This is the time of year when anglers start to look for new quality gear to buy. We reached out to some of our key TeamWhyKnot Captains and TeamWhyKnot Members to see what were some of their favorite fishing items that they would recommend to other anglers. From rods, reels, lures, and fishing accessories, to cold weather gear, safety gear, sunglasses and footwear.
This list has something for all different type of anglers both spin and fly, in freshwater or saltwater. We hope you enjoy our fist annual Holiday Gift Guide, and find something that you like and may have not thought of before, or just needed the extra nudge or recommendation to give you the push to buy it for yourself or someone else.
Patrick Barone, of Early Rise Outfitters, is an avid trout fisherman from Western, Massachusetts. He recommends the new Orvis Recon : 10-ft 3-weight fly rod.
“This rod is brand new to the market. I got my hands on one to use as a euro-nymphing set up, and I am in love! It’s light in hand, ultra-sensitive, and loads to cast easily, even when no fly line is out. It has made me able to feel EVERY bite my fly gets, and has quickly improved my euro-nymphing results.
Mike Taylor, who is a multi-species angler in both salt and freshwater, and also from Western, Massachusetts, and he recommends the Redington Crosswater Fly Rod.
“It is the 3rd fly rod I have owned, and I currently have two; a 5-wt and a 9-wt. I have pushed both to the literal limits, and back and they keep asking for more! They are fast action, launch flies, and offer a great fight at an affordable price. The 5-wt I have caught everything from Panfish, Pickerel, Northern Pike, Walleye, Smallmouth, Largemouth, all the way to a 27-inch Striper in CT River current that hit backing 3 times! The 9-wt I had has withstood even more of a beating from the same species and cranked it up to my personal best 49-inch 35lb 13oz Striper, that fought for 24 minutes in CT River current. The rod is built “fish -tough!” :)”
Ben Whitehead, is also a multi-species angler in both salt and freshwater, and does most of his fishing in Maine. He suggests the Redington Dually Fly Rod.
“I own this rod at a 7-wt and it is amazing. Casts both spey/switch and over head great. Great feel with the mid-sized Striped Bass, but has the ability to turn and the big girls! This rod has a great feel, great price and would be a great addition to any fly angler’s arsenal!”
Joe Diorio, is a multi-species angler from Connecticut who fishes in both fresh and salt, but most often can be found out on his boat in Long Island Sound catching large Striped Bass. His recommendation is the Lamiglas Tri Flex TFX 7240 C.
“If you’re looking for a Live Bait Striper rod then look no further! This rod is the best investment you can ever make when looking for an inshore saltwater rod that is highly capable of trophy fish and tough conditions. This rod has cork handles and BNOG black stainless steel guides, with aluminum oxide rings. The construction is built to handle both braid and mono, as well as super aggressive fish. I have caught fish up to 50+lbs on this rod, and it has handled them perfectly.”
Sean Kearney, currently lives in Oregon targeting mostly freshwater species, but spent the last summer in New England targeting many saltwater species as well. He suggests the Cheeky Fishing CYDRO 4500 Spinning Reel.
“This reel can do it all! Lightweight, smooth and stylish, this has been my go-to spinning reel this year. I have landed Striped Bass in New England up to 49″, as well as feisty Long Island Sound False Albacore. And now I am catching powerful Winter Steelhead on the Oregon Coast with this reel. No angler will be disappointed!”
Anthony Powell, is a multi-species saltwater angler from the North Shore of Massachusetts, and he recommends the 247 Lures Elite Mully.
“This lure is amazing because it catches the attention of large fish when nothing else will. It has an unmatched walking action for its size, and is sold at an affordable price point. When targeting Striped Bass and Bluefish this is my automatic go to lure. Of any artificial this past year, the Mully produced the largest amount of large fish for me, and produced regardless of the conditions, day or night. Quite literally, I always have one tied on when I go out!”
Steve Littlefield, is a freshwater fisherman from the South Shore of Massachusetts, mainly targeting big Largemouth Bass. He recommends BICO Jigs.
“BICO Jigs are a necessity for any bass fisherman/woman to keep in their box. Whether you are a recreational, or tournament fisherman, these should be fully stocked in your tackle box on all colors offered! They are extremely snag resistant, and as a bonus, are also lead-free. Check out the BICO website and be sure to take advantage of the holiday package being offered!”
COLD WEATHER GEAR
The StormR Strykr Jacket was recommended by both Jesse Minoski and Max Dispoto. Both Jesse and Max are hard core mutli-species anglers in both fresh and salt water all around New England; and they both love their Strykr jackets!
Jesse says, “I have fished my Strykr jacket now for the last three seasons. It is by far the best jacket I have had on the water! From Steelhead in Pulaski to Tuna fishing offshore, this jacket has kept me dry and warm, time and time again. Light weight, comfortable, and water resistant it continues to stand up to the punishment! For the angler that fishes hard this is perfect jacket to cover all of the types and styles they can throw at it!”
