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I just have to say this. It pains me terribly when I hear people getting down on themselves over wanting a very expensive rod or reel. I’m just old enough to have lived before the internet and before fishing was all about high end gear and advertisements. It’s one thing if someone wanted something expensive, worked hard, made the money and got it. And gets satisfaction from obtaining the unobtainable. But too many people just want more expensive stuff because it’s more expensive. Years ago it was about fun, good times and fish—even when there was no fish! Too many people get caught up in I need it because it’s expensive. If price is the only factor, you probably don’t need it and just can’t afford to find out you don’t even want it. I feel terrible for people that get too caught up in the hype of the most expensive just because it’s the most expensive. It pains me terribly because there is just so much more to everything that they’re missing out on. I can’t tell you how many people I know, who make a lot of money and still bankrupted themselves into endless debt over that mentality. There is just so much more to everything than that.

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Yep it takes self control.

Money gets wasted on a lot of things. Cable cell phones beer coffee soda cigs over time that adds up to a lot of money and dont really have much to show for it. Buy a nice rod any price and you could have it for years and years get lots of enjoyment out of it. I dont have cable or a cell phone dont drink beer coffee or soda dont smoke or chew. Im left with money to buy nicer fishing things $$ to $$$$$ if I desire.

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We are a consumer nation and some people feel compelled to buy the latest and greatest or most expensive. With so many choices and the fact that we are inundated with marketing at every turn many. many people spend beyond their means. I know people barely above the poverty level that have 65" TV's, $1,000 phones, and 3 or 4 tablets and piddle what money they have left on fast food, lottery tickets, booze, and other wasteful purchases.

 

The psychology of marketing is a major factor in keeping people poor.

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I agree with just about everything said by the other members who contributed. Ultimately, we all have our priorities in life. We as consumers determine how we allocate our disposable income. We can't afford to get everything new (I wished I could though haha). For example, I don't value having a super nice boat as I fish out of a X19 Pro Xpress with a Yamaha 175. However, my boat is loaded down with all high end rods/reels. Whereas, I see guys all the time with Skeeter ZX 250 and Phoenix 721 Pro XPs that have a boat full of budget rods/reels from Academy. It ultimately comes down to individual preference. We all have preferences, opinions, and what we value as consumers and we all make decisions to buy based on our own ideology of allocation of income as well as the amount of income earned. My boat is reliable and can get me everywhere I need to be and enjoy having high-end Megabass, Daiwa, Phenix, Shimano/G Loomis, and St Croix rods on my deck. If you can, I highly recommend getting high-end rods and reels, but get what you can afford and still make you happy. We all get the itch to have nice things, we all just prioritize what we upgrade and where money goes but I 100% understand what y'all mean. 

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I don't feel sorry for people who can't exercise self control. 

 

I also don't know anyone who buys expensive gear just because it's expensive. I do, however, know of people on social media and forums who like to brag about their expensive gear.

 

In the end, it's the individuals money to blow or not blow any way they please.

 

The only time I feel bad is when a newbie seeks advice or does research and gets sucked in by either a pro marketing something or another person who thinks one must have the most expensive gear to be able to fish at all. I always keep my mouth shut but when I see someone seeking advice for their first setup and someone suggests the most expensive Loomis rods and $300-$400 reels, it's very off putting and I just have to shake my head. Humans are very good at spending other people's money.

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I just look at it like this. If you always buy the most expensive [anything] you can afford, you will go broke no matter how much money you have. That’s just how math works.

 

Once most people can afford the most expensive [anything] they start to realize a lot of that stuff is just a waste of money. 

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I agree for the most part. But there's something about higher quality gear.

 

Rods - Lighter, more sensitive, less prone to breaking, better warranty.

 

Reels - Smoother, lighter, higher quality metal, less prone to malfunctioning, better warranty.

 

I recently started building my own fishing rods using high-end blanks and parts I source myself, the total cost of the build comes out to about the price of completed high-end fishing rods out there. But every time I go to a tackle store or a Bass Pro Shop, Cabelas, and I go pick up a completed rod it feels heavy to me. I also can't use cheaper reels anymore because I notice they aren't as smooth as my Daiwa Steez ($500 reels). Once you get the high-end gear, it's hard to go back. I think as long as you can get your 401k match from your company, pay your bills, take care of your responsibilities, you can enjoy the extra income you have laying around. We owe that to ourselves for the hard work we put into our daily lives, or some of us might go crazy lol.

 

A good happy medium solution is to wait for deals, and shop around! Be a smarter consumer.

