Don't know what to get the outdoorsmen/women in your life? No need to worry, we've done the homework for you. Our team has come up with some fool-proof choices for the holiday season.
Made from state of the art, newly developed, cut and puncture-resistant material that is patent pending, these boots from Bart's Bay Armor make a great gift for anglers. They are protective from the very top to the bottom, even under the sole, and the rubberized lower makes the most vulnerable areas even more protective. These boots are so comfortable they will revolutionize wade fishing. Since 99% of all wading injuries occur from the ankle down, Bart's Bay Armor made the boot mid-calf to reduce unnecessary weight with extra protection where it counts. Gift a pair for summer and a pair a couple of sizes larger to wear with waders in the cool months. $189.00 – $199.00, barts-bay-armor.com
This is the automatic release tool that takes reef catches back down to safe recompression depths. No more throwing back fish that float, or fumbling around with venting needles. The SeaQualizer jaws may be set to open at one of three different depth pre-sets. There are tools for three different ranges of depths, too. The standard model, releasing fish at 50, 100 or 150 feet, is probably the best universal choice in Florida fisheries (the tool designer notes that this model could be used to 300 feet—once a fish is back to midwater, it’s usually recovered from barotrauma and ready to swim free. The kit comes with a short rod, PENN 113H2 reel prespooled with 80-pound-test Dacron line, and a three-way swivel. You choose a weight (1 to 3 pounds are offered) and depth range tool. Price online at seaqualizer.com
for the Standard Kit with 3-pound weight.
This complete kit takes the guesswork out of gearing up for bowfishing. It comes with the AMS Retriever Pro Reel spooled with 200-pound Dacron line, the Tidal Wave Arrow Rest, two AMX Chaos arrows with patented EverGlide Safety Slide. Hardware is stainless steel but warrants a freshwater rinse, after use in salt water. Add to your favorite bow; AMS recommends either a compound or recurve bow of 20 to 50 pounds draw weight.www.amsbowfishing.com $179.99
A good rotary vise both simplifies and refines the art of fly tying, as Florida Sportsman Conservation Editor Mike Conner writes in the January 2020 issue. You can spin the hook on its horizontal axis to quickly layer thread and other materials, as well as enjoy 360-degree views of your work. Built in Titusville, Florida, the Renzetti Presentation 2000 series vises feature a patented adjustable jaw hinge and anti-corrosion coated cam jaws, ratchet rotary actuator, adjustable bobbin cradle and adjustable hinge stem to tilt the vise up or down for comfort and versatility. The Presentation 2000 is clear anodized and is offered with a Pedestal Base, a Deluxe Pedestal, and a C-clamp. Retails for $339.99 to $419.99.
The Presentation 2300 Series is black anodized and is offered with Material Clip (the Presentation 2000 does not come with it) and either a Pedestal Base, a Streamer Pedestal Base, or a C-clamp.? www.renzetti.com
The Metal Scales SLX UVapor performance long sleeve pocket tee features an allover metal scales graphic print. This tee is made from 88% Polyester 12% Spandex and treated for UV50 sun protection to protect you from the sun’s harmful rays. Additional features include anti-microbial and mega soft fabric. The Metal Scales Performance long sleeve pocket tee features Hydro Chill technology that helps regulate evaporation, keeping you cool to the touch. This technology allows you to beat the heat and enjoy your favorite outdoor activities such as fishing, diving, or surfing. Features underarm and sideseam mesh inserts for ventilation. Salt Life performance fishing shirts are designed to withstand the harsh environment of saltwater fishing. Machine washable for easy care. www.saltlife.com $64
Think handheld GPS units are outdated? Can do all that stuff on a cell phone? This full-featured device from Garmin not only makes a great backup (or primary!) navigator, but may be includes the powerful satellite InReach communication. Once you’re away from shore at any distance, InReach blows cellular out of the water. That means send and receive text messages from anywhere, update folks with your position, and interactive SOS. With a fully charged internal lithium ion battery, the GPSMAP86sci will run up to 35 hours in 10-minute tracking node, or up to 200 hours in expedition mode. The device weighs just under 10 ounces and is 7 inches by 2.75 inches. Price with Bluechart G3 installed is $649.99
, and you sign up for a monthly InReach plan to fit your needs (“recreational” plan with 40 text messages per month, unlimited Send/Track Points is $24.95 per month). Find online at buy.garmin.com
Like something straight out of Dr. Seuss’ imagination, the Big Green Egg is out of this world. This cooker is great for game like pork and venison because it uses charcoal and wood in order to create a very hot initial sear, and a then a long, cool smoke, for flavor. Once you’ve mastered the egg, you can perfect the gentle art smoking fish and experience the delight of a fresh wood-fired pizza. The last thing to decide is how big do you want your Egg? We recommend the Large size, as it can comfortably serve a family and guests. Pictured is the X-Large Egg, ideal for someone who is a dedicated outdoor cooker. There’s plenty of egg-sessories you can also add to your new outdoor addition. Check them all out at www.biggreenegg.com $899.00
You won’t find a better-engineered high-speed lever drag reel than the new Saltiga LD series from Daiwa. These are one-piece machined aluminum frame reels with super hard stainless steel gears and ultra-precise alignment. The sailfish model, SAGLD50HS ($599.99
), carries 640 yards of 20-pound monofilament, which is perfect for kite fishing or trolling. The drag is engineered perfectly for the light settings commonly used in these applications. A 7.1:1 retrieve picks up a blazing 56 inches of line per crank. A 60 size is also available, holding 550 yards of 30-pound line, just about perfect for white marlin. Other models are available, too, for anything from king mackerel to blue marlin. Match the Saltiga LD with a technique-specific Darkwater Tournament Sailfish or DW70 Prospect Rod ($179.99
