In my last blog I
wrote about the gorgeous and unique wallets, knife sheaths and iPhone/iPad
covers made from walleye fish skins by the folks at BigEye. Judging from the response of readers who
subsequently phoned, emailed and/or sent me text messages, the unique Christmas
idea struck a chord.
So, let's keep the
thought alive and take a look at a few other Christmas gift ideas you might
want to consider for the tough-to-please angler on your list.
Shakespeare E-Z Cast Baitcast Reel
Of all the letters
and emails I receive each year, I am amazed at the number that are from anglers
who, how do I say this delicately, are afraid to use baitcasting
equipment because of the birds' nests inherent in the learning process.
If that is you - or you have that angler on your Christmas
gift giving list - give them one of these low profile baitcasting reels. Honestly, no matter how hard you try to
intentionally create a backlash you'll you won't be able to do it, thanks to an
anti-backlash mechanical braking system that averts wayward casts.
I bought two of these
reels for my six and nine year old grandsons last year, and before the season
was out, they were using my tournament grade rods and reels like seasoned pros.
In fact, the reels do for baitcast fishing what training
wheels have done for bicycling. They teach you how to properly
"thumb" the spool and feather your casts. And in the process, you will never create a
Oh, yes, and the reels sell
for only about $60.00.
DuraSafe Coupler Connect Plus Protect
For about the same price, you can buy also buy a DuraSafe
Coupler Connect Plus Protect system.
Twice in the last two years vandals have loosened the pin on my trailer
hitch at a public boat ramp while I was out fishing. If I hadn't noticed it before leaving, the
boat and trailer could have popped off the hitch while I was driving down the
Indeed, two good friends have had this happen and the
accounts are harrowing. One buddy didn't
notice it until his boat and trailer literally passed him as he was driving
down the highway.
Man, wouldn't that freak you out?
Anyway, it is not possible with the super smart Coupler
Connect Plus Protect system installed. Plus,
you can back up your tow vehicle and position the ball on the hitch right under
the trailer tongue without ever having to get out to check it. How cool is that? Then you take the "Plus Protect",
slide it into the bracket to the height of your hitch and attach the hitch pin or
better yet, a coded DuraSafe padlock.
Now, it is impossible for your trailer ever to pop off the ball on your tow
Rapala Touch Screen Digital Scale
Remember, a minute ago, when I mentioned the number of folks who
contact me with questions about baitcasting reels. Well, another recurring question is about the
size of fish they catch.
I am constantly receiving phone calls and email messages from anglers
wondering how much I think the big bass, walleye, pike or whatever they caught and released on the weekend actually
weighed. Usually, the callers have taken
the time to measure the length and girth of the fish before letting it go, but
rarely do they weigh it.
Well, they'll know how much the big bruiser weighed if you give them a Rapala
Touch Screen Digital Scale for Christmas.
It is water-resistant, stores and displays the weight of up to eight
fish, and with the touch of your finger let's you move around weights to any
storage location just like using your iPad or Blackberry.
The Rapala Touch Screen Digital Scale also has full back up memory,
displays the air temperature and runs for 400 hours on two simple AA batteries. There is a 50-pound scale for weighing big
fish and a 15-pound tournament scale for super accurate, down to the ounce
Honest truth: I bought a tournament grade digital scale a few years ago
and paid over $300.00 for it, but the Rapala Touch Screen that sells for around
$60.00 is every bit as good and accurate and offers far more features.
Frabill FXE Stormsuit
There is no more brilliant gift you can give the angler
on your gift list this Christmas than a Frabill FXE Stormsuit - the driest,
lightest, warmest rainsuit on the market today.
I've worn one for two years now and it is the best investment I've ever made.
The FXE Stormsuit keeps you dry by using “dolphin-skin”
storm flaps to reinforce every Aquaguard waterproof zipper on the suit.
There is also an internal moisture wicking
lining, oversize chin flap and reinforced oversized tool pockets on both the jacket
And guys, how smart is this: there is even a "spillway"
so you can, well, do your thing, without having to remove your pants.
Talking about smart, I almost wish I didn't put this Navionics
app on my iPad - it's that addictive.
For about the cost of two paper maps you can download every Canadian
Hydrographical series map and they're knitted together making for the perfect
seamless planning tool!
You can lay
down waypoints to check out on your next fishing trip, share GPS honey holes
with friends half way across the country, find the nearest marina, overlay
satellite imagery and confirm tides, currents and moon phases.
If you fish big waters like the ocean, or the Great Lakes, you can even plan travel routes, enter your normal
cruising speed and the app will compute how long it will take you to boat to
your destination as well as the amount of fuel you'll burn.
And if your iPad has GPS built into it, the unit will serve
as a back up to the chartplotter in your boat.
If you think this is a little futuristic, think again, as the Federal
Aviation Administration in the United
States has given permission to a company
that charters jets to start using iPads for backup, instead of the
"old" paper maps.
SKEENA: A Photographic Journal of Northwest
Finally, I have to
tell you about a new book that has just come out in time for the holiday
season. It is called SKEENA: A
Photographic Journal of Northwest B.C.
and the scenic and wildlife
photographs are stunning - downright gorgeous, in fact.
The book is the
result of a labour of love by good friend, and renown photographer, Brandon Broderick. If you live along the west coast, have ever
visited British Columbia or the Canadian Rockies, or simply enjoy, as I do,
looking at take-your-breath-away photographs of the Canadian wilderness, this
is a must have book for your coffee table.
CLICK HERE TO ORDER
Indeed, they say a
picture is worth a thousand words, so if that is the case, feast your eyes on this: