Best Fishing Gifts: Top-Quality Gear for Every Fisherman

man in fishing gear


Fishing is a gear-heavy activity, which is part of the reason we love it. There's a seemingly endless assortment of lures, rods, reels, tackle boxes and bags, sunglasses, action cameras, and other accessories that are all aimed at making days on the water better. However, such a wide variety can be a challenge to wade through (or paddle through!) when you're looking for the best fishing gifts.

We scoured every corner of the fishing world to bring you products that'll work for fishermen of every stripe, from novices to experienced pros. Whether you're dropping tiny flies to trout in a stream, trolling for trophy bluefin off the coast or anything in between, you'll find something that’ll bring a smile to the angler in your life.

Why Trust Us?

ACTIVE.com's editorial team relies on the knowledge and experience of fitness, wellness, and outdoors experts including competitive athletes, anglers, coaches, physical therapists, nutritionists, and certified trainers. This helps us ensure the products we feature are of the highest standard. Collectively, the team has spent countless hours researching equipment, gear, and recovery tools in order to create the most accurate, authentic content for our readers. Customer satisfaction is also a key part of our review process, which is why we only feature products that are highly rated. More importantly, each member of our team is a fitness enthusiast. Fitness and the outdoors may be our job, but it is also our passion. Therefore, we strive to bring you products that we trust and would personally use.

The Best Fishing Gifts - Our Top Picks

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Cooler - Yeti Roadie 24 Cooler

Yeti Roadie 24 Cooler

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Yeti quality and durability are legendary in the outdoors and the Roadie 24 Cooler carries on this tradition. The Roadie is ideal for day trips where you might take odd-sized items (its height is described as "wine friendly") or simply don't need a huge ice vault.

Its no-nonsense rotomolded construction features Yeti's PermaFrost insulation that's proven itself over countless ice-keeping tests—and against bear paws. Outwardly, snap closures, rubberized feet, and a padded handle make the Roadie 24 user-friendly.

PROS

  • Proven strength, quality, and insulation
  • Innovative size and shape
  • Wealth of colors
  • Rugged, interlocking hinges

CONS

  • Ruggedness comes with weight
  • Cost not for everyone

BUY: Yeti Roadie 24 Cooler

Sunglasses - Smith Hookshot ChromaPop Polarized Sunglasses

Smith Hookshot ChromaPop Polarized Sunglasses

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Smith Optics sunglasses are well known to anglers around the globe, and especially among professionals who depend on catching fish to earn a living. Smith's proprietary ChromaPop™ polarized lenses make contrasts more stark which makes spotting fish easier.

The mid-size frame is designed to fit many faces while also delivering maximum coverage to reduce eye fatigue during long days. Hydrophilic temple pads and nose pads keep the Hookshot firmly in place—even if you're doused in sweat or rain.

PROS

  • Superb clarity and definition thanks to ChromaPop™ lenses
  • 100% UV protection
  • Tough and lightweight Evolve™ bio-based frame
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Water- and oil-resistant coating

CONS

  • Medium frame size might not be ideal for all faces

BUY: Smith Hookshot ChromaPop Polarized Sunglasses

Fish Bag - Hobie Soft Cooler / Fish Bag

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Kayaks offer a wealth of advantages for anglers such as affordability and portability. But, they don't always have ideal storage solutions. Hobie has a solution with its Fish Bag, a heavy-duty insulated cooler that’s perfect for carrying food and water for the day, or to stash keeper fish to prevent spoiling.

We like how the Fish Bag features a generous 20-quart compartment that keeps contents chilly via the half-inch closed-cell foam. It’s also covered in rugged vinyl-coated polyester for easy cleanup. The shape of the Hobie Fish Bag lends itself well to riding shotgun on a paddleboard, too.

