who can afford...

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Nol, May 8, 2014.

  1. That kind of money is simply not needed to get quality fly fishing gear. My favorite fly rod is a 3wt Ross that cost me less than $200. My waders were less than $150 & have pretty much lasted me seven years.thank god for aqua seal. Got orvis & loomis reals that both ran around $100 and function perfectly. Looking for deals,being patient & loyalty to local shops all payoff. Cheap or affordable doesn't mean poor quality all the time,but research is the key.
  2. I buy what gear I want and what suits my budget. I don't really care what others are buying, odds are, it wont suit my needs anyway. I was talked into a shiny new ________ once, and ended up selling it a couple months later. Now I research what will work for me and I save up and buy it.
  3. It's this thing I use when you might use a check or cash - for things like gas, groceries, paying bills, buying fishing stuff, etc. - except at the end of the year, while your checks or cash simply get you goods and services, my credit card gets me those same goods and services, plus free airline tickets.

    Credit cards, and credit in general, are a great tool, if you use them properly. Kind of like guns. The people that use either, on the other hand, can be a problem.
    IveofIone and scottybs like this.
  4. You have it right Mountain Man. Here in the near wilderness where most stores are 2 hours away we buy almost everything on credit cards. I have bought stuff as large as a boat trailer, log splitter and refrigerator with free shipping and as small as an MP-3 player or batteries for a UV flashlight. Every year we seem to spend thousands shopping on line as some of our food items and meds are also bought that way. And again this year when our credit card company sent our year end statement the line that read: Total amount of interest paid was $0.00.

    Intelligent use of credit is priceless, something you want to manage and nurture over your lifetime. My new pickup will be arriving soon and I will finance about a third of the cost. My credit union informed me that my credit rating was in the top 1% of individuals in the country and no credit app would be necessary. Not bad for a guy that had his Porsche repo,ed for non payment 50 years ago! I learned a lot from that brain fart.

  5. What other hobby in the USofA costs less than fly fishing? Gardening, maybe? Day hiking?

    Stuff that costs more than a top-end fly rod:
    Serious Bicycle
    Serious Camera
    Serious Golf Clubs
    Serious BBQ
    Serious Guitar
    Plane Tickets Abroad
    Season Tickets To Anything
    Ham Radio
    Scuba Gear
    Bass Boat

    Nobody needs an $800 fly rod, but even if you think you do, it's not a $4000 DSLR that will be obsolete in 5 years. And you can use it without greens fees or lift tickets.

    Poetry. Writing poetry is definitely cheaper than fly fishing.

  6. Ohhhhh now, Ken, you went and violated something. Not sure what. Regardless, that $4000 DSLR.... that was soooooo wonderful and the most profound leap of technical achievement 5 years ago... one that no one could fathom.... but would reinvent the concept of a DSLR...yea, I just got that exact same one about three weeks ago, refurbished by Canon at 1/10th the original price. Reminds me of my $170 RPL5100 or $175 RPL6100. Not new, cheap, 100% functional, cheap, not trendy, not something people say "oooohhhh ahhhhh" about, cheap, does everything I need it to do and, did I note....cheap ? Ohhhhhhhh welllllll..... last years obsolete technology is soooo sweeeeet !!! But, ma gawd, you have a bunch of hobbies !! Congratulations, you lucky dawg !
  7. gardening is expensive as shit
    Brookie_Hunter likes this.
  8. Not for me. If it's green, I mow it.
    wadin' boot likes this.
  9. This subject comes up almost as often as the nymphing vs. swinging debate, and is almost equally tiresome. Every time it comes up there are a hundred guys who jump on congratulating themselves on how "frugal" they are and expressing outrage and disdain towards anyone who actually is stupid or vain enough to buy high end fly gear.

