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"Worth the Money" Gear

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  • #31
    Originally posted by swampguts View Post
    I've only been fishing for ten months, heavy on bass for about five of them, and use Seaguar Red for every fluoro leader I tie except drop shotting where I use P Line leader material, but which is far too boring a way to fish for me. And have never once popped a knot. Granted, my PB is only six and a half pounds. I even spool it on my crankbait reels with zero problems.

    Sorry for the probably multiple run on sentences, I'm trying to find a single malt scotch that I like.
    We donít give no dangs bout run on sentences around here. You will see it with the Red Label eventually though. The difference is most noticeable in 6 and 8 lb ranges and with abrasion resistance.
    I like em big fat and sloppy.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by erikclymore View Post
      -Nets. How in the world people justify spending $75+ on a rubber net has baffled me since the first time I priced them at AO. Give me an eagle Claw or frabhil any day!
      SAME. I think my net came from Amazon with a rubber net and was like $40 max. I am all about these companies with integrity and craftsmanship but yeah that much for a net seems a bit nuts.
      @glennmau

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      • #33
        Originally posted by erikclymore View Post
        -Nets. How in the world people justify spending $75+ on a rubber net has baffled me since the first time I priced them at AO. Give me an eagle Claw or frabhil any day!
        ...you had me at Eagle....

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        • #34
          Good thread. I don’t use a net, but if I did it would have to be slick rubber. Those knotted cord ropes shouldn’t be used on fish you plan to release.
          1. The right boat for the body of water you are fishing
          2. The best trolling motor you can afford
          3. (If lake fishing) The best sonar unit even if you can’t afford it.
          4. A GPS satellite notification device (like a Spot)
          5. Synthetic or wool fishing clothes

          For most, I would economize on the rods. I really like the very few medium high end rods I have, but I catch plenty of fish on the cheap rods. Reels are a toss up. I will say that as I’ve gotten older the high performing lighter rods and reels have become more important, especially on the full days with a zillion casts. On one of my Michigan trips a few hundred casts of that old heavy fiberglass Fenwick put me out of commission with tendinitis for a few weeks.

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          • #35
            Fishing for me often involves going on hikes an hour or more from home, so my list will likely be different from most of yall's

            #1 Water filtration setup/capability. Doesn't have to be expensive, but for anglers like us, in this part of the country where most fishing involves hiking on/in/near water, I simply prefer to use the water around me vs carrying water. I like my Katadyn BeFree, and it's less than $50

            #2 planning/knowledge of where you are going. Yeah, this isn't something you buy on the shelf, but I think it's probably far more important than anything, should actually be number one on all our lists. I think winging it somewhere you haven't been is foolish at best. Share that plan with somebody you know who expects to hear from you!

            #3 basic first aid/rescue/survival skills. If you don't have them, if you weren't a boy scout as a kid, or in the military, take some classes, read some books, etc etc. I've taken lots of friends out into the wilderness, and when things didn't go as planned or expected, I was much calmer and capable at dealing with it then they often were. I think anybody who does what we do should "Be Prepared" (BSA motto, at least when I was in it) out in the woods or on the stream.

            Really I can't think of any fishing gear that would make or break any of my adventures. I fish fly, tenkara, now spin, so much different equipment, so many different ways to do it.

            My most-used, most-enjoyed outdoor gear over the years has been my Patagonia Torrentshell rain jacket(s). First one lasted me so long, I outgrew it and needed to go up a size. Seriously. $90 on sale, lasted me a decade. WORTH IT.
            After that, a good bag, whether it's a backpack, sling, or even a hip pack. I get more use out of my little cheap Patagonia (yes I know) LW hip pack than any other bag I own... And it was $25. Carries a nice small kit.
            Resident Tenkara Nerd

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            • #36
              One of the better dollars Iíve spent.

              My 2.00 reading glasses are fine for reading, but iíd sometimes struggle with teeny flies and skinny line on the water. Bought me some 3.50 readers at the Dollar Tree. Life changing.

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              • #37
                IMO save money by using P-line floroclear mono in the 2-4lbs for tippett when fishing for non spooky trout in the 9"-16" range. 300 yds for $8.99 at Bass Pro.

                Buy good quality IPA`s though! Jekyll, Sweetwater etc..
                "If you aren`t fishing out West.... well you`re just plain fishing"

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                • #38
                  Another aspect of this that hasn't been mentioned is just what counts as "skimping" or "splurging." For example, I bought a Fenwick Aetos rod last summer. It is by far the most expensive rod I've ever bought, even though it was only $170. For some, that might be skimping on a rod. For me, it was a stretch that I had to pick up a few odd jobs to cover.

                  With that being said, I go fishing to catch fish, so whatever is going to help me catch more and bigger fish is "worth it."

                  1. Tippet - I buy the RIO flouro, which is expensive to me. I've never had a fish break a hook and I use heavier (and cheaper) leaders, so the weak link is the tippet material. I don't want to lose the fish of a lifetime because I went cheap on it.

                  2. Rod - As I mentioned, my budget is small, but I bought what I thought was the best I could afford. The rod is going to protect the tippet when fighting a good fish. Plus, the difference in weight and ease of casting between my current rod and my previous one is remarkable. I don't want to lose a big fish because the rod couldn't play it well or because I couldn't make the cast I needed to.

                  3. Gas - Louisville, KY, is not a trout hotspot, the warm water fishing isn't anything to write home about, and we're at least 8 hours from the nearest coastline. I've fished some cool places, but they all require travel. If I lived in N. Georgia or MI or CO, this may not apply, but for now it's worth it to travel for fishing.