PROS

  • Thick yet flexible insulation for versatile storage options
  • Comes with carry handles
  • Premium YKK zippers for smooth open and closure
  • Bungee loops permit easy and secure attachment

CONS

  • Shape might not be a perfect fit for all kayaks
  • Would be easier to carry with backpack straps

BUY: Hobie Soft Cooler / Fish Bag

Kokatat Leviathan Kayak Fishing Life Vest - Kokatat Leviathan PFD

Kokatat Leviathan PFD

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A life vest is mandatory equipment, but not all are created with kayak fishing in mind. If a vest isn't comfortable, you're less apt to wear it. But if it's unobtrusive and has the benefit of added storage, you'll never shove off without it. The Kokatat Leviathan life vest is the best kayak fishing life vest because it ensures safety while adding convenience through its 14 handy pockets. Adjustable shoulder straps tailor the fit to you while a breathable mesh back keeps things cool.

PROS

  • Zippered pockets offer quick access and secure storage
  • Adjustable waist strap ensures comfortable fit and safety
  • Quick-drying fabric won't get waterlogged
  • Fleece-lined hand warmer pockets

CONS

  • The foam fly pads could be covered
  • Higher price point

BUY: Kokatat Leviathan PFD

Speaker - JBL Clip 4 Speaker

JBL Clip 4 Speaker

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Some days on the water are slower than others, so it's never a bad idea to have some tunes handy to keep spirits up. The JBL Clip 4 Bluetooth speaker is one of the more affordable water-friendly speakers. It can also play for up to 10 hours on a single charge, and is the perfect size to clip to a belt loop, tackle bag or box fishing vest.

The IP67 rating means that this mini boombox can be submerged up to one meter for an hour, so no need to sweat about splashes or rain.

PROS

  • Integrated carabiner for easy attachment
  • Choose between 3 color choices
  • Simple operation
  • Great volume for its size

CONS

  • Spring clip can weaken over time
  • No battery life indicator

BUY: JBL Clip 4 Speaker

Grill - Eureka SPRK Camp Grill

Eureka SPRK Camp Grill

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Make your next shore lunch the best one yet with the Eureka SPRK Camp Grill. It’s portable, powerful, and easy to use. We like how it comes with its own carrying case and when you're ready to fire it up, an auto ignition brings the nonstick ceramic grate up to temp quickly.

The SPRK is built for the outdoors with adjustable feet that offer a level surface on uneven ground, and the integrated fuel compartment holds an eight-ounce butane bottle for 90-minutes of grill time.

PROS

  • Removable drip pan
  • Long grill time on 1 bottle
  • Adjustable flame level
  • Excellent blend of size and power
  • Great value

CONS

  • Need to wait for grill to cool before cleaning and stowing
  • Could use a few more BTUs for better searing

BUY: Eureka SPRK Camp Grill

Gloves - Sealskinz Solo UPF 50+ Fishing Step-Finger Gloves

Sealskinz UPF 50+ Fishing Step-Finger Gloves

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Fishing-specific gloves are becoming commonplace among all anglers—not just those who handle toothy fish. The polyurethane palm of the Sealskinz Solo UPF 50+ fishing glove is perfect for grabbing slimy specimens, and the step-finger design that leaves fingertips exposed so you can still detect bites. Single-layer construction is lightweight for hot days, and the stretchy back-of-hand dries quickly without restricting movement.

PROS

  • Lightweight design
  • Big sun protection factor
  • Hook-and-loop wrist fastener for custom fit
  • Padding in select areas for extra comfort

CONS

  • Only 1 color offering
  • A lanyard clip or D-ring would be nice to secure when not in use

BUY: Sealskinz Solo UPF 50+ Fishing Step-Finger Gloves

Sunglasses Strap - Chums Tideline Sunglasses Strap

Chums Tideline Sunglasses Strap

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Sunglasses are part of an essential kit for all fishermen, and losing them can spell disaster. The Chums Tideline Sunglasses Strap are ultra-lightweight, unobtrusive, secure, and adjustable. Rather than a floppy shoelace-style strap, these are made of rubber-coated stainless steel that stay off your back while you're wearing your shades.

Plus, they won’t get waterlogged or retain sweat stains and smells. The Tideline features two differently-sized silicone temples to fit just about any sunglasses out there.

