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Christmas season is here, and it is time to think about gifts for the fisherman on the list. Buying for the novice fisherman is relatively easy, since they need almost everything. But it is a good idea to start out small and inexpensive. There are a number of good quality fishing rod/reel combinations available from both Shakespeare and Zebco for the young angler in the family. Depending on the age, some of these are Disney-themed and cost around $30. For the young angler who is a little beyond Disney, there are great combos at around $40. Young fisherman like their own tackle boxes, and they are readily available for $12 to $20 from Plano. For something to put in the new tackle box there are “kits” of plastic worms or spinner baits that offer a number of pieces for a lot less money than they would cost piece by piece.

For the older, more serious angler the market place is an ever-expanding universe. Every manufacturer is updating their product line each year. This year Shimano, Diawa and Abu-Garcia have all introduced new reels made out of space-age materials and skeleton shells to make them extremely light and durable. They are also showing lighter, more sensitive rods this year to mate with the new reels.

Before running out to Dick’s or Bass Pro Shop or Cabela’s, it is worth considering buying a couple of tickets to the best fishing show in the area. All the items mentioned above can be seen and tried out to see what they offer for the money. The Chicago Fishing, Travel and Outdoor Expo, to be held in Schaumburg Jan. 29 to Feb. 1, is a great way for the whole family to spend the day. Tickets are available online (see web page below) and would make great stocking stuffers for holiday giving. There is a new year of fishing to look forward to, and maybe a day at the fishing show. Until then…keep a tight line.