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smalljaw67

Strategy to buying tackle

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I see a lot of anglers here looking for good tackle but are on a restrictive budget, and I include myself in this segment. I lost buying power after I became sick and was no longer able to do the kind of work I use to do, so in order to get the best bang for my buck I developed a little strategy to help. The very first thing you need to do is sign up for emails from all the major online stores, TW, American Legacy, another site, Fish USA, etc., you will get notice of sales before they happen. The next thing you need to do is pay attention to ICAST by watching the videos from here or places like TW or Tackle Direct and make note of the things you need. ICAST is important because when a rod or reel series gets refreshed you will find last years model being sold at discount at all the major stores. Once you start seeing the discounts on the things you need stay patient, often the first discounts will be small but as the new stuff begins arriving room will need to be made and the discounts will get very good sometimes more than 50% difference. The one drawback is you can wait too long and end up missing out but that only happens with certain items. Restrict your buying to sale times and make note of prices before hand, places like Cabela's will often have sale items that look good but in truth they simply made the original price higher to make it look as if it was on sale, I've caught both them and Bass Pro doing this multiple times. By saving your money and only buying during sale times and by watching ICAST you will end up with better tackle for cheap, every year I end up with at least 1 killer deal, a few years back I got a nice spinning rod from American Legacy, a Lews HM85, the retail on them was $199.99 and I ended up paying $79.99 because Lews was revamping the entire line. I've also filled up a lot of crankbait boxes with the same system, and this is why you sign up for the emails, yes you will get a few extra emails every month but it will be worth it. A lot of these places will get a lot of certain items, items that were hot and dsales have cooled down and you'll get an email about an impromptu sale, things like Lucky Craft square bills for $7.99 or the Xcalibur XCS when they were being discontinued and they were reduced to $4.99 in a lot of places. There are even bigger discounts at times but you need to have the money and be ready for when it happens and you do that by trying to avoid impulse shopping. Almost all of my rod purchases come in the late winter, when stores are getting ready for an increase in spring demand so some older inventory is drastically reduced. And I also buy at the end of summer, late August through September, this is when products from ICAST begin to show up so stores need room for new stuff and depending on the item your savings can be massive, to give an example one of my square bill boxes cost me $142 roughly to fill but when I added up the retail costs it would have been $400 and change, baits that are normally $8 - $12 that I grabbed for $4 - $8, and last week our local Cabela's had a sale on the discontinued Clackin' Crank from Rapala, the square bills were being sold for $3.99 when that bait retailed for $9.99 at one time, it was a great buy for those that at fans of that series. So that is how I go about purchasing my tackle nowadays, when I get a gift card or some extra cash it wants to burn a hole in my pocket but I put it aside and wait, yes it is painful at first but if you can resist you will be rewarded with more and better tackle, good luck.

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Excellent , You laid it out perfectly!

Proves that by taking our time and doing some research, we can save some serious cash on not only low to mid range products but the top of the line stuff as well.

 

Some guys don't need to do all that and good for them, but for the majority of us who have to save up to own something that seemed out of reach,  this is the way to do it. 

 

 

Thanks 

 

Mike 

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I highly recommend fishing Flea Markets as you can pick up a lot of stuff cheap. Picked up 15 Bandit cranks this year for $10 and a freezer bag full of Fat Ikas for $5.

 

Allen

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Another option is to take advantage of Price Matching from vendors like TW. I recently got an Abu Garcia Villain Spinning Rod (7' MLXF) $199.99 retail for $132.35 by having them price match. I found the rod on another vendor site that I have never heard of and wasn't sure about their customer service. I am a loyal TW customer and they have always provided great service, so I chose to keep doing business with them. 

 

My point is, if you scour the internet and find good deals on tackle/equipment, reputable retailers will more than likely price match to keep your business.

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Also can't emphasize enough how little people take advantage of gift card re-sale sites.  Giftcardgranny.com searches across many gift card sites so you can find the highest discount % as it can vary from site to site.

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13 hours ago, Munkin said:

I highly recommend fishing Flea Markets as you can pick up a lot of stuff cheap. Picked up 15 Bandit cranks this year for $10 and a freezer bag full of Fat Ikas for $5.

 

Allen

 

Talk about a score...

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This is a great strategy.  I've also purchased a lot of gear this way.   Also, Tackle Direct will price match, or at least has for me in the past.  I also have a membership with Bass University and with that come a ridiculous membership/pro membership/whatever through Rapala that gets you 20-50% off Rapala, VMC, Storm, Suffix, Terminator, Blue Fox, and a bunch of other companies.  St. Croix's bargain bin is also a good place to check, not just when items are discontinued, but pretty randomly, too. 

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21 hours ago, Munkin said:

I highly recommend fishing Flea Markets as you can pick up a lot of stuff cheap. Picked up 15 Bandit cranks this year for $10 and a freezer bag full of Fat Ikas for $5.

