Fishing Shops. How To Discover The Best Fishing Stores and Gear.
There are plenty of fishing shops and stores around to choose from. Both online and the brick and mortar stores.
Some have great personal service and some a huge range. Others, well, leave a lot to be desired and have very poor service. Or low quality fishing equipment.
Stores can range from extremely expensive, too very cheap. Are you getting a great bargain, quality fishing tackle, good advice, or getting ripped off?
How do you find good fishing shops, or online ones? Here are some ways to find some great gear and the best fishing stores:
Check fishing forums.
The fishing forums can be a wealth of information on fishing equipment and where they purchased it from.
Especially if you know what type of fishing you are going to do, or the fish species you are targeting. Such as: fly fishing, fishing for bass, catfish, ice fishing, carp fishing, etc.
Most anglers are more then too happy, about recommending gear and if they were happy with the online purchase, or advice from the shop. And what the service was like, prices and the range, etc.
Family and friends into fishing.
You might have some friends of family members who are into fishing.
Work colleagues are other good sources. Maybe, you remember Joe at the Christmas party, last year talking about the one that got away.
Most people know someone, who is into fishing and they might be a good foundation of information.
Check online reviews.
I know some of these online reviews can be fake. But, if there are a few reviews for a fishing shop, or tackle, you can generally work out if it sounds fake or genuine.
Talk to other anglers.
If you don’t where to find some anglers to talk to, try: The local fishing pier, boat ramp or popular fishing spot at the lake.
You might have a chance meeting, like at the gas station, where you see a vehicle towing a fishing boat.
Or perhaps, you notice a person with a fishing brand hat on.
While you get the occasional grumpy person, most anglers are happy to chat about gear and were they get if from.
Just don’t try to ask for too much detail on their secret fishing hot spot.
Most clubs will welcome you with open arms and be happy to give advice about where to buy fishing equipment.
It does help if you have an idea of what target species you are fishing for. Normally it will be waters close to you locally. So it should be easy enough to work out by talking to some anglers.
Online shopping for fishing tackle.
If you are going to buy online, but are not too sure what the shop is like, ring them up ask about the fishing items you were interested in. (A lot of good online stores, normally have a phone number, or also have a physical store as well.)
Do they sound helpful or knowledgeable?
While you might just get a bad employee, or someone on a bad day, you can generally judge the professionalism of the whole store.
I remember ringing one fishing shop, inquiring about some gear. The assistant answered the phone with a grunt.
If he can’t even say hello and the name of the shop, what chance has he answering a technical question about some braided fishing line? Or the warranty details of a Penn fishing reel?
Cheapest fishing gear online?
Don’t shop on price alone for unknown brands. (If it is a good quality fishing brand, then might be okay.)
If you plan on going fishing, more than a couple of times a year, I wouldn’t shop around for the cheapest unbranded fishing gear.
I am talking about cheap fishing equipment that is low quality and will eventually break, or get worn out very quickly. The type you get on some eBay sellers, or some discount shops, that the prices seem too good to be true. But it has no brand, or the brand is an unheard of one.
If it is a brand that good fishing shops don’t supply, then I would avoid it. Look at the feedback.
This gear is probably okay if you don’t want to spend some money on fishing tackle and see if you like fishing first. However, if the quality is too bad, you won’t enjoy fishing as much for a start.
An example is a very cheap fishing reel. If you wind it, it might feel unbalanced and sticky, the drag won’t work very well. A bad experience with real low quality items might put you off fishing for good.
Another example is a cheap fly fishing rod.
While good technique is important, if the rod’s ability to help load up and shoot the line cast is poor, then it will be hard to cast with. This makes fly fishing harder to learn, then what is should be. Visit, How To Fly Fish for more information on how to fly cast.
Fishing shops and online stores are very competitive and it is a hard industry to be in. Because some margins on fishing equipment is very low. So sometimes the store might take shortcuts.
Perhaps the fly fishing artificial flies are cheaply made and look more like five year old has tied the fly. Perhaps the bait you are buying isn’t as fresh as it advertised.
Maybe the saltwater fishing kit with rod and reel combo isn’t as good as it advertised. The rod is okay quality, but they have put a very cheap fishing reel on it.
Is it genuine, or a copy?
So be aware of shopping on price alone. Especially for unbranded, or unknown fishing gear.
While price can be a big factor on choosing online fishing items, there are a few other things to consider, such as: How fast do they post an item out the door?
Have they even got the item in stock?
Poor business practices that some online stores do is, advertise they have a huge variety of fishing gear. In reality they don’t have it in stock. They just order it from the wholesaler when they get the order in.
The big fishing shops?
Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, and other big name stores have a wide range of gear, normally at good prices. They also have regular fishing gear sales, which you can find some great bargains.
The customer service and training of these shops are generally good.
While it is good for general fishing gear, sometimes you won’t find a specialty fishing item. Such as a certain ice fishing item, or some uncommon fly tying gear.
While there is always debates about supporting your local bait and tackle shop, sometimes there isn’t one available. Or the customer service from the local shop is poor. So you might have to shop around and try the bigger stores.
Walmart for fishing gear.
Most big chain stores, like Walmart and K Mart, have a range of fishing tackle, some okay, some not so good.
For items that quality isn’t such as a concern, then they are fine to buy some gear from.
An example is fishing sinkers, they don’t have to be perfect, just have some weight and a hole so you can thread the line through. (Having said that, I have had some batches of sinkers with the lead blocking the holes.) Or some fishing tackles boxes might be okay.
However for fishing line, hooks, swivels, the quality does matter for these items. Especially for a bigger fish, where they put a lot of strain on the gear.
The knowledge of fishing equipment does leave a lot to be desired with some of these stores. But sometimes you get an assistant who is right into fishing and will give you some fantastic advice.
For better quality, rods, reels, lines and hooks, etc., a local fishing store, or outdoor shop might be worth looking it.
Return policy on items.
Another thing to look out for is the fishing shops return policy.
Does the shop have a warranty on the fishing tackle? Or a guarantee, either conditional or unconditional warranty?
You might be better finding about the stores policy and fine print, before buying from a shop. Otherwise damaged items, or not what was advertised gear, can be a hassle to return.
Conclusion. – Fishing shops.
Do your homework and you can find some great gear and good fishing shops that can give you good advice.
Ask a few questions and you might be find a good bait and tackle shop near you.