Father’s Day Gift Guide 2023

Your Dad might say he doesn’t want anything this Father’s Day, but odds are that’s not true. Anglers tend to be gearheads, and love the latest gadgets—especially if they will help them catch more fish. Salt Water Sportsman compiled the latest and greatest so you can skip the tie and get Dad something he’ll actually use.

Pelagic Traverse Hybrid Shorts

I’ve been wearing a pair of Pelagic’s Sharkskin Boardshorts for the better part of a decade, enjoying the freedom of a pair of shorts that reliably holds my favorite pair of fishing pliers but let’s me cannonball off the stern on a whim. But if your Dad is looking for something more technical, get him a pair of the Traverse fishing shorts. These shorts are a wearable tackle organizer, with a “fluoro-friendly” spool pocket that features a hole for easy line feeding on one side and a double-stacked tool and accessory pocket on the other. $80

Penn Fathom 400 Low Profile Reel

Get your Dad involved in the low-profile revolution with Penn’s Fathom 400 low profile reel. These palmable baitcasters are an excellent choice for those targeting redfish, specks, and striped bass. Light-tackle flounder pounders north and south will appreciate the lightweight nature of the reel, which holds more than enough braided line to probe the near-shore depths. In spite of the small size, the Fathom 400 packs Penn’s legendary drag system. $269 and up

Garmin Quatix 7 Smartwatch

Give Dad fast access to all his fishing and boating data with the Garmin Quatix 7 Smartwatch. This wrist-top computer integrates with a variety of marine electronics, giving you the ability to control key MFD features, set autopilot, mark waypoints, and even control the stereo remotely. The smart watch is easy to use, with traditional buttons or a touch screen interface. A battery life of up to 18 days means Dad won’t have to look for a charger out on the water. $499 and up

G Loomis GCX Inshore Spinning Rods

A G Loomis spinner has been one of my favorite rods for over 20 years now, taking a variety of species up and down the East coast. You can give your Dad his new favorite rod this Father’s Day with a G Loomis GCX Inshore spinning rod. This series is perfect for light tackle inshore anglers, with 11 available models from medium light to extra heavy. With a proprietary multi-taper design that removes material where a blank is unlikely to fail and adds material where it might and a beefed-up resin system, these will probably last your Dad a couple decades—like mine did. $295 and up

Pelican TRVL Air Travel Cases

If your Dad loves to travel, be sure to get luggage that can soak up the bumps and bruises of an angling adventure. Pelican’s line of TRVL Air Travel Cases are built as rugged as the cases that photographers have trusted to protect their valuable gear for years, but weigh up to 40 percent lighter. The result is a lightweight but tough waterproof suitcase that can roll down the tarmac and right onto the boat. The hard shell keeps delicate fishing equipment safe, and the built-in wheels and extendable handle make getting from Point A to Point B a breeze. I love the internal dividers keep everything organized, even after significant turbulence or bombing down a backroad in the bed of my truck. Available in carry-on and checked sizes. $377 and up

Costa Corbina Pro

Costa has been making the best sunglasses on the water for nearly 40 years now, so outfit your Dad with a pair this Father’s Day. The Corbina Pro is an excellent choice for a variety of face shapes, offering good coverage that prevents stray light from sneaking in and a performance fit. A lightweight bioresin frame and adjustable nose pads combine for all-day comfort. Of course, they come with Costa’s legendary polarized 580 lenses that cut through glare and offer 100 percent UV protection. Available in five lens colors. $284

Ignik Deluxe Fire Pit & Grill

What Dad doesn’t enjoy a barbeque? Ignik’s unique Deluxe Fire Pit & Grill packs a gas grill and fire pit into a container the size of an ammo can, so he can take it to the sandbar, the beach, a tailgate or just in the backyard. Throw some fresh filets into removeable grill insert and enjoy a delicious shore lunch, then swap the gas line to other side and enjoy a fire as the sun goes down. And because the source of the flame is contained, you can use it in many areas that have a burn ban. Just be sure to check with authorities first. $299

Bubba Tidal Pro Casting Rod

Does Dad prefer baitcasters to spinning rods? If so, check out Bubba’s Tidal Pro casting rod. The medium-heavy 30T Toray graphite stick comes in your choice of 7- and 7.5-foot lengths, with a fast action that’s perfect for launching even lightweight baits. An ergonomic carbon fiber handle features a unique, non-slip grip that provides comfort even during long sessions on the bay. Backed by a limited lifetime warranty. $329

Yeti Roadie 60 Wheeled Cooler

A hot day on the water requires plenty of cold beverages. But transporting a fully loaded cooler can be a chore—unless it can roll. Yeti’s Roadie 60 Wheeled Cooler saves Dad’s back by moving up to 98 cans of frosty beverages effortlessly down the ramp. Non-slip feet keep the cooler planted while underway, or you can use the tie-down slots to make sure it doesn’t move even when it gets really nautical. $500

Fishing Booker

SWS File

Odds are pretty good that Dad has a closet or garage full of tackle—maybe even both. If you’re not sure if he needs a new rod or reel, consider giving him a fishing trip. With Fishing Booker, you can choose from a wide variety of fisheries throughout the United States. Select your destination, date, and group size and see a variety of captains available to make Dad’s dream trip a reality.

AFTCO Reaper Windproof Jacket

Help Dad cut the chill of long boat rides on cold mornings with AFTCO’s Reaper windproof jacket. This stylish garment was a Best of Category winner at ICAST 2022, thanks to the durable three-layer stretch soft-shell ripstop with an ultra-warm Hexatron fleece lining that protects from the elements while giving Dad the freedom of movement he needs for powerful hook-sets. A DWR treatment makes water bead up and shrugs off a light drizzle. $119

Hardy Zane Rod

Named after angling Legend Zane Grey, Hardy’s Zane rod lets Dad create some angling adventures of his own. Based on the blank design found in Hardy’s award-winning Proaxis series of rods, the Zane line up comes in a number of lengths and line sizes to suit all saltwater anglers. Dads targeting snook and stripers will be impressed with the 8 and 9 weight models, flats anglers chasing bones will appreciate the lighter weights and the big guns are perfect for the tarpon folks. Built with salt-safe titanium and stainless frame guides and anodized reel seats. $595

SeaTow Membership

Give Dad the gift of peace of mind with a SeaTow membership. As a member, he can call on SeaTow’s network of local captains for assistance when things go wrong, 24/7. Membership includes tows, fuel delivery, jump starts, prop disentanglements (no diver), parts delivery, and even un-groundings in some circumstances. The helpful local captains will even offer navigational assistance and advice on tides and weather. Gold Card Package is $199.99, trailer coverage is extra

Columbia Men’s PFG Tamiami Shoe

If you’re really not sure what to get Dad, consider a pair of these go-anywhere sneakers from Columbia. The PFG Tamiami shoe is water-ready, with a comfortable mesh upper that drains quickly and resists stains. The wet-grip outsole with razor siping will help keep Dad planted as he casts, and won’t mark up boat decks in the process. Boat, beach, or town, the PFG Tamiami will keep Dad comfortable. $80

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