Why is buying a gift for a fisherman or woman so hard?
As a fishing shop, every year we're inundated with our most dreaded question: "what can I get him/her?". It's a really hard one to answer – with all the theories around the way that fish think or feed, and the personal preferences and experiences of every angler out there. Grabbing the perfect gift can be hard – for us as much as the person buying it. If we don't know the individual or their tastes it's next to impossible to know what they’ll want to use with regards to fishing tackle.
So, what little things can we do to make it all a little bit easier?
Each year we have a number of items that are either best sellers or best offers. Offers come and go with the times but quality products set themselves up for long term popularity and are always safe choices.
This list is as much for anglers themselves to find some inspiration as it is for the family and friends who may be reading. I should also note that it is not numbered in any particular order. They're all good!
So let's get to it.TOP
#1. A Crewsaver life jacket (from £76)
This year there has been a phenomenal amount of very serious work done by the RNLI, journalist Henry Gilbey and a few others (including us) to start educating sea anglers about how difficult it really is to get out of the water if an accident occurs on the rocks. Every year anglers die along our coastline. None of them expected it (none of us do), but it happens. Lives are easily saved if each of us takes the possibilities more seriously and wears a simple auto-inflate life jacket.
At £76 the Crewsaver Crewfit 165N Sport is one of the cheapest, quality options available. Also the most comfortable. A no-frills lifejacket that WILL save a life if an accident occurs.
What most people don’t realise is just how compact modern lifejackets are. They are not bulky items, can easily be worn in combination with various bags and jackets, and don't hinder casting or movement of the individual wearing one. We need to get to the point where wearing one just comes with the territory – like putting on a pair of boots or waders.
Until Christmas we are donating ALL of the profits from the sales of these jackets to the RNLI. So you can help in saving others too!
Please note: With all profits being donated, lifejackets are ordered only on request. Delivery from Crewsaver is fast but please allow up to 14 days for delivery.TOP
#2. Tailwalk Saltyshape Dash Bass Rod 87ML (£60 off! @ £129.99)
The light bass rod. Many bass anglers don’t have the opportunity or funds to own more than one quality lure rod. Inevitably this means compromising and going for a heavier rod than they may ordinarily wish for, just to cover all bases. You can fish a light lure on a heavy rod, but not a heavy lure on a light one.
However, a lighter bass rod is always more enjoyable to use if the sea is not too rough. With the popularity of "weightless" soft plastic lures these days, lighter rods are coming back to the fore. The Tailwalk SSD 87 is our pick of the bunch for anglers looking at spending less than £200 on a rod like this. The usual price is £189.99 but the best part and timing of this is that up until Christmas, they're on offer for just £129.99!
This rod may not be one that a bass angler would buy for themselves, but it is one that every bass angler would love to own. One for those days when they just don’t need the power of their usual rod choice – for calmer days and holidays.
As an added bonus, it's capable of fishing plugs up to around 18g in weight too, so really is the perfect light all-rounder.TOP
#3. Rivalley RBB Hip Bag (£65.99)
For any lure angler, finding a good tackle bag is a seemingly never ending mission. They're too small, too big, too uncomfortable or just fall apart. Rivalley are a Japanese brand who make items to exactly solve these problems. Designed by anglers, for anglers. So they understand our plight.
The RBB Hip Bag combines all of the features anglers crave and pack it in to one compact, robust and ergonomic design. They're not the cheapest but are designed to last.
Chunky zips are a great starting point – no more salt corrosion or toggles pulling off. There's space in the main compartment for two proper lure boxes. The large front pocket is perfect for more lures, lines and hooks. Then there’s a smaller pocket on one side which is designed to take another lure box (or some snacks). An essential water bottle holder sits solidly on the opposite side (insulated to keep drinks cool in the heat of summer). Chuck in a load of extras that any angler will appreciate (like a shoulder strap to spread the load and numerous D-ring attachments) and you're one step closer to tackle bag perfection. The black and camo colour is inoffensive and very cool.TOP
#4. Gosen X8 Bass Fishing Braid (£10 off! @ £22.99)
More of a stocking filler perhaps, but this braided line from Japanese experts Gosen is actually quite a luxury item. The fishing equivalent of an expensive aftershave.
X8 is silky, supple and super strong. For any angler who wants to try some of the best fishing line available (but doesn’t want to pay the usual £33 price tag) until Christmas you’ll find that there’s a tenner off in our Line section making this the perfect gift for the most discerning angler.
If you’re unsure which version to go for, buy the #1.2 (25lb). It's incredibly fine for the strength it has and is the all-round best bet for anybody who lure fishes for bass.TOP
#5. Tailwalk EGinn 96ML-R Bass Rod (£279.99)
This rod could not possibly be missed from the list. It is, hand-on-heart the BEST all-round bass rod we've ever seen or sold since opening in 2010. Anglers who have seen them were clambering over each other to get to the UK's first batch when they arrived early in November. These quickly sold out but we have just a few available now before more stock arrives mid-December.
