Game & Fish’s Father’s Day Gift Guide includes great gifts that we have used and know would make great gifts for Dad.
PENN’s Conflict II Spinning Reel
The Conflict II family of inshore-dedicated reels is PENN’s lightest ever, and is 20 percent lighter than the previous generation.
Comes in six sizes — from the 1000 ultralight (6.3 ounces, 12-pound max drag) to the 5000 (14.4 ounces, 20-pound max drag) — all with a 7+1 sealed a stainless steel ball-bearing system, a durable and lightweight Rigid Resin RR30 body and rotor, smooth and strong CNC Gear technology, carbon-fiber drag washers, and much more. See more in this YouTube video.
A standout reel with lightweight braided line; the Leveline slow-oscillation system ensures braids lie properly on the spool, and results in longer casts. If you’re inshore or near shore, the Conflict II reel will tackle it all — redfish, trout, striped bass, snook, cobia, and more. And, if you’re a bass angler, the 2500 model (specs) will get ‘er done.
$149.95-$199.95 | pennfishing.com
onX Hunt Maps Elite
There’s nothing more frustrating than being out hunting in new terrain, looking down at your phone for a map, and getting nothing because you are out of cell range. One solution comes from onX, an app made for exploring. Before you go, you can create maps with the features you want, like wilderness areas, access points and satellite imagery, and then save the map to your phone.
The app uses the GPS in your phone and then pinpoints your position over your saved map. It tracks you, no cell reception required, and lets you check out the area via topo maps, satellite imagery or any of the other 12 types of map layers you have downloaded. The app is free, but you’ll want to add features (prices are free for a trial of seven days to $119.99 per year). The Elite subscription will get you access to maps of all 50 states.
$99.99/year | Onxmaps.com
Abu Garcia Revo Winch
As the name implies, this reel is a tug, with its low, 4.7:1 gear ratio. Game & Fish put the Winch to the test last fall at Lake El Salto, Mexico, taking advantage of its ability to slow down presentations. The reel excelled, providing powerful control while on the business end of two 8-pound-plus largemouth bass that fell for a soft-plastic stick bait.
The slow gear ratio is the key selling feature of the Winch. However, other admirable features include 8+1 stainless steel bearings, AMGearing system with precision-machined gears, a carbon body and a machined aluminum braid-ready spool. The Revo retrieves smoothly, and the front-reel drag adjustment is easily accessible when battling oversized fish.
The Winch lets you slow down and fish a variety of finesse techniques with power and control. It excels for those situations when only spinning gear makes sense, like when throwing small crankbaits in cold water, or while fishing downsized swimbaits or those wildly popular spy baits.
$159.95 | abugarcia.com
BioLite’s CampStove 2
There’s no shortage of charging devices to amp up electronics. But when was the last time you topped off your cellphone using fire?
Well, the BioLite CampStove 2 is both a camp stove and a portable charging device. No kidding.
To operate, you simply load the stove with sticks and twigs. An internal fan creates a smokeless fire, which burns hot and is capable of cooking a small meal or boiling water quickly (1 liter in 4.5 minutes).
While burning, the stove generates 5V of power, which is available through a USB port, through a process called thermoelectrics (current is generated by heat differentials through a thermocouple). For “fire-free” charging, the inboard battery provides 2600 mAh of power.
The CampStove 2 comes with four foldable legs, which nest nicely, a protective heat shield and a scalloped pot stand that accommodates camp cookware. At 2 pounds, the unit is relatively light and compact, making it a handy carry on hikes or backwoods excursions where power is at a premium.
$130 | bioliteenergy.com
Primos’ Proof Gen3
This trail cam bills itself as one of the easiest of all to set up. It took us less than 2 minutes to install the SD card, batteries, update time-and-date stamp and start taking photos.
On a tree, the cam worked as claimed, and picked up every major movement in front of the sensor. Day and evening photos were crisp.
We strapped it to a tree, spread out a few bags of attractant and got lots of good photos.
And, if you set the cam up in a target-rich environment, consider a lower-resolution setting because even a 32-gig card can fill up quickly with a lot of activity.
You might say we got too much of a good thing!
$149 | primos.com
TenPoint Nitro X
Our own John Geiger, editor-in-chief of Game & Fish Magazine and Crossbow Revolution Magazine, shares his best-of-show pick from the ATA (Archery Trade Association) 2018 Show – the TenPoint NITRO X crossbow.
Crossbows are quickly growing in the archery market, spurred on by new innovations. The Nitro X is stable, compact and reliable. The bow is a mere 12 inches wide, 7 inches wide when cocked, and very friendly in a tree stand — you won’t catch it on limbs.
There are many great crossbows out there on the market, but “this one got me,” said Geiger, referring to the crossbow models shown at ATA. It’s also pretty cool.
$2,049.99 | tenpointcrossbows.com
This sight takes the science of red-dot scopes to the next level.
Light and rugged, the Miniature Rifle Optic is tough enough for combat yet perfect for turkey hunting. It mounts easily, zeros quickly and is waterproof to 100 feet.
The MRO’s large objective lens and shortened optical length almost eliminate the tunnel vision or tube effect common with many red dots, and its 2-MOA dot is bright, crisp and perfectly sized for quick target acquisition.
The sight features eight brightness settings and provides five years of continuous use from a 2032 battery. It’s parallax free, with infinite eye relief for quick, accurate engagement.
