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Discussion Starter #1
Some of you might just roll in gold but, for the common person, how do you afford your fishing lifestyle? A nice rod and reel combo can cost $1,000 (and that’s not even the very high end grade). My dream boat is a Lund or a Ranger in the $70K+ range. I don’t really see myself buying one of those boats in my lifetime, and I have never spent more than $500 on a rod and reel combo. I spend about 3% of my household income on fishing (including gas money), which I think is reasonable.

As I sit here pondering my long-term personal budget, I can’t help but wonder why I don’t spend more money on fishing? After all, that is the single activity that I enjoy the most. My wife made me sell my boat in late 2013, but I talked to her over the weekend and she was receptive to the idea of the purchase of a new boat in the $40,000 to $50,000 range. She even noted that: “we are not getting any younger.” I was speechless. We actually saw eye to eye on my fishing expenditures.:eek: In my younger years, I would probably have jumped on the opportunity. Right now, I am still weighing my options. I had not planned on taking on a loan to buy a boat. I was planning on buying another boat (with cash) next year and then something fancier maybe another 10 years down the road (also a cash purchase). I have nothing against taking a loan to finance a house or a car, but it is harder for me to justify paying interest on a boat. I am leaning toward the cash option at this time.

What’s your take on fishing related expenses? Do you spend every penny of “disposable” income to pursue the passion of your life? Or are you pretty tight with your money? Most of the “successful” people I know are pretty tight with their money but, as the old adage goes, you only live once… Don't lie now...
 

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I spend as much as I need to. My $250 rod/reel combos work just fine. My $35,000 boat works just fine. 1 more payment left.

I cannot find any reason to spend more than $10 on a lure.
That said I average around 600 a month for fuel in my rigs.

My Keystone Ice works just fine-


Im kind of a cheap fucker I guess but I can live with that!

The less I spend on gear the more I can go fishing.
 

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AO, I'm not rolling in gold, nor do I spend every penny on my favorite hobbies, which are hunting and fishing. We all have our known bills we have to pay every month and then I save to prepare for the unexpected costs. I work with the wife on the other wants and needs (her hobby is glam and clothes) and we work through budgets each month. We plan a couple of family vacations that take up a good chunk of the disposable income and then work to plan around those big costs.

I try to get most of my stuff on sale if possible and have been hitting up black Friday deals the last few years for a lot of gear, especially hunting gear. I would like to get a boat, but that likely will be 15-20 years away. I'll have to make due with my 13' jon boat and peasant shore fishing.
 

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If ya get a
$70k boat ya gotta have a $50k truck to pull it.

Then gas/ diesel will eventually be back to $4-$5 /gal.

So each tank will run $165 and a full tank in the boat will run $80-$100.

I think you will be spending more than 3% of your income on fishing!
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Bored huh, AO? ;D
Yes and no. I am truly puzzled sometimes as to how people afford their fishing lifestyles. Here I am boatless at age 40, with half of my life gone. Can I call myself a “true” fisherman? Will I be a "pedestrian" dude forever? Will I be a shore "snagger forever?" Are "pedestrian" dudes and "shore snaggers" not "true" fishermen? Those are serious existential questions, man… :D Call it a fisherman's midlife crisis. :biggrin1:
 

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AO,

As a 49 year old self-employed "millionaire" (at least that's what most people think business owners are) I am always budget conscious. Although the kids are grown and most everything in our personal life is paid for except for the house; we (yes the wife is important in all decisions made) try to enjoy everyday to the fullest while living within our means as well. I always have to worry about equipment & truck repairs for the business so I save and work six days a week all summer and she saves extra money as well to have money to enjoy the fall and winter months to be able to do few things we do together (Fishing and darts) without worry so long as we don't overdo it.

Fishing equipment (boats, rods etc) can get spendy real fast, so I look at what it brings in return before I purchase it just like I look at trucks, equipment and tools for my business. While those items enable me to make money; the don't necessarily have to be brand new or fancy to get the job done. So buying a brand new $70 k truck while pretty won't get the job done any better than a nice looking mechanically sound $20k one will.

I do have a few $160 rods and reels, but they don't catch fish any better than the $50 ones honestly. Sometimes I think it becomes a "keeping up with the other guys thing" if you don't put some thought into your purchases. But splurging every once in a while can make all the hard work feel worth it for sure so long as one can keep it in perspective.

It's all a wants vs needs point of view for me without sacrificing long term future when we are too old to do the things we enjoy.
 

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Fishing doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. $250 is about my max on a rod and reel combo, however I did just spend $299.00 on a G-Loomis spinning rod. My boats are modest, a 2000 crestliner sportfish that I picked up in 2010 for $11k cash (only had 432 hours on it) and a 12ft v-hull tinnie. I bet all in I spend an average of $250 a month on fishing. I look for deals everywhere I go, buy alot online to cut costs as well. I have 3 girls so I'm saving more and more to pay for weddings, college, vehicles when they are 16, ect!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
peasant shore fishing.
I'm all about peasant shore fishing, most of the time. The only times I really did any "serious" fishing was when I took them along on my boat. They can't take the walks on rocky shorelines.
 

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Gotta have a boat, but man, spending 40k sure seems wasteful to me (but I don't spend that much on anything other than a house). There are great boats out there for 15k-25k that will last and last. But if it's in your budget, well cool... I would buy the 15k model and then fill it with the best electronics, trolling motor and fishing equipment.

Personally, I have no idea how much I spend, but I would guess it's in the 3k-4k neighborhood per year. That puts me in about the same percentage as you.

I know that I don't spend what I don't have, and when I am doing great, I spend more. I sell stuff I don't use and keep lots of extras of the stuff I do use. My boat is my happy place and it is probably my prized possession.
 

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All that really matters is that your catching fish and enjoying yourself doing so. The rest is irrelevant. I have lots of friends with boats that end up not using them because their bills don't allow for the $$$ to run them or the truck that pulls them.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
"keeping up with the other guys thing"
Bingo! I don't want to get suckered into spending more on fishing just for that reason. But I also don't want to not go ahead and enjoy my fishing just because I think I would be spending more on fishing just to keep up with the other guys...
 

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I've been known to some of that too (especially if she's hot)
Wait a minute..... That was me when I was 29. Now I just gaze with admiration, go home, watch Sports Center and fall asleep in my rocker. LMAO
 

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Got rid of my boat several years ago and a one man pontoon and cheap rods and reels don't cost much at all. Add in the fact that I use jigs most of the time..cheaper yet. Gas is probably my biggest expense.
 

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I have always wondered the same thing. I don't make amazing $, but I’m not hurting by any means. But there are other financial responsibilities that I am more concerned with. My wife and I are saving a down payment on a house, which with the way things are going in Denver, we may be doing that for a long time! Plus standard bills, rent, travel, etc.
I don't own a boat, if I did, I would likely have to buy a bigger truck too. I did buy a kayak this year, so I am excited to get off the shore again. I only buy tackle on sale. That includes rods & reels, line, everything. But then again, I’m pretty cheap. Otherwise I get stuff as gifts from family members.
Honestly, I think fly fishing rivers has saved me a lot of money over the years. I tie my own flies (not that tying saves money), waders & boots are expensive but not terribly expensive, you dont really need an expensive reel or even a high end rod. For some reason it has the reputation of being a high dollar hobby, but that is only if you make it be.
 
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