7 gift ideas for the fishing enthusiast in your life


November 17, 2023


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If you have anglers in your circle (or if you are one yourself), you know that fishing equipment is a serious matter. So, what do you give to your significant other who fishes every weekend, or to a friend who’s just discovered the joys of fishing? Here are our best gift ideas for anglers of all stripes, whether they have a thousand fishing trips under their belts or just a few. Cyril Chauquet, experienced angler and host of the show Mordu de la pêche, reminds us that “it’s never too early in the season to surprise a passionate angler or adventurer like [him], and all it takes is some fishing accessories or outdoor equipment. There’s nothing more important than having the right tools and accessories when you’re on the sea, a river or a lake.” And in case you’re really not sure what to get, there’s always a SAIL gift card!

Discover the seven fishing essentials. To offer or to treat yourself!

  1. A practical must-have: the tackle box
  2. A technological tool: the sonar
  3. A useful fishing companion: a good backpack
  4. A protective layer: merino wool clothing
  5. The ultimate fishing gift: a rod and reel combo
  6. Fishing clothing
  7. Fishing lures

Tips for finding the best fishing gift ideas for anglers

Know an avid angler, but are at a loss for gift ideas? Go for quality fishing gear that’s easy to carry. “It is never too early or too late in the season to surprise a passionate angler or adventurer with fishing gear or outdoor equipment. I’m often out on the water, visiting different countries, and there is nothing more important than having the right gear to keep me comfortable during my adventures,” mentions Cyril.

1. A practical must-have: the tackle box

Coffre de pêche
“Before choosing a rod or reel, every angler should have a practical tackle box,” advises Cyril Chauquet.
If you’re thinking of gifting a tackle box to a fishing enthusiast, you have plenty of options! You can opt for a hard, sturdy box that can handle knocks and bumps, or a softer, lightweight bag with a handle and strap for easy carrying. You can also find tackle backpacks and shoulder bags, as well as tackle bags specially designed for fly-fishing enthusiasts.

Whatever your loved one’s level of experience, choose a model that can store all his or her fishing gear. Go for a tackle box with multiple compartments to hold lures, fishing line and other small accessories. Skill level and years of practice also have an impact; more experienced anglers generally tend to have a more extensive collection of tackle! Some bags are also packed with handy little pockets and storage compartments: sunglasses compartment, cell phone or GPS pocket, key holder, mesh compartments on the outside… In any case, you can’t go wrong with a Plano, Flambeau or SAIL tackle box, bag or lure box!

Tackle boxes and bags

2. A technological tool: the sonar

Fish Finder
If you want your gift to take your loved one’s fishing to the next level, consider opting for a fishing sonar. A little help from technology is always welcome when it’s time to find the right spot to cast your line.
Although this type of equipment can be quite expensive, there’s a good range of sonars available for a few hundreds of dollars. Of course, the most sophisticated models, equipped with state-of-the-art features, can cost up to $6,000. But not every angler needs a high-definition widescreen display, built-in GPS or preloaded maps.
The most important thing before buying a fishing gift, let alone a sonar, is to be well informed. Read our article to learn how to choose the right fishing sonar. Choose what suits your loved one’s needs, type of boat… and your budget! You don’t have to break the bank to give a reliable, high-performance and easy-to-use fishing sonar.
And if your loved one is a fan of hard water fishing in winter, consider ice fishing sonars! Check out our in-depth article to make an informed choice between flashers, digital sonars, forward facing sonars, etc.

Fishing sonars

3. A useful fishing companion: a good backpack

Fishing backpack
It might take more than a tackle box to carry all your favourite angler’s gear on fishing trips near the family cabin or at distant outfitters.
For Cyril Chauquet, a fishing backpack is a must: “One of the things I can’t do without on a fishing trip is a comfortable backpack that holds fishing sweaters, sandals, sunglasses… A sturdy backpack is an essential, whatever the type of fishing trip. Besides, buying one kills two birds with one stone, as it will come in handy on both fishing trips and other excursions.”
There again, you will be spoiled for choice. If you want to give a versatile bag that’s just as handy on fishing trips as it is anywhere else, opt for a hiking backpack. If, on the other hand, your idea is to give a truly fishing-oriented gift, go for a model built specifically for this purpose, such as those from Plano, SAIL, Simms or Orvis.
In all cases, choose a bag with the right capacity. Don’t forget that it will be filled with lures and all kinds of other fishing accessories. A 20 to 40-litre capacity is often enough for short getaways, but if your loved one likes to go on longer fishing trips, opt for a 40 to 50-litre backpack.
As for features, it’s up to you to choose according to your loved one’s preferences. Each model has its own perks: padded shoulder straps, outside mesh compartments, sturdy shell exterior, lined pockets… Just make sure the bag is water-resistant, and that it can hold up through multiple fishing trips (a hook snag is never too far away!)

