When I worked as a fishing associate at an outdoor retail store, one of the most interesting things about anglers was their reactions to the more expensive items available on the market. I remember unloading and displaying some of the more high-end products and wondering if anyone would actually purchase them. To me, it seemed as if anyone who bought a $300 rod or a $50 lure would only be doing so because such a high price tag meant that it would bring them some sort of prestige. I’ll admit that some such items are well worth the high cost, but learning which ones to splurge on and which ones to walk by when you’re shopping is important, as it’s easy to be lured into buying something because you think that price equals quality. Today, I’ll help you learn a few tricks that will enable you to ignore the impulse to buy certain items and distinguish flash from ingenuity.

I want to begin by stating that I will never tell anyone how to spend their money. All I will do—all I did as an associate—if asked, was to declare how I would spend my own money. Because of this, I asked each customer the same questions: how often do you fish, and how much money do you want to spend? Two very simple questions, but both have a profound impact on what products I recommended.

It is helpful that fishing tackle is available in several noticeable price ranges, depending on the product. Companies such as St. Croix, for instance, offer series of rods that fall into distinctive price ranges. Their Triumph rods cost around $70, which is perfect for a high-quality, inexpensive rod, while their Avid series rods come with a price tag of around $180. Now, each price range offers a different level of warranty, so it’s up to the consumer to decide what is more practical. There are companies that are synonymous with expensive products, as well. G. Loomis, obviously, is geared more towards the serious angler who has the money to spend on very specific products.

As I said before, it really depends on how much you fish and what your price range is. If you don’t fish often, then a $300 rod isn’t practical. If you fish waters riddled with logs, weeds, and other lure-claiming objects, then a $30 swimbait isn’t practical. However, if the conditions are right, and you know that you’ll get a lot of use from a product, then I see no problem with the purchase. However, if there’s a little voice in your mind that stays your hand when shopping, then asking for gift cards around Christmas or your birthday doesn’t hurt. 

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