Some sports are economical to participate in. To go on a jog, for example, you only need a pair of workable sneakers. To play basketball, all that's required is a ball and a public park hoop. But not all athletic diversions are as cheap. Going fishing, for one, first requires going shopping, or at least rummaging through your dad's basement.
Whether you end up trekking to your local waterhole or climbing aboard a deep-sea voyager, you'll need some basic items with you: a rod and reel, a tackle box and some bait. These three key ingredients are the price of playing this sport, and ValuePenguin has researched the best ways to acquire them from a personal finance perspective. Read on to learn how to angle for savings, whether you're a new hobbyist or an executive chef looking for your catch of the day.
Like with shopping for anything, first decide whether you need to hit the store at all. Fishing equipment, particularly when taken care of, can and should last long a long time (or be brought back to life). With that said, see if you can borrow or buy a friend or family member's fishing gear. The only thing you absolutely have to buy will be a fishing license. Everything else -- from buckets to fish stringers (where you temporarily store you fresh catches) -- can be passed down or purchased on the cheap.
If heading to a big retailers like Tackle Warehouse or LandBigFish.com -- eBay also has a wholesale fishing section on its site -- remember that you can buy used equipment. Whether you purchase used or new rods, reels, hooks, lines and sinkers, consider the best time of year to buy. Early spring and late fall typically see the most discounts in the fishing realm. Also ponder joining a store's loyalty rewards program and seek out online coupons before swiping your best cash-back credit card.
The Rod and Reel
Without a fishing pole, it's hard to be a fisherman. A rod and reel can set you back between $50 and $100 on the lower end, which is reccomended for beginning anglers. The more often you fish, the more you'll know what length, weight and flexibility of a rod will be best for your purposes (i.e. trolling on a boat in the middle of a lake or casting over your shoulder from a river pier). Reels can be bought separately or already attached to the rod. No matter what you purchase (or refurbish), it's important to hold the pole in your hands before you walk out with it; it should feel comfortable at the outset.
The Tackle Box
For the unfamiliar, the tackle box is basically the fisherman's Bible. He or she believes that its contents will light the way. But what exactly are the contents and how do you save on them? Well, your hooks, lines, sinkers (or weights), lures and other artificial bait, extra line and more are organized in this mobile storage unit. And buying in bulk at big fishing retailers -- or getting bait secrets from your campground's general store -- aren't the only ways to stock up on supplies. Two underrated, money-saving strategies: Head to fabric and hardware stores, where other staples, such as scissors, knifes, pliers and hooks can be had for cheaper than they are available at the sporting goods store. Secondly, fashion from home what your tackle box is missing. Need a new weight to keep your line beneath the surface of the water? Consider grabbing the silver off of that extra cable that's long been in storage in your garage. Scrounge what you can, where you can get it. If you need advice on home remedies, head to YouTube for videos how to make your own lures, too. It's good to keep replenishing your tackle box's various compartments; after all, the big fish that hooks onto your line one day could snap it at a moment's notice.