Fishing on a Budget

The equipment needed to start out fishing can be very expensive and it’s really easy to spend a lot more than you need to.

One of the first things a prospective angler needs to learn is that the huge rack of lures and accessories was made more to catch you than to catch fish. There are five or six tried and true fishing lures that will get you catching fish.

Even people with minimal experience can pick out a Five of Diamonds, a Red and White, a Williams Wabler, a Mepps Spinner, a floating Rapala and an Apex. With just these six and a bit of luck you’ll catch all the fish you are allowed.

Each of the above comes in different sizes and weights, but choosing mid-size/weight will keep you going until you learn more.

I checked out the “Big Box” stores in town and they have quite an array of fishing kits or sets which include, rod, reel (with line) and packs of hooks, sinkers, floats and Power Bait packs.

These kits start out with collapsible kids’ units ready to fish for under $35. They are certainly not high-tech or unbreakable, but with a little supervision and guidance a toddler can enjoy the excitement of hooking tonight’s supper.

Sets for youth or beginner adults run from about $50 and up including hooks, bait, sinkers etc. A novice can go straight from the store to the water and start fishing immediately.

Spinning reels are probably a little easier to learn on, but these sets are available with level-wind reels as well. Trolling sets with stiffer rods and heavier reels are also sold all set up and ready to go at a very reasonable price.

Salmon sets including line and essential basics are priced at about $80. Fly sets are also on the rack.

I was quite surprised by the quality and appearance of all these sets and of course the high-end stuff as well. Nothing I saw looks cheap and it is all brightly coloured and appears well-made. It must be accepted that the low end stuff won’t take abuse such as being filled with sand or slammed in a car door but with a modicum of care it will last a number of years.

These sets are also inexpensive enough that you can have one or two tucked away for when angler visitors arrive without any tackle.

It is so easy to spend a fortune at the lure display rack, but if you start off with these suggested items you can keep the price down to an acceptable level.

Lures are available in blister packs of three to five and that lowers the price of each lure. Ballpark prices as follows: Spoons are $4 to $10, crankbaits $6 to $20, Apex $6 to $12, spinners $4.50 to $10, leaders $4 to 15 for a 5-pack. Landing nets (which aren’t essential considering Yukon’s catch and release requirements) start at about $50 and go way up into the $100s.

Catching and eating fish is a delightful experience but please remember that being out there is at least as important as catching a fish or two.

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