In contrast to the SSD at #2 (and the rod to follow at #10), the "EGinn" is the do-anything, take-anywhere kind of bass rod. The holy grail of lure rods in a way. It is not often that any manufacturer creates a rod that does exactly what we want it to, but this is it. They've finally done it! Top of the list for all bass anglers this year!TOP
#6. Doomsday Laggin' Dragon 5.4" Lure (£8.99)
Our best selling lure for 2018. There've been some massive Cornish bass caught on them. Why are they so good? There are a couple of things that make them the best.
Besides being heavy enough to be cast a long distance without any extra weight, they can be rigged on what we’d call a "weedless" hook design. In combination, they're totally snag-proof.
What does this mean?
Fewer lost lures and line in the rocks or weed – so less huffing and puffing trying to resolve the annoyances this causes for any angler. Stress-free fishing! It also means that anglers can more confidently cast in to zones where they would otherwise be destined to hitch up. Unluckily for us anglers, it tends to be in these rocky or weedy areas where the fish actually live, so snagging is an endlessly frustrating battle.
Compared to other lures of this kind, the Laggin’ Draggin has a fatter tail than most – which seems to add to its effectiveness, giving more of a "kick".
Top tip: that tail is actually fat enough to insert a small glass rattle. This gives the lure an additional sound advantage when fishing in the dark or in rough or coloured water. You can’t do this with many lures in this style, so it’s a real winner!
Use in combination with:
- Hook: Owner Twistlock 5167 - 5/0
- Rattle: Spro Glass Rattle S (coming soon)
#7. APIA Ailed'Ore 115F Bass Plug (£18.99)
Like fancy jewellery for bass anglers, "plugs" as we know them are typically long casting, floating lures that are all designed to only dive to a designated depth thanks to a shaped bib at the front. Most swim just below the water’s surface. They come in all kinds of colours but the overall shape is typically fish-like.
By all accounts, the Ailed'Ore is a bit "weird" compared to other plugs. The shape of the head and tiny bib on the face are not at all typical. A little secret not known to many is that the Ailed'Ore is actually manufactured by the most highly regarded and famous of all luxury Japanese lure makers, "Megabass". So any bass angler will understand already how special they are.
Behind this inherent weirdness is a truly phenomenal lure. The longest casting, shallow diving lure we’ve ever sold. They swim superbly too. As a gift they’ll be the one you can feel most confident in – despite them not being of the usual type any angler shopping for themselves may go for (not wanting to risk nearly £20 on a lure that is different to what they know).
It will only take one cast for any angler to fully appreciate why we’re so confident in recommending this lure.
They are different and that’s why they make such a brilliant gift.TOP
#8. HTO Lure Game 9' Bass Spinning Rod (£43 off! @ £39.99)
Deal of the year. Not all lure rods need to be expensive to be good. Usual retail on this do-it-all bass rod is £89.99 but we have a limited number left on a very special £39.99 offer!
The perfect gift for any family member who wishes to try lure fishing in the sea. Capable of casting lures up to 40g in weight and with quite a soft tip, it's a rod that will cover most bases to provide any beginner or cost conscious angler with a superb, quality tool to really find their fins with.TOP
#9. Apia Grandage LTD 106MH 14-50g Surf Rod (£369.99)
In contrast to the Tailwalk SSD 87 at number #2, there are situations where anglers (especially when fishing from the beach) need more weight, distance and power from their casts. In 2018 Japanese rod builders Apia developed the first range of rods specifically designed to help anglers increase their achievable casting distances. The 106MH is at the heavier end of our normal rod ranges and one that will complement the existing rod range of ANY bass angler.
At 10'6" in length and designed to get the maximum achievable distance from lures between 35g and 50g, the 106MH is perfect for fishing in the surf with metal lures and heavy plugs. The real selling point however, is that despite all this extra power the Grandage is incredibly light, well balanced and easy to fish with – something not usually associated with rods of this style. Despite the price tag, they're worth every penny.
Were coming to an end but there's one more thing that I really have to add to the list...TOP
#10 Tackle Gift Vouchers for Anglers (any value)
When all else fails, our most popular recommendation for gifts for anglers is the old faithful – the voucher.
Available online or in-store, you can pick any value you'd like and have a voucher code and note automatically emailed to either you or the recipient.
Those lucky enough to be visiting us at the shop in Wadebridge will have the luxury of an official, printed gift card, while online purchases go straight to your inbox with all the relevant codes.
The recipient can redeem their voucher online or in the shop by entering or presenting the voucher code at checkout.
It doesn't get easier than this when looking to buy the perfect gift for any lure angler. You know they won't be disappointed given the massive amount of brilliant tackle options we keep in stock.
Merry Christmas one and all!