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Give dad some outdoors toys

Thursday, June 5, 2014
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Hey, dad! There are just 10 days left to let your wife and family know what you really want for Father’s Day.

The ties are nice and so are the shirts, but let’s be honest, outdoor dads want outdoor toys. There isn’t a lot of time, so let me help with a few suggestions. If you find any good ones, circle them in red, cut this column out and tape it on the refrigerator. I don’t do it myself, because I let my wife edit my Father’s Day column every year before I send it to the Gazette.

If you’re a wacky worm fisherman, and you should be, Bass Pro Shop has a sale on my favorite bait, the Stik-O Worm. It’s a 104-piece set of variously colored worms, including 80, 5 3⁄8-inch and 24, 4 1⁄4-inch Stik-Os packed neatly in a see-through tackle box. Last year, I used just over seven boxes of them. Regularly $19 a box, they’re on sale now for $13. I use them primarily for bass, but last year, they attracted a 30-inch northern and a 25-inch walleye. And why not have them add a 20 pack of the XPS Wide SuperLock hooks with the $6 saved? They can both be ordered on line at www.basspro.com. They work!

Visiting a local tackle shop last week, I saw something I haven’t seen in a long time — a Lew’s spinning reel. They’re back and from what I saw and played with, are very nice, and priced right. I like the new Laser Speed Spin model. It features 10 ball bearings, has a zero reverse to help with solid hook set and pulling big bass out of weeds. The graphite body and drilled-out aluminum spool make the reel lighter. The spool’s larger diameter spool makes longer casting and faster line retrieve easier. It also has an aluminum handle, comfortable custom knob, can be adjusted for left- or right-handed fishermen, and is offered in four models with gear ratios from 5.2:1 to 6.2:1. You might also want to check out their rods. The Laser Speed retails for $40.

As much as I hate to admit it, I got a fishing lesson on Lake Champlain from a friend — he made me a believer in the Z-Man Chatter Bait Elite. Both the pike and bass ate it up. So I suggest adding one to your list. They come in 3⁄8-ounce with many different colors, a custom colored head and several multi-colored skirts and retail for around $8.

There’s another little tool every angler needs — the Boomerang Tool Snip. We all lose our clippers or scissors, but this scissor-like cutter is attached to a 36-inch retractable nylon cord that can be secured to a vest, tackle bag or belt. The blades are made from 420-grade stainless steel and are razor sharp. There’s also an LED that makes cutting braid or mono easy in low-light conditions. Only 31⁄4 inches long, it sells for $15.

Those who enjoy being waist-deep in a stream or casting from shore will appreciate the Fishpond Arroyo Chestpack Wading Pack. Measuring just 9x4x7 inches and offering 150 cubic inches of space, it’s big enough to hold a nymph and dry box. It features a zip down fly bench with replacement foam and an adjustable strap for chest or sling configurations. It sells for $70.

There’s one other thought you might want to consider for the fishing father — a guided fishing charter. There are many choices depending on what their favorite fish is. Spending a day with a reputable guide will not only be fun, but can introduce dad to some new tricks and places to fish. To find out more about local guides, I suggest stopping by local bait shops in the area and getting their recommendations. Should you book a trip for dad, why not make it for two and tag along?

You might find the next “want” on my list a bit different, but think about the many things it will do — the Black and Decker 18-volt chain saw. It operates on a rechargeable battery, has an eight-inch cutting bar and chain, wrap around handle, soft grips and lock-off switch. It’ll cut up to 150, 11⁄2-inch-in-diameter cuts on a single charge and has an accidental start-up feature. Think about how easy this would make keeping those shooting lanes open around a blind or just those little jobs around the camp and house. It sells for $95.

I’ve saved what I consider the best for last, especially if there’s a young shooter/hunter in the house to share — it’s the new Gamo Silent Stalker Whisper air gun package. The Stalker has a .22 caliber, single cocking system with a fluted, polymer jacketed, 18-inch rifled steel barrel, tough all-weather molded synthetic stock, and recoil pad for comfort. It feels very good when it’s shouldered. The Whisper also comes with a 3-9x40x40mm air rifle scope that’s water- , shock- and fog- proof. This model also has up to 74 percent more recoil absorbing pressure, the quietness of the NDS2 integrated noise dampener and a .22 pellet that leaves the barrel at 975 feet per second. The Whisper is the perfect gun for summer plinking and fall small gaming. And speaking of plinking, ammo for the Whisper can of 250 Gamo .22 caliber hunter pellets, sells for just $6. The Whisper sells for $300.

After circling your choices, be sure to add a note: “See Dad if there are any questions!”

Happy Father’s Day!

 
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