I would probably classify myself as a ‘binge’ tackle buyer. I don’t go to tackle stores very often or every time a new product is out but instead I usually wait until a big event or I’m low on tackle. Doing it this way it appears to be quite a lot of money to outlay, but in the end I think I end up saving time, money and I also avoid the impulse purchases. On top of this I may not buy tackle for 6 to 12 months or in the case of my current position, I just purchased tackle for the first time in about fourteen months. Buying tackle like this, you can easily find yourself getting confused between the stuff you need and the stuff you want and requires some careful planning.
So where do I begin? Well the key thing for me is that I know I budget for it. At different periods throughout the year when I’m looking at my broader finances, I take the time to estimate how much money I’m expecting to spend for the next 12 months and adjust direct debit payments accordingly. They then go into a separate ‘fishing’ saving’s account until a later date. This then covers me for entry fees, accommodation, fuel, tackle and any other miscellaneous costs which may arise.
When it comes to the tackle, firstly, I get all my plano’s and tackle storage containers out of my boat and open them up so I can have a good look at the overall picture. Then I start making a list in four categories of what I have and what I am likely to use, noting down the quantities I need (I deliberately leave out the items that I am not likely to use as well – all those odd coloured lures I bought for some strange reason). These categories are also ranked in order of the importance. From most to least I rate: Line/Leaders, Crankbaits, Jigheads, Plastics and other seasonal and miscellaneous items. People may question the way I rank the importance of these items but for me, the bottom line is regardless of your lures, without quality line and leaders in good condition, your chances of landing fish diminish significantly. Next come the crank baits purely because that is my style of fishing, then jigheads, plastics, seasonal items and consumables.
Category 1: Lines and Leaders
Depending on usage I generally replace my braid every two years sometimes earlier but as I use spinning fluoro more frequently now, the braid definitely doesn’t see the water as often as it used too. Spinning Fluoro on the other hand can be replaced every 6 months as a minimum.
With this in mind I will order to replenish my stock levels to:
- 3lb fluorocarbon – 6 spools
- 4lb fluorocarbon – 6 spools
- 6lb fluorocarbon – 4 spools
- 8, 10, 12, 14lb fluorocarbon – 2 spools each
- 3lb spinning fluorocarbon – 12 spools
- 2lb spinning fluorocarbon – 2 spools
- 4lb spinning fluorocarbon – 2 spools
- Braid – when required
By doing this I find that I can minimise the need to purchase so often and can generally see most of the year through.
Category 2: Crankbaits
For me this is especially important. I have two plano’s of crank baits in my boat with trebles changed and ready to go. Then I have a third plano with my favourite crank baits opened and trebles removed and a fourth, sometimes fifth 3700 size plano with my favourite spare crank baits (as well as other spare items) unopened in their boxes, in case of emergency when things have gotten out of hand.
When I check my stock levels, I take note of the quantity of my favourite lures and colours. This will then determine how many I need to order to replenish my levels of stock. For my favourite go to lures I’ll usually replenish to 20 of each and the less favourites up to around 10…What! There is nothing wrong with that is there? They come in boxes of four!
Category 3: Jigheads
My thinking around jigheads has changed somewhat recently. I used to be a firm believer in having different hook sizes but I tend to use them less frequently, I now only purchase jigheads in size 1. I’m not sure how many jigheads I have of each size but when I need to replenish, there is no science around it. I just purchase as many packets as I think are needed to keep me out of trouble for a while.
Category 4: Soft Plastics and other seasonal and miscellaneous items
What do I mean by seasonal items. Well this could be topwater lures, pink grubs, vibration baits. I class these as seasonal because for example, in Sydney, I’m not going to fish top waters or pink grubs during winter while I’m more likely to fish a vibration bait if things get tough. Now you’re probably thinking what are miscellaneous items? Well this might be things like replacing old scissors, pliers or tackle trays.
Along with Soft Plastics the seasonal and miscellaneous items will be the first to get the axe from my shopping list if my initial wish list is more than I have budgeted for.
This system of binge purchasing has worked for me for a couple of years now. Remember, if you’re going to try it there are a few things to keep in mind:
- If you need to, budget for it, the last thing you want, is to run our of tackle and have no money set aside to make the purchase.
- Understand what you are going to remove from your shopping cart or basket if things get a little out of hand and your wants exceed your budget.
- Finally if you do do this, try and find a tackle supplier who can provide you with most of your needs and build up a relationship with them. With large purchases you can quite often negotiate a little on price saving you hundreds of dollars compared to buying your tackle on a regular basis.
Does anybody else out there shop like this or is willing to give it a go?