PROS

  • "Forget-they're-on" lightweight-ness
  • Secure hold
  • Won't drape down your back
  • Adjustable fit

CONS

  • Stainless steel doesn't stretch
  • Slightly more expensive than most sunglass straps

BUY: Chums Tideline Sunglasses Strap

Kayak Fishing Anchor Kit - Seattle Sports Kayak Fishing Anchor Kit

Seattle Sports Kayak Fishing Anchor Kit

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Space is limited on a kayak, and you don't want to be weighed down by a bulky anchor. Seattle Sports' Kayak Fishing Anchor Kit features a two-pound grapple-style anchor that sinks quickly and holds fast in current. Deploying and retracting is a breeze thanks to the pulley-style action accommodated by two carabiners and 50-inches of nylon rope.

PROS

  • Easy to drop and raise
  • Comes with carrying case
  • Compact, folding design
  • Good value

CONS

  • An extra carabiner would be nice

BUY: Seattle Sports Kayak Fishing Anchor Kit

Lanyard - Angler's Accessories Mountain River Guide Lanyard

Angler's Accessories Mountain River Guide Lanyard

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As a fly fisherman, you need to be creative in terms of how you use your space to hold and access gear. Angler's Accessories' Mountain River Guide Lanyard is designed to save you space, time, and hassle on the water so you can catch, release, and get back in the action fast. Carry tippets, fly floatant, forceps, snips, and maybe even a good luck charm or two. Plus, the adjustable strap makes sure the lanyard stays put.

PROS

  • Versatile
  • Simple, effective design
  • Padded neck for comfort

CONS

  • Could use a retractable leash
  • Clips could be spaced farther apart

BUY: Angler's Accessories Mountain River Guide Lanyard

Rod Holder - RAM Fly Rod Holder

RAM Fly Rod Holder

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Lots of kayaks have rod holders, but few are made for fly rods. RAM has created a rod holder just for fly anglers who prefer to paddle. The Fly Rod Holder offers a fast-opening action that accommodates almost every reel size and closes securely for peace of mind when you're on the move. A ball-and-socket joint permits free movement until locked down and four screws can secure the holder almost anywhere on your 'yak. For those who like to get a little salty, all-composite construction is corrosion-free.

PROS

  • Cradles rod and reel with flip-lock action
  • Lightweight
  • Lots of adjustability for placement almost anywhere

CONS

  • Mounting base could be larger
  • Mounting hardware not included

BUY: RAM Fly Rod Holder

Net - Fishpond Nomad Emerger Net

Fishpond Nomad Emerger Net

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The Fishpond Nomad Emerger Net solves many gripes associated with landing nets. The frame is made of carbon fiber and fiberglass for a great blend of lightweight strength, and the handle is covered in Fishpond's RiverKoat finish that remains grippy when wet. As you're wading about, or if you happen to drop it, the Nomad Emerger Net is buoyant, and the rubberized netting is gentle on fish for healthy releases.

PROS

  • Fish-friendly construction and design
  • Buoyant
  • Replaceable, UV-resistant netting
  • Perfect size for most every riverine trout species

CONS

  • This much quality costs (buy once, cry once!)
  • Tether attachment point could use a swivel

BUY: Fishpond Nomad Emerger Net

Pullover - Simms SolarFlex Hooded Pull-over

Sims SolarFlex Hooded Pullover

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Simms is a pioneer in performance fabrics and was an early adopter of integrating sun protection right into garments. The SolarFlex Hooded Pullover starts with full UPF50 protection, keeps you cool with COR3 polyester that wicks moisture away from your skin, and adds in a dose of scent-reducing anti-funk finish so you don't end up smelling like your catch.

PROS

  • Lightweight design
  • Flat seams eliminate chafing
  • Longer cut for even greater coverage
  • 1-piece raglan sleeve for maximum range of motion and comfort

CONS

  • Could use a chest pocket

BUY: Simms SolarFlex Hooded Pull-over

Waders - Simms G3 Guide Stockingfoot Wader

Simms G3 Guide Stockingfoot Wader

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If you're looking for the best gift for a fly-fisherman, make sure you put the Simms G3 Guide Stockingfoot Waders on the list. These no-compromise waders were designed for those who make their living standing hip-deep in chilly streams, plus they deliver on comfort and ease of motion needed for long hours on the water.