    But to answer the OP's question - apparently there are enough people who can afford the high end fly gear to keep a lot of large and small companies that make it in business. If there wasn't a market for high end fly fishing equipment, manufacturers like Simms, Patagonia, Sage, Winston, Scott, Burkheimer, R.B. Meiser, Riverwatch Rods, J.M. Reid Bamboo, Sweet Grass Rods, Olson Custom Fly Reels, Fisknat, etc. wouldn't exist. Some of the folks that buy high end stuff are well to do and others are not but for whatever reason are willing to make sacrifices in other areas to buy nice fly fishing equipment. Kind of like other recreational equipment, cars, trucks, motorcycles, beer, whisky(ey), coffee, cigars, etc. - the list goes on. I don't know, what could possibly motivate a working stiff to buy a beautiful C.F. Burkheimer spey rod hand-crafted by Americans in the PNW instead of a TFO spey rod mass-produced by drones in China when they both will deliver a fly 80 feet? The guy must be a poser or an idiot, right? Fortunately, one of the benefits of living in a free country without a command and control economy is that for the most part consumers get to decide what they want.
  10. Fortunately, one of the benefits of living in a free country without a command and control economy is that for the most part consumers get to decide what they want.

    There are some folk that are trying to change this, one example is the obama care program.
    PT, chewydog and Ron McNeal like this.
  11. Sg:

    No worries - I'm not wrangling steelhead and salmon on my 5-wt.

    I absolutely agree that a drag is largely unnecessary for most 5-wt quarry, but the 5+ pound rainbows from the Satsop Springs hatchery they plant in some of my local lakes are exceptional. The 5-wt. rod handles them quite well, but when they decide to run, they put a reel to the test (especially one made of plastic). I think it also has a lot to do with the fact that I use the outfit in question as mostly a trolling setup, so when the fish hits, it's already on the reel. If it's a big one, it's sometimes into the backing before you get the rod out of the holder.

    I probably shouldn't make lofty claims about fish "blowing up my drag." I haven't even looked at the drag to see what shape it's in. I just know that I can set it as tight as it will go and the line peels off pretty easily (it used to tighten up pretty good), and that tells me it's perhaps a bit "worn."
  12. And oh yeah, I should probably mention that while I do think there are a lot of great cheap rods out there these days, I can appreciate that in most cases, the high end stuff is better, and if I had the money, I'd replace my cheapies with Cadillacs. With me, buying the less expensive stuff comes down to practicality, not principle. I certainly don't begrudge anyone for going for the gold if they have the means.
    weiliwen likes this.
  13. I'll spend $$ on X-C race gear, boots&stuff, but that's about it. Don't see any need to lug a thousand dollar rig around on a stream. Besides, as we all know, the cheap Echo Solo catches as many fish as the Sage. There's a few things where you get what you pay for, but most of the time, it's just hype. The one exception I see is in bamboo rods, where there's more artistry than anything else. Things of beauty should be! Looking at a $1400 rod vs a $350 Headwaters bamboo, they're both beautiful, and they both work fine. Which would you pick?
  14. o mykiss, I understand your disdain for those of us that are frugal but we are not the self righteous goons you take us for. Often there is a reason someone becomes thrifty as well as a reason another person spends beyond his means. I have always suggested that you buy what you can afford and get the best possible value for your money. But our in-debt society has run that theory into the ground and left many families teetering on financial failure.

    As an elderly person I see far too many examples of this with too many people my age and many younger living hand to mouth. And I'm not saying they are all in that condition because they bought $1,000 fly rods. The point I am trying to make is that instead of buying the $1,000 item you can find happiness with a $250 item and put $750 in your IRA, Roth account, stocks or bonds or some other interest and value accruing investment. That is a far better business model than always bragging that "I only buy the best" etc,etc ad nauseum.

    I learned a lot from my dad who bought a new car every 2 years and kept the family in near peril making payments. There was never enough money for anything else, I received a grand total of fifty bucks from him for my college education. I have since observed many families in similar situations over boats, RV's, pickup trucks, expensive cars, hunting rifles, tract mansions and airplanes among others. I was aware early that I could never be successful long term being like my dad.

    My caution paid off. I paid cash for my 20 acres here and my house was paid for before I spent the first night in it. All of those working years when my peers were working every minute of overtime they could squeeze in I worked it only selectively and saved much of it instead of elevating my standard of living to some artificial plateau. I retired early and the past 14 years have been far and away the best years of my life. I would wish that for everyone. My dad died less than a year into his retirement.

