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JT Bagwell

Pricing Out The Average Angler?

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In this day of $100,000 bass boats, $400 rod/reel combos and $20 crankbaits, do you (or any of your friends) feel like

you may need to look for a cheaper hobby or do you just buy less?

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I don't buy $100,000 boats, $400 combos, or $20 crankbaits. I fish from the bank, so no need for a boat. I snag deals on combos; right now I'm fishing a $190 combo that cost me $80 new, and another combo somebody gave me. I get my baits from trees and bargain bins :). You can bass fish on a budget, but (admittedly) it is hard.

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Well if you asked my fiancé I'm sure she would love for me to give it up because of the amount I am willing to pay to catch a "stupid fish" in her opinion. Truth be told though if it wasn't fishing it would just be something else, I have often thought about cheaper hobbies but I swear they just don't exist (at least not for people like me) I have always been a believer of buy the best possible things you can, it doesn't matter the hobby, when it came to motorcycles it was no different, there is always another part or upgrade out there that you want, don't even get me started on diesel trucks that's a rich mans hobby which is why mine is pretty stock and boring I can't afford to play that game. No matter what I will always need a hobby and it will always be expensive so I might as well stay with fishing, after all I'm deep into the accounts when it comes to gear and I don't see any light at the end of that tunnel.

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Im a penny pincher. I rarely purchase fishing gear thats not marked down. I have to want something pretty bad to pay full price. I hunt flea markets and second hand stores for my favorite crankbaits. I do replace the hooks with expensive ones but those old Big Jims outproduce Rc and KVD cranks in side by side comparisons that I have done in the past three years. I have quality rod and reels that I have picked up cheap .

 

I have a plastic Bass Baby  boat, a canoe , access to  kayaks and john boats any time I want. My wife wanted a pontoon  , so I got rid of the Bass boat and picked up a used  22 foot Lowe Deck boat with a semi v hull . I can do anything in that boat including bass fishing. I put an 80 lb thrust trolling motor on it and two new depth finders.It fishes a lot better than I thought. I havent done tournaments for years and enjoy fishing much more. 

 

  You dont have to spend a lot to enjoy this sport. Heres the only pic I have of the used Lowe deck boat I bought .

 

10-07-14001.jpg

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I won't pay more than $10. for a lure, a $100. for a rod or $180. for a reel. I have a 94 Bass Tracker V-17 that some guys thought was new. You can buy quality without breaking the bank and it will give you many good years of service if you just take care of it. Would all of that high end stuff make me a better fisherman? At my age and skill level, probably not. But if I ever won the lottery I'd be very inclined to go that route just for the pure heck of it.

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I put money in the sport/ hobby for sure, but no more than any of my other hobbies ( hunting and golfing). All have big ticket items that you buy once every few years as well they each have consumables... ie; golf- balls, tees, green fees and cart rental. Hunting- ammo, calls, scents.

Just be smart about it and realistic. I bet I can catch as many fish on that black max reel and someone can with that $300 Diawa. You can do it on a budget as long as you are smart and do it within your means. Some guys just like to have a a front deck loaded down with $400 combos, and more power to them. But does it make you catch more fish? Hardly think so...

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for years I fished with cheaper rods and reels.  Maybe $200 a combo.  Caught fish.  Upgraded to nicer combos, still catch fish. Am I going to go up to $400-500 combos with $300 rods.  No, I can catch just as many fish on a $100 rod as a $300 one.  It's the person holding the rod that catches the fish.  But if someone has the money and wants to fish them that's their priority.  Would I love to have a $100,000 bass boat, oh yeah, but for now I'll keep saving till I find the one I want for the right price and catch just as many fish out of that one as that $100,000 one.  Just might not get there as fast.

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You don't even need a rod and reel. You could use a stick with line and hook. The use that all over the world. I get nice gear, because it improves my fishing experence. There are deals to be had on nice gear and dirt cheap stuff on craigslist. If your goal is to fish cheep it is very possible.

