Outdoor Journal: Some gift ideas for outdoor dads on Father’s Day

With Father’s Day just a few weeks away, I am sure many of you are wondering what to get your outdoo
PHOTOGRAPHER:

With Father’s Day just a few weeks away, I am sure many of you are wondering what to get your outdoor dad.

Sometimes, it can be very dif­ficult. You may know his favorite activity, like hunting, fishing, etc., but you many not know which brands and models would be best.

About the only way to find this out is to either ask him directly what he needs — but that would spoil the surprise — or ask his fishing and hunting friends. They should have a good idea.

As someone who hunts, fishes and spends plenty of time boating, I have many wants. They are not necessarily needs, but “need” is a word that no longer is in my vocabulary.

Therefore, let me give you a few special gift ideas I would love to see on “my day,” and I know it would really make his day, too. Check out these Father’s Day gift packages.

FISHING

It doesn’t matter how many rods, reels or lures he has, there is always room for one more. Each year, the technology of rods and reels is improved, and doesn’t your dad deserve the latest and the best equipment?

In the rod category, the recognized brand leaders are G. Loomis, Shim­ano, Daiwa, All Star and Kistler, and Orvis, should he be a fly-fisherman. All are well-known for their dependability and durability. All you need to know in terms of model is the type of fishing dad likes to do.

The day of the “fishing pole” is gone. Today, quality rods are species-

specific, in most cases, although there are rods that can overlap and be used for several kinds of fish. For example, if dad fishes for pike and bass, these rods are quite similar, and can do double-duty.

One recommendation I would make, especially if your fisherman is an avid bass angler, is to get him a rod constructed of graphite fibers. That extra sensitivity can make the difference between catching and missing that trophy bass.

And don’t let the lightness of the rod fool you. It will have enough backbone to land even the biggest bass or northern pike.

Now, a fishing rod isn’t much good without a reel, so while you are at it, be sure to talk with the salesperson about matching the rod up with a good reel. In general, the reel should have ball bearings, at least a 5.0:1 retrieve ratio, anti-

reverse and be lightweight.

Again, the recommended brands are those that have been around for years. These include Shimano, Abu Garcia, Daiwa and a newcomer for the spinning reel lover, the Wave Spin. I was quite impressed with this reel’s ability to eliminate bird’s nests and all those other things you don’t like about spinning reels (www.wavespinreel.com).

Last, but not least, is the fishing line.

If you are going to give him the best rod and the best reel, then be sure the reel is spooled with the best fishing line. This can be a little tricky, depending upon his fishing habits, but I think you will be quite safe with an all-around weight of 10- or 12-pound test monofilament. As for brands, you can’t go wrong with Stren, Trilene, Sufix, P-Line or Ande.

I can almost guarantee if you put this fishing package together for Father’s Day, you are going to see quite a thankful smile on June 15.

Other fishing item ideas can include a new Plano or Flambeau tackle box. If he has the traditional plastic box, you might want to consider modernizing his gear with the latest in the soft-sided satchel-type tackle bags. It is amazing how much tackle these bags will hold.

HUNTER/SHOOTER

For the hunting/shooting sports dad, there are plenty of choices.

If getting dad a new firearm is something you would like to do, let me remind you that you cannot purchase a firearm for another person. However, if you want to surprise dad with a new rifle, shotgun, etc., you can do it through the purchase of a gift certificate.

One way to find out what he might want is to ask his hunting/shooting partners. If anyone knows, they do. However, that gift certif­icate to his favorite local gun shop will eliminate any uncertainty.

Does he need another gun? If he is a typical hunter/shooter, the answer to that question is always yes.

Buying dad a hunt can be a good surprise, too. If you want to keep it local, there are a number of facil­ities in the area that offer some exciting hunts for all types of game.

Now, if your dad is a bowhunter, this is even more complicated when it comes to knowing his needs. A bowhunter really has to be fitted to his bow. So the same rules apply, and the gift certificate from his favorite bow shop will make his day.

And if you are sure he doesn’t need a new bow, there are always accessories, such as arrows, broadheads, etc. But don’t buy them; get the gift certificate.

BOATING

If spending time on the water boating is your dad’s passion, then there are plenty of great gift ideas for him.

For the boating fisherman, or even for just spending a relaxing day cruising, one of the hottest items this year is the Aqua–Vu Scout

XL-50 underwater viewing camera.

This unit has been around for 10 years, but this year, there seems to be a renewed interest in it. And

after putting one on my guide boat late last season, I realized I should have done it years ago.

Everything beneath the surface is displayed on a seven-inch monitor with adjustable contrast and brightness controls. and it comes with a drop-in fish-shaped camera that can be lowered down to 50 feet. Anglers will enjoy watching their minnows and worms or finding the fish-holding structure they are looking for.

I have also used it to look for bass and panfish under docks, around brush piles and just drifting along the edge of the water chestnuts with the camera aimed under them. If you have kids on board, they will watch it for hours. And if you see something interesting, it also comes with a video-out jack for video

recording. Now, you can show them “the one that got away.”

The Scout comes with a built-in seven-amp, 12-volt battery and battery charger, and an ice pod camera positioning stand. Retail price for the Scout starts at $99, and you should be able to find one of these right here in our area, or go to www.-

aquavu.com on the Internet.

CANOE

Now, here is an item that is a bit on the pricey side, but not when you consider what it is and the hours of different uses and enjoyment dad will have with it.

It is the Field & Stream Sportsman 15 Square Stern Canoe package. I saw this at a local retail sporting goods store recently, and it had my name written all over it.

It measures 15 feet, four inches long, is 42 inches wide and features two molded seats with storage and padded adjustable seat backs, built- in gun and rod holder, a cooler and comes in a perfect stealth green color. And that square back is a great place for that quiet electric trolling motor, should he not want to paddle.

What better boat for the avid

waterfowl hunter to quietly set out his decoys and then slip into the tall cattails to wait for that first morning flight of mallards.

It sure beats standing in the

water on a brisk fall morning.

But I will bet if dad were to get this on Father’s Day, it wouldn’t be too long before he was headed for a little lake or stream to test it out for trout, bass or whatever happens to bite.

I have already looked at this myself two or three times, and have a photo of the ad from Sunday’s Gaz­ette on my refrigerator. Hopefully, someone will get the hint.

Right now, the Field & Stream Sportsman 15 Square Stern canoe is on sale for $649.99.

You can find the retail outlet where it can be purchased easily by Googling the name.

And don’t forget to get him a paddle.

Categories: Sports

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