    So we are not idiots just because we don't have a quiver full of high end gear at our disposal. We are smart, are looking way down the road and ultimately have bigger fish to fry.

    Jim Ficklin, jwg and kurtataltos like this.
  15. For me personally, the price of gear is a pittance compared to the cost of just going fishing.
    Since I became single again seven years ago, I've been able to average 100-125 days per year on the water.
    The amount of money I spend on gas, lodging, food, ferries etc far outweighs what I spend yearly on gear by a wide margin.

    I really have enough gear (rods & reels) to last me the rest of my life, but I still get the itch for some more gear. So I scratch it with either new or used gear. My weakness is 6 wts. Do I need five of them? No, but I fish all of them so I don't feel badly about having bought any of them and I'd do it again without thinking about it.

    As I mentioned early in this thread, we've never had it so good as far as fly gear goes. Tons of choices for every budget.
    Buy the best equipment you can the first time. Face the facts, if you love the sport you'll eventually be buying more equipment.
  16. I'd rather own a Sage than a Cabelas rod. And I'll be buying another when someone else decides to sell theirs a year or two after they bought it new.

    Buy what you want and don't worry about what others are doing. My arsenal is pretty awesome..... and quite meager compared to others.
  17. I give this subject lots of thought and have been on both sides of the spending spectrum mainly due to circumstantial reasons. As has been stated before, the range of gear really is wide enough that you can definitely enjoy the sport on the less expensive side, yet still, the sport of fly fishing is not cheap or inexpensive by any means and like SF noted, traveling is what gets me the most...so some of us more than others are limited to where we fish. My main issue with the sport is that at times, (not everywhere) I sense that I'm being treated like a 2nd class citizen in various fly shops because you're not dropping the coin like some of the "ballers" do. But that's a whole different subject.

  18. Same here, I buy used stuff from the "ballers", it works out quite well for me and next to that I learned to build by own stuff, this makes it even better. ;)
  19. When I worked at Nike years ago, the folks who marked running shoes talked about weight, that is, weight of the shoe. A shoe that is an ounce less than the next one will mean you pick up a pound less weight in 8 steps (8 by each foot, I mean). Over the course of a 5 mile run that means you've lifted about 100 pounds less. I don't run unless chased buy somebody with a knife, so I am sure I would not appreciate that difference. However, there are those that do. The cheaper shoe works great - good cushioning, good support, protects your foot, etc. That might be enough for you. For others, however, that one ounce less may make a difference.

    The way I see it, the same thing holds true with fly rods. Many of the upper-end rods I've cast are a bit lighter, same with reels. Over the course of a thousand casts, that adds up, but if that's not something you notice, more power to you. Those rods tend to have a finer action. I cast two rods the other day, one of them my TFO Professional, one of them a Sage One. The TFO is rated as a Medium Fast (by TFO) and the Sage as Fast (by Sage). There was no comparison. My TFO felt heavier and more broomstick-like after casting with the Sage for a while. $625 difference? That's your decision, and I won't fault you whichever way you go, but if I had $775 and didn't have to save $$ for kids' college or retirement, I'd be on that Sage like white on rice.
  20. Ive - I never called anyone an idiot, nor do I have disdain for anyone's frugality. Actually, I'm pretty sure it was the other way around. And the implication that anyone who buys nice fly fishing equipment must be a financial moron is more than a bit condescending. I've made similar choices to those you've made in other areas of my life. For years, my "fishing rig" was a 1995 VW Jetta; I've been in the same 1900 sf house on a 4000 sq lot for the last 20 years; I run my appliances until they die. Most of us have to make choices about where and how we spend our money. If some guy wants a Benelli shotgun instead of a Remington for wing shooting, who am I to tell him that he's a dumbshit (or poser) for opting for the more expensive choice just because both will get the job done? I'm guessing there were cheaper alternatives to that new 4W drive pickup you just bought. But hey, that's your choice and I'm not going to call you out for making it.
    Kent Lufkin and Ron McNeal like this.

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