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Trout Fishing Tackle Introduction

The following sections on tackle choices for fly-fishing, spin fishing, jigging and trolling, are a very general guide only and aimed more at someone new to the sport.

This general view is especially true of fly-fishing gear, where getting a good idea of local conditions and tackle requirements is very important. Spin, jigging and trolling tackle is more universal and can be used in the vast majority of situations.

I guess, that because I am an ex-tackle store owner, some might think that my views as to the suitability of various items of tackle are guided by the price of the gear – the more costly the better. Well it is partly true.

Owning a tackle store that sold many thousands of outfits every year, I got to get a good look at the gear that came back bent, battered and broken. Most of the gear that came back was from the cheap end of the price scale - and it was ‘cheap’ in the worst connotation of the word.

To sum it up as succinctly as I can, the quality of fishing tackle goes up at a much faster rate than the price goes up.

For example a $300 rod is usually much more than twice the quality of a $150 rod.

Try to buy your tackle off a specialist tackle store, or at least a sports store that has a separate fishing area staffed by fishermen and women. Buying off places like the chain stores may get you cheaper gear, but whether it is suitable for the task is anybody’s guess, because the staff won’t know, and neither will the person doing the buying for each chain.You take an even higher punt on getting what you need when buying on-line.

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A brief aside about tackle buying.

One day in my shop a pair of Chinese men bought several thousand dollars worth of tackle for their new big-game fishing boat. After a good bit of to-and-plenty-of-fro a price was settled on, and the gear paid for.

Then one of the men asked a staff member if he would show him how to tie a special knot that produces a shock absorbing loop.

Conrad ('Conan'), with a smile, said “OK but it will cost you 20 bucks,” and proceeded to teach them the knot. When Conrad finished one of the men pulled $20 from his pocket and tried to give it to Conrad, who protested that he had only been joking.

Then came the interesting bit, the man said, “I will argue all day about the price of things, but never argue the price of knowledge.”

Look After the Little Guy

This plea follows on from the story above. Most dedicated tackle stores do not have the buying power of bigger discount operators, and therefore their prices will always be a few dollars more. The benefit the local shop offers is local knowledge, local experience and in-depth product knowledge. This quality advise should carry a price premium.

I know from bitter experience the dismay of spending an hour or more going over the tackle options and ‘selling’ tackle to a potential client only for them to buy the tackle at a discounter or on-line.

Look after the little guy. He can provide more than just tackle purchase advise. He can offer advise to assist you in developing your fishing skills. You cannot buy that at any price in a discounter.

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