Hi all, was just thinking about the amount Ive spent on fishing related expenditure and thought it would be good to start a topic on spending tips to save a few bucks here and there, hopefully to curb off the ever increasing total spent!
I'll share some of my tips:
* Subscribe to mailing lists for popular fishing sites - check out the weekly emails most send out and see if gear you've been eyeing appears on sale!
* I often shop on eBay for really cheap consumables but look for the signs of quality amongst the sea of crap - e.g. split rings (look for flattened and with a weight rating), swivels (look for stainless steel with a weight rating). Other accessories like knot hooks, small tackle boxes etc... are pretty basic so not much that can go wrong - buy these as cheap as possible. Having said that, I also check against Dinga as a general point of reference (free Australia based shipping with no minimum spend really levels things). When buying of AliExpress, I also use my cashrewards account to accrue 5% off every purchase made - factor this in the price comparison. I should say here that for sinkers , I usually buy from dinga as shipping contributes greatly to pricing for eBay, as we know, shipping is free on dinga, so often works out cheaper to buy heavy consumables from dinga.
* For fluoro leader, Ive gone cheap and expensive - I haven't really had a positive experience in the cheap arena, hence what I use exclusively is FC Rock for all ranges up to 40LB. I stock up when dinga have (quarterly?) 'Leader and line x% off sale'.
* For braid, Ive found the kastking kastpro braid to be really good - breaks about 20% above stated strength and fairly accurate thin diameter. Goes for about 20aud for 300m on AE. Before that, have used a combination of 100-150m spools bought on sale from Australian stores (gallant brand, mainly) as well as kastking mega8, which has been fairly consistent but a little bit thicker than what's stated(going for about $14aud (whilst on sale) for 270/300m ATM on AE.
* For reels - it's really a personal choice. See below:
For cheap cheap reels that are gonna get abused or passed around, I get cheap cheap Chinese reels. I only pick from kastking and piscifun brands, these are the only ones that have made an impact globally with positive independent reviews frequently made on YouTube. Given I fish saltwater, I generally look for good carbon disc drag, sealed design and (sometimes) metal body. You can go with the popular brands, but I've found these two Chinese brands usually beat the popular branded reels in the sub $60 price point.
For more expensive reels (i.e. above $60 :P) it's up to you. I really like the Daiwa BG for durability and smoothness, though a bit heavy. I often check a shop (us, not au) along with camelcamelcamel - I picked up a few Daiwa bgs around the $90-100 each, shipped. Otherwise, the Shimano nasci has better drag, similar sealing and is lighter (but that's because it's not a metal body).
Otherwise, eBay with the frequent 20% of specific seller groups (outdoors types) might include fishing shops - so you might be able to pickup a clearance item with an additional 20% off. Applies to all types of fishing gear.
* For rods, Ive had poor experiences buying chinese brands from the Chinese version of ebay, though the brand kuying has really nice rods but are pricier as a result. Definitely only for consideration when we are stronger against the USD and there coupons available on AE. eBay - Ive found the graphite rods from the Sambo brand to be acceptable for when you don't want to lose a rod overboard or passing it around - have caught a kingy on their 7' 5-10kg on max drag, the bend was like a jogging rod and it performed well). Great service aswell - they will consider "offers" made via the eBay "make an offer" function - e.g. 20% saved if I buy two. They also shipped out a new rod when I received a rod with a broken eyelet. All it took was a photo and I got a new rod in a few days.
I sometime buy off adore tackle, the owner is really helpful via email, I feel the rods end up averagely priced when comparing the price of the rods in their home country (usually European). Good if you want a particular rod spec.
For the majority of my rods, though, have gotten them through the weekly promotional emails - dinga has been the source of quite a few my rods, well done on pricing, dinga!
* For boating gear, eBay for small components, wiring, electronic bits. Dinga for some parts and then RTM and whitworths for the rest. Don't cheap out on safety related gear.
Having said all that, have I saved a fortune? I think I have. Have I SPENT a fortune? DEFINITELY!