Max says, “1. This jacket is lighter, thinner, and in my opinion looks better than any other foul weather jacket out there.
2. The jacket is great for people who like to fish in cold weather, rain, and snow.
3. This jacket had been a complete game changer for me over the past couple of years. Before this jacket I wouldn’t want to go fishing in cold-weather months as much as I do now, but with this jacket I have been in -11° wind chill ice fishing, and I wasn’t cold one bit. Beside the fact that it keeps me warm it stays waterproof forever and you will never get wet while wearing it.”
Both Ryan Larkum and Tom Robbins stress the importance of having great gloves while fishing in the cold weather months. Ryan is a multi-species angler in both fresh and saltwater from Connecticut and Tom is primarily a fly fisherman targeting freshwater species in Massachusetts.
Tom says of his Simms gloves, “If you’re like me, fishing is a year round pursuit. Cold weather won’t stop me from getting out there, but I need gear that will keep me warm on the water. If you are serious about winter fishing, these are a must. Keeps you warm (even when wet), yet maintains a firm grip on your rod every cast.”
Mike Trifiletti, is from Upstate New York and typically targets Trout and Salmon all year long. He highly recommends his Polar Buff.
“A Polar Buff is a must for any cold weather angling. Polar buffs have a a micro fleece liner that keeps your face warm, and protects from frigid winds. Buffs are a versatile products as they cover your neck, face, ears, and head. Winter fishing is much more manageable with the Polar Buff.”
Alicia Rossman, is a freshwater and saltwater multi-species angler and she suggest both the MTI Helios 2.0 inflatable PFD and the PFDiva.
“I kayak fish a lot and safety is important when I’m on the water. The Helios 2.0 PFD is inflatable so I wear that most of the time when kayak fishing for comfort and mobility. The PFDiva is great for a woman’s body if you don’t want to go with the inflatable. This company is my favorite for PFDs so far! Extremely comfortable, durable and not to mention stylish!”
Sunglasses are an important tool for all fishermen and women to have. By far and away the most effective and stylish fishing sunglasses our team suggests are Costa Sunglasses. Without prompting five of our awesome anglers all replied to the prompt of a Holiday Gift Suggestion with “Costas!”
Shawn Barham, from Connecticut, fishes for mostly saltwater species from his Hobie Pro Angler and notes that they are very much needed for all the long days he spends on the water. Whether it be for spotting birds in the distance, or fish to target in the shallows.
Mike Kelley, is also from Connecticut, and also fishes for mostly saltwater species. His favorite style Costas are the Caballito – 580G Lens.
“I do NOT leave the house with out my Costa Sunglasses. As soon as I am out of the door, it’s Costa time! Whether I am just going to work, or headed out on the water for the day, I always have on my Costa’s. The Caballito Frame fits perfectly with a Why Knot Fishing Hat, and the 580G lenses are worth every penny since their clarity is unbelievable!! These sunglasses are a must have for any angler and/or anyone looking for the best pair of sunglasses available today.”
Jeff Lomonaco, does most of his fishing on Long Island in saltwater, but also pursues Steelhead around the Northeast. His preferred frames are the Motu – 580G Lens.
“These glasses are some of the best I’ve used. Being able to see fish gives you the edge in a lot of situations in both fresh and saltwater fly fishing. Whether it’s looking for Stripers cruising the edge of the beach, or Steelhead sitting in the tail of a pool, these things have helped me immensely. Without my glasses, there would be a lot fish that I would have overlooked because I couldn’t see them due to glare and lack of bottom contrast. I haven’t found any sunglasses better than these that help to take away glare and give better contrast than that of Costa Del Mar, especially with the 580G lenses. The green mirror lenses are an awesome choice for shallow water fishing, and the Motu have definitely become one of my favorite frame styles.”
Ben Whalley, is an avid fly fisherman and guide from Maine and he recommends the Jose – 580G Lens.
“These sunglasses have allowed me to spot fish before they spot me. Best sunglasses I’ve owned hands down and one of the staples I cannot leave home without! Great gift for the avid outdoorsman/fisherman.”
Jenny Tatelman, is a multi-species angler in both fresh and saltwater for many different species. She recommends her favorite Copra – 580G (green lens.)
“Perfect for fresh or saltwater fishing. Ladies (& gentlemen) you’ll be amazed the difference it makes once you switch over to a polarized lens. Love these Costas for functionality and style. Definitely would recommend for any angler!”
FISHING TOOLS & ACCESSORIES
Matt Zimmermann, is a multi-species angler from the North Shore of Massachusetts, and he recommends the YETI Hopper Flip 12.
“The Yeti Hopper is the perfect gift. This cooler is expensive, but built to last, and goes with me everywhere I go. From being on my kayak all night, to boat days, to football tailgates, I always have it. The Hopper flip is the perfect travel size, keeps drinks and food cold for days, and overall will not disappoint!”
