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Dan:

When do you say something?

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I know as experienced anglers and tackle junkies that most of us here have been in a fishing store and seen beginners stocking up on completely useless items that they think they need to fish. For example, yesterday I was at Dick's sporting goods and I saw a father and son getting some supplies. They chose two UL-L spincasting combos and then proceeded to pick out 50lb steel leaders that they thought "looked like they would work" to go with their new combos...

My question is: In a situation like that, do you try to help out by giving advice? I always feel like if I bother to tell people what to and what not to buy that I would end up offending them somehow. What is the best way to offer advice without sounding like a jerk?

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I'd take a matter-of-fact approach. I am indeed a newbie to most people here, but at least I do catch fish by doing the right thing, most of which comes from here and some other places, and that makes it more than enough for me to share my limited yet useful knowledge. If they get offended by my advice then that's their problem, and it just adds up to the problems they already have, like buying an UL combo and 50lbs leaders in your case. I don;t feel guilty getting someone offended, I feel guilty not helping whenever I'm able to  ;)

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The only time I help someone with a tackle issue is when they ask me. I do not like to tell anyone how to fish or what to buy(I let the bait monkey do his work). But if they ask I will help them out as much as I possibly can.

I ran into an older gentleman with his grandson one day at my local Wal-mart and they were looking through the same section in the fishing isle as I was. The older man asked me how experienced I was with bass fishing and I hooked them up with everything they would need for a day on the lake and a great thing was I was very familiar with the lake they were going to and I even gave them my favorite spots. Well that same evening I went out to the lake and sure enough there was the man and his grandson in the spot I had told them about and when I motored over to them they told me they had caught about 25 bass in less then 2 hours and they had one nice on the line when I was pulling up to them.

On another hand... That same day while I was at the Wal-mart helping this man I saw another younger man  (mid 30's) looking through the tackle and telling his wife about going bass fishing. Well he picked up small 2" grubs and treble hooks and one of the push button kid poles and told his wife he thinks that will work for him.. So I asked him how he fished his grubs... I was hoping he was using it as a trailer but he said he take the treble hook and wraps the grub around the worm and apply's scent and adds a bobber and throws it out. Then I asked him if he needed my help with lure selection and he said no thanks I don't take advice from younger kids...

Well I'm sorry but I'm 23 years old and I think I know a little of what I'm talking about. But you know what it just made me feel good to know that I had helped at least one person that day!!! ;)

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I always try to help them. I've got the gift of gab and was also blessed with some tact so I've never had a problem helping people out. I have never had anyone turn my advice down and they seem to always be grateful.

Great first line: "It looks like you might need some help."

It's just another way to grow fishing.

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I would helped out, assuming that this may have been a young father and son, maybe pops did not have any experience and was just trying to introduce the boy to fishing. It is possible that he may have been looking for some help. If not at least I would have tried and not had a second thougt.

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Then I asked him if he needed my help with lure selection and he said no thanks I don't take advice from younger kids...

I try that one with Tin all the time.... ;D ;D ;D ;):P

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Maybe start by just asking them what they're fishing for and work you way into offering advice if you think they want it after you've talked for a minute.

If I saw somebody buying an UL and steel leaders I'd be interested to know what they were fishing for. LOL

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he said no thanks I don't take advice from younger kids...

Ahh the good ol your younger then me so your stupid line.  I get it alot too on alot of different things.  I just let them waset their $ its good for business anyway.  I just go on about my business and let them figure it ot if they ever do.  I'm not talking just fishing either.

I will only help if asked because of the previous statement.  

The ones that get me are the ones that ask for help then tell you your wrong.  Why ask then genious.

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I'll talk to anybody that's looking at tackle and if they need help it comes out sooner or later....OR....I have learned a thing or two ;D...

                                     As Ever,

                                      skillet

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...ahh the ever-relenting question of..."how can I help someone, without sounding like a *****?  Help when you really think the help is wanted.  As a teacher, I have to face this choice on a daily basis.  Some people simply 'don't want to be helped'.  Its a cynical and crappy way to look at life, but it is true.  Be nice when the opportunity arises, but don't stick your nose where it doesn't belong.  A person, with even modest interpersonal skills, can figure this out.