 

Allen

 

Sykesville?

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1 hour ago, reason said:

 

Sykesville?

 

Yes, the one at Gambler Fire Hall and the Boonsboro Ag Center are the two I hit.

 

Allen

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@smalljaw67 excellent points and recommendations for everyone.

 

I have found that shopping in the "clearance" times of year you mentioned can really pay off.  For me those have been:

 

- late summer Aug-Sept (which is surprisingly early to me)

- early winter (November)

- days after Christmas into mid-January

- later winter when they are getting inventory sorted out (can be February - mid-April)

 

 

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Bump simply because @smalljaw67 has given a great primer on saving money when buying baits. It's really perfect for anybody that wants to save when buying. Thanks for sharing this smalljaw67!

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I try to be timely about buying gear.   Walmart close outs happen end of January/early Feb.  

Academy Sports recently located in the KC Metro area last year and they had a monster winter close out sale.  Most of the time though, my gear purchasing strategy is if I see some gear that I want, I buy it.  If I want to slow down tackle purchasing, just don't go into tackle stores.  Should I enter a business that sells fishing tackle, I'm going to look and probably buy something.

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I have come full circle in my tackle buying habits.

 

30 years ago I started out with a handful of stuff and caught tons of fish

 

20 years ago I bought everything under the sun, still caught lots of fish, but it was on the same old stuff I always used.

 

10 years ago I decided to only buy/carry what I use and still caught tons of fish.

 

To this day this is ALL I carry in my boat:

 

Yum Dingers: 3", 4", 5" 6" sizes, in Green pumpkin for all around use, black w/blue flake for dirty water/dark days, green pumpkin w/chart tip for dirty water/bright days, watermelon red for ultra clear water, and white for late season dirty water. The dinger is my swiss army knife. I t-rig them with or without a weight. I flip/pitch/punch with them. C-rig them. Fish them on wacky jigs, or weightless wacky. I fish them on a belly weighted EWG like a fluke. Drop shot them both nose hooked and wacky. 

 

Yum warning shots: This bait has been a new player in the last few years, but it is my go-to nose hooked drop shot bait. I use three colors. Bold Bluegill, green pumpkin, and watermelon candy. It's also very good as a shaky head bait, power shot bait, a bladed jig trailer, and I have even used it as a finesse jig trailer. 

 

Good ol' Berkley power worms in the 4", 7", and 10" sizes. I only need two colors, green pumpkin, and blue fleck. C-rig, t-rig, shaky heads, cut them down for swim jig trailers, power shot, drop shot. They still get bit just as good as they ever have, and heck....maybe even better now that everyone views them as old out dated has been's.

 

Berkley Chigger craws in the 3", 4", 5", and also the crazy legs version. Swiss Army knife 2.0 for me. They get used as flipping, punching, and pitching baits. As jig trailers on football, flipping, finesse, and swim jigs. I use them on biffle style wobble heads. I drop shot and power shot them. I use two colors. Black/blue, and green pumpkin.

 

The over riding theme of my soft plastic selection is versatility. 

 

Jigs: I carry a versatile selection of jigs. Finesse flipping jigs in 5/16 + 7/16 oz. Grass flipping jigs in 3/4's and 1oz. Football jigs in 1/2, and 3/4's oz. Swim jigs in 1/4, 3/8's, and 1/2 oz. I will often use the swim jigs in  dual purpose role as a flipping jig as well. Bladed jigs in 3/8's oz. I make 3 colors of skirts for the football/flipping jigs. A brown/green pumpkin, black/blue, and a blue gill pattern. I use the same three skirts on my swim jigs and bladed jigs, but also add white to the mix.  

 

Frogs: Booyah pad crashers in all 3 sizes styles (reg. size, jr. size, and popping) 4 colors. Bullfrog, cricket frog, shad frog, and dart frog. Only topwater I fish anymore. If they are biting on top, I WILL catch them on frogs just as good as anyone throwing spooks/poppers/etc.....Frogs are not just for slop.

 

Cranks/hard baits: SK KVD 1.5 + 2.5 square bills in nat. bream, orange belly craw, chart sexy shad, and chart/black back. SK 3xd +5xd's in Rootbeer, Sexy ghost minnow, chart sexy shad, and chart. belly craw. SK KVD 200 jerkbaits in nat. bream, yellow perch, and clown. Home made silver buddy blade baits in 1/2 oz, silver/nickle color. I loathe the work and effort of deep cranking. A 5xd is my limit. Rarely are the fish on the bottom deeper than I can reach with a 5xd in my home lake anyways, and if they are. I fish them other ways and do just fine.

 

THATS IT!!

 

This winter I kicked out the pit boss's, and various straight tailed worms I was carrying around when I realized I used Dingers and Chigger craws about 95% of the time over those anyways.

 

If I ain't catching fish on 4-5 lakes in the area I go to with the above stuff, they either ain't biting, or I am not around them. 