A longtime favorite of Florida Sportsman Editor Jeff Weakley, this is a plier that opens with a flick of the wrist—it’s very portable and easy to use with one hand. Best of all, it comes with scissors, which for cutting braided line are far superior to any of the cutting blades in most traditional fishing pliers. It has driver blades to fix reels, can opener to save the day on a campout, and a serrated knife that cuts rope. Regular freshwater wash-downs and occasional spritz with Corrosion X will keep the Gerber in great shape for years. Find it at www.gerbergear.com $46.00
If you’re committed to all-day fishing in chilly, windy weather, sooner or later you’ll want bibs. Gill, a familiar name in marine foul weather gear, has gone all-out on the concept with the new FG100 Pro Tournament 3 Layer Bib. The piece is designed to sit high and close, but not too tight, with extra-wide, easily adjustable, buckle-free Velcro shoulder secures. The waistband has stretch, the knees are articulated, and the legs have zippers for easy on-and-off. The three-layer construction features a durable outer shell to shake off water and abrasion, an inner breathable/waterproof membrane, and finally a comfortable next-to-skin layer. Sizes from XS to 4XL. Gill also makes the FG100 Jacket
to match. Find both on www.gillfishing.com $349
Interested in making your own jerky, but not quite sure if it’s worth breaking out the checkbook, or more likely, the credit card? Well here’s one you won’t need to break the bank to try out at home, but has a reliable name behind it. Hamilton Beach’s 32100 dehydrator offers something for the whole family. Make everything from fruit snacks, dog treats, veggie or fruit chips, peppers, dried herbs, yogurt, granola, potpourri, cheeses, and jerky with endless flavor options. Another thing to consider is how when you dehydrate something, you’re extending its shelf life, making it great for meal prepping and saving food that might otherwise get tossed if not used up quickly. Did you know dehydrated food can last up to FIVE whole years? If you already have a dehydrator and are looking to upgrade, consider the top of the line Excalibur 3900 9-Tray Fast Drying Model
priced at $279. Down in the mid-range tier, the Hamilton Beach model sports, a 48 hour auto shutoff to prevent over drying, digital thermostat, continuous airflow for even drying, five drying trays, one fine mesh for herbs and one solid sheet for fruit rolls. At a price of $59.99
, this model is affordable AND reliable. Find it currently on sale on Amazon here.
We’ve all got a first aid kit on our boat that’s been used and abused. It’s time to upgrade to First Aid 3.0. JUDY brings The Mover Max to the table. It’s much more than your average kit. Designed by survival experts, this is a life-saving, battle-ready survival kit, chock loaded with essentials. It has the usual Band-Aids, tweezers and antibiotic creams, but also holds an emergency single-use phone charger, a hand-crank radio, drinking water, food, emergency blankets, ponchos, a multi-tool, whistles and more. This heavy-duty waterproof pack is not only invaluable on the water, but also great for camping, scouting, and hunting, as well as an essential item in your hurricane preparedness kit. The Mover Max is JUDY’s midrange survival kit and includes enough supplies for a family of four. Smart additions to help round out this pack would be paracord
, a Sawyer water filter
, a tarp
, and waterproof matches
or a ferro rod
. And with a few small additions, this pack checks off all the boxes of the sacred order of wilderness survival: shelter, water, fire, food. www.judy.co
For everything that comes with the pack, at $180
this is a steal for anyone who takes emergency preparedness seriously.
Here’s a gift that keeps on giving: Commercial-grade, vinyl-coated wire crab traps. Private trappers in Florida may use up to 5 traps. Bait ’em up with chicken backs, whole mullet or other attractants, sink ’em in the briny backwaters. Check during daylight hours. Release the egg-bearing females. Enjoy up to 10 gallons of fresh whole crab per person per day. Don’t forget to go online at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com
to get the Recreational Blue Crab Trap Registration—a new requirement in Florida. It’s free. And the traps? Lee Fisher brand traps are very affordable, at $42.95
each before shipping. (You’ll find them for sale at many local tackle shops and sporting goods stores.) Be sure to add the required float with the “R” painted on it, and affix your name, address, and registration number to the trap. Find them online at www.leefisherfishing.com
The ultimate tool for deploying the ultimate bluewater fish-attractor: Gemlux built this 8-foot, carbon fiber pole for supporting the popular dredge teaser arrays Florida anglers are using to lure sailfish, marlin and other species to the trolling spread. In particular, the dredge boom is the ideal system for running these arrays of smaller center console boats. The collapsible, length-adjustable pole weighs only 3 pounds and fits AFTCO Butt #4 (sold separately). Control the teaser line with any traditional rod or electric reel system—though Gemlux recommends (and also sells) kits with the Lindgren Pittman Variable Speed and standard electrics. The boom sells for $899.99.
Here’s a tool that’s also a treasure: A bespoke offshore landing gaff from Got ‘M Gaffs. These are hand-made to order, crafted in Pensacola, Florida, under the eye of Capt. Chaz Heller. Heller makes all lengths in carbon fiber shafts from 18 inches to 12-foot telescoping gaffs and tag sticks. The two shown in the photo are a 22-inch dehooker tool ($65) and a 4 ½-foot bay boat snapper gaff ($175). Got ‘M Gaffs are available in custom colors, marbling and other details. Oh, and if Heller’s name rings a bell, he’s the Panhandle Field Editor for Florida Sportsman Magazine. Find him on IG
or text or call 850-529-8655. $65 - $350