Shopping for gifts can be a stressful experience. There’s the worry that they won’t like it, it won’t fit, or worst case – they already have one. Shopping within somebody’s hobby or sport is even more difficult, especially if you’re unfamiliar with it. Kayak fishermen in particular tend to be very particular about their gear and accessories, and it’s easy to give a kayak fishing gift that’s not exactly thrilling.
Our philosophy toward great gift giving is two fold. Firstly there are gifts that are appreciated; things that you’ll use. Those are good gifts. Better gifts, though, are the things that that you want, but wouldn’t buy for yourself. These are things you crave but can’t justify. Getting one of those isn’t just good, it’s great. With that in mind we’ve put together a list of great kayak fishing gifts that are sure to make the angler in your life ecstatic.
Extra lures, hooks, and tackle are always appreciated as kayak fishing gifts – especially since they’re so easily lost. You’ll need to know whether your angler spends most of their time on saltwater or freshwater, luckily this is pretty easy to figure out. If your angler lives close to the ocean then saltwater is a safe bet, otherwise they’re gunning for bass on fresh.
Yongzhi Blade Baits
Blade baits are an older style of lure closely related to spoon style lures. I was turned on to blade baits by the man who built my shed – he swore by them. After using them a few times I understood why. Blade baits create incredible amounts of vibration when they’re reeled through the water. This vibration, combined with their flashy metal appearance, does a great job mimicking tiny baitfish and are enticing to hungry bass, catfish, and other species alike. Stainless steel also makes them durable in saltwater. The Yongzhi blade baits four pack is an affordable and high quality option to get any fishermen hooked up on some big ones.
Glide baits are a very specialized type of lure. They’re designed to glide through the water (hence the name) in an S shaped pattern similar to a fish’s natural swimming motion. They’re typically pretty big, weighing at least 2 ounces or more, and pretty expensive. Some of the most expensive baits in the world are imported glide baits. For these reasons many fishermen aren’t apt to pick one up, it’s tough to justify spending $50 on a single lure. So why do these things even exist? Well it’s because they’re aimed at attracting and catching BIG fish, think 7 lbs and up, and they work. Fish are keen on conserving their energy, so if they’re going to strike at a bait it should be worth their energy – and glide baits are an attractive looking meal.
All of the above features also make a glide baits a fantastic gift idea. We’re fond of the River2Sea S Waver 200. It’s a big bait at 3.3 oz and 8″ long and is made of durable plastic. River2Sea is probably best known for their “Whopper Ploppers” which took the fishing market by storm when they came out. Their glide baits aren’t as popular, but carry the same high-quality construction and paint jobs the River2Sea brand is known for.
Bucktail jigs are some of the oldest saltwater fishing lures out there and their age is surpassed only by their popularity. In essence it’s a weighted hook with artificial fur tied to it. The idea to add fur originated from exchanges between eastern fisherman and Native Americans who taught the wasichu to tie on tufts of white-tail deer fur, hence the name “Buck tail”. Unfortunately for the Native Americans the white man got the better end of the deal (again) on this one because these lures catch fish like crazy. In fact they’re so good at catching fish that they were standard issue in Navy Pilot survival kits during WW2. I can’t back that rumor up with a qualified source, and it kind of sounds like a fishing tale, but it’s still cool none the less.
Bucktails can be rigged up in a variety of ways and are ubiquitous among saltwater tackle boxes. Plenty of colors are out there, but white is the classic. The Last Cast Bucktails come in a three pack and are available in three different sizes. If you’re unsure what size is best then try the 1 oz; they’ll be big enough to sink but not too heavy to break any rods.
Even if you’re unfamiliar with fishing brands there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Rapala. They’re the single largest fishing lure manufacturer in the world, and they’re Finnish. Rapala pumps out more balsa wood fishing lures than any other company on Earth, and in the fishing world their name is synonymous with quality. You can never go wrong gifting a Rapala to anybody, fishermen or not, because each and every lure is a miniature piece of art. If you have time and you’re a geek for manufacturing processes like I am consider watching how Rapala lures are made; it’s a testament to industrial refinement and Finnish ingenuity.
The Rapala countdown is unique because it sinks at a rate of 1 foot per second. So after you cast it you simply start counting and that’s how deep it’s sunk. This unique feature makes these baits extremely versatile, and the paint jobs are diverse and beautiful. These lures are great gifts for saltwater kayak anglers because one lure can hit every spot in the water column. Pick a few up for the angler in your life and their next time out will be Kuusi (easy in finnish).