Multiple layers of Gore-Tex with front and rear seams work together with built-in gravel guards to enhance durability while adjustable suspenders and belt give you that "just-right" fit.

PROS

  • Features and benefits to fit most every angler
  • Fleece-lined pockets to warm hands
  • Breathable suspender strap
  • Accessory mounting points
  • Wealth of size options

CONS

  • Full features means full price tag
  • We'd like to see a version cut specifically for females

BUY: Simms G3 Guide Stockingfoot Wader

Kayak - Old Town Sportsman Big Water Pedal Kayak

Old Town Sportsman Big Water Pedal Kayak

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When you can cover more water, you can catch more fish and the Old Town Sportsman Big Water Pedal Kayak is made to move. With pedal drive, a rudder, and a sleek, hydrodynamic hull, the Big Water makes getting to the next hotspot faster and easier than ever.

Inside the Big Water is a wide-open layout, flush-mounted rod holders, an ample weatherproof bow compartment and a plush, oversized chair with a breathable back for year-round comfort.

PROS

  • Big feature set for a good value
  • Ergonomic and angler-centric layout
  • EVA foam deck pads help create traction when stand-up fishing
  • Mounting options for shallow-water anchors and transducers
  • Lifetime hull warranty

CONS

  • Could use a couple more rod holders
  • A quick-access under seat tackle stow would be nice

BUY: Old Town Sportsman Big Water Pedal Kayak

Rod & Reel Combo - TFO NXT Black Label Kit

TFO NXT Black Label Kit

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TFO's NXT Black Label fly rod kit is designed for those looking to get into the fly game or add to their rod lineup. The NXT Black Label Kit includes a reel with both five-weight and eight-weight four-piece rods that are designed for easy casting and sensitivity. These do-all weights have you covered in both fresh and saltwater.

Anodized, stainless steel, and chromium-impregnated materials keep corrosion at bay. We also like how the reel features a stout disc drag system and skeletonized construction that keeps weight to a minimum.

PROS

  • Perfect combo for beginners in fresh or saltwater
  • Custom carrying case
  • Eye-catching design
  • Reconstituted cork handle
  • Comes with fly line and tippet

CONS

  • Length (9') could be a bit much for smaller streams
  • Action could be more refined for tiny flies

BUY: TFO NXT Black Label Kit

Wading Boot - Simms Flyweight Wading Boot

Simms Flyweight Wading Boot

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Simms' Flyweight Wading Boot strikes a balance between wading boot and hiking boot for comfort on longer hikes in. The Vibram outsole gives sure grip in the river and on the trail with superior puncture resistance. Plus, we like how the upper is welded for increased abrasion resistance and the ankle offers extra support against rolls.

PROS

  • Lightweight construction
  • Stud compatibility
  • Excellent grip in and out of the water

CONS

  • Lace eyelets could be reinforced
  • No half-sizes available

BUY: Simms Flyweight Wading Boot

Flies - Montana Fly Company Para-Wulff

Montana Fly Company Para-Wulff

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Even the best-laid plans are subject to failure, and when they're simply not hitting what they should be, the Montana Fly Company Para-Wullf gives the fish a different look. These dry flies sit high on the surface imitating a freshly hatched insect, tempting fish to slurp them up. This 12-pack is a great idea to have—or give—as a backup when Plan A doesn't materialize.

PROS

  • Quality components
  • Versatile size
  • Broad appeal

CONS

  • Only 1 size in the 12-pack

BUY: Montana Fly Company Para-Wulff

Hat - Rep Your Water Shallow Cruiser Unstructured Hat

Rep Your Water Shallow Cruiser Unstructured Hat

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Show 'em what you're after with the Rep Your Water Shallow Cruiser hat. This unstructured hat depicts what many fly anglers are after: a trout cruising for his next meal in shallow water.

A five-panel design means the front panel lacks a seam that would break up the image. Eco-Twill material is designed for colorfast longevity.

PROS

  • Unique, eye-catching design
  • 5-panel construction sets it apart
  • Natural, khaki color

CONS

  • Some might prefer a flat bill
  • Not as light or cool as modern performance fabrics

BUY: Rep Your Water Shallow Cruiser Unstructured Hat

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