Cody Rubner, is a multi-species angler from Maine, and recommends the YETI Rambler 36-oz.
“I recently added the 36-oz stainless steel YETI Rambler Bottle to my arsenal after Cheeky Fishing’s #InstaBassClassic and it has been really useful! When preparing for a rainy day on the boat or taking on the ice, I’ll brew up some coffee or microwave a couple of cans of soup for the Rambler. Towards the end of a long, cold day its nice to have something I can rely on for warm beverage after hours in the cold. I would recommend this for anyone who is willing to push the limits when defining “suitable fishing weather”!”
Bobby Nagy, fishes primarily from his Hobie Kayak for Striped Bass and he recommends Plano Waterproof Stowaway Tackle Box.
“Anyone who fishes a saltwater environment knows that corrosion is inevitable in one way or another. Plano’s waterproof tackle boxes provide an inexpensive way for me to protect my hooks and swivels from accidental exposure to the elements. For a kayak and boat angler such as myself it is a comfortable feeling knowing that if I ever have to rearrange or tie a rig, the terminal tackle will be always be strong, sharp and corrosion free.”
Keith Lee, is a multi-species angler in both fresh and saltwater from Connecticut. He suggests his Pelican Headlamp.
“Doing as much night fishing as I do you need a reliable light. Pelicans are brighter then any others and can handle a beating! Also, they can hold up against rain.”
Will Beringer, is a multi-species saltwater angler currently living in North Carolina. He recommends a “Knog Kudos” Waterproof Action Video Light.
“If you fish at night, this is the light to bring for some night shots of your catch, or for just seeing your way in the dark. The light easily mounts to your GoPro or DSLR Camera and allows you to take videos/pics at night, and has several settings for brightness”
Both Will “DaBeast” Rigo and Tony Gugino recommend having a good pair of pliers or hemostats on hand. Tony and Will are both mostly freshwater fisherman with Tony fishing in Connecticut and Will fishing in Ohio. For a great plier that is small enough for trout, but also effective on larger fish we suggest the Cheeky Fishing 550 Pliers.
Tony says, “My pliers are great for safely rigging lures or baits, but come in most handy when trying to safely release fish, while also not hooking yourself!”
Will says, “Hemostats are a must-have stream side! Trout fisherman often use very small hooks, and these fish are often known to swallow the bait or take it deep in there mouths. Hemostats allow for safe hook removal from the bony mouths of Steelhead…and from the delicate mouths of stocked/inland trout. I recommend a pair that have scissors built in towards the bottom just in case cutting the hook if swallowed to deep is necessary. A lanyard also pairs nicely with the hemostats allowing them to be handy when you need them the most. A good lanyard also makes it easy to display your fishing licenses, which is required in some states. And you can also attach small tubes of split shot, tubes of trout beads/pegs. It allows you a retie or a bead/bait change to happen quickly while avoiding fumbling through the pockets of vests and endless gear bags. These are just a few of my must haves stream side. And are also fairly inexpensive!
Zak Dunsavage, is primarily a saltwater surf fisherman from New Jersey, and he recommends a Boga Grip.
“Boga grips and great and easy for weighing fish. Very convenient in size and is easy to pack in your bag or attach to you waders. Its also great being able to see how much your fish weighs without having to kill it and bring it a tackle shop to have it weighed. Great buy for anyone that loves fishing especially catch and release fisherman.”
Taylor Feuti, is from Southern Maine and fishes both freshwater and saltwater for many species. He recommends the Korkers Buckskin Wading Boot.
“Ever have a great day on the water only to be ruined by slippery rocks and a broken rod? Having the proper footwear is key when hunting midnight Linesiders or throwing streamers to hungry Trout. The best upgrade I made to my gear this year was a pair of Korkers Buckskin Wading Boots. These boots are lightweight and comfortable, they come with an interchangeable sole allowing you to pick the right tool for the job. These boots have been punished all season without any damage. I use to be weary of jumping from rock to rock whether it was in the surf or on my favorite trout stream, but now with the confidence I have in these boots, I have been able to safely go to spots I only dreamed of getting to before.”
Joe Gugino, is from the North Shore and fishes both fresh and saltwater, but mainly targets inshore saltwater species. His recommendation are the XtraTuf 6-in ankle boot.
“Before finding these boots I either wore boat shoes on deck or knee high boots, neither of which seemed to be the best for warm weather fishing. The boat shoes were comfortable, but got soaked on deck, and the knee high boots were water proof, but weren’t the most comfortable or cool in shorts. From the first time I wore the 6-inch Ankle Boot they quickly became my favorite pair of fishing footwear. They are easy to slip on or off, but stay firm once they are on. They are also completely waterproof, and cool. And most importantly they have amazing traction and are comfortable enough to wear sunrise to sunset!”