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Florida Saltwater Fishing Wish List

Florida is a utopia for saltwater fishermen, with oceans in nearly every direction and gorgeous destination fishing spots pretty much everywhere you look. From getting away from the theme park tourist crowds to enjoy a vacation fishing trip to picking out go-to spots for a fish-filled retirement, Florida plays host to a dynamic range of anglers. If one of those Florida anglers is on your holiday shopping list this year, here are a few necessities - spanning the entire price range - that any Florida fisherman needs to own.

Daiwa Black Gold Rod and Reel Combo ($129.99): Why break the bank on expensive rods and reels when this saltwater fishing combo provides both in an affordable and highly rated package? Endorsed by veteran Key West anglers and sporting a strong flex-free construction, this rod and reel combo can stand up to the pull of virtually any fish, from small commonplace species to huge, record-breaking exoticisms.

FL-DaiwaBlkGoldPhoto via Bass Pro Shops

Rapala Rafr Adhesive Fish Ruler ($3.99): It's an inexpensive stocking stuffer at most, but that doesn't make this fish ruler any less vital for Florida saltwater fishing enthusiasts. The state of Florida, like any other ocean-side state, has a range of restrictions on fish length, so a quick reference ruler can be just what an angler needs to avoid the tickets and fines that result from reeling in an undersized fish. The adhesive allows anglers to stick the ruler anywhere, so that they can rapidly make fish measurements and decide whether or not their catch goes into the cooler or back into the ocean.

FL-RapalaRafrPhoto via Sportsman's Guide

Proper Baiting Solutions: Most saltwater species can be hooked with the same baiting combination of jigheads and gulp, and both can make nice, inexpensive gifts for Florida saltwater anglers. A Bass Pro Shops Painted Jighead Kit ($14.99) puts 64 or 80 jigheads in your arsenal, with different kits available for different jighead weights - including 1/4 oz, 1/8 oz, 1/16 oz, or 1/32 oz. Each kit contains jigheads of eight different colors.

FL--paintedPhoto via Bass Pro Shops

As for gulp, you can buy a half a pint of Berkley shrimp gulp - fake baits that supposedly look, taste, feel, and move like living fish - for about $9.99. Many saltwater anglers claim that gulp actually gets a better response from fish than live baitfish. The jury is still out on that, but it certainly makes a better Christmas gift. After all, who wants a cup of smelly fish stuffed into their stocking?

FL-ShrimpGulpPhoto via Bass Pro Shops

Lindy Little Joe Fish Handling Gloves ($24.99): Handling fish without protective gloves is a bad idea in any situation. While a fish bite may not seem like a big deal to a beginning angler, we've seen enough serious fish bite injuries or cuts from handling a live fish to know that we don't want to risk our fingers. In Florida, where exotic saltwater fish are everywhere, gloves are especially essential, and this pair is durable, puncture-proof, and resistant against ultraviolet light and saltwater. In other words, they won't absorb odors or become stiff and unusable after a few uses like some gloves will.

FL-LindyLittlePhoto via Sportsman's Guide

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Florida Saltwater Fishing Wish List