Monday, November 27, 2017

T.F.M. HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE 2017

Over the weekend I started putting together a list of favorite and most reliable gear items that I've used over the past year (with several of these picks being a perpetual favorite for years) and ended up with three dozen gifts worthy of this year's Holiday Gift Guide.  The gear chosen covers all the price points from stocking stuffer to break the piggy bank and hopefully it'll help you (feel free to pass along to a loved one or friend) make those tough gift giving decisions this Christmas.

And here we go in somewhat alphabetical order...

BLACK DIAMOND STORM HEADLAMP
This headlamp has since been redesigned from when I bought mine and still rocks for less than $50.  Everyone in our family has one and the Storm is always in my gear bag for late night kayak fly fishing jaunts on the pond, mousing and hex in Michigan, tossing in the suitcase when traveling and a camping essential.

The Storm puts out a ton of light at 350 lumens of power, red night vision light, waterproof, and several lighting choices to custom fit to your needs at the moment.  More words on this HERE.


EMERGER FLY FISHING - SIDE BAGS THAT WILL LAST FOREVER
I've got a dozen or so emails from Chris Freeman from Emerger Fly Fishing with the step by step process and labor involved in making the Cameron Side Bag, which was NOT named after me but I sure wish this badass side bag was.  I dig everything about it from the layout, fabrics, leather strapping, and of course the fit.  Emerger Fly Fishing continues to refine their offerings and I am impressed.


EUREKA X JETBOIL - A CAMP STOVE & BARISTA ALL IN ONE
The Eureka Spire Camp Stove paired with the Jetboil Luna Satellite Burner is the camp stove combination to rule them all.  I wrote about it HERE and HERE and the deal of the internet continues to be the smaller Spire Camp Stove for less than $60 on the Eureka.  The Spire XL is on sale right now too and don't forget the Jetboil Luna Satellite Burner too to complete your camp kitchen.


FINN - GEAR FOR TODAY AND ALWAYS
I've admired the work of Ryan McDonald of Finn for years now and gear from his shop has been included in T.F.M. reviews HERE and HERE,  My wife and I had a great time stopping in at his new shop while in Vermont earlier in the year for an interview which was posted HERE.

Our son's name is Finn and we splurged this Christmas on a Huntington Duffel for him.  I'd expect that he'll have this duffel bag for his entire life.  Unbelievable craftsmanship and the fabrics and leather won't ever fail.  I can't wait for Finn to find it Christmas morning.


FISHEWEAR GROOVY GRAYLING DRY BAG
Our daughter Hadley is starting to do some reviews along with helping with the website and one piece of gear that she's been using all summer is the Fishewear dry bag.  This bag has come in handy on family pond kayak trips and she's been most impressed that it's always kept everything dry, including her beloved ukulele.


FISHPOND CASTAWAY ROLL TOP GEAR BAG
My wife and I were recently in Belize and were plagued with rough weather throughout the trip.  From panga runs, kayak paddling and excursions, all was kept impressively dry in the Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag.

I am working on a larger review of this dry bag but it has a real benefit to traveling anglers since, when needed, it can be folded completely flat when empty and yet is cavernous to hold all your gear when needed.  The roll top feature makes gear easy to access and also a good way to keep moisture out when closed.


JOHN GIERACH - A FLY ROD OF YOUR OWN
I'm still working my way through John Gierach's latest book but if you're a fan, or know someone who is, this would make a wonderful gift under the Christmas Tree.  Classic Gierach through and through.


THE HAND STUFF IS THE GOOD STUFF
I was sent a sample from The Hand Stuff last winter and it's quickly become a family favorite solution for chapped hands   Think stocking stuffer that everyone will thank you for later.


HOOK + GAFF WATCH COMPANY
A couple of years ago my wife and I were down in Charleston walking through a pop up holiday market and I noticed a new watch company was there called the Hook + Gaff Watch Company.  I was surprised to find out that the company was based near where I live and since then, the owner and I have become friends.  Great to watch as this company continues to grow and I can't say enough good about the Sportfisher II Classic that I've been wearing for over a year now.  


HOWLER BROTHERS - HEED THE CALL
I seem to wear A LOT of Howler Brothers apparel and my side of the closet has more than my fair share of snap button shirts on a long row of hangers which are worn in heavy rotation.

Looking back through past T.F.M. content, the first post where Howler Brothers was mentioned was all the way in 2011.  Funny thing is that I am still wearing several of those shirts six years later and for for good reason.  Stellar fit and style on the water comfort matched with being dinner party ready continues to make the Gaucho, Aransas, Pescador, and Harker's Flannel the perfect choices.

It's time to "Heed the Call" if you haven't already.  There will likely be some holiday sales online now through Christmas but remember you can always use discount code "TFM2017" for 20% off your order.  