If your favorite fisherman enjoys tinkering in the garage then they’d probably be thrilled at the idea of making their own fishing gear. Lure making is a deep, deep, rabbit hole that is almost as captivating as fishing itself (looking at you fly-tiers). The following kayak fishing gifts will give your recipient something to do when the weather isn’t too inviting.
Lead is the element of choice for fishing weights, and anybody getting into tackle fabrication will need a lead pot. It has a relatively low melting point at only 621.5℉, casts into molds easily, and is fairly malleable. Lead is also very dense with an atomic number of 207.2 u which makes it heavier than steel. Lead’s corrosive resistance and low cost make it an excellent choice for adding weight to fishing tackle. Lead is toxic, however it is typically the fumes that do the most damage, and lead doesn’t vaporize until 900℉. If you’re really worried about lead poisoning Tin is a capable and eco-friendly alternative.
The Lee Precision Production Pot IV is a reliable and useful lead pot for the burgeoning tackle master. It’s extremely simple to use – add some lead ingots in the hopper, turn it on, and depress the lever to start the flow. 10 lb capacity and a slow drip spigot will keep bait makers well stocked and safe from splashing molten metal. If you want to get really fancy add in some lead ingots as an accompanying side-gift.
A lead pot by itself is a great gift, it’s absolutely necessary for anybody making wooden baits. Jig and sinker molds will expand a lead pot’s utility and provide greater options to the diy tackle-master. Molds work in a variety of ways and can make a wide berth of tackle. The simplest options are lead only sinkers; weights designed to keep bait at the bottom of the water. The Do It Sinker Mold only requires lead – pour it in from the lead pot and you’ll have brand new home-made lead sinker weights.
Other mold types require additional components. The Do It Egg Sinker Mold EG-9-A requires brass eyelets to be inserted before pouring, in order to provide a loop to tie the line on to. This mold in particular is very useful because it offers a variety of sinker sizes. Egg sinkers are favored for their ability to avoid getting snagged on weeds and debris.
There are also jig-head molds. A jig is basically just a hook with some sort of weight added on to it, sometimes in the shape of a fish head. Jig-head molds require hooks to be inserted first, so that the lead can bond and secure it. The Do It Mold 3384 offers a variety of different sizes in a minnow head shape. Jig-head molds can also be painted. We recommend letting your angler pick up the hooks: they’ll probably be particular about the style and size.
There was nothing worse as a kid than getting clothes as a gift, although a close second was books. Most of us have matured out of that phase and clothing can be a great gift for kayak fishers, as long as it’s not underwear. We’re always so busy obsessing over boat accessories and fishing gear that our outfits get little attention. The swag below will keep your angler looking fly and better protected from the elements.
Cold Weather Gloves
Every kayak has a paddle, and for a lot of kayakers, their hands are their engines. They’re the connection between your body and the water, and ultimately what pushes you forward, so it’s a good idea to keep them in good shape. When the weather’s cold a good pair of gloves will keep your mitts toasty and ready to paddle. In addition gloves are a good idea for fish, because fish are slimy. All fish have a protective coating of slime to ward off microbes and prevent disease. Some fish secrete very little while some produce copious amounts (looking at you catfish). Human oils can interfere and potentially damage this protective coating. Gloves protect the fish’s coating as well as avoiding sticky fingers.
Palmyth Neoprene gloves have two features that make them perfect for kayaking. They’re made out of neoprene which is the same material wetsuits are made of. Neoprene is essentially a synthetic rubber and besides from being waterproof it’s also a great insulator. These gloves also feature removable tips on the thumb and index finger which makes tying knots and un-hooking fish a breeze.
If you’ve ever been on a boat on a hot day you’re probably familiar with some of the crispy critters that disembark at the end of that 3 hour tour. Sunburns are a common and dangerous occurrence among boaters. Ultra violet (UV) light reflects really well off water and there’s unsurprisingly not a lot of shade out on the water. Proper yakking attire can provide comparable if not better UV protection than sunscreen and looks a lot better than zinc on the nose.
Gaiter masks have the advantage of both keeping your face protected and keeping you prepared for any impromptu lakeside heists. The Huk Gaiter Mask comes in one size fits all and a variety of camo designs. Huk is kind of like the Nike of fishing attire brands. So if you’re wondering about buying one of these, just do it.
Overview on Kayak Fishing Gifts
Gift giving adds a lot of unwarranted stress at times that are already pretty stressful (usually). As loving friends, spouses, or relatives we all want to make an impression that conveys how much we truly appreciate the recipient. We think the kayak fishing gifts outlined above are a great way to show your love and put a smile on any paddler’s face.
If you’re looking for some stocking stuffers consider checking out the best gear under $30.