The Ultimate 2021 Holiday Fishing Gift Guide

Published on 05/17/2023 · 6 min readNot sure what present to give to the fishing enthusiast in your life? Check out this gift guide with ideas sure to put a smile on their face.
Alex Johnson, Fishing Expert
By Fishing Expert Alex Johnson

Photo by Tomasz Filipek

The holidays are quickly approaching, and you need to get a gift for the fishing enthusiast in your life. It's a daunting task, especially if you don’t do much, if any, fishing and have no idea where to even start! Gifts for anglers can be tricky if you don’t know what to look for, and some of you reading this may have never fished a day in your life.

Sure, it's easy enough to get them a gift card and let them buy whatever gear they want themselves, but giving a meaningful fishing gift will go a long way and show that you care enough to put some effort into giving something related to their passion that isn’t just a cheesy piece of fishing-themed home decor. Just think about it—what better way to get on the good side of, say, for example, your father-in-law who loves to fish. A good gift will certainly earn you plenty of brownie points with whoever you give it to. Whether you are a fellow angler looking for something to get your fishing buddy or you have a family member who loves to fish, here are some great ideas that will be sure to put a smile on their face and won’t break the bank either!

Soft Plastic Stick Baits

Soft plastic stick baits are a type of artificial lure that is extremely popular, especially for bass fishing. Bass fishing is by far the most popular in the U.S, so odds are the angler in your life will have use for these. These are commonly called Senko worms, Dingers, and simply plastic worms. They are an amazingly effective lure that seems to always catch fish, even on the toughest days, but because of their soft material, they tend to lose their usefulness quickly by tearing apart and inevitably getting lost. Going through a bag of plastic worms typically only takes a single outing, or if the bite is really good, in a matter of hours. Any bass angler will always be in need of an extra bag or two of plastic worms, which is why I think they are the perfect gift. They’re not expensive either, so get them two or three packs in a few different colors. I would recommend the Green Pumpkin and Blue colors of the YUM Dinger brand of plastic worms.

Quality Crankbaits

Crankbaits are a hard-bodied style of artificial lure that is very popular for many styles and species of fishing. A good quality crankbait will set you back about $5-10 for each lure, which doesn’t seem too bad, but for an avid angler who already spends a lot of money on other gear, boat maintenance, and fuel, that amount can add up, which is why I think gifting a couple of crankbaits will go a long way. The best crankbait makers would have to be Rapala and Strike King in my opinion. This Strike King KVD Squarebill is an excellent choice, and this deep-diver option from Rapala will definitely get them excited. These baits come in many styles and colors, but for most applications, I would suggest choosing any color option that mentions “shad”.

Daiwa Fuego Spinning Reel

A high-quality and versatile spinning reel is priceless, and some of the best spinning reels in the world are produced by Daiwa. The Daiwa Fuego spinning reel is an affordable and high-performing reel that any angler will cherish. The smooth mechanics, sleek design, and stylish color scheme will make this gift memorable, to say the least. Spinning reels are sized by the thousand, with 1000 being the smallest and getting bigger from there. I would suggest the 2500 or 3000 sizes, as spinning reels in this size range can be used for most fishing scenarios, so whoever you will be giving this to will be able to use it as a do-it-all reel that they can depend on.

St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod

Along with a good spinning reel, an equally good spinning rod is also priceless to an avid angler. Many hardcore anglers agree that St. Croix makes some of the best rods in the world, and they more or less specialize in spinning rods. If I were to give a spinning rod to anyone, it would have to be the St. Croix Triumph. These rods are durable, well constructed, and have the perfect amount of sensitivity. They are also at a great price point of about $100, making them an incredible value for how well they perform. I highly recommend the medium power option at a rod length of 7 feet. This configuration, much like the aforementioned reel, will be very versatile. Whoever you give this rod to, they will love it and love you for buying it for them!

Soft Plastic Jerkbaits

Soft plastic jerkbaits are commonly used by all kinds of anglers, from redfish anglers in intercoastal Florida to bass fishermen all over the country. They are truly a must-have artificial lure for any angler, so whoever you give it to will thank you kindly. My go-to is the Strike King Z-Too Jerkbait in silver or white colors, but my favorite has to be Pearl, which will mimic a wide array of baitfish. Much like the plastic worms, most anglers tend to go through packs pretty quickly, so there is always a need for some.

Twister Tail Jigs

Twister tail jigs hold a special place in my heart, as I’ve been using them for ages and have caught so many great fish with them. They are incredibly useful for many sportfish species and are easy to use for beginner anglers. They come in many different colors, but I rarely use anything else but 3” white or chartreuse twister tails. Berkley Powerbait Grubs are the best and most cost-effective in my opinion, so get a few packs for your favorite angler, and they will thank you for all the fish they will soon be catching with them!

Rapala Husky Jerk

The Rapala Husky Jerk is a tried and true hard-bodied jerkbait that will catch just about anything. For a lure company as storied and trusted as Rapala, expect the best hard-bodied lures on the market, which is something every angler is aware of, so the fact that you knew to give a Rapala is impressive in its own right. As for configurations of the Husky Jerk, I love the smaller sized ones for river smallmouth bass fishing, and I know redfish and seatrout anglers in coastal areas swear by the larger sized Husky Jerks. When it comes to colors, Rapala has many great options with stellar details, but you simply can't go wrong with gold or silver. Similar to the crankbaits mentioned before, this gift will mean a lot because each lure is a steep expense for an avid angler, and losing one is like a shot to the gut, but you’ll only be out about $15 for a few of them, which is a pretty cheap gift in most people's book.

Whether you get one, a few, or all of these gift ideas for the fishing enthusiast in your life, I know they’ll be happy and grateful for them, and they’ll remember you when they go to use them. I made this list hoping it would be general enough to appeal to most fishing types and species, while still being useful and versatile enough to be appreciated by even the most particular of anglers. Fishing enthusiasts can be really hard to shop for—trust me, it takes one to know one. But I’m sure these ideas will give you some relief knowing you know exactly what to get them!

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