If you're buying holiday gifts for the angler in your family or for one of your fishing friends, this collection of tackle and gear items offers a variety of reasonably priced alternatives. From boots to shirts, pliers to nets, and lures to braided line, all of these saltwater-fishing gift ideas cost less than $100.
SoftScience's new Fin Boot combines the outsole of the high-draining Fin fishing shoe with a fast-drying neoprene and mesh upper. They also feature SoftScience’s proprietary insoles for comfort and support, plus a side-zip entry with a web-strap enclosure at the top. The color options include navy digi camo, sage green and black, in sizes 7 to 13, and cost $89.95.
Xtratuf’s new Riptide boat shoes have a three-layer mesh construction, which dries quickly, allows water to move in and out of the shoe, and blocks sand and debris from bothering your feet. The perforated polyurethane/EVA insole is comfort-oriented and blocks water. The shoes also come with nonmarking, slip-resistant outsoles. The color options include gray/orange and black/white for men (sizes 7 to 14), and in blue/white and brown/pink for women (sizes 6 to 11). Riptides cost $64.99 - $80.
Released in the spring, Blue Shad and Red Shad UV Buffs are comprised of Coolmax Extreme fabric (microfiber polyester) for blocking nearly all (95 percent) of skin-damaging UV rays. The four-channel fiber forms a transport system that pulls keeps moisture away from the skin. It then dries that moisture faster than any other fabric. The seamless Buffs weigh 1.4 ounces, measure 20½ by 9¾ inches and also have a special Polygiene active odor control. Buffs can be worn 13 different ways and the Shad UV Buffs cost $24.99.
AFTCO’s Bushido long-sleeve performance shirt features 100 percent matte polyester and UPF 50 sun protection. The shirts, first featured on Sport Fishing's website in May, also have an antimicrobial treatment for odor control and a treatment to resist stains. The color choices for Bushidos are silver or mint camouflaging print and sizes include small to XXL. They cost $45.
Bigfish Gear released two new prints at the beginning of the year in its BFMaxflow performance-shirt line, which features the exotic roosterfish and the tough-as-nails jack crevalle. The moisture-wicking fabric carries UPF 50 sun protection and champion-neck style does well with sun-protective headwear. The two shirts come in sizes ranging from XS to 3XL and cost $54.95.
Rapala's new Mag Spring pliers feature an innovative magnetic mag-spring system, which keeps the jaws open and ready. Made from stainless steel with tin-nickel-alloy plating, the pliers — voted runner-up in ICAST’s best-fishing-accessory category — have an offset design, vented soft handles, a line cutter and a pivoting sheath. Available in 4-, 6- and 8-inch sizes, they cost just $24.99.
Cuda Telescoping Nets
Cuda’s new line of telescoping coated-mesh nets comes in small, medium and large sizes, all featuring corded nonslip grips and a replaceable net system. Unzip the water-resistant zipper to change the mesh. They're made of aluminum and range from 4 3⁄4 feet to a fully extended length of 7 3⁄4 feet, with varying net depths. The price ranges from $34.99 to $114.99.
Bluefin USA Solar Allover Billfish Shirt
Bluefin's new long-sleeve tee is made from a soft, microfiber-spandex-blend fabric that wears like a second skin. The blue billfish design is dye-sublimated to maintain the shirt’s technical features, which include SPF 40-plus sun protection and quick-drying properties. The vented armpit mesh keeps air flowing to the torso. Sizes include XS to 2XL and costs $45.
Have a buddy just getting into fishing or need a stocking stuffer for a young angler? Waterford Press’ colorful folding guide to 36 popular North American game fishes provides illustrations and information for learning species identification. Species include nearshore fish such as striped bass, tarpon, salmon and bluefish, and giant offshore exotics including marlin, sailfish, tunas and swordfish. Waterford makes similar guides for trout and salmon species as well as freshwater game fish. The saltwater guide costs $7.95.
