Gifts for Anglers

Best Gifts for Anglers

Posted by Jim Mize on November 30, 2021

Christmas shopping for anglers can seem a daunting task as they either appear to already have everything or you have no idea what they already own. This list is assembled with that in mind; either the gift ideas are something no fisherman/woman can have too many of or they likely don’t own one already.

Fillet Knives


This idea fits in the category of “they can never have too many.” I lost count of how many knives I own, but the more I have the more specialized I find their uses.

For cleaning a lot of fish many people prefer electric knives. I admit to being stuck in the Dark Ages when I say I more often use the old thin-blade knives to clean fish. Partly, this is because I mostly clean panfish such as bluegill or crappie, or simply use knives to cut bait.  

My oldest fillet knife is a Rapala with a four-inch blade. It’s great for tight work on bluegill when I don’t want to waste meat. The one I just picked up and want to put to the test is Smith’s Mr. Crappie Slab Sticker. It has a seven-inch blade and I’ll probably use it on larger fish. You can find both at

Lanyard with Fishing Tools


Having all my gadgets in one place helps when I’m fishing with kids. You never have enough hands in those situations. So being able to wear these gadgets around my neck makes it a lot easier.

A variety of lanyards are available depending upon the type of fishing that is planned. I often fly fish so the Orvis lanyard has worked well for me. It comes with forceps for hook removal, nippers for trimming line, spare tippet, and some with a fly box. You can find a similar version at or search on Amazon for other lanyards and tools better suited to other styles of fishing.



This gift is simply a lot of fun. The I-Bobber is a sonar fish finder you attach to your rod and cast. It sends a signal back to your phone and you view the results there. The app that makes all this happen is downloaded to your phone.

From a practical standpoint, I’ve used it to figure out what small ponds look like beneath the surface. I keep the I-Bobber attached to a spare rod and cast it into the area I want to check out. You can also attach a line to the I-Bobber and fish under it.  The I-Bobber can be found at

Classic Lures


Fishing lures seem to come and go with every season, but a few have lasted for ages simply because they still work. Names like Jitterbug, Hula Popper, and Devil’s Horse will prompt memories of fish caught decades ago. Your fisherman has probably mentioned some of these names in their tales of childhood fishing trophies.

I particularly like these old lures for lazy days on small ponds though they still work on the bigger waters. These lures make great stocking stuffers and you can find them at

Underwater Pocket Camera


I discovered years ago that I took more photos when I had a good camera in my pocket than I did when I had a great camera back in the truck. A waterproof camera that you can put in a shirt pocket and strap around your neck fits this description.


I also like waterproof cameras for fishing because they let you put the camera underwater for some interesting fish pictures whether at the time of the catch or upon releasing the fish. I also use the camera to take photos of underwater critters like hellbenders. Mine is a Nikon Coolpix Waterproof digital camera, but other brands also make similar models.  You can compare them at Amazon.

Guided Trips

Even a fisherman who knows both his home water and fish species well will appreciate a guided trip in two special circumstances. First, if you send them fishing on new water, a guide will help them up the learning curve more quickly. Second, if they want to target a different species of fish, a guide will provide a good trip and an education on the fish.

The way to find these trips is simply google guides in a certain place or guides who pursue a specific fish species.  Guides tend to specialize both in fish and location. Once you have found a few, ask around. Throw in local lodging and your fisherman will receive a fine trip that might be on their bucket list. (Hint: most guides allow two or more fishermen so this gift might benefit you both.)

Hopefully, these gift ideas make your Christmas shopping easier. In any event, they will put a smile on the face of any anglers come Christmas morning.

Jim Mize

Jim Mize has written humor and nostalgia for magazines including Gray's Sporting Journal, Fly Fisherman Magazine, Field & Stream, and a number of conservation magazines, picking up over fifty Excellence In Craft awards along the way. His most recent book, a collection of humor for fly fisherman entitled A Creek Trickles Through It, was awarded best outdoor book in 2014 by the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association. More on Jim and his writing activities can be found at

Want more from our blog? Subscribe to Rethink:Rural here

Subscribe to get all of our latest content sent directly to your inbox, or contact us directly with any questions you have.

Subscribe Here