I often get asked what would make a good gift for an angler, by family relations who don’t know too much about angling and don’t want to buy the wrong thing.
With so many different branches of our sport, the selection of equipment available in tackle shops is bewildering.
There’s no point in buying a selection of dry flies for a barbel fisherman, just as a roach fisherman wouldn’t appreciate a handful of 5oz feeders more suitable for the River Trent.
Without getting too specific, I’ve collated a list of basic items that should be appreciated by the fishing fanatic, without breaking the bank.
Firstly for the coarse or bait angler: a big dispenser of split shot is always welcome, it’s a necessity everyone needs. Go for really soft shot if you can find it.
Anglers can never have enough floats, so a good selection is a sure winner: a couple of crystal wagglers in different sizes, a few pole floats and a selection of dibbers won’t go amiss in any tackle box and are always welcome.
Ready tied hooks to nylon are a great standby; look at sizes 14 to 20 for everyday fishing, barbless is the best choice.
Don’t forget bait boxes are always handy, check out the sturdy Fox series in one, two and three pint sizes.
The fly fisherman is a little more difficult to buy for, but a good fly line cleaner is always useful.
A selection of tapered leaders is a good idea and don’t forget fly-fishers never have enough fly boxes!
Showy wooden presentation boxes down to small pocket-sized plastic boxes are always appreciated - and they will get filled!
A stainless steel thermos flask is something all anglers need, don’t buy the glass liner variety though, they always get broken sooner or later.
Neoprene fingerless gloves are a Godsend on cold winter days, as is a good pair of knee-length thermal socks.
A subscription to an angling publication is a sure winner, from nationals like Angling Times and Anglers Mail to our local publication the Angling Star, always appreciated and will last for a full year.
If you really want to push the boat out, try clicking to medlarpress.com and check out the leather-bound editions of classic angling books.
There’s a great selection, they make a good read, are nice to hold - and will only appreciate in value.
My favourite author is Chris Yates, with ‘Casting at the Sun; and ‘Falling in Again’ both being great reads… just in case Santa visits this column!