Skip to main content

Must-Have Gear for Your Favorite Angler

Have an angling enthusiast on your Christmas shopping list this holiday season? Then keep in mind that these gift ideas are sure to brighten up a fisherman's life as family and friends gather around this December!

Must-Have Fishing Gear for the Angler on Your Christmas Gift List

After the leftover turkey, dressing, and pumpkin and pecan pies have been dutifully put away, the post-Thanksgiving Day activity of browsing through the Black Friday and Cyber Monday holiday shopping ads is one of the time-honored traditions in my family.

With two college aged sons who love to hunt and fish, they’re quick to sit around watching a Turkey Day football game along with pointing out potential gift ideas to anyone who might be watching and listening, especially jolly old St. Nick.

If you – or Santa Claus – need a few gift ideas for the fishermen on your holiday gift list this year, look no further than these great possibilities from Academy Sports + Outdoors. From anglers seeking largemouth and smallmouth bass to inshore saltwater fishermen looking for redfish and speckled trout to panfish enthusiasts seeking a limit of bluegills or crappie for the fish fryer, there’s no shortage of angling gift options this holiday season:

Shimano Curado DC Baitcast Reel ($249.99, pictured above): Who needs visions of sugar plums this December when there are top-of-the-line gifts for Santa to give like the Shimano Curado DC Baitcast Reel ? From big pre-spawn largemouth bass on a southern reservoir to giant wintertime bull redfish along the Gulf Coast to a fired-up musky somewhere up north next summer, this is one fishing gift that is all but guaranteed to put a big smile on an angler’s face come Christmas morning.

A smooth caster with seven ball bearings, the Curado DC is a tough-as-nails reel constructed with an aluminum frame and a carbon-infused composite side plate. Add in Shimano’s Digital Control braking system – it actually relies on a microcomputer to stay on top of the reel’s spool speed up to 1,000 times per second – and this is an angler’s dream.

Maximizing distance, minimizing backlash, and rugged enough to use every day in freshwater or saltwater applications, this 7.8-ounce reel can help make any bass angler’s or saltwater angler’s fish catching hopes come true after the New Year.  

Abu Garcia Revo x Nano 7-ft M Freshwater Baitcast Rod and Reel Combo ($199.99): If you’ve got an aspiring angler on your holiday shopping list, getting them a new rod or a new reel is a great idea. While either one is sure to draw a smile and a hearty “Thank You!” why not get both at the same time…without breaking the bank?

If that sounds like a good idea, you can hardly go wrong on Christmas morning with the Abu Garcia Revo x Nano 7-ft M Freshwater Baitcast Rod and Reel Combo sitting under the tree.

This package deal starts with a 7-foot long medium action All Star Nano casting rod that features eight line guides plus the tip and a Winn Grip handle that brings a secure grip while measuring 9-3/4-inches in length. Add in the Revo 4X high-speed reel from Abu Garcia and the package gets even sweeter thanks to the X2Craftic alloy frame construction.

With a line capacity of up to 140-yards of 30-pound braided line, the addition of eight ball bearings brings smooth casting. Add in a 7.3:1 gear ratio and a Carbon Matrix hybrid drag system, and this rod-and-reel combo can help an angler hook and land the lunker bass of a lifetime.
Abu Garcia Revo x Nano 7-ft M Freshwater Baitcast Rod and Reel Combo

Lew’s MACH 1 Speed Spool 7-ft MH Freshwater Baitcast Rod and Reel Combo ($199.99): Fishing gear is a great gift idea for the anglers that you are shopping for this holiday season. But finding a rod-and-reel that match up well can be a challenge, especially for those who don’t get out onto the water much. So why not take all of the guess work out of the process and bring home a ready-made combo package from Academy Sports + Outdoors?

Take, for instance, the Lew’s MACH 1 Speed Spool 7-ft MH Freshwater Baitcast Rod and Reel Combo, a great gift idea for the angler looking forward to Christmas morning.

With buttery smooth, high speed operation, this baitcaster reel is a winner thanks to a magnetic multi-setting brake system, 10 stainless steel ball bearings, and double shielded bearings and a Zero Reverse 1-way clutch system. Add in big custom paddle knobs on the reel’s handle and the ability to hold up to 150-yards of 12-pound test line, and there’s little doubt that Lew’s has hit another homerun with the MACH 1.

Couple that winning reel with a seven-foot medium-heavy casting rod, and the combination gets even better thanks to IM8 graphite blank construction, a split grip made of high-density EVA foam, and 9 stainless steel line guides plus the tip – each with line protecting aluminum oxide inserts, by the way – and this Lew’s rod-and-reel deal is hard to beat. Finish up with a one-year limited warranty on the package in general, on parts, and on labor, and this baitcasting combo might be the gift-giving hit of the season for jolly old St. Nick.
Lew’s MACH 1 Speed Spool 7-ft MH Freshwater Baitcast Rod and Reel Combo
Old Town Vapor 10 Kayak ($499.99): For the angler who already has everything – rods, reels, and a garage full of line and lures – why not give them a brand-new way to get out on the water this next year to chase the big fish of their dreams?

