Tangled Lines reveals what anglers want for Xmas

Shopping for the angler is not easy, even for other anglers. The sport involves a lot of technical stuff, which combined with personal preference and a hearty dose of completely irrational prejudice, makes it easy for the unwary to drop the proverbial brick.

Example: Buying a Euronymphing rod for someone who believes that anything other than a dry fly presentation equals the End of Western Civilization.

Or buying a Tenkara rod for someone who thinks the fixed-line method equals the End of Western Civilization.

If you think I am exaggerating, just lurk on fly fishing forums for a while. One of them had an argument about expensive nippers that raged for years.

So here are some highly idiosyncratic suggestions:

Cabelas CGR fiberglass rods, at about $70, are not budget busters. They come in weights 2 through 5 and there is a 7 and/or 8 weight for the bass people.

The one I like, and use more often than any other for small stream trout fishing, is the 6 ½ foot 4 weight. Paired with a double taper line, it is about as versatile a stick as anyone could want, with enough oomph to turn over a weighted nymph or small streamer.

Lamson Liquid reels come in a set with the reel and two extra spools starting at about $220. They used to be about 60 bucks cheaper but hey, that’s so 2021.

These reels are sturdy, easy to clean, easy to switch retrieve direction, and with the extra spools you can get your main trout lines (in weights 4, 5, and 6 for example) in one handy carrying case. Less stuff rattling around in the car is always better.

Kold Kutters: These are studs designed for racing motorcycles on ice. They also work very well when screwed into wading boots. I use the ⅜ inch version, which are long enough to grab and not long enough to penetrate into the foot-type area, thus causing dismay and concern. And unlike official fly-fishing wading boot studs, around $28 gets you a bag of 250, rather than a set of 24.

Bat Belt: Say goodbye to flimsy wading belt misery forever with the Blackhawk Black Web Duty Belt (around $27). Designed for sport shooters, this thing has a Velcro adjuster, and is so stiff it can handle your wading stick, water bottle and net, thus getting all that weight off the shoulders. Pair it with a Koolbak wading staff holster or two, for said staff and for a water bottle (the insulated Yeti Rambler 18 ounce bottle fits snugly).

You can find a lot of this stuff on Amazon, and if that annoys you, buy direct from some of the companies (Cabelas), fly shops (UpCountry in New Hartford), or a hardware store that sells Yeti products.

And then there is the safe choice: the gift certificate. Orvis will provide, as will most fly shops. This is foolproof; the only disadvantage is cosmetic, as a wrapped box generates far more Christmas cheer than an envelope or an emailed QR code.

Feel free to email me with questions: patricks@lakevillejournal.com. Put “FISHING GEAR QUESTION” in the subject line so I don’t think you’re some kind of weirdo. (I get a lot of peculiar emails.)

This short fiberglass rod from Cabelas is a Tangled Lines favorite for small streams. Photo by Patrick L. Sullivan

Andrew Corrigan of Lakeville using a short fiberglass rod in tight quarters. Photo by Patrick L. Sullivan

This short fiberglass rod from Cabelas is a Tangled Lines favorite for small streams. Photo by Patrick L. Sullivan

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