$579 | trijicon.com
Cuda’s Titanium Bonded Braid Shear
A must-have for any angler who uses a lot of braided fishing line — freshwater or saltwater — is a good pair of shears.
Any angler who forgot the braided-line cutter at home, or doesn’t even have one, wishes they have one nearby when re-tying.
Cuda’s 5.5″ Titanium Bonded Large Braid Shear fits the need very well. Large, non-slip handles allows great control, and the dual-serrated, stainless-steel titanium-bonded blades are tough, sharp and leaves a clean cut — even on mono.
Easy to wrap up for Father’s Day, too.
$9 | cudabrand.com
Plano’s Field Locker
The Model 109160 Field Locker Waterproof Ammo Box shares the familiar architecture and interior dimensions of the popular Model 1612 Ammo Box, but has been upgraded to the military-grade performance specs of their premium Field Locker Series.
Measures 17×8.7×10.9 inches and is rugged as heck.
$74 | planomolding.com
Lew’s Mach Crush Speed Spool SLP
Lew’s is the comeback kid, having gone from essentially a mothballed brand into a widely-respected player in this highly competitive market. The new Lew’s are functional, durable and dependable. The Crush is an orange-accented beauty, one which makes a statement.
This Lew’s turns smoothly on 10 bearings with a fast 7.5:1 gear ratio. With its bling, you may find yourself the talk of fashion conscious tournament anglers.
The Crush has a 20-pound carbon drag system, which means you can muscle the biggest fish out there. A 95mm bowed handle with Winn Dri-Tac knobs keep you glued to the grip whether it’s raining or you’re pouring sweat.
While the Crush has the strength to sling a big deep-diving crankbait or flip a one-ounce tungsten weight all day, it’s surprisingly agile and capable with much lighter lures.
$159.99 | lews.com
Savage’s Model 110 AccuFit
A rifle that properly fits the shooter is more comfortable to shoot, thus making it easier to maintain proper form. That’s ultimately what was behind Savage’s re-introduced Model 110 with a revolutionary new stock system called the AccuFit.
Available in numerous variations and calibers — including left-hand models — the Model 110 with AccuFit comes with four buttstock inserts and five comb risers for customizing the fit of the rifle to pretty much anyone’s needs, regardless of size.
Each comb insert increases height by 1/8 inch for a range up to 5/8 inches, while the buttstock inserts increase in 1/4-inch increments to change the length of pull by one full inch, with different screws for each that are changed via a Philips head screwdriver.
The new rifle is available in 11 different chambering options (from .223 Rem up to 300 Win Mag).
$849 | savagearms.com
Worksharp Pocket Knife Sharpener
Pair the new hunting blade with the Pocket Knife Sharpener from the manufacturer who knows a little something about a keen edge: Work Sharp. This lightweight, packable tool is made to fit easily in a pocket or pack. The built-in guides are dummy-proof, guaranteeing you’ll put a razor-sharp edge on your blade using the diamond sharpening plate and ceramic honing rod.
$15 | worksharptools.com
Yo-Zuri’s Knuckle Bait 3DB
If you’re looking for a Father’s Day gift for an angler who’s always up for something different, give this one a look-see.
The unusual spinnerbait-style lure is a one-of-a-kind not many of Dad’s friends have in their tackle boxes.
The wirebait looks like a spinnerbait, with one exception: a plastic ball is attached where spinner blades would normally be. The result is a wobbling, erratic action — “much like a knuckleball thrown from the pitchers’ mound,” Yo-Zuri says.
The balls come in two styles: a 3D prism pattern for flash, and a painted “sound ball” for sound.
$8 | yo-zuri.com
Navionics Boating App
While smartphones help us navigate our hectic, day-to-day lives, they’re also a valuable tool out on the water.
The Navionics Boating app will help you squeeze more enjoyment from your time afloat and, ultimately, put more fish in the boat.
Navionics Boating provides detailed topographical maps with contour lines displayed in one-foot resolution (with the ability to overlay satellite and terrain information).
As they can with a console-mounted unit, fishermen can use this information to locate potential hotspots and navigate there via the GPS function.
Waypoints can be stored, letting you save your top-secret spots, as well as points of interest.
Navionics Boating keeps boaters abreast of weather conditions, with detailed forecasts that include wind conditions, tides, currents, temperature, air pressure, visibility, precipitation and sun/moon cycles.
The app syncs to Wi-Fi compatible dash-mounted electronics (Raymarine, Lowrance, Simrad and B&G), transferring such information as routes, waypoints,
$9.99 (at Google Play or App Store) | navionics.com
Rumpl’s Down Puffy
Yes, that’s the actual name, Down Puffy. But we must say, it is incredibly comfy and “Down Puffy” is a pretty good description. It’s made for the road and can be smashed down into its 7×7-inch travel bag and easily stowed. Take it out in the truck or in the tent for a serious comfy rest. Grey duck down. Nylon shell. 1.4 pounds, which seems like a lot for a blanket, but you might thank us.
$149 | rumpl.com
ThermaCell MR450 Repeller
If they don’t have a ThermaCell, get ‘em one for Father’s Day.
The popular ThremaCell portable repeller runs $24.99-$34.99 is a great gift for someone who usually lathers on bug goop.
Spring and summer bugs can be insane, and they’ve been known to ruin a perfectly good hunt prematurely.
$34.99 | thermacell.com
Contributing: John Geiger, Dr. Todd A. Kuhn, Pete Robbins, Paul Rackley, Thomas Allen, Scott Bernarde