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One of the things that makes fishing such a great hobby/sport is that anyone who wants to enjoy spending some time on the water can find the level of equipment that fits their budget and needs.  Some start out as casual weekend and holiday Zebco 33 fisherman and progress through the ranks and end up true enthusiast and own some of the nicest gear available.   Others are very content with using good solid blue collar class equipment that just goes out and gets the job done well.  Some are enthusiast and enjoy the ever changing technology and are constantly searching for the latest and greatest equipment so they can test the limits.    

 

Anyway you look at it, it is a fantastic hobby/sport and we all enjoy it on our own level and for our own reasons. 

 

I always say, "Get in where you fit in"  if you are not having fun fishing, then you're doing it wrong.

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Saving money is my thing... not saying I'm good at it. But I set rules for myself and I follow them. I save money in the long run on lures that I use a lot by putting them together and painting them myself. Like crankbaits spinnerbaits and jigs. I try to buy quality equipment first so it can last a long time if I take care of it. Which I do. I don't have more than 8 rods and reels and 4 of them are for bass. I don't think I need 100 dollar rods or reels to fish. Sure makes it easier. One of combos is a 110 reel and a 50 dollar rod. Also have a reel that was 10 with a rod that was 20. As for getting a different hobby... you will likely be spending money regardless of any hobby. Just have to find ways to cut cost. Using eBay helps alot and giftcards. Taking advantage of sale prices too.

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If someone prices themselves out of fishing, they are fishing for the wrong reasons, or are so insecure that they feel they have to keep up with Joneses.   That's their problem, not fishing's.

 

I would love to have a new bass boat, new truck and a rod locker full of $800 combos but I can't afford that.  It doesn't keep me from enjoying fishing.  Like Tony said, get in where you fit in. 

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In this day of $100,000 bass boats, $400 rod/reel combos and $20 crankbaits, do you (or any of your friends) feel like

you may need to look for a cheaper hobby or do you just buy less?

 

 

 

Buy less!?!?! Blasphemy! ! I just look harder for sales to save off the top end.

 

But I think that manufacturers are going crazy when it comes to boats. I mean they have gone the limits with the bass boat. It is about the widest and longest it is going to get. I dont think it is going to be able to get any lower in the water, and it seems like the only tactic they have right now is what perks can you get. Well that and a bigger engine. That on itself is insane! I mean the price of a boat is dictated on the size engine, and you can sometimes almost double the cost buy upgrading to the top of the line.

 

That being said.. I would sell my first born and trade my wife for a nice Skeeter decked out.

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Get a yak vise a boat and you can fish on the savings for the rest of your life ;)

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I like the idea of the expensive toys, but I can't afford them so I don't buy them. Every once in awhile I'll splurge on a $20+ crank or jerkbait or a $70+ swimbait, but only when I have the extra cash to spend on it. 

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The great thing about most hobbies is you can decide how much you want to spend and how far do you want to go. Some are satisfied fishing from the bank and you can do that and catch fish, for others it is a jon boat, canoe, or other small watercraft along with a few quality combos and then you have the tournament guys with massive equipment. There is a level that most people can afford to get started, but you don't need to spend a ton to catch fish, it is simply a matter of how much or how deep into the hobby you want or can afford to go. The same thing can be said for RC cars, or HAM radios, and the list goes on. Can I go to walmart and buy a $15 combo, a pack of hooks and a jar of powerbait or some nightcrawlers and go catch fish? Absolutely, but for me bait fishing was something I did to relax, bass fishing with lures is where the fun for me begins and it extends into making lures but I do what I can afford and still pay my bills so while we may all want the latest and greatest in boats and electronics plus rods and reels, we still are bound by disposable income. 

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I am more worried about buying quality rods and reels than expensive baits.  Keep those rigs in good condition and they will last quite a while.  I would rather have a beat up jon boat that I can take into the middle of cover than an expensive bass boat and be worrying about the hull all of the time.

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In this day of $100,000 bass boats, $400 rod/reel combos and $20 crankbaits, do you (or any of your friends) feel like

you may need to look for a cheaper hobby or do you just buy less?