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The reason companies spend so much on advertising is because it works.  People have always been willing to pay way more for brands with a well funded reputation for being cool.  I went to high school in the seventies, before the age of Air Jordan’s, and we wanted to wear the cool shoes just like the current generation.  The fishing industry is no different.  There’s an old saying in the marketing world,  “Sell the sizzle,  not the steak”.  Take a look at the website for any ultra high end rod.  You’ll find lots of words and few actual specifications.  Words like “impossibly light” sell better than giving the actual weight for the rod.  Facts allowed people to make informed decisions, not emotional ones.  That’s not what you want when you’re selling a $500 rod.

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Life is all about wants vs needs.  If wants exceed needs, needs usually increase,

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4 hours ago, Tennessee Boy said:

The reason companies spend so much on advertising is because it works.  People have always been willing to pay way more for brands with a well funded reputation for being cool.  I went to high school in the seventies, before the age of Air Jordan’s, and we wanted to wear the cool shoes just like the current generation.  The fishing industry is no different.  There’s and old saying in the marketing world,  “Sell the sizzle,  not the steak”.  Take a look at the website for any ultra high end rod.  You’ll find lots of words and few actual specifications.  Words like “impossibly light” sell better than giving the actual weight for the rod.  Facts allowed people to make informed decisions, not emotional ones.  That’s not what you want when you’re selling a $500 rod.

You’re right. I’ll still be happy with the 19 Scorpion and probably a Kistler KLX when I get them, even though they only have middle of the line up sizzle. But the savings off the higher end will get me a few steaks to go with my fish.....

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1 hour ago, CrankFate said:

You’re right. I’ll still be happy with the 19 Scorpion and probably a Kistler KLX when I get them, even though they only have middle of the line up sizzle. But the savings off the higher end will get me a few steaks to go with my fish.....

Its all relative. Tell some people where I work what you are going to spend for that Scorpion and they will call you **%$**nuts. They will ask why you need such an expensive reel to catch fish. They will think of you like the person you describe in your first post.

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15 minutes ago, QUAKEnSHAKE said:

Its all relative. Tell some people where I work what you are going to spend for that Scorpion and they will call you **%$**nuts. They will ask why you need such an expensive reel to catch fish. They will think of you like the person you describe in your first post.

I know. It happens all the time. That’s why I don’t get the whole I need the most expensive rod and reel I can get. I am usually the guy getting laughed at for fishing with a $500 rig. I don’t know where all the guys fishing with the $1,000 rigs are? I never actually see them in real life. I did, maybe twice, in a lifetime. That’s why I feel so much pain for people that trash themselves if they can’t afford the most expensive thing on the market. I am just as happy fishing my $250 Tatula 100 and BPS Crankin Stick with a few extra ceramic bearings in it. You can get crazy good gear in the $100-150 range now a days, yet people still get down on themselves over this stuff.

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on the way home last week after an enjoyable day of fishing, i stopped by the local wal-mart to pick up some eagle claw 3/0 offset worm hooks .... nearby was the new abu garcia black max combo 6'6" med. rod with  the reel ..... it felt great .... nothing to be ashamed of  .... cost $55 ... with a warranty ......

 

the budget rods and reels have come a long long way from the day ....

 

good fishing ... 

 

Abu Garcia Black Max Baitcast Rod and Reel Combo

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I do like higher end gear but I set a few rules to my purchases......

 

1.  Never pay full retail, even if I need it.

2.  Plan your purchases and have cash on hand

3.  Don't get caught up on the latest and greatest crazes

4.  Make sure it fits what I want to do

5.  It must increase my fishing fun factor

 

I always keep two things in mind when I think about this topic.....  I will probably never own the Ferrari I have wanted since I was a child but I can afford the Ferrari of fishing gear if I save my money.....  If I can save up a couple of bucks, I can exercise my patience and save up some more and get what I want (time is on my side). 

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Everyone has a point of diminishing returns. There’s a line you draw where you say “is it worth an extra $100 to save an extra 1.5 ounces on a reel?” 

 

I personally try to buy the best quality I can afford. I’d rather spend $150 on a nice reel, than buy a $75 dollar reel twice because it was junk, and broke. I’m not wealthy, and buying junk that breaks easily isn’t doing any good making me anything but even less so

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5 hours ago, greentrout said:

on the way home last week after an enjoyable day of fishing, i stopped by the local wal-mart to pick up some eagle claw 3/0 offset worm hooks .... nearby was the new abu garcia black max combo 6'6" med. rod with  the reel ..... it felt great .... nothing to be ashamed of  .... cost $55 ... with a warranty ......

 

the budget rods and reels have come a long long way from the day ....

 

good fishing ... 

 

Abu Garcia Black Max Baitcast Rod and Reel Combo

I beat the heck out of one of those combos on the river last year.