While picking the right kayak can be a chore, the sales associates at Academy Sports + Outdoors are old pros at selling great fishing models like the Old Town Vapor 10 Kayak.

At 10-feet in length, this sit-inside kayak is small enough to carry in the back of a pickup truck while offering a sizable platform that anglers can easily paddle lengthy distances to get where the fish are biting. With a large and comfy cockpit, an adjustable seat, plenty of storage space in the stern tankwell, and a built-in holder for the Carlisle Day Tripper paddle (included), there’s little wonder why Old Town continues to be one of the most trusted names in the canoe and kayak industry.

Thanks to other features like an Outfitter Universal personal floatation device (PFD), a Glide track footbrace system, carrying handles, a cockpit tray and beverage holder, a drain plug, and a skid plate, and there is little doubt that this is a great fishing platform on both fresh and saltwater.

Just be careful that you don’t knock the tree over on the night of Christmas Eve when you put a big red bow on it.
Old Town Vapor 10 Kayak

Magellan Outdoors Men’s Laguna Madre Solid Short Sleeve Fishing Shirt ($29.99): Saltwater anglers know that the Laguna Madre region along the Texas Gulf Coast is one of the best inshore fisheries in North America, if saltwater species like redfish and speckled trout are your game.

The same idea – one of the best that there is - holds true for the Magellan Outdoors Men’s Laguna Madre Solid Short Sleeve Fishing Shirt, an easy to buy gift either online at, or at your favorite Academy Sports + Outdoors location!

Available in 14 different solid colors and 10 different sizes, this lightweight nylon fishing shirt offers up to UPF 20+ protection, moisture wicking fabric, two hook-and-loop pockets, a polo style collar, and a relaxed fit, all guaranteed to stand up to many days out on the water and many trips through the wash cycle.
Magellan Outdoors Men’s Laguna Madre Solid Short Sleeve Fishing Shirt

Ugly Stik Tackle Backpack ($59.99): In the old days, carrying around a day’s worth of fishing tackle meant using a big, bulky multi-trayed tackle box that didn’t give much in the way of pick-and-choose options.

These days, anglers are more apt to choose the convenience and mobility of modern tackle carrying systems like the Ugly Stik Tackle Backpack.

With compartments designed to store multiple items from a wallet to extra spools of line to fishing pliers, this backpack from Ugly Stik also gives anglers a cooler compartment to keep drinks cold along with two large utility boxes to store their favorite lures in.

Add in easy accessibility from the top and backside of the pack, anti-chafe padded shoulder straps and an adjustable sternum strap for ease of carry, and two rod holders and this angler’s backpack is a last-minute gift idea sure to be a big hit on Dec. 25th.
Ugly Stik Tackle Backpack
Hopefully, one or more of these gift ideas will work for the angler on your holiday shopping list. And if not, a visit to or a trip to your favorite store location will bring hundreds of other gift ideas, not to mention aisles literally full of rods, reels, line, hooks, lures, and angling accessories.

Meaning that once again, Academy Sports + Outdoors is the one-stop shopping place for Santa to visit for anything and everything related to fishing, hunting, and the great outdoors.

Prices are subject to change. Please refer to for the latest prices.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Sometimes you have to fish a bait that allows you to cover a lot of water efficiently. When you're on the search for bass that have moved into deeper water off the bank and away from obvious holding spots, a swimbait can locate them.

On the Search with Swimbaits

One of the best imitations of a wounded baitfish is the soft-plastic jerkbait, or fluke. A fluke darting just beneath the surface can be too much for a bass to resist. Rig it and fish it according to water conditions and cover to make this great bait even more effective.

Fun with Flukes

There are three models in SPRO's Outsider crankbait series: 55 (runs 3-4 feet), 60 (7-9) and 80 (19-21). Professional bass angler Jonathan Kelley goes over the specifics at ICAST 2022 in Orlando.

SPRO's New Outsider Crankbait Series: First Look

Professional bass angler Jonathan Kelley highlights the features of SPRO's new lures at ICAST 2022 in Orlando.

New Essential Series Spinnerbaits and Buzzbaits from SPRO

Syd Ribes with Sea Falcon highlights four new lures for saltwater fishing. At ICAST 2022 in Orlando.

New Lineup of Lures from Sea Falcon

Syd Ribes highlights two new saltwater lures from SPRO: Flutter Tail Shrimp and Cannon Ball Jig. At ICAST 2022 in Orlando.

New Saltwater Lures from SPRO

AFTCO's Matt Florentino highlights the features of the new Barricade cold-weather suit, a Best of Category winner at ICAST 2022 in Orlando. With Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller.

New from AFTCO: Barricade Cold Weather Tactical Gear

Three-time ICAST Best of Category winner Bubba covers it all with new knives set. With Bubba's Matt Kinamore and Game & Fish's  Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2022 in Orlando.

4-in-1 Bubba Multi Flex Cutlery Kit

The innovative landing net will weigh and measure your catch while it's still in the net. Best of Category winner at ICAST 2022. With Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller.

Award-Winning Frabill Witness Net 'Keeps You Honest'

Game & Fish Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Game & Fish stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now