Fishing gear recommendations?

We are a paddling shop located in New Hampshire. We’re looking to start carrying FISHING GEAR in our store. Can anyone recommend some brands that we should look into for suppliers? We’re not looking for high-end products (but not cheap stuff either). We want to have all the basic fishing gear so if someone wants to get out on the water and go fishing, they’ll be able to get everything they need right here. If there is a company that provides a variety of fishing gear, that would be great. I don’t know much about fishing… maybe someone could also recommend what BASIC fishing gear we should have (rods, reels, line, hooks, lures, bait… anything else?)

Thanks everyone!

Best bet would be
to just look in the local Yellow Pages for a distributor close to you. Most wholesale tackle distributors carry a broad range of merchandise and most importantly usually have a sales rep that can help you taylor your assortment. You might also contact Jerry’s Sport Center

They have locations all over the north east. I have not bought from them for a long time as I have been out of the business for almost 20 years, but they used to have some very knowledgeable folks working for them.

It’s a tough question , because you …

– Last Updated: Aug-25-08 4:47 PM EST –

....... haven't stated the number of options for each item you want to offer . Inventory ??

For instance , a min. selection might include 3 choices for each item .
In many cases it may be best to offer only one choice , that being a very high quality product. High quality products are the ones that recieve the most praise and recommendations .

When it comes to lures , as you know there are a gazillion opts. .. But in all honesty , I believe 3-4 different types (of a specific type lure , spinner , plugs , plastics , etc.) are all that is needed for any specific species fish and usually 2 are the top producers/choices .

For specific top producing lure types , for a specific fish species , ask your local "pro guides" what they recommend and use exclusively . Offer those as a min. (1st choice) ..

I also think it is wise to understand , many regular fishermen/women too , are seeking well functioning utility tools for fishing purposes , not glitter and glamor .. they want things that work effeciently and hold up well ..

Just remember , if you end up stocking a bunch of junk , that's how much recommendation you'll receive , and fishermen will remember , both ways ..

I know a guy in HA. that makes excellent jig heads in both lead and non-lead . email for connection to him .. Also know two of two others who offer damn nice spinning rods that are very affordable ..

Shimano is a good brand
And they have a vast price range. You can get a rod and reel combo for $50 or so, and they’re pretty nice. The prices go up to say $700 for their top reel.

They probably have the most variety and overall products.

Great name recognition, too.

I suggest you get someone on board
that knows something about fishing, especially in the waters your customers frequent. I’ve seen paddling shops try the same thing before. The successful ones had an employee or partner who fished, understood fishermen, and was on top of the gear needed for the area in which they were located. Most real fishermen are gear snobs, just like a lot of kayakers and canoeist. You can either be real about what you carry or have it collect dust.

second the Shimano reels …
… they became my only spin reels after the first one . I use the Stradics (mid-range price) , they last forever and function perfectly still after 15 yrs. or more ??

yak.canfish has said perfectly …

Dy-no-mite is loud but effective.
A hand crank from an old telephone is quiet and very effective. Both can get you put in jail.

what’s popular locally
What locals use in NH will be very different than what they use around Chesapeake Bay, FL, TX, MN, or PNW. Not only will the brands have local preferences but the type of line and terminal tackle vary tremendously. You can’t stock everything, so make friends with a local fisherman who fishes the way you expect your customers to fish. Are there any reel repair joints in your area? They would know what folks are using for tackle (and how easy it is to get parts for repairs). I would recommend keeping it simple - spinning tackle.

I have to agree and you
should always do a little market research into what local fishermen are using. Take a look at what places like Cabellas and Bass pro shops are stocking. Inventory can get very cumbersome depending on what type of fishing your prospective customers are planning on doing. Fly gear is very expensive, heavy duty gear takes up lots of space especially poles that aer 10’ and longer. Zebco is a good maker of spin casr reels, baitcasting reels are very expensive and spin cast can be expensive also for inventory purposes. you might want to start out as a mail order clearinghouse until you get a handle on what customers are using and buying. Bait is another headache all in itself. Live bait has a small shelf life and anyone who has spent time around crickets knows they stink. minnows require somewhat complicated tank system and attrition is always a problem. there is also a lot of lures that are just plain junk. Pay atttention once again to what locals are using and stock accordingly. you could always specialize in a certain aspect also.

I work in sporting goods…
but not in the fishing department. However, I do fish and frequently ask the advice of our fishing guys. Once again, Shimano spinning reels are very popular and of good quality. I recently bought Shakespeare Ugly Stick spinning rods as they are supposedly unbreakable and I do like them. No need to end up with a broken rod while miles out in my canoe. Every area will have it’s own top producing lures so you will need to do your homework there. You don’t need a huge selection, just the right selection.


Live nearby

– Last Updated: Aug-25-08 11:02 PM EST –

I do some canoe & kayak fishing over on Pleasant Lake, mostly working the shore for those pesky rock bass. I've found that I have the most fun using light/ultralight spinning gear designed for 4-6 pound test line. Small fish feel big, and there's enough reserve for decent-sized smallmouths if you're careful. 2" & 3" rubber grubs with jigheads or grub/spinner combinations have worked well for me. I pinch the barbs flat to make it easier to release fish.

Remember that in NH lead sinkers, lures and jigheads are illegal. These folks make lead-free jigheads and a good lure for small stuff:

As for brands, I'm not enough of a fisherman to have strong opinions. I've got an Okuma reel that I like.

Anyone serious about fishing is going

– Last Updated: Aug-26-08 12:22 AM EST –

to bring his/her own equipment. For the rest, carrying Zebco combination kits, a few hooks, weights, and spinner baits should satisfy the fishing urge. It cannot be emphasized enough that, unless you are willing to invest the time and money to get someone in that can help you if you are serious about having a quality fishing department or counter you are wasting the effort.

It comes off just like the hunting and fishing store that trys to sell canoes and kayaks other than those commonly used for fishing/hunting, not well at all. A real fisherman will do as you might at that store, sneer and make snide remarks.

That may sound harsh to you, but I've seen it too often when stores go outside their expertise. Like those who invest their hard earned money in high dollar canoes and kayaks, I've a small fortune invested in fishing equipment, from flyfishing to surf gear and in between. I love to find those places who, believing they are doing customers a service, or thinking its another money making opportunity, buy fishing gear of moderate to good quality, finds it gathers dust, then sells it off at a big discount. In fact, I know of a paddling shop that did exactly that, but with high quality fly fishing gear. After labor day, I plan on hitting the shop and making a deal on a $300 fly rod...should be able to get it for $75, its been sitting there for three years unsold.

building on that…
Instead of stocking it yourself, how about building a referral relationship with a local store(or stores) that do carry fishing gear? Something like, if they buy/rent from you they get a coupon for a discount at a nearby store. Folks buying gear at that store would get a coupon for a small discount on boat rentals or sales.

Among other advantages, it’d save you from being blamed when they didn’t catch anything!

A very good point, both on associating
with other shops already in the business and avoiding blame for not catching fish. Those who carry fishing gear are also expected to know where the fish may be located and what lures or baits work best.