Rods and reels should not be purchased as gifts for men if the person doing the buying is not familiar with the different styles and brands. However, tackle is an excellent gift and requires nowhere near the amount of knowledge to buy that other fishing gifts do. A new tackle box is a fine choice, especially if the man's old one is beginning to show wear and tear.
Lures for different fish species are available in kits; crappie kits, trout kits and bass kits are common ones. These kits contain a variety of different artificial baits such as plastic worms and spinning lures that the fisherman will employ in pursuit of his favorite species. Bass fishermen always need extra lures such as spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, crankbaits and spoons. Any tackle shop will have plenty of choices. Items like fishing line are better left to the experts, but things like sinkers, hooks, leaders and bobbers often get lost and need replenishing, making them part of a good gift.
Tools and Apparel
The tools of a fisherman are many and varied, ranging from pliers to scales. Digital fishing scales that can give exact weights when someone catches a fish worth weighing come in different styles, but one of the best is the kind that can grip the fish by the mouth and then give a reading. These are available at tackle shops and websites such as Bass Pro Shops for under $70, and will elicit the right response when they are opened. Lure retrievers, portable barometers, hook-removers, umbrellas, fishing-themed shirts, hats, and rain gear will all be used by the average fisherman, regardless of what type of fishing he does. Waders for fisherman make sense if fly fishing is his forte, as does a fly fishing vest, which is used to carry all of the man's tackle as he travels up and down streams and rivers.
Ice Fishing Gifts
Ice fishermen can be hard to buy for if you have little knowledge of this sport, but there are some gifts that can always make sense for such an angler. Ice fishing tip-ups--devices that are put over a hole in the ice that have a reel on one end and a flag that alerts the man to a biting fish on the opposite one--are inexpensive, costing as little as $10. These come in many forms and shapes, and would be appreciated by any ice fisherman that receives them.
Personal flotation devices and entire suits that can be worn to keep someone from going under should he fall through the ice could be the gift that saves a life for the ice fisherman. Bait buckets, folding chairs, and portable propane grills also are great gifts for someone that ventures out on the ice. So is a specially made sled that can carry all the equipment, but the ultimate gift for the ice fisherman would be a fish finder, which can be used to locate fish under the ice. However, such a gift would more than likely require the input of the fisherman himself or someone with a good awareness of how these devices work so the correct model will be purchased. An electric or gas-powered ice auger, which can drill a hole through the ice effortlessly, is also a similar gift that should not be bought by someone without the benefit of the expertise of an ice fisherman to go by.