Need some gift ideas for this holiday season? Whether it’s Chanukah, Christmas, or Fishmas- this list has something for everyone. I’ve compiled this list of go-to items you need to have for your skinny water fishing adventures because most of these things I use on a daily basis when out on the water. Trust me when I say that many of them have because daily drivers that I just can’t put down, stop wearing, or quit using.
Enough talk! On to the fun stuff (in no specific order)…
1. The Best Knife Ever – The Morakniv
You know something is good when it’s made in Sweden. Stainless surgical steel and a blade that stays sharp no matter what- this Morakniv knife is probably the best skiff knife I have ever owned. From cutting braided line in a pinch to saving the world from JAWS, this knife can do it all with ease. The best part? It’s only $13.99!
2. A Dry Boat Bag – FishPond WestWater Roll Top Duffel
A did a review of the FishPond WestWater Roll Top Duffel a little while back and if you read the article you know that I hold this bag in high regard. Shallow water skiffs can get wet and take on some unwanted water when you least expect it. You need to keep your gear dry and this FishPond bag lets you do just that and more. It holds a ton of gear and fits in almost any sized skiff locker whether your boat is 14′ or 20′. The roll top feature borrows the same rolling dry-bag features your used to and molds it into a boat bag that is hands down the most handy accessory you’ll ever bring on board.
Buy the 2014 model that I reviewed and own here: Fishpond Westwater Roll Top Boat Bag Steelhead/Pacific, One Size
See the new 2015 model here: FishPond WestWater Roll Top Duffel Bag
3. Tibor Fly Reels
I have to say, I’m a young-old-school guy sometimes. The phrase “They don’t make things like they used to!” is just ever too apparent in today’s ‘Made in China’ consumer market. Luckily, Tibor reels break that mold. Tibor reels are all 100% hand-made in the USA. Sometimes, you just don’t need that space-age carbon fiber sealed drag and the tried and true cork drag just feels right. Tibor just released a new model of their reels called the ‘Signature’ line which is ever more awesome than the original complete with fancy space-age sealed drag and new styling. But hey, my Tibor Everglades is still running strong! My recommendation? Take a look at the Tibor Everglades series at your local fly shop and get your hands on a piece of fly fishing history.
See Tibor here: Tibor Reels
4. Sage SALT
Well I chose a reel, so I had to choose a rod. My pick goes to the Sage SALT. I wrote about the Sage SALT recently and honestly couldn’t find anything wrong with it. I bent it, caught stuff, snagged stuff, and horsed on it for weeks on end and I loved every minute of it. It’s not only tough but will also allow you to ‘be delicate’ with soft casts to spooky fish. If you’re serious about stepping up your fly game, take a look at the Sage SALT fly rod. Head over to your local Sage dealer and cast one for yourself!
More info on the SALT: The Sage SALT on Sageflyfish.com
5. WULFF Fly Line
Rounding out the fly fishing setup is the line. We need line to go with our rod and reel, right? My go-to favorite line when spooling up a new reel is Wulff Bermuda Two-Tone Triangle Taper Saltwater fly line. Probably the longest product name ever conceived but the product is solid. The two-tone line lets you know when the belly is out (usually 20 or 30 feet) and makes for a nice indicator when making fun of your friends who can’t cast far enough. “That was a 60′ cast!” No…no it wasn’t. Wulff also makes the triangle taper saltwater line in a ‘shorts’ version called the Bermuda Shorts that has a ticker and shorter belly which in theory allows you to make less false casts for up-close shots at your desired species. Try them both out, and see which one you like!
Check them out here: Wulff Fly Lines
6. The Ultimate Boat Shoe – Columbia Drainmaker Water Sneaks
We all creep the instagram. I do it, you do it, why deny it? While creeping around on people’s instagram photos you might have noticed some awesome sneakers being worn by anglers on the flats. What are these awesome sneakers? Why are they being worn on boats? Doesn’t cotton soak up water? These are all valid questions when trying to discover what these awesome sneaks might be. Fret not, because I have the answer right here. The Columbia Drainmaker sneakers. Mind. Blown. They look like running shoes, but are actually cleverly designed boat shoes! There’s no thick cotton to absorb water on these babies. The Columbia Drainmaker and Drainmaker II shoes are all synthetic material and are SUPER breatheable. Basically, the ultimate boat shoe for your skiff and the occasional step into the water.
Buy the Drainmaker here: Columbia Men’s Drainmaker Water Shoe
…and the Drainmaker II: Columbia Men’s Drainmaker II Water Shoe
7. Mo’ Nippers Mo’ Problems – FishPond PitchFork Nippers
Got nippers? I always seem to lose my cheap ones…but not anymore! FishPond has once again made the list but this time with nippers instead of soft goods. The FishPond PitchFork nippers look like the coolest accessory to have chained to your motor keys. They nip, they snip, and they keep your hook tight when tying knots. What else? It’s made of space-age aluminum! Not that matters much but it’s still cool!
Buy them here: Fishpond Pitchfork Aluminum Clippers Gun Metal
8. Tibor Push Pole Caddy
Another Tibor product makes the list. This one is clutch…a push pole holder! Ever fish solo from the platform and wonder what to do with your push pole when it’s time to cast? How about when you’re poling a friend along and it’s time for that hero shot with the fish? The Tibor Push Pole Caddy is the original fancy push pole holder that you need to own. The Tibor caddy is the standard suggestion when someone wants a push pole holder for all high-end manufacturers. Yes, it’s kind of expensive- but oh-so worth it. In my experience I have not found a better product out on the market made of quality materials that can stow your push pole, swivel, and pop it back out with ease. Sure, there are cheaper options out there…like a rope. But if you want to trick out your skiff or are just someone who has to have the best, this is the skiff accessory for you.
Buy it here: Tibor Push Pole Caddy
9. The SWC Bowtime Performance Jacket
Face it. You don’t really have a good jacket to wear out on the water. It’s OK to admit it! Luckily, SWC (Skinny Water Culture) has you covered. You need thumbholes? This jacket has them. A hood for cold days running the backcountry? Boom! It’s got it. A full zip jacket with a warm inner lining? Yup! It’s got that too. The SWC Bowtime Performance Jacket keeps you warm, dry, and stylish out on the water. Style is obviously super important, because we know fish don’t bite when you’re out on the bow looking like a scrub. This SWC Bowtime Jacket is also 100% approved by Vince’s beard.
Buy it here: SWC Bowtime Performance Jacket