Weego’s N-Series of portable jump starters includes four levels of service (powering gas engines from 5L to 10L); some also come with tactical-grade flashlights as well as ports for USB 12V and 19V accessories. The most affordable — N22S ($69.99) can jump a gas engine up to 5L, which includes most outboards. It offers 2.5 hours of charge time and holds a charge for a year. The N22 ($99.99) fires the same size engine and can charge a cellphone up to three times. The N44 ($149.99) starts gas engines up to 7L; the N66 ($199.99) jumps those up to 10L.
SpiderWire's Stealth Smooth braid whisks through guides and provides quiet casts and a quick vertical descent. The eight-carrier line features a high tight-weave pick count and is coated with a thin layer of microcrystalline polymer for colorfast, thin diameter. In a moss green color, the braid is available in 6- to 80-pound-test and in spools of 125, 200, 300, 500, 1,500 and 3,000 yards and prices start at $12.99.
Z-Man TroutTrick Soft-Plastic Baits
Z-Man’s 3½-inch TroutTrick soft-plastic baits were designed to tempt seatrout, but game fish such as redfish, flounder, snook, stripers and other inshore and nearshore species also fall for the ribbed body and curved paddle tail. TroutTricks come in 14 saltwater colors, and a pack of six baits costs $5.99.
Storm’s 360GT Searchbait features a single-ball rattling jig head and a soft-plastic body, featuring 3-D holographic eyes and a boot tail. The bait’s slim body causes the side-to-side movement, and the boot vibrates the tail. There are 11 color options and three sizes — 3½ (¹⁄8 ounce), 4½ (¼ ounce) and 5½ (³⁄8 ounce) inches. Searchbaits cost $4.99, $5.49 and $5.99.
Sebile's second-generation Stick Shadd enhances details on the face and gill plate of the hard bait, upgrades terminal components, and reduces the price from its predecessor. Stick Shadds come in a variety of sizes, colors and buoyancies, including sinking, fast-sinking, and suspending for casting and trolling. The baits cost $6.99 to $19.99.
Live Target Lures has introduced its Swimbait Series of soft-plastic baits at the beginning of the year. Three saltwater styles — mullet (4½ and 5 inches), pinfish (3½ and 4 inches) and sardine (3½ and 4½ inches) — and two colors per size, the baits are rigged with weights molded inside the body. Other features include an extra-wide-gap hooks integrated into the lure body, a dorsal fin shield as a snag-resistant weed guard, an accessory pin for adding hooks or spinner blades, a unique tail anatomy, and an oscillator that causes the tail to swing from side to side. The new soft plastics cost $9.99 to $18.49.
PowerPro added 20-, 30- and 40-pound-test braids to its Maxcuatro lineup at the beginning of 2017. The Spectra HT fiber, exclusive to PowerPro, allows for four-carrier construction, which means less friction through the guides and greater casting distance with lighter lures. Color options include high-visibility yellow and moss green and they're available in 150-, 300-, 500- and 1,500-yard spools. The 20-, 30- and 40-pound lines cost $24.99 to $299.99.
Eagle Claw Flats Blue Rods
Eagle Claw’s new Flats Blue Saltwater Inshore rods — offered in spinning and casting models — feature a cork split-handle design for weight reduction and zirconium guides for improved casting. The rods employ the S-Curve technology to maximize lifting power and balance. Casting models come with a double-trigger reel seat. The rods feature either a camo blue or camo pink wrap and cost $79.99.
Need a stocking stuffer for that striped bass enthusiast on your list? Creek Chub promises its Striper Strike will deliver. The 2 1/8-ounce plug creates loads of surface commotion and casts a mile. It measures 5 inches long (smaller versions are available) and comes with 3/0 trebles; the rear hook is dressed. Available in six new colors — pink chartreuse, menhaden, bone flash, mullet, yellow croaker and baby blue flash — Striper Strikes cost $8.99.