4. A protective layer: merino wool clothing

Merino wool clothing
The fishing season starts in the spring and sometimes stretches into autumn, and that’s not counting all those who enjoy ice fishing! If you know someone who’s passionate about the sport, a merino wool base layer makes an excellent gift. In the words of Cyril Chauquet: “It doesn’t matter if your loved one is an ice-fishing enthusiast or a cold-weather climber; technical clothing is every adventurer’s greatest ally. Get some merino wool clothing for a gift that ensures warmth and dryness during outdoor activities.”

Merino wool’s numerous qualities make it the best option for base layers. It is warm, breathable and lightweight, and more importantly, it wicks moisture away so it doesn’t linger on the skin, making merino the ultimate base or mid-layer for any serious angler.

A good base layer, whether merino wool or synthetic fibre, is the first level of the multi-layer system, which is the ideal technique for preserving body heat when the mercury drops.

Look to brands like Smartwool and Icebreaker to find this great gift for anglers.

Base layers

5. The ultimate fishing gift: a rod and reel combo

Rod & reel combo
If you’re not an angler yourself, finding the right fishing rod or reel for someone else is no simple task. Spinning rods, fly fishing rods, ice fishing rods… It’s not always easy to sort it all out. But that’s no reason to pass up on this great gift idea for anglers!

Still, before you can pick a model, you’ll need to know a bit more about the fishing ways of your gift recipient. What fish species does this angler like to go after? What kind of presentations (and lures in particular) does he or she lean towards? Which fishing techniques?

Once you know all this, choosing the right model becomes a whole lot easier. And if you’re looking for a safe bet, here’s another card you can play: a rod and reel kit! Cyril Chauquet has a piece of advice for you, too: “I recommend that you go to your nearest SAIL store and ask the specialists, who will be able to guide you through your purchase, whatever your budget.”

Our in-store specialists will indeed be happy to assist you!

You can find good entry-level kits under $100 from reputable brands like Quantum or Fenwick – perfect if you have a loved one who’s new to the world of fishing! With a slightly higher budget (under $250), you will have access to reliable, high-performance and lightweight models from brands like 13 Fishing or Daiwa.

Rod and reel kits

Fishing clothing

Fishing clothing

It’s no coincidence that we mentioned earlier the importance of a good base layer; we are convinced that fishing clothing is a great gift idea for anglers of all levels. There are many reasons for this, not least the fact that clothing designed for fishing comes with specific features that are tailored to the needs of anglers.
For summer, fishing clothing needs to be light, breathable, and quick-drying. Ideally, it should also offer protection against the sun’s harmful rays. Such is the case of the items in the Columbia PFG collection, most of which feature Omni-Shade™ UPF 50 protection.
For transitional seasons, it’s best to choose fishing clothing that’s warm, breathable and water-resistant. Look for hard-wearing, windproof styles that will offer your beloved angler years of protection against the elements. Pieces with a durable water-repellent treatment are also a must.
The rest is all a matter of taste! Material, fit, colours… No one knows your loved one better than you. Take your time to explore our extensive collection of fishing clothing for every season, featuring brands like Columbia, Simms and SAIL.

Fishing clothing

Fishing lures

Fishing Lures

In fishing, presentation is everything. And a good presentation requires a good lure adapted to the target fish species. So there’s an excellent gift idea for both beginners and experienced anglers who want to maximize their catches!

There are (many) different kinds of lures on the market. All anglers have their personal favourites, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try something new. All this to say: you can’t really go wrong when giving a lure. Each lure has its own purpose: some are ideal for a particular species, others for a specific fishing technique, and others yet for a certain type of underwater structure… That’s why there’s such a wide variety. Spoons, hard bait, soft plastic lures… With a well-stocked tackle box, your loved one will be able to present a wider variety of lures, which will ultimately lead to more bites!

But how do you know which lures to get? If you know a thing or two about your loved one’s practice (techniques, target species, etc.), it should be pretty easy. For a fly fishing enthusiast, for instance, flies are the way to go! For someone who has a particular interest in pike or trout fishing, just take a look at Cyril Chauquet’s tackle boxes and you’ll find plenty of ideas. Or, just drop in and see our in-store specialists; they’ll be happy to help! You can also take a look at our hot fishing gear buyer’s guide for 2023!

Fishing lures

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