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This year the holidays have come up faster than ever, so gift suggestions for the younger (novice) angler and the older, more-experienced, angler are combined into one column this time.

Nothing is better for younger anglers than getting their own rod and reel. If they have never been fishing this will light the fire; if they have fished before at Lovelace Park and used the provided gear, this will make them feel great. Good, serviceable, quality rod-and-reel combinations from Shakespeare are available at any of the area tackle stores for less than $20. If the young angler on one’s list has one of these already, it may be time to upgrade: Abu Garcia and Shakespeare have upgraded combos for under $40. Every angler likes their own tackle box, too, and there are great boxes available for between $10 and $20.

For the advanced angler there are a lot of choices. A good-quality fillet knife is an essential part of one’s fishing equipment (some fishermen have several). These can run from $20 to $150. A good knife, with a video on proper filleting techniques will probably cost about $30-$35 depending on where it is purchased. Rapala makes one.

This might be the year to give fly-fishing a try. With the help of a good video to demonstrate the proper starting points, it is fun and not as difficult as one might think. Like any other fishing technique the rest is just practice. There are some really good “starter” sets at a recommended a 5 or 6 weight available for around $60. Fly-fishing for bass and bluegills is a lot of fun and a different experience to rod-and-reel fishing. When all else fails, gift cards from Cabela’s, Dick’s, and Bass Pro Shops are always an appreciated gift for a favorite angler of any age or experience.

Sport and fishing show season is coming up, and is a great time to start planning this coming year’s fishing trips with the family. Shows and times will be listed here as they become available. Until next time…keep a tight line.

Contact Dick at hookedonfishing@comcast.net.