The Essential Kayak Fishing Christmas List

It's that time of year folks!...the holiday season!  For a lot of us kayak fisherman (especially us guys in the Northern United States) it's time to trade in the kayaks for hunting and ice fishing gear.  For me, I already have too many hobbies so that means it's time to spend some quality time with the family and tinker with a thousand different things before spring.  With that tinkering comes the wish list, that is continually being added to every time I open up a catalog or start perusing the web.  Sadly for a fisherman on a budget I am forced to limit myself to the essentials that can pertinently help my fishing experience day in and day out.  While these items might not be the most expensive, they are essential and tremendously improve kayak fishing experiences!

Now I know that the whole Christmas list has been done and overdone...  What is different about this is it isn't your average wishlist, don't worry we will have a couple awesome pricey items for a splurge situation, it is made up of lower cost gifts that anyone can get you!  If your family is anything like mine, trying to narrow down gift ideas is like pulling teeth and usually ends up with a gift card.  So with this I give you 9 gifts for those family members whose gift is on a budget along with another 3 that you might want to send to that special family member who likes to splurge!  Please use this article and share it will family members and I hope it helps them get you just what you NEED this fishing season!...ENJOY!

1. The Hawg Trough $15-20

Hawg Trough in both colors
Love them or hate them, it doesn't matter.  To my knowledge every kayak bass tournament uses the hawg trough as their official measuring board!  In addition these things have a tendency to break at all the wrong times.  These can make a great gift to any kayak angler! No matter how many of these I have, I always need one more!

2. Boomerang Tools Snips $13-$25

Boomerang Tools hooked to PFD

This tool is one of the most used tools I carry! These snips have a retractable lanyard that I attach to my inflatable PFD with a small carabiner.  It allows you to cut line quickly and easily! the base model starts out at $13 and for a few more dollars you can upgrade to a model with a LED light, longer snips or a super beefed up version for salt water!  I also wanted to mention the line cutterz ring (also very popular) and a super great product, but I personally don't like rings.  Both of these tools are essential and allow for quick easy access when you need them!

My Line Cutterz that come standard on all Jackson Kayaks

3. Waterproof Plano Boxes $10-15

Plano 3740 waterproof box
In any angler's life organization is key!  For a kayak angler, with the limited space, it is even more crucial!  We can never have enough boxes, but a key is waterproof boxes.  Tackle is expensive these days and no one wants to turn brand new hooks into a big rusty mess.  These boxes are great, completely waterproof...I've even dropped a few in and they remain bone dry!  I prefer the 3740 size but I am also a huge fan of the 3640 size as well.  These make great gifts and they are pretty easy to wrap!

4. Tourney Tag $5.00

A massive Toad caught by Tyler Thiede, Small Craft Fisherman Creator
While I have not had the opportunity to use Tourney Tag yet, I am getting one for next year!  It allows you to hold your identifier for any online or live tournament and is a great tool that helps our sport!  Plus it makes a great stocking stuffer!

From Yak
I want one of these so badly that I probably won't be able to wait for Christmas.  They hold almost any drink securely...I hate spilled drinks in the kayak.  It keeps that hot coffee or any "adult beverages" close at reach.  They attach to any Yak Attack gear track, which is strewn all over kayaks these days giving a ton of different mounting option.  Additionally, they also have slots on the sides to hold any lures (especially crankbaits) to keep them out of your way!  At $20 this is an absolute bargain.

6. Buff USA Buff and Gloves $15-40 (buff) $30-45 (gloves)

Gore Tex buff with full length and fingerless gloves
Everyone needs some good sun protection these days! Skin cancer is nothing to mess with.  Buffs help keep sun off your face and can even help keep your face protected from wind.  A lot of people don't know that they also make products that even have insect repellant built it, I have one and it works flawlessly, plus specialty buffs with merino wool and gore tex to help keep you warm in cold and windy conditions.  I just recently got a pair of the gloves and the are so amazing and have so many benefits! They help keep the sun off your hands, protect them from wind in the winter and keep them cool in the summer.  The grips on the palm help you grip the paddle and fish.  They dry quickly and don't inhibit any casting ability! The gloves are offered in both fingerless and full length.  I have a pair of both and won't leave home without them anymore!

7. Fish Grips $15
Fish Grips help ya hold them tricky bass for a photo opp, photo by: Tyler Thiede (Small Craft Fisherman)

I always carry these with me when I am on the kayak.  It allows me to securely and safely hold fish, especially toothy critters.  It is also very helpful to hold fish in the water, while you prepare your camera, hawg trough, and identifer with CPR tournaments! 

8. Safety Whistle

Almost any whistle can be used but these make a great stocking stuffer! I go through so many whistles every year...I am always losing them.  It's a simple gift that can be found almost anywhere that any kayaker will love! Plus it keeps your loved ones safe!

Would I dare to say best water shoe on the market?...I would!
This is a great gift for anyone that spends time around water! These things drain so quickly and help keep your feet dry and cool!  I have two pairs of them and never go on the kayak without them.  I have tried almost everything and keep coming back to these! A feature I love about them is their aggressive trail tread.  This gives excellent traction on went, slimey boat ramps and rocks.  

Now for the not so budget gifts that we all dream about!...

9. Orion Cooler 35 $420

Orion 35 in Bluefin color, from

Everyone has seen the massive Rotomolded Yeti coolers but what makes these different is that they are specifically designed with kayaking and camping in mind.  They have Yak Attack gear tracks and sea deck top standard.  This makes for a great platform to attach rod holder, speakers, cup holders, and whatever else you can dream up.  Additionally they can be used to replace your camp chairs and kayak seats.  More importantly they come in sweet and awesome colors!  These things will keep all your necessities cold for days upon days! Helping extend those fun filled trips!  

These rods combine the best of both worlds, glass rods and graphite rods.  This blend is the first of its kind that gives you sensitivity with a forgiving tip that keeps fish pinned no matter how they try to evade their capture, making them great for moving style baits!  While it might be pricier than some rods, it is worth the extra bucks!  It is high quality and MADE IN AMERICA!  Check them out you won't be disappointed!

Kistler KLX Feel-N-Reel Series,

This paddle was specifically designed with the fisherman in mind! It comes feature packed with a carbon shaft with fish measuring system, adjustable ferrule, length adjustment (optional), and high-performance fiberglass blades.  All in a lightweight packaged at 30 oz.  This is one sweet paddle that can improve your stroke efficiency paying dividends on your fishing experience! It comes in both hi-vis for extra safety or camo to help you sneak up on skittish fish!  Just think this is your gas powered motor that never has to be maintained or filled with oil or gas! Spend the extra bucks and you won't be disappointed and it will never cost you another dime! 

Small Craft Fisherman creator Tyler Thiede putting the Bending Branches Angler Pro to work!

I hope this blog helps give you some ideas for your Christmas list, not so much on the high priced items but on the essentials that help you day in and day out!  Hopefully some of these will show up with a bright, shiny bow under your tree! Feel free to share with friends and family for gift ideas, think of it as a fishing registry if you will!  If any family members have any questions for that special someone post a comment or even shoot me an email ( I can help you however possible!

Thanks for reading! I hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday Season!


  1. One of the best open water fishing vessels is a kayak. With respect to your post, I find it absolutely necessary to try kayak fishing on my next shallow water expedition. Great post! I also found great fishing kayak tips here:

  2. Your write-ups are far more than wow!



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