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Holiday gift ideas for anglers

December 22, 2012
By Capt. GEORGE TUNISON ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Thankfully, the world didn't end and you're now ready to celebrate yet another Christmas holiday. Here's some holiday gift ideas!

Worn out those old freshwater bait casting reels and need to buy a new one? Daiwa makes the Coastal Series saltwater bait casters and even Abu-Garcia has gotten in on the shallow water salt craze with a new series of saltwater thumb burners.

Even though the majority of flats anglers rely on spinning reels, many die-hard baitcaster anglers swear by the old revolving spool reels. These reels are in the $125 to $150 price range.

Article Photos

Capt. George Tunison

Fly rodders are in high tech heaven as new space-age materials make rods lighter, stronger, and more powerful each year as well as more expensive. Plan on spending $400-$1,000 on your new high-tech fishing wand and $350 to $600 or more on a high quality reel.

Continued research into fly line materials and coatings provides increased distance and accuracy never seen before in the fly lines of a decade ago - $50-$120.

Many companies, such as Orvis, offer reasonably priced fly fishing starter packages which includes rod, reel, backing, fly line, leader material, and even basic fly patterns. Expect to pay less than $250. Lehr's Economy Tackle in North Fort Myers will help you put together a basic beginner's package and supply you with many years of expert advice, which is something you cannot buy in your local big chain store.

Looking for a new remote anchor for your boat? Tired of dragging out muddy rope and noisy chains to anchor in a foot of water? Power Pole offers many hydraulic models as well as Minn-Kota with their electric model. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Minn-Kota trolling motor fan, but I find their electric anchor to be a bit noisy when being deployed. The Minn-Kota model requires less mounting space and no extra areas for hydraulics as with the Power Pole devices -$1,500 and up.

Sonar units, like today's video games, are incredibly advanced and it would seem the fish wouldn't have a chance. Amazing clarity and detail, side scanning are all standard with today's midpriced units. Even the most base price unit on sale at Bass Pro Shops has more advanced sonar capabilities than many of the war ships of World War II, for under $100. Garmin, Hummingbird and Lowrance all offer entry level to advanced sonar, GPS and Radar. Prices start at $100.

If your side walls are cracking and your trailer lights are hanging by a wire it's time to ask Santa to meet you at the tire store ($75-$125 each) and on the way home pick up a set of the new style LED submersible trailer lights ($75 per pair) even though they are not perfect they are worlds apart in reliability from the old bulb type. Investing in tire covers ($25) will save money in the long run by protecting tires against the sun's rays causing premature sidewall cracking.

A gift certificate for a complete boat detailing ($75 and up) is always a welcome stocking stuffer as well as a bottle or two of ethanol treatment ($25 a bottle).

MirrOlures' new Pro Series MirrOdine and MirrOminnow lures with the new colors and big eyes look hot at $8 a shot.

A season pass to a local ramp ($65) or a gift certificate for a guided fishing trip ($300+) are both welcome gifts.

Take a young or boatless person fishing.

This time of year slow your presentation. If no response, go slower. Think shrimp on the bottom or under a cork.

Casting jumbo shrimp under docks can result in a big bite. Look for tripletail on crab floats and delicious pompano in the passes.

Merry Christmas to all!

Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at 239-282-9434 or, or



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