                  I skimp on literally everything else. I tie my own flies to save money, not because I enjoy it or because I am good at it. My "sling pack" is the detachable top of the overnight backpack I bought 16yrs ago. My reel is a second hand White River reel that still has the same line it had on when it was given to me years ago. Forceps are from a doctor friend who gets them at work. Nippers are my teeth or my wife's toenail clippers. I reuse all sorts of containers for flies (pill bottles), split shot (Tic Tac box), and other necessities instead of buying storage containers. I keep a couple tapered RIO leaders in case I find myself in some delicate dry-fly water, but my typical nymphing or streamer leader is a stretch of 8 or 12lb Stren. My waders are cheap. My boots were $15 at Cabela's on sale and are a size too big. I've never worn sunglasses. For the most part, everything works well and I enjoy the experience. Generally, though, being poor sucks.

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                  • #39
                    Worth It
                    (1) Boots – a comfortable pair of boots with great traction is worth the money. If you hike a decent distance, as a lot of small stream fishing requires, you definitely need comfort and quality, and good traction on both grass/mud and the stream bottom. The Simms Intruder boots with hybrid Vibram/felt bottom have been a great purchase for me.
                    (2) Fly tying (general) – this is a game changer as you can customize size, weights, patterns for the trout you’re chasing. You’re really limited if you’re not tying IMO. It's also fun and gives you something to do when you're stuck at home not fishing. Of course, if you’re a casual fly angler, and only fishing a few times a year, I understand not making this investment. But for a lot of us that fish regularly it’s awesome and necessary to create the flies you want.
                    (3) Hiring a Guide – Accelerate your learning and invest in a guided trip early in your learning, and even after you’ve been at it a while. I did this within the first couple of months of starting fly fishing, and another time after a year or so. Also, classes from folks like Big T and Gordon (and others) are so helpful, and usually very affordable for most.

                    Not Worth It
                    Well I would have mentioned expensive sunglasses here, as I use $20 glasses, but after a lot of the comments I won’t do that, as there seems to be real value for a lot of folks in buying better, more expensive glasses, and I’ll be looking into that.
                    (1) A really expensive premium (>$150) fly tying vise isn't worth the money. Any “decent” rotary vise will do.
                    (2) I see so many different types of packs and slings and setupus on the water, by good anglers, I’m inclined to say you don’t need to spend much on a pack. You can get an inexpensive fishing vest from Bass Pro (I have one), and attach all your zingers, clips, forceps to that.
                    (3) Lastly, I value different fly patterns (there are thousands, right?) less and less, as I tend to fish fewer and fewer patterns, just varying weight, size, hot spots, colors, tail/no tail, etc.…and try to fish them better and improve my presentations.
                    Last edited by 3-wt; 07-10-18, 03:22 PM.
                    "A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined..." George Washington

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                    • #40
                      Spend:

                      Keeping your trailer in working order. My last 2 boat trailers, Ive put on new loaded hubs and tires before they went on the first fishing trip. Northern sells the common 5 lug hubs with pre greased bearings and seals already in them for around $30 ea. Their store brand bearing buddies are about $12ea. Trailer tires are not expensive. Put some new ones on and save yourself from a roadside 530am tire change.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by JerryG View Post
                        Spend:

                        Keeping your trailer in working order. My last 2 boat trailers, Ive put on new loaded hubs and tires before they went on the first fishing trip. Northern sells the common 5 lug hubs with pre greased bearings and seals already in them for around $30 ea. Their store brand bearing buddies are about $12ea. Trailer tires are not expensive. Put some new ones on and save yourself from a roadside 530am tire change.
                        Probably the most practical and solid advice on this entire thread.

                        Also the most overlooked.
                        I like em big fat and sloppy.

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                        • #42
                          I trailered my boat to St Simons a couple of years ago, and I borrowed an infrared thermometer and "shot" the hub temps while traveling. No issues down or back.
                          BE DIFFERENT AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE! <

                          Exodus 29:18
                          Then burn the entire ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering to the LORD, a pleasing aroma, a food offering presented to the LORD. God loves BBQ!

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                          • #43
                            Someone probably said it, but a good PFD, one you will wear when tubing, kayaking, etc.,

                            Some kind of wading staff, depending on where you are fishing. Also, I am older than most of you, I haven't gotten more nimble with age, although I do pretty well.
                            Want to hear God laugh? Tell Him your plans.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by fishnpreacher View Post
                              I trailered my boat to St Simons a couple of years ago, and I borrowed an infrared thermometer and "shot" the hub temps while traveling. No issues down or back.
                              Salt water...a couple years ago...

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                              • #45
                                I'll mention a few items that have been invaluable to me:

                                1. Tibor Everglades Reel - My wife actually bought this for me many years ago when we were first married and she would actually buy me fishing gear. (Thank you Gary for recommending this when she wandered into the Fishawk looking for Christmas present ideas...). Have taken this to the salt for countless years, it is my go to Striper and Carp reel. It will outlast me and serve another when I pass on.

                                2. Costa Perscription Sunglasses - a few years ago my eyesight went to the point that I needed to wear prescription glasses to be able to see well when tying knots, etc. I went with the drug store glasses for close up work, but had to settle for a fuzzy view from my sunglasses to the point where I just didn't wear any and uncomfortably squinted thru regular glasses. A friend recommended prescription Costas and I went in and looked at them - just about fainted at the price-tag. "Bit the bullet" a year ago and my fishing experience is greatly enhanced - really striking how good they and and the HD type color vision level. The first time that I wore them was fishing with my skiff at Lanier; backed the trailer down at the end of the day and lamented that my car battery must be going as the lights were dimmed. Finally realized that I still had my new sunglasses on - they were so comfortable I had forgotten I had them on!

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