What to buy your man

MARK WATSON
Last updated 06:48 07/12/2012
Mark Watson

Stay safe: Mark Watson out on the water wearing one of the new style of flotation devices that are easy to wear while fishing

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Fish and Trips

Molesworth a highlight Daughter joins in on the fun A little effort goes a long way To make your catch, think like a snapper Swing with the winners Time-out to attack the golf handicap We survived, with only minor injuries Always plenty to learn from the young TV episode good motivation Hunting grounds spotted from above

December already, how time flies. I thought this would be a good time to give a few ideas on possible gifts for that special man in your life, be it your father, brother, husband or friend.

I know practical, outdoors-type men are generally difficult to buy for, as they tend to know what they want or they already have the things they need. Don't let that put you off though, as there are always options. Even if he has the item you are thinking of buying him, maybe he could have a spare tucked away in the shed.

I'm going to just list some things I would find handy or interesting; this may give you some ideas more specific to the man you are buying for.

Things like a portable smoker, a beach spike for surf casting, a spare mask and or snorkel, a new catch bag for diving. Perhaps a waterproof case for his phone, a new filleting knife and sharpening stone. A picture frame for his trophy photograph or a new pair of gumboots. The new generation fleece is always a winner and pants or tops are equally handy.

One thing that would be a fantastic gift if you're happy spending a little more, would be an inflatable lifejacket; the ones that are relatively flat and are almost like a collar until you pull the cord and they self-inflate. These should be standard issue for boaties. You can wear them all day long without overheating or interrupting your fishing, as they stay well out of the way.

It saddens me to read far too often of people drowning at sea, often needlessly as most were not wearing lifejackets. They are not guaranteed to keep you alive, but they certainly raise your chances of survival significantly.

Gone are the days where men are too cool to wear such things, and if they think they don't need to wear them then perhaps they need reminding they have family and friends to think about. Remember accidents are just that, accidents. People don't plan to get stranded in storms or caught by rogue waves and by having suitable flotation devices on, you are better prepared for the unknown.

Now is probably also a good time to remind boaties of the need to know the rules at sea. Things such as the speed limit when they are close to shore or near other boats. For the water sport fans the speed limit also applies, as do the limits of where and when you can go up some of the local rivers.

These things mostly come down to being courteous to other users. I can remember well the times when I have been surfcasting off the beach with friends after we had climbed down steep hillsides to our chosen spot, only to have skiers going flat out come within casting distance. I actually had a skier tangle in my line once, which caused all sorts of mayhem, let alone a fair amount of frustration.

Again, it comes back to thinking of others who also have full rights to enjoy the water. I find if we just apply the golden rule, then generally everyone will be happy.

The golden rule goes something like this: Treat others how you would like to be treated. Pretty simple, but very effective.

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My wife suggested a great gift idea, one that I am actually involved in this weekend. It is a gift voucher and is given in the form of a fishing, diving, hunting or boating trip for someone who doesn't get the opportunity to go themselves. You could be surprised how good a gift this could be and is often far more value than some random item from a store.

There are a number of benefits to this. One is that you get to go out when the gift is being redeemed so that's a bonus. You also get to spend quality time with whoever you gave the voucher to.

Hard to do better than that, so get a bit creative and come up with a design off the computer and give a gift unique to you.

Just thinking about it, the voucher could also be a special barbecue event with the fish or game you have caught. For some, this would also be pretty special.

For me, I am finding that as I get older the things I treasure the most are the things that cost the least in dollar terms, and they generally revolve around time with my family and friends. Adding good food into the mix enhances it but doesn't necessarily improve it.

- The Marlborough Express

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