8 Inexpensive Gift Suggestions for Fisherman
By Greg McCain
Few things touch a fisherman’s heart more than a nice fishing-related gift under the Christmas tree.
Those gifts might range from the simple – think a basic pair of needle-nose pliers – to the far more complex and expensive like advanced electronics. A gift does not have to cost thousands of dollars, however, to be appreciated.
With that idea in mind, we solicited suggestions from the ACC Crappie Stix pro staff about the fishing accessories they would like to have under the tree on Christmas morning (or possibly at other special occasions throughout the year). We set the limit at $50, and a large number of quality gifts can be found starting at just a few dollars up to that total.
So what does your fisherman need this Christmas? Here are a few ideas that are practical and relatively inexpensive. (By the way, I’ve mentioned online availability for most of these items, but check your local tackle shops first. Click on https://acccrappiestix.com/dealer-map/, and those same ACC Crappie Stix dealers will likely have accessories in this price range. Give them a call about items they might have in-stock. Small tackle shops will certainly appreciate the business.)
Bubba five-inch filet knife
Illinois guide Reagan Smith (Centralilcrappieguide.com) offers the first suggestion, a Bubba Blade manual filet knife. We’re not talking about the more expensive cordless models (although most fishermen would love to have some type of battery-powered filet knife). The Bubba five-inch folding model can be found regularly online for under $50 with six- and seven-inch versions slightly more.
Tzoxal Fishing Pliers
Tim Howell (Long Branch Guide Service in Mississippi, 662.251.5625) keeps it simple. “A good set of pliers,” he said.
So what constitutes a good set of pliers? Some can be had for as little as a dollar in bins at the local hardware store, but Scott Turnage (the G3 Sportsman on Facebook and YouTube) suggests a more specialized set, Tzoxal Fishing Pliers on Amazon. They are about $10 for three pairs and serve just about any fishing application, including use as a split ring tool or as a fish grip.
Boomerang SNIP Fishing Line Cutter
When multiple people start making the same suggestion, expect a quality accessory. Nick Whitten (friend Nick on Facebook for info about Florida crappie fishing and tournament), Mitch Fese (Chief Marketing Officer for ACC), and Goose Gutzman (check out Goose’s Guide Service on Facebook for reports and trip info) all use products from the Boomerang Tool Company. See the company’s snipping tools (a quality cutter for all types of line, including braid) at https://www.boomerangtool.com/products/. While there, check out the retractable gear tethers, which look to serve a variety of organizational purposes for as little as $5.
Beaded Fish Counter
Charlie Burrow (check out Charlie’s videos on Facebook and on YouTube) is all about efficiency and execution while crappie fishing. One item that helps is a beaded fish counter (search www.etsy.com), another $5 gift that provides value on the water.
Bucket Stool (Ice Fishing or Bank Fishing)
Goose Gutzman is a wealth of information about items that make his fishing successful. He needs them, especially when he is on the ice in the depths of a Minnesota winter. What increases his comfort in extreme conditions? A seat that fits most five-gallon buckets from the Bobber Buddy (https://thebobberbuddy.com/shop-products). He also mentions his Ice Well livewell (https://shop.clamoutdoors.com/ice-well-live-well.html?fbclid=IwAR2cmxaXTIRwHz_VbqUc2xVWkYVrToacWT00wnjZ4XdcnARrIem8H6Hngm4) that keeps his fish from freezing. Both items are in the $20-25 range.
Spinning Reels under $50
Louisiana angler Justin Smart (friend Justin on Facebook for info about northwest Louisiana and east Texas crappie fishing) goes through multiple spinning reels per year, so a couple of cheaper models under the tree are welcome additions to his arsenal. Most crappie fishermen use relatively inexpensive equipment, and even some reels for precision casting can be purchased for less than $50. Again, consider a local tackle shop for generic items like inexpensive spinning reels.
Reagan Smith guides over 200 days per year, so he knows what helps him put clients on fish. In addition to his liking for the Bubba blade mentioned above, he suggests the following: a bump board crappie checker, forceps, pliers, braid snips, and line.
For a more specific crappie checker (used to measure the length of fish), Texas angler Jimmy Rea (see Jimmy’s Facebook page for ideas about crappie fishing from a kayak) suggests a Ketch board (https://ketchproducts.com/.) He also favors Diawa J Braid x8 in six-lb. test. Search the Daiwa website or www.tacklewarehouse.com. He also mentions jig tying supplies.
From personal experience, here is another gift idea. I don’t hear many of the ACC pro staff members mentioning the use of crappie nibbles or bites although that might be their little secret. For fishermen who use the various types like Crappie Magnet Slab Bites or Berkley Powerbait Crappie Nibbles, consider an EZ Drift bait pen. Think Pez for crappie nibbles. https://ezdrifttrollingsystems.com/products/ez-drift-trolling-systems-bait-pen-by-dr-designs-llc
Probably hundreds of ideas fit the price range for inexpensive gifts or stocking stuffers. Actually, it is tough to go wrong. Fishermen can never have too much equipment, and a gift under the tree on Christmas morning helps fill that need for more.