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I only offer help if I'm asked.  And never assume that just because they are buying steel leaders and an UL rod that they don't know what they're doing or don't have some reason for doing so.  I often walk out of the store with tackle meant for 2 distinctly different species of fish.  depends on what I'm looking to acquire or replace.  The other day I bought a Mepps #4 orange black and some panfish curly tail grubs.  I have my eye on a pike rod and I'm running low on Crappie Nibbles.  One day I might decide to stop at Gander Mountain and pick up both. ;)

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I always try to help them. I've got the gift of gab and was also blessed with some tact so I've never had a problem helping people out. I have never had anyone turn my advice down and they seem to always be grateful.

Great first line: "It looks like you might need some help."

It's just another way to grow fishing.

Fantastic answer there. Definitely avoid starting out with 'hey doofus' or 'let me stop you from making a huge mistake'. Tact is the key.

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I would never want anyone telling me how to spend my money, so I would never tell somebody else how to spend theirs. I would be more than happy to help if asked, but I don't see it as being any of my business. I would never tell anyone which clothes to buy or which groceries they should buy. I'll leave it to them. Everybody starts somewhere, right?

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Everybody starts somewhere, right?

But the other side of the coin is that these people will probably become frustrated in their beginning attempts and never become avid fishermen.  

If someone obviously doesn't know what they are doing I will offer advice without being asked.  As a poster above said this doesn't necessarily mean that they are buying an odd variety of stuff, but that they truly have the deer in the headlights look.  

These people need help to have some success so that they can enjoy our sport and become proponents for it.  We need all the support we can get.  I run into this more at Wal-Mart than anything else and I think that it is worth 5 minutes of my time to try and increase someone else's love of the outdoors.

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I help whenever I can. I'm no expert but I know enough to have an intelligent discussion and can spot a newbie without much problem. I never start the discussion with asking if they need any help.

Instead I aske them something like "how's the fishing been". Or "what are you fishing for". Sometimes i'll even ask them for help, something like "do you know where the senko's are?". The best way to help is to strike up a conversation and then once you get them talking you can recommend anything. This is the same technique i use in my job as a salesman, and it helps pay the bills ;)

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Everybody starts somewhere, right?

But the other side of the coin is that these people will probably become frustrated in their beginning attempts and never become avid fishermen.

If someone obviously doesn't know what they are doing I will offer advice without being asked. As a poster above said this doesn't necessarily mean that they are buying an odd variety of stuff, but that they truly have the deer in the headlights look.

These people need help to have some success so that they can enjoy our sport and become proponents for it. We need all the support we can get. I run into this more at Wal-Mart than anything else and I think that it is worth 5 minutes of my time to try and increase someone else's love of the outdoors.

I see where you're coming from, but I started out with a worm and a bobber 10 years ago. I never had anyone to teach me. I think the hardcore fisherman who really love the sport will stick with it.

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I guess the biggest reason to say something in that situation is the guy has his kid with him and you don't want the kid to be discouraged right off the bat. Point the dad in the right direction respectfully and he'll be appreciative.

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The only time I help someone with a tackle issue is when they ask me. I do not like to tell anyone how to fish or what to buy(I let the bait monkey do his work). But if they ask I will help them out as much as I possibly can.

I ran into an older gentleman with his grandson one day at my local Wal-mart and they were looking through the same section in the fishing isle as I was. The older man asked me how experienced I was with bass fishing and I hooked them up with everything they would need for a day on the lake and a great thing was I was very familiar with the lake they were going to and I even gave them my favorite spots. Well that same evening I went out to the lake and sure enough there was the man and his grandson in the spot I had told them about and when I motored over to them they told me they had caught about 25 bass in less then 2 hours and they had one nice on the line when I was pulling up to them.

On another hand... That same day while I was at the Wal-mart helping this man I saw another younger man (mid 30's) looking through the tackle and telling his wife about going bass fishing. Well he picked up small 2" grubs and treble hooks and one of the push button kid poles and told his wife he thinks that will work for him.. So I asked him how he fished his grubs... I was hoping he was using it as a trailer but he said he take the treble hook and wraps the grub around the worm and apply's scent and adds a bobber and throws it out. Then I asked him if he needed my help with lure selection and he said no thanks I don't take advice from younger kids...

Well I'm sorry but I'm 23 years old and I think I know a little of what I'm talking about. But you know what it just made me feel good to know that I had helped at least one person that day!!! ;)

I agree...But holding up that big cat......You don't look a day over 60.. ;)

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