How Much Should You Be Spending on Your Fishing Equipment

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Fishing equipment costs vary, so knowing when to splurge and when to save on your gear can be challenging. General fishing equipment like rods and reels, tackle boxes, and vests range from high-end to low-end prices. Here’s a look at fishing equipment costs so you aren’t lost browsing the aisles or the internet for hours.

Fishing Apparel

Fishing is a patient sport, so comfort is key. The apparel varies depending on location, weather, and the type of fishing you’re doing. Even if you stay at a lodge, where they supply all the fishing gear you need, you’ll still need the proper attire for the job. Here is a breakdown of the clothes you’ll need for a fishing excursion.


Men spend 20%–30% more per sale than women on menswear and accessories to go with them. This is no surprise for fly fishermen, who need a vest since a tackle box isn’t conducive to wading. A good vest can stand the test of time, which makes it well worth the investment, especially for frequent fishermen. Quality fly fishing vests can cost around $250, but you can opt for a budget-friendly version for less than $50.


If you’re a shore or fly fisherman, you’ll want waders to keep you dry while you fish. Waders are indispensable to shore fishing since they protect you from water weighing you down and cold water chilling you to the bone.

To determine if high-quality waders are worth their price tag, consider if you’ll use your waders 20 or more times per year. If you answer yes, you’ll feel better about shelling out several hundred dollars on a solid pair. If not, you can find beginner waders for around $120. Wading boots are also an excellent investment choice if you’re an avid fisherman.

Rain Gear

Having rain gear can keep you safe while you fish. Comfort is vital while you’re out on the water for it to be an enjoyable experience and rain gear can protect you from torrential downpours. Depending on the quality, rain gear can range from around $20 to $200. You’ll want to consider the weight of the equipment, its mobility and the material and water repellency.

Fishing Equipment Costs

Fishing equipment varies based on geographic location and your target fish species. Here is an overview of the equipment you’ll need for general fishing.

Tackle Boxes

Tackle boxes are handy when fishing or preparing for a fishing journey. Vests are more convenient when fly fishing, but you likely get the supplies out of your tackle box. Anglers need terminal tackle, which you can purchase in bulk or in an assortment pack.

The essentials are weights, hooks, snaps and swivels, split rings, and sinkers. Lead-free and stainless tackle are eco-friendly and last longer than alternatives. You might also have live bait and lures in your tackle box. Fishing pliers are an excellent asset to get hooks out of fish. You can get a stocked tackle box for anywhere from $130 to less than $15.

Fishing Rods

Fishing rods vary for every fishing style, but you can keep it as simple or complex as you like. Rods and reels go hand in hand, and you can find cheap freshwater combos for around $30–$40 that are beginner and budget-friendly. If you’re looking for flyfishing rods, you’ll spend anywhere from $150–$1,000, ranging from the rod’s weight, strength and action.

Fishing Reels

While a fishing reel can come with a rod you purchase, you may want to upgrade to customize your pole. Reels are the true workhorses in your fishing arsenal, so they can make or break your fishing experience if you don’t have a good one.

Spincast reels are inexpensive — typically around $20 — and beginner friendly. Spinning reels are the most popular, ranging from $50 to $100 for anglers on the entry-level side of things and up to $500 for those looking for an upgrade. Baitcasting reels are more advanced and can elevate your fishing experience depending on the style of fishing you are looking to do. They average $100–$500, which is a lot for a fishing reel but can really diversify the techniques you can employ while out on the water.

Budgeting Your Fishing Equipment Costs

The various fishing gear and equipment types can be confusing, but this list will help you determine the best investments for your fishing trips. Higher price brackets don’t always mean better fishing, but they can amplify your game if you know what you’re doing.

Jack Shaw

Jack Shaw is a freelance writer and an avid outdoorsman. He’s the senior writer of, and has contributed his stories and advice through Crow Survival, Outdoor Hacker and Urban Adventure and more.

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