Growing up mostly freshwater fishing, I’ve been very fortunate in the last several years to spend a significant amount of time saltwater fishing. I will tell you, I’ve learned a lot. For as many of the techniques and tackle that are similar, there are equally as many specific to saltwater. Here are a few I recommend–some based on personal experience, others because I know they are from trusted brands and will make for great holiday gifts.
Salt in the water; a good thing. Saltwater on your gear; bad thing. Plano presents a series of four Guide Series Waterproof Cases, to protect your valuables on the open seas. Each of the three models is noncorrosive, airtight, and leak proof built with strong poly-carbonate material. A soft rubber lining prevents your valuables from sliding around. Save your cell phone, save your iPod, save your keys, save your butt.
Daiwa does saltwater like nobody’s business. The new Lexa High Capacity Baitcaster series is engineered for strong lines and gigantic fish. An all aluminum frame and side plate protect a smooth turning seven bearing system. This inshore angler’s dream holds up to 240 yards of 40lb. braided line.
Good luck outfishing a guy throwing live shrimp when you’re offering up anything else live or artificial. Shrimp dominate the oceanic menu. Frabill’s ShrimpShak is designed specifically to keep shrimp—often considered fragile bait—happy and healthy. Internally, a cling-on bait screen lets shrimp climb the bait container wall to increase the volume of bait that can be kept, and simultaneously keeps the critters from smothering one another. The 4.25 gallon container comes with a spunky aerator and features an insulated liner.
Frabill Conservation Series Net ($69.00-139.00)
While we’re talking Frabill, it’s prudent to note that they are the number one most recognized landing net manufacturer based on a Southwick and Associates survey. Saltwater purists will appreciate Frabill’s catch and release mindedness when developing the Conservation Series. Each of the eleven different models features 100% knotless mesh netting which keeps fish scales from hanging in the net. On that note, the coated mesh helps sometimes sensitive saltwater fish from loosing their natural slime coating. All aluminum handles thwart saltwater corrosion. Some models even boast a flat bottom to cradle fish.
Here’s your chance to create the next Jacques Cousteau. Aqua-Vu offers the amazing and affordable Micro Camera System. The full-featured underwater camera system is no larger than a smartphone. It comes complete with 50 feet of cable and a shockingly impressive color camera and 3.5-inch LCD screen. A rechargeable lithium-ion battery juices the saltwater “video game” for hours of entertainment.
If you’ve ever attempted to carve your way through the tough exterior of many saltwater species, you know having a good, sharp knife is mandatory. Ready to match up with any filleting task, the new Lithium Ion Cordless Fillet Knife produces 80 continuous minutes of runtime without any loss of power. Lithium ion batteries provide a consistent speed and torque from fillet to fillet, without reduced power or slow down as battery power wanes. It’s also got a quick charge time: a full 80-minute runtime charge takes less than 2 hours.
Like St. Croix Rods‘ Legend Xtreme, the new Legend Inshore was voted best rod in its category by its peers at ICAST 2012. The Legend Inshore, unlike many rods, is as sensitive as it is strong. You are able to feel the light bite of a speckled trout and still go toe to toe with world class redfish. This rod features Kigan Master Hand Zero Tangle guides with zirconia rings and titanium frames for the ultimate protection against saltwater corrosion. I’ll trust the hundreds of outdoor writers that voted this as best rod—it’s a good buy at around $350. Helping you qualify a Christmas purchase, St. Croix is running a special promotion where you buy two rods and receive a Rage series rod free. Now that’s beyond a stocking stuffer!
A great saltwater gift pack can be found at Git Lit Lures. The Git Lit saltwater lure kit has 55 total pieces and comes with five truly life-like bait imitations. Not only are the Git Lit plastic baits extremely realistic as to the body shape, they were also designed to swim exactly like the baits they imitate. These baits not only catch fish, their names are “catchy” too! The Mini Mack, the perfect mackerel; the Deener, a great sardine; the Bon-Chovy, this anchovy is so real you would put it on a pizza; the Candy Squid swims better than the real thing; and the Flexshrimp, may be the best plastic shrimp available today. These all come with an assortment of attractor options that make them the ultimate saltwater baits in any conditions. Sound rattles that fish will hear, scent sticks that fish will smell, and lume sticks that enhance sight in low light conditions.
DOA Lures BOB Kit ($11.95)
DOA Lures, a household name with Atlantic coast saltwater anglers, is making it easy for newcomers to buy the best right out of the box. The BOB (Best of the Best) kit includes a selection of DOA’s top three models: the three-inch shrimp, shadtales, and terroreyz.
Minn Kota Talon Shallow Water Anchor ($1,299)
Saltwater anglers find themselves battling the tide and oceanic currents they can’t see. In a sport where boat control and positioning are everything, the quicker and more effectively you can position yourself on a bank, weedbed or flat, the better your chance of reeling in a prized fish. The Talon Shallow Water Anchor deploys fast and holds strong. It puts you on top of the fish and keeps you there. It’s built with the legendary durability and performance of Minn Kota, and the rugged anchor spike is guaranteed for life. Deploying Talon is easy because it comes with a wireless remote—there’s no wasting time holding down a button and waiting, Talon features a rough water mode and built-in wave absorption. It retails for $1,299 and will bring a twinkle to the eye of your angler.
Knot2Kinky Multi-Strand Leader Material ($18.99+)
Hooking a saltwater fish with a toothy jack-o-lantern smile is exhilarating. Losing that same fish due to fangs or canines cutting the line is depressing. The leader in leaders, Knot2Kinky, recently introduced 1×7 Multi-Strand Leader Material to negate sharp-toothed bites. It calls on super-elastic nickel-titanium alloy to offer anglers perhaps the perfect wire line solution. The radicle material employs a seven-strand weave, yielding unparalleled softness, flexibility and abrasion-resistance. Anglers need only handle exceptional wire material once to know it’s truly special.
Although I’m convinced you could employ any of these gifts for freshwater fishing, they are truly engineered with saltwater in mind. And if you know saltwater anglers like I do, their first question always is, “is it made for saltwater?” You can confidently answer, “yes, and I didn’t save the receipt.”