LEATHERMAN LEAP
If there is one piece of gear that Hadley and Finn always know where it is, it's their Leatherman Leap multi-tools.  Finn's old enough now that the blade has been added to his and these multi-tools continue to be a favorite for the two of them.  The T.F.M. gear review is HERE if you like what you see and want to read more.


LOON OUTDOORS UV INFINITI LIGHT
Just in time for the holidays, Loon Outdoors has released a few new tools for your fly tying bench including the UV Infiniti Light which along with being the most powerful UV light in their lineup, this one is rechargeable by USB.  How cool is that?  Fly tiers rejoice.


THE ORIGINAL MUCK BOOT COMPANY WETLAND BOOTS
A couple of years ago I was in our local farm supply store and noticed that their stock of the Muck Boot Company boots were on deep sale.  I had been wanting a pair for some time and walked out with a pair of Wetlands.  Waterproof, warm and wonderfully comfortable.  If you don't own a pair, you should. 


OPINEL NO7 SCOUTS KNIFE
A few years ago Finn wanted his first knife.  We were a little hesitant to buy him one until I found the Opinel No7 Scout Knife.  This is a lot of knife for $15.  I reviewed it HERE and since then still stand impressed by this simple kid folder.


ORVIS HYRDOS SL FLY REELS
The Hydros SL fly reels have quickly become a favorite for their large arbor capabilities, good looks, and the ability to handle everything from carp, redfish, striper, and even a forty pound tarpon with relative ease.  I sure dig these fly reels and the new Citron color is pretty slick too. 


PATAGONIA NANO PUFF JACKETS
Simply put, this is the one jacket to rule them all.  Our entire family swears by their Nano Puffs and I've been wearing my black pullover for years.  It's getting kind of ratty but I won't replace it until it's falling apart and can't be mended.  The Nano Puff Pullover was previously reviewed on T.F.M. HERE and HERE.


PIRATE'S FLY PATCH - YOUR FISH CAR WANTS ONE
It's always a good idea to have a few favorite flies stashed in your fish car and the Pirate Fly Patch is a solid piece of gear that will bring a smile to all your angling friends.  Large enough to hold a few dozen flies with plush 1/2" EVA foam that will secure the largest hooks in place. 


PLAN D FLY BOXES
The Plan D fly boxes hit my radar about a year ago and Plan D continues to refine and expand their offerings.  I don't think there is a better way to keep track of your swing flies than these fly boxes.  Previous T.F.M. reviews and write ups HERE and HERE to check out if you need more convincing.


REDINGTON I.D FLY REEL
Maybe the coolest new fly reel announced at IFTD this year and not just because I've got one with a Comrade sticker job on it.  Great price point, available in three size and the decal options are almost endless.  More info in this T.F.M. write up HERE.


REP YOUR WATER #glassisnotdead KNIT HAT
One of these knit hats should be required for all "GLASS GEEKS" and you're in luck as I still have some in stock.  Send an email to place an order.  $25 shipped with a couple T.F.M. decals and a Retro Fly koozie.


TOM ROSENBAUER - FLY FISHING FOR TROUT
Want to learn more about fly fishing for trout?  Dive into Tom Rosenbauer's latest book for an education and hone your angling skills.  The T.F.M. book review HERE goes in depth on this but this book is genius in content and the QR codes lead to videos that further educate the points.  This is both a great read and watch for learning "next level" techniques.


RUMPL PUFFY BLANKET
Featured as part of "10 For Spring", the Rumpl Original Puffy Blanket has become a family favorite and is always in the back of the 4Runner for road trips, drive-in movies, and camping trips.  Available in three sizes and many other options, a Rumpl blanket is a must have.


SCIENTIFIC ANGLERS - FAVORITE FLY LINES OF THE YEAR
I use A LOT of Scientific Anglers fly line (along with fly lines they make for other companies) and the two that I've been most impressed with this year was the Anadro and Bonefish tapers.  These have been great fly lines for warmwater and saltwater applications.


SIGHT LINE PROVISIONS
My first cuff was featured as a T.F.M. post last year and since then I've added a few more to the collection.  Now my wife has one, Finn has one and there are a couple more on the list for my wife and our daughter for Christmas.  Everyone wants something special from Edgar Diaz from Sight Line Provisions and for good reason.  Along with constantly coming up with new cuffs and other gear to check out, Sight Line Provisions does a TON for conservation with donations and fundraising. 


SMITH CREEK MIDDLE FORK FLY PATCH
I have quite a few nipper lanyards hanging around and each one has a Middle Fork Fly Patch looped onto them.  There is just no better place to stuff a few flies when going on a quick trip or stashing flies to dry as you change them out for the day.  This is yet another stocking stuffer idea that tops out the list.  Get one for you while you're getting everyone else one too.


