Gear gifts for Christmas

All right! Listen up! It’s getting to be that time of the year again. You know what I mean — Christmas! Oh, I know, it’s still early in December, but it won’t be long before the chubby guy in the red suit and white beard and his eight tiny reindeer are setting themselves down on your house.

So you better be out and about, gathering up gifts for that significant other and the kids. And what about the one you usually forget. You know whom I mean. Yup, it’s you. Now no guilt feelings; it’s not unlawful to buy yourself a Christmas gift. I mean, after all those months out on the boat, sometimes plugging it and sometimes just hauling water, you know better than anyone what you need.

The Sedna 462 Hooded Jacket from Grundéns is at the top of our Christmas gift guide this year. Grundéns photo.To help with that gift selection, I’m once again here to provide a few Christmas ideas from the 2016 pages of National Fisherman. As usual, I’m giving you four ideas that will be a worthy gift for you know whom.

The woman skipper or deckhand knows full well how hard it is to find foul-weather gear that fits. But now Grunden’s has stepped up with the Sedna 510 Bib Trousers and the Sedna 462 Hooded Jacket. Both were developed after testing 10 to 15 prototypes. They are designed specifically to fit women and are lighter than the normal foul-weather gear.

Guys also have a new brand of foul-weather gear to try. It’s a jacket and bib pants from Climate Technical Gear, a Canadian outfit that only in the past year has started selling in the states. The garments are billed as being so tough you can go at them with an electric palm power sander with course grit or a power drill with a steel wire wheel and the garments won’t be torn up and leak. That’s good if you are hauling wire traps or the gear has a lot of barnacles.

If your new foul-weather gear really impresses you, you might want to tell other fishermen on your new compact but feature rich VHF handheld radio, the GX850W. It’s from the electronics company GME, which is marketed in this country by Whiffletech Corp.

There’s a built-in 48-channel GPS and since it’s a class-D radio there’s two receivers, one for voice communications while the other continually monitors channel 70 for DSC distress calls. If you or someone else goes overboard, the GX850 sends out a man-overboard distress message. The radio also floats.

Speaking of going overboard, it would be a good idea to be wearing something that will keep you afloat. To that end, Kent Safety Products introduced the Rogue Fishing Vest, a PFD that’s comfortable to wear and won’t snag on hooks or lines.

The Rogue Fishing Vest, made of breathable neoprene, is so comfortable that fishermen are reported to wear it while driving in their truck and while at home.

Of course, you can get into trouble without being in the water. You know what I mean: it’s blowing 60, seas are building, ice is forming on the wheelhouse and the engine is tanked. Plus there’s a line of ledges a couple of miles downwind. Won’t it be nice to send out a distress signal?

The Weems & Plath Distress Light will do just that. It’s light can be seen 10 miles away and flashes 360 degrees horizontally and vertically. It flashes up to 60 hours on three C-cell batteries. The SOS Distress Light also has a foam ring, so it floats in the water. That’s better than a flare, which burns out in 40 to 60 seconds.

With these safety products you will have a lot more peace of mind when back on the grounds, and you’ll have a much greater chance of enjoying another Christmas.

See you next Christmas with another list. Ho, Ho, Ho!

About the author

Samuel Hill

Samuel Hill is associate editor for National Fisherman. He is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine where he got his start in journalism at the campus’ newspaper, the Free Press. He has also written for the Bangor Daily News, the Outline, Motherboard and other publications about technology and culture.

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