 

I am NOT the guy tackle companies love LOL....BUT new anglers would be wise to follow my example. You do not need to carry the Bass Pro fishing section with you to catch fish year round. FWIW, my success rate and winning % went UP in tournaments when I started to downsize and simplify my tackle selection. 

 

Another thing I forgot to mention...............my terminal tackle/rigging box's are bigger than my selection of baits. IMHO, thats more important. 

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4 hours ago, ww2farmer said:

I have come full circle in my tackle buying habits.

 

30 years ago I started out with a handful of stuff and caught tons of fish

 

20 years ago I bought everything under the sun, still caught lots of fish, but it was on the same old stuff I always used.

 

10 years ago I decided to only buy/carry what I use and still caught tons of fish.

 

To this day this is ALL I carry in my boat:

 

Yum Dingers: 3", 4", 5" 6" sizes, in Green pumpkin for all around use, black w/blue flake for dirty water/dark days, green pumpkin w/chart tip for dirty water/bright days, watermelon red for ultra clear water, and white for late season dirty water. The dinger is my swiss army knife. I t-rig them with or without a weight. I flip/pitch/punch with them. C-rig them. Fish them on wacky jigs, or weightless wacky. I fish them on a belly weighted EWG like a fluke. Drop shot them both nose hooked and wacky. 

 

Yum warning shots: This bait has been a new player in the last few years, but it is my go-to nose hooked drop shot bait. I use three colors. Bold Bluegill, green pumpkin, and watermelon candy. It's also very good as a shaky head bait, power shot bait, a bladed jig trailer, and I have even used it as a finesse jig trailer. 

 

Good ol' Berkley power worms in the 4", 7", and 10" sizes. I only need two colors, green pumpkin, and blue fleck. C-rig, t-rig, shaky heads, cut them down for swim jig trailers, power shot, drop shot. They still get bit just as good as they ever have, and heck....maybe even better now that everyone views them as old out dated has been's.

 

Berkley Chigger craws in the 3", 4", 5", and also the crazy legs version. Swiss Army knife 2.0 for me. They get used as flipping, punching, and pitching baits. As jig trailers on football, flipping, finesse, and swim jigs. I use them on biffle style wobble heads. I drop shot and power shot them. I use two colors. Black/blue, and green pumpkin.

 

The over riding theme of my soft plastic selection is versatility. 

 

Jigs: I carry a versatile selection of jigs. Finesse flipping jigs in 5/16 + 7/16 oz. Grass flipping jigs in 3/4's and 1oz. Football jigs in 1/2, and 3/4's oz. Swim jigs in 1/4, 3/8's, and 1/2 oz. I will often use the swim jigs in  dual purpose role as a flipping jig as well. Bladed jigs in 3/8's oz. I make 3 colors of skirts for the football/flipping jigs. A brown/green pumpkin, black/blue, and a blue gill pattern. I use the same three skirts on my swim jigs and bladed jigs, but also add white to the mix.  

 

Frogs: Booyah pad crashers in all 3 sizes styles (reg. size, jr. size, and popping) 4 colors. Bullfrog, cricket frog, shad frog, and dart frog. Only topwater I fish anymore. If they are biting on top, I WILL catch them on frogs just as good as anyone throwing spooks/poppers/etc.....Frogs are not just for slop.

 

Cranks/hard baits: SK KVD 1.5 + 2.5 square bills in nat. bream, orange belly craw, chart sexy shad, and chart/black back. SK 3xd +5xd's in Rootbeer, Sexy ghost minnow, chart sexy shad, and chart. belly craw. SK KVD 200 jerkbaits in nat. bream, yellow perch, and clown. Home made silver buddy blade baits in 1/2 oz, silver/nickle color. I loathe the work and effort of deep cranking. A 5xd is my limit. Rarely are the fish on the bottom deeper than I can reach with a 5xd in my home lake anyways, and if they are. I fish them other ways and do just fine.

 

THATS IT!!

 

This winter I kicked out the pit boss's, and various straight tailed worms I was carrying around when I realized I used Dingers and Chigger craws about 95% of the time over those anyways.

 

If I ain't catching fish on 4-5 lakes in the area I go to with the above stuff, they either ain't biting, or I am not around them. 

 

I am NOT the guy tackle companies love LOL....BUT new anglers would be wise to follow my example. You do not need to carry the Bass Pro fishing section with you to catch fish year round. FWIW, my success rate and winning % went UP in tournaments when I started to downsize and simplify my tackle selection. 

 

Another thing I forgot to mention...............my terminal tackle/rigging box's are bigger than my selection of baits. IMHO, thats more important. 

Solid ~

But do not discount the 3 decades of experience it took to come to this point - 

As you mentioned, you've come full circle and I think it's a natural path for many of us. 

The lessons learned along the way might determine the shape & size of 'the circle'. 

Mine is sort of oblong and seems to have a way to gone to be finished.

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

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