Not at all. I think in the 1990s, ESPN, B.A.S.S., and a handful of professional anglers started a revolution, or evolution in equipment that seems to have no end. I for one am thankful the direction the market has gone in the past 25-30 years. For quite a few years now, the selection of tackle at every price range has grown at an almost geometric rate. Although the price to climb into one of those nice rigs seems to have gone out the roof, you can acquire quality tackle without breaking the bank. Thanks to on-line shopping, Black Friday, Memorial Day and other sales, a working stiff can get quality, high end tackle. With very few exceptions, I don't think I've paid retail prices on tackle for the past 15-20 years.  For example, I picked up some new Lucky Craft  lures this past Black Friday for $8 a piece. About five years ago I landed 4 new Shimano Calais reels for  $200 a reel, no tax and free shipping...wait, they were actually under $200 because I applied my Cabelas Club points.  So, you Pros keep catching those hawgs on TV with that Lucky Craft and Megabass tackle so that the manufacturers flood the market because of the demand you are creating...I'm going to lay low and wait to ambush that tackle when the smoke clears. No, I think this middle class working stiff will be enjoying fishing for a few more years.  :respect-059:

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I have limited resources and have to carefully watch my budget. I fish for many reasons that have nothing to do with fish. It is important to me and my wife, and we sacrifice in other areas to have the money to fish. I try to make good choices in my purchases, always weighing cost versus value. I spend far more than some and far less than others on fishing. It is affordable because of its priority in my life.

Many of us take great pride in how much or little we spend. Get over it!

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Get in where you fit in is the more relevant statement so far! I absolutely 100% agree with it and subscribe to it wholeheartedly, especially when it comes to hobby spending. I'm not making an investment into my profession so buying the top end stuff as soon as it comes out is only going to satisfy my want for cool stuff and empty my wallet at a faster rate. I have purchased very few rods or reels brand new unless they were deeply discounted. I purchased 75% of my rod and reel combos used and if you're patient and willing to do a little scouring, great deals abound. However, if you're caught up keeping up with the Jones', your wallet is going to be in trouble. If you feel you have to spend to keep up, it might be time to reassess what you're trying to accomplish by going fishing...

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I think the prices are inflated and I'm buying less because I don't think the quality of the products reflect their price.  I like expensive reel's but only if I'm confident they are durable and will last over a decade with parts availability.  That narrows the field.  Rods are short term for me as they are less durable and manufacturers no longer make traditional styles which I prefer.  That narrows that field also. But because in jon boats I and my fishing partner seem to break each others rods, I wont let the rod's price go over $100.  I still have some expensive St. Croixs but wont take them on the boat.  I'm playing around with making my own.  Lures used to be a habit for me, always jumping on what was new.  I have shrunk my inventory and now only stick to what has produced in the past in multiple conditions.  I'd always been a magazine buyer but no longer buy them since the content is strictly a showcase for the publishers sponsors. I do buy old magazines in bulk on ebay and find their content more useful. I see no logic in buying a boat at a cost of more than my home was bought for.  Its strictly jon boats and kayaks for me.  My next boat purchase will be a combination of those, a Gheenoe or if finances don't allow it, a NuCanoe.   

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 I'd always been a magazine buyer but no longer buy them since the content is strictly a showcase for the publishers sponsors. I do buy old magazines in bulk on ebay and find their content more useful. 

I cancelled Bassmaster. It is laid out like a maxum magazine these days.  Short articles for short attention spans .

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I've been playing high end tournament paintball (even played 2 years of pro) for about 10 years. I was spending $40-80 a weekend just in paint, then add on all the travel, and about $300-600 per tournament (5 a year). So maybe to some, fishing is expensive, but to me, it's pretty cheap. 

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This is my cheap hobby! I was in stock car racing for the last 10 years. I finally quit last year and bought a new ranger aluminum boat and just enjoyed myself. I make most of the lures I use except for crankbaits and when I need a soft plastic I'm usually on ebay looking for the bulk deal from another in house bait maker cause the deal is right and you can get the colors that arent on the shelf. I keep an eye on the overstock websites for lures and will buy the hundred packs of soft plastics when they come available. It's fun and keeps the sport going even during the hard water months.

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The best part about fishing is that there is a budget for everyone. You're only priced out if you try to fish above your means.

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