We’ve all been there: standing at the cash register at the start of fishing season with our jaws on the ground as the cash register displays the total for the spring’s new supply of tackle. Similar to putting aside hard-earned money for a vacation or a new flat-panel television, it seems that the start of the season requires anglers to open a separate savings account just for their preseason purchases. While it is true that fishing tackle can lean on the expensive side, especially if one needs to replace a rod or reel, there are several ways to cut costs at your local retailer and save more than just a few dollars this spring.
The easiest way to save money on fishing tackle is to keep an eye out for sales by checking the newspaper or the retailer’s website for current specials. Regardless of where you shop, there are always sales going on, and each month, the discounted items change. If there is a specific item you’re itching to purchase, but you don’t need it right away, I suggest holding off until you see its price drop with the next sale.
Often times, retailers host annual spring fishing sales, which play host to hundreds of discounted items. This is by far the optimal time to find the best deals, as certain products are only available during this period. Limited edition reels, lures, and other tackle make their rare appearances during these sales and their numbers are limited. Furthermore, when the annual sales come around, pay close attention to phrases such as “Limited Supply,” or “Four-Hour Only Sale,” and if an item you’re interested in is accompanied by such a caption, get to the store early, as there will undoubtedly be a line outside the front doors. Also, learn to look for coupons as you’re perusing the newspaper or a website. More often than not, you can save a decent amount of money simply by signing up for a newsletter or becoming a member of your local retailer.
Rods and reels are like cars; with the arrival of the new models, last year’s editions will see a sudden drop in price and fall into the “Clearance” category. I have personally seen $250 rods drop to $100 simply because they were last year’s models and the current editions are due to hit shelves. Once again, if there’s a rod or reel you’ve been wishing for, but the high price tag is deterring you from picking it up, wait until the end of the year if you can. Not only will the price drop, but with the money you saved, you can pick up a few extra items to fill your tackle box.
While sales and clearance items are the most obvious options when it comes to saving money when you shop, there are a few other ways to ensure your dollars go a long way towards a successful season on the water. Be sure to come back and check out Part Two, where I’ll offer you some insights on oft-overlooked methods of getting the most bang for your buck.