All around the country, anglers are dropping lines in their favorite bass holding honey holes. After taking stock of their tackle and finding that it’s time to replace one or two of their favorites, some of them enter the market for new fishing reels.

When it’s time to buy a new reel, there are several places to search, such as the Internet, department stores and bait shops. Here are a few tips to make sure you get the best reel for your needs, no matter where you shop.

Ebay  

Ebay tends to be the best option if you’re looking for a deal. There’s never a shortage of people who’ve given up fishing and end up selling their gear online for cheap. Or they want to upgrade and plan to sell their used gear to offset the cost. Whatever their reasons, you can cash in, especially if you buy during the winter, when better deals are prevalent.

Amazon

Like Ebay, Amazon is a great place to get the lowest prices on almost any piece of gear. The best thing about Amazon, too, is that you can also check reviews on every reel you’re looking at. Look at the reviews to see what other buyers thought and be sure to check for common complaints, as these are likely product flaws.

Bass Pro Shops / Cabelas

It usually costs a little more to shop at these stores, but they tend to offer plenty of sales throughout the year. Aside from that, if you want the best products, they have them, but expect to pay retail price. Finally, many of the store associates have a fair amount of knowledge about the products, so be sure to ask around if you have any questions about reels.

Walmart / Target / Etc.  

You can get good deals here, but the selection isn’t nearly as good as you’ll find elsewhere. Plus, since they’re obviously not fishing stores, there are no experts that can help you. Most of the reels you’ll find here aren’t top-of-the-line, but if you’re not looking for a long-term reel or if you’re just starting out, then these are the places to look.

Local Bait Shops

Here, you’ll pay retail, but what they tend to offer that other places don’t are solid relationships and insider tips on local fish action. Get to know the staff and you’ll be in good shape to get a leg up on the fishing in your area. Furthermore, shipping for a reel at your local bait shop means you’re also supporting a local business, which is always a good thing. Bonus Tip: Many local bait shops offer homemade lures that you won’t find anywhere else.

Photo credit: Wikimedia