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6 hours ago, Smalls said:

I personally try to buy the best quality I can afford. I’d rather spend $150 on a nice reel, than buy a $75 dollar reel twice because it was junk, and broke. I’m not wealthy, and buying junk that breaks easily isn’t doing any good making me anything but even less so

Another factor is resale.  A $75 reel will likely have $0 in resale value.  However, its possible to buy a $150 that has $75 in resale value.  Or a $250 reel that has $175 in resale value.  Or even a $400 reel that has $325 in resale value.

 

At least, this is how I justify some of my purchases to myself.  🤷‍♂️

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I got a very good education on the "Value" of gear....all gear.  Being sponsored by CastAway and being Pro Staff for Bass Pro Shops for 20 years, I had the chance to use gear at every price point in their respective lines.  As a matter of fact, it was frowned upon if I ordered nothing but high end gear through their respective programs.  Same with Quantum.  I know a lot of people aren't going to like my next statement but the line between crap and quality is a LOT thinner than most will ever know.  You pay more for a name than actual mechanics/build quality/craftsmanship in a LOT of cases.  Far be it from me to tell any man how to spend his hard earned money but I find the challenge more rewarding to find gear the performs well at a "fair" price and not necessarily the most expensive.  The amount of actual "upgrade" vs. price paid is usually not that great.  If money were no object, I would have all custom built rods where I could get the exact power, action and length tuned to the presentation and to my style of fishing.  Custom means custom and not an off the shelf piece of gear no matter who the manufacturer is.  That to me is worth the coin.  

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The fishing industry has definitely caught on to this trend. 10 years ago $250 was considered pretty high end for a rod. They figured out that people like to show off expensive stuff and will pay more just for the sake of showing it off.  This was around the time that prices started to get pretty stupid.

 

I remember reading on Youtube that a guy who claimed to have insider info was saying that the actual cost difference between a $40 reel and a $300 reel was about $15. Same with rods.

 

Another thing is the warranty. I remember reading (it might have been here) that when manufacturers give a 10 year or lifetime warranty, they are anticipating that they will have to replace that rod so they just charge you for 2 of them upfront.  That accounts for the main difference in price between their lower models (with shorter warranties) vs. the higher end stuff.

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I honestly don't care what anyone thinks about what gear I use based upon what it costs.  Seriously, I don't value anyone's opinion on that.

 

And if somebody wants to judge another based upon the price of the gear they use, they have bigger issues than I, and I feel sorry for them.

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You might read my thread on fishing the old stuff. I use some older tackle. One reel an ABU 4600 is 20+ years old, and still going strong. This year I havnt bought anything except line. Using up stuff I've accumulated for years. I never judge anyone by what tackle they use or how old it is. If it works good for you, then all is good. Go out and smoke em with your older tackle CrankFate, and have fun too!

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5 hours ago, gilkeybr said:

Another factor is resale.  A $75 reel will likely have $0 in resale value.  However, its possible to buy a $150 that has $75 in resale value.  Or a $250 reel that has $175 in resale value.  Or even a $400 reel that has $325 in resale value.

 

At least, this is how I justify some of my purchases to myself.  🤷‍♂️

Since I started to dabble in the second hand market I've noticed that the mid-high end models from the big brands tend to retain their value much better than the smaller companies.  Custom rods, while they may be great from a performance standpoint are nearly worthless from a resale perspective.

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Anything over the $300 range for rod and reels, you see very little returns for your money. 

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"Same with Quantum.  I know a lot of people aren't going to like my next statement but the line between crap and quality is a LOT thinner than most will ever know."

 

Funny you should say that. Sometimes if you look hard enough you find a jewel in the junk bin too. Five or six years ago my bass fishing mentor and I were at a local fishing expo and he latched onto a Quantum casting rod at the $25 rod/$15 reel booth. He's a former semi-pro, etc. who got me early Baitrunners at near cost for my surf fishing trips. What's it been, 30 or 40 years ago? Anyway, I bought a $25 Quantum rod too and it's turned out to be good crankbait rod and all around bank beater.

 

He fishes his every trip and uses it almost exclusively a lot of the time - sometimes with a 1st generation Steez on it. He uses it for spinnerbaits and chatterbaits. I finally found 2 more of them on the Quantum site, but only as combos with the cheap blue reels we threw away. They were $19.50 combos - less than we paid for just the rod at the show. I gave him a second one.

 

Quantum Ultra IM7  6'6" Medium made in China. ULC661M. Full cork contoured handle and full cork foregrip, exposed blank, and a hook keeper. No it's not perfect, but it's just right.

 

I think they made a mistake on the pricing. I'm not selling my 3 Conquests or any of my other rods, but they should have kept these in the lineup and charged more for them.  :laughing6:

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I'm not really a fan of the trend towards unfinished blanks on high end rods either. I don't really care that it theoretically increases sensitivity by 0.1%. I prefer the aesthetics of a nicely finished blank with a clear coat to protect it. They're probably saving a pile of money by using these unfinished blanks yet still charging more for them.

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