Equipment - what do I buy? Who can I believe? How much money do I spend? When is the best time to buy? Equipment is everything you use to try and catch fish.
The first reality check is your wallet, then your wife. If you're single, you're the man! Keep in mind, if you can't afford it, do not buy it. A time will come when you can, and if it doesn't, do not stress out about it. Fishing can sometimes be stressful enough.
Where do you start? All the equipment on the market today has a low price and a high price. Why spend $100 on a rod or $20,000 on a boat if you only fish one or two days a week? Go to auctions, rummage sales, or look in your local newspaper for used boats, motors, and electronics. I suggest buying name brand used equipment to start with, then later, you can always upgrade.
When I first started fishing I had a 12ft pram and oars. I have upgraded about ten boats and motors now. I went from an old bamboo pole to a Quantum Tour and better rods. The Beast 72 LB Motor Guide pushes my boat faster than the pram I owned with oars. That's what I call an upgrade.
If you can afford to buy new then boat shows, sport shows, fairs, etc are the places to start looking. At all shows prices are discounted. It is wheel and deal time. Usually the bigger displays from dealers with boats are the best bet. Shop around, use the Internet. Do not wait until April, May or June, that is when equipment is at its highest price.
I use the same philosophy when purchasing electronics. Raytheon Electronics is my choice. Prices start at $150, up to $2000. There is a price range for everybody.
There is a lot of equipment out there. From Berkley line to Storm Lures, boats, clothing, life jackets, ropeā¦the list goes on and on.
Another thing to remember is safety first. Check all equipment before you buy and make sure to have the required equipment on board - flares, throw cushions. Check with your local coast guard and make sure you have it all and that it all works.
Go to the professional seminars and ask questions. Buy magazines and read about new products. Call 1-800 numbers and ask questions. There is a lot of information on whatever you decide to buy.