SMITHEY IRONWARE NO. 10 CAST IRON SKILLET
Over the past several years my wife and I are cooking more and more in cast iron and have been beyond impressed with our Smithey skillet.  The polished floor is worth the investment and it just keeps getting better with age.  Previous reviews and recipes HERE and HERE.  Yes, it's worth the money.


GOAT HEAD GEAR - SPOOL CLIPS
Matthew Brown of Goat Head Gear keeps coming up with new and innovative ideas in fly fishing and the recent release of Spool Clips will always keep your tippet spools handy on your pack and gear bags.  Grab a few of these and load them up with your favorite tippet.


THE FLYFISH JOURNAL, THE DRAKE & TAIL
Some of the very best fly fishing writing today is showing up in these three magazines.  Subscribe yourself or gift a subscription to your angling friends and family.


TENKARA - THE BOOK
A full review of this book is long overdue but if you or anyone on your list has an interest in tenkara then this is the book to gift.  In just over 200 pages, Daniel Galhardo covers a lot of ground with the history, philosophy, equipment, then the techniques to tenkara angling.  Along with the book there are over thirty videos that further explain the instruction of the book which are accessed by QR code to the corresponding video.  Tenkara is available in print, digital, Kindle, and iBook.   


TOPO DESIGNS DOPP KIT BAG
In my opinion, there is just no better dopp kit bag than this from Topo Designs.  I've had mine for years and it's still in great shape after dozens and dozens (and dozens) of trips.  Whenever it gets grimy, just toss in the wash, then air dry and it's good as new again.  Fits everything needed and nothing else.


TROUT TIPS - DEETER AND FRIENDS DROP A LOT OF KNOWLEDGE
The latest book from Kirk Deeter and all his buddies will give anglers of all levels of experience something to consider to keep those mental knives sharp when on the water.  There are a lot of "Oh yeah..." moments along with some new takes on old themes. 


VEDAVOO - GIVE A HANDBUILT GIFT
Scott Hunter and his team at Vedavoo have refreshed the line up for 2018 and it's worth a look to see all the new gear on the website.  The T.F.M. Store is also stocked with Vedavoo items patched in Comrade or Retro Fly to check out as well.  You can't beat a handbuilt gift. 


WINGO BELTS
Take a few minutes to check out the belts but also give a look at the socks, wader belts, dog collars and more.  Wingo Belts got it going on and be sure to keep track of their cyber sales now to Christmas.  There's a belt for everyone on the Wingo Belts website.


ALL THE YETI - HOPPER, THE JUG, LOWBALL & MAG LID
I'm a big fan of a lot of Yeti products along with the many projects they are involved in with Yeti Stories, supporting conservation and fundraising for hurricane victims, and the list goes on.  Yeti is a big time player in the outdoors and always seem to be doing their part.  I like that. 

A few of my gear favorites for the year include the Hopper 12 (think six pack, lunch, snacks) and Hopper 18 (twelve pack, lunch, snacks but also handy in keeping a couple casseroles for church potluck hot for hours) soft coolers, the One Gallon Jug (think ice cold water when working outside in the heat), the Lowball (all around perfect coffee by morning and cold beverage by evening cup) and the long awaited Mag Slider Lid (why did it take so long?).  All solid choices for those on your Christmas list. 

I use at least a couple Yeti products every day and have yet to see one fail.  Previous T.F.M. posts over the years HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.  Whew, that's a lot of them and for good reason.  


12WT. - SUN PROTECTION IS YEAR AROUND
From gloves to sun masks to sun shirts to now snappy looking button up shirts, 12wt. continues to make some of the best (and best looking and feeling and wearing) sun protection gear out there.

Need more?  Check out T.F.M. reviews HERE, HERE, and HERE.


GIVE THE GIFT OF GLASS
T.F.M. is a treasure trove of into on everything glass and if you're looking for something special to give this holiday, consider the gift of glass.  I'm always happy to hash out ideas on what you're looking for.  Drop me an email at thefiberglassmanifesto@gmail.com.


What did I miss that sits high on your Christmas List to give or get this year?

3 comments:

Casting Across said...

As always, great guide Cam.

I think that I'll just link to your article instead of making my own, as you covered a handful of my recommendations! Vedavoo, Pirate Fly Fishing, Sight Line Provisions, and more are all great products put together by even better people.

Thanks, and enjoy your holiday season!

12wt. said...

Thanks for the plug Cam. Happy Holidays!

Cameron Mortenson said...

Casting Across... Thanks. Of course after I pushed PUBLISH I remembered a few other pieces that should have made the list. Oh well...

12wt... Of course. All sorts of fly fishing essentials.