be exposed to water. No matter what sort of gift you are considering, waterproof is always preferable to water-resistant. Any item that is being taken along on a fishing trip needs to be able to stand up to water, wind, and so forth.

Special consideration should be taken if the fisherman in question prefers salt to freshwater fishing. Saltwater can be corrosive, so double check that the merchandise you are evaluating meets the requisite standards.

Weather Resistance

Fishing trips are not always limited to the best weather conditions. Certainly, it would be unwise to go fishing during a storm, but occasionally, a fisherman can get caught in everything from a light drizzle to a downpour.

The gear that the fisherman has with him or she has to be able to withstand weather conditions that are not exactly ideal. Whether it means being waterproof or protected against rust and corrosion, fishing gear has to be able to contend with Mother Nature.

Portability

Part of the fun of fishing is getting to explore different bodies of water. Sure, some fishermen have a favorite spot on a peaceful lake and enjoy a regular routine. Many fishermen, however, love having the freedom to take a small boat on the water (or simply drive to a suitable location) and enjoy the different scenery and beauty of nature.

Whatever gift it is that you select, make sure it is conducive to the portable, mobile nature of fishing. Think of fishing trips; they involve packing up gear and embarking on an adventure, even if only for an afternoon or long weekend. Any sort of gear that is solitary and permanently affixed to something is most likely to be left behind instead of enjoyed.

Safety Hazards

Some fishing equipment can be hazardous if not handled with the correct care, caution and knowledge. For example, most fishermen carry knives with them to either gut and clean fish or occasionally free a hook that has become stubbornly embedded in the mouth of a fish.

Everything from fish hooks to motors and propellers can be hazardous, especially for a child. Being out on the water poses an additional set of risks, particularly if he or she does not know how to swim. Every measure should be taken to mitigate these inherent safety hazards.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: How do I know if a rod can be used in saltwater, freshwater or both?

a:

This information should be clearly specified in the seller’s product description. If a rod is suitable for salt and freshwater use, this is usually advertised as a selling point. If after reading through the product description you still are unsure, read through the FAQ section of whatever website you are using as your resource.

q: How can I check if a product I am interested in, such as a rod and reel combination, has ever been recalled?

a:

Just run a search on the CPSC website, CPSC.gov, using the brand name as a search term.

q: Some of the items on this list are good ideas, but they are rather small, like the microfiber towel. How can I supplement a gift for a fisherman?

a:

You can always add practical items like sunscreen, insect repellant (make sure it’s the kind that doesn’t repel fish), a hat for sun protection, sunglasses, a waterproof Bluetooth speaker, a cooler and so on. Any of the above gifts reviewed in this list, however, are great options for a fisherman.

q: How do I learn how to fish?

a:

Practice, practice, practice! Watch YouTube tutorials, tag along with experienced fishermen, and go as often as possible. Also, there is a wealth of information available here.

q: I’d like to check out fishing related products in person rather than just shopping online. Where can I go to actually check out rods and reels and so forth?

a:

Check out Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shops. Both stores are known for their wide range of goods and helpful, knowledgeable staff.

Sources