who can afford...

Notice that many of the members on this thread promoting lower cost gear have likely caught a cumulative shit load of steelhead. In other threads, and on numerous other sites, people with zero, or close to zero steelhead under their belt, are recommending that a small fortune be spent on steelhead gear.


Active Member
Who can afford fly fishing gear anymore? Rods costing $600-800
- I build my own

- Aquaseal the crap out of my old ones

wading jackets $400+
- I've been getting by on the whatever Wally World sells in the Outdoors section (may need to revisit this plan)

- I've had 4 knee surgeries (one caused by poor traction on a river). Even with excellent health insurance, the cost to me was a lot more than a pair of boots; this is the one item I don't mind paying for



It's really quite simple how you can afford the expensive stuff. You take on a second job of freelance outdoor writing, photography and cartooning. No problem. You use the money, what little there is, to buy the gear. You certainly won't make enough to live off the income but it will gain you the money needed to continue your addiction.

A second job. That's how you can afford it. :)

(or you wait until the same items are sold at half the price at Costco)
I don't have a ton of what would be considered "high end"....at least according to todays marketing. I have exactly two rods that cost me between $300-$400 and they are both of my Steffens. I consider them high end (at least functionally). I don't think I've paid more than $150 for any of the other rods I currently own (or reels, for that matter). I fish mostly old Youngs reels and other spring/pawl reels (except for salt)...all stuff that will outlast me and didn't cost much more than pocket change (when I got it) & will either hold its value or increase in value over time. The one thing I won't skimp on is line (you can still find good deals, but those good deals don't include anything like "Aquanova" or anything like that) or decent fitting boots. When it comes to waders, they're all going to leak eventually. I have just as many patches on my $300 waders as I do on the $125 pair within the same amount of time...that said, I've also had $100ish waders not last more than a couple of trips (QC issue). It just boils down to buying smart.
This thread has had me thinking. I have 8 rods in my quiver. Only one was bought new and it is the least used rod I (anybody want to buy a Sage FLi). All the other rods were either bought from folks on this site or my Sage LL 379 was bought off EBay. This saved me lots of bucks from the retail prices (okay except the LL which isn't made anymore).

Funny thing is, with my reels it is the opposite. All but one were bought from stores or the Manufacturer (Allen). Most I paid for a real is $180 - a Vosseler. Once I saw that baby I had to have it and have on regrets. It pairs with my LL like a charm.

I look at it like this. If you have been blessed and have the money and resources to buy the better things in life then do it and don't look back.


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Active Member
I like nice stuff but I won't put it on a credit card. I find that most of the expensive gear I have lasts long enough that when I get the urge to buy a shiny new toy I generally don't need it. So I will make myself sell whatever overlaps in the quiver so that I'm not spending money on something that won't get used.

At this point I don't need anything for steelhead really, but I will have a Farlex! Eventually.


Well-Known Member
I have tons of shit...and I plan on getting some more! :)
Me too, but I am trying to cut back. Really, I am. I don't know how many rods I have, a few that have never been fished, maybe a couple reels I've never used either. I do mean to thin the inventory, but that takes more effort than to order up another toy.
I used to be a spey rod whore but after buying and selling sooooooo many rods, I actually got it down and am now really excited in just about any situation for swinging flies. Here my list:

Burkie 5115
Burkie 7125
Winston BiiX 7133
Meiser 8130

And some nice Spey Co and Hardy reels to strap to them.

Once I fished this stuff year round and had a blast with different lines I kind lost all interest in buying gear so I think there is salvation for a spey rod whore, but it's very expensive.

My trout rods are all older 90s Sage and they are always a joy to use but I don't trout fish like I used to.

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