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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the beginning of my fly fishing obsession, I purchased inexpensive gear out of necessity, but now 25+ years later, I still find myself "fishing on the cheap". Everything I own and use from my fishing car to my rods is inexpensive, well used, beat up, or outdated. I suppose I could own some higher end gear if I saved more and begged my wife more, but I've grown content with owning any kind of inexpensive gear that "does the job". I just wondered if there are others with this strange affliction of preferring to be a cheap skate while having as much fun as anybody on the water.

I posted a story on my blog, but would love to hear others' cheap skate stories!

http://toddhirano.blogspot.com/2015/04/cheap-skate.html
 

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btree
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If the river were closer I'd still be riding my bike to the water.

Just got off ebay for the second time today looking for hardy knockoff reels and other hidden gems. And now that it's spawning season, it's time to look through the fly box for patterns that are either beat up or haven't seen water because they lack something or other. Those that didn't make the cut last year get the knife. Saves on hook costs to shred sub-par patterns, and if I'm careful, I can save many of the wings and tails should they be costly

Pretty much the only thing that I don't buy used is full lines for my single handed rods, and at that I always seem to find deals.

Just can't be bothered to keep up with the technology, that, and I just can't afford it. Nor would I want to. Cheap clicker reels and older model rods do me just fine, and I think look a lot better than some of the new shiny stuff. I like my gear used, and borderline abused :)
 

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fly fisher 'til it's over
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Middle cheapskate

There are things I won't skimp on, and others I will.

I've got a 1978 Alumaweld driftboat, with old Smoker oars that are chipped, beat up, and a little warped, but they still work, and my feet stay dry.

My waders are not top of the line, but close. I won't skimp on those ever again after freezing on the NU with leaking waders.

My reels and rods are top flight. I'm lucky to live so close to Bob Meiser's and Steve Godshall's shop, and I fish with my father's Pfleuger reels on 2H rods, and Hardy Uniqua's on my long rods.

I don't buy $20 feathers for my fly tying, simply because the fish don't know the difference between a turkey wing dee and a bustard wing dee.

I'll skimp on beer, but not on scotch or whisky.

I still camp out at 63, but not always because I'm cheap. Mainly because i still love to. It reminds me of my childhood, fishing with my father and brothers on the world's rivers, and what motel has that unmistakable sound of running water just outside your door (yeah, I probably COULD let the faucet run all night)?

So, I guess I go on the cheap for some things, but not on others. I'm a mid-cheapskate.
 

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I only have 2 hands
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I used to have a Fenwick glass rod similar to yours in the blog. My dad gave it to me. Then I gave it to a dear friend, he has it still. Such great memories. So little money required. I would love a custom spliced bamboo or a top of the line graphite.Do I get to have one? no. Am I gonna cry? no. Am I gonna fish like an animal non the less??? (always a quick and gentle release with the wild natives of course) Yes! Mr. Hirano sir,you fish well and thank you for that welcome,non elitist feeling.
 

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I've never been the sort of fella who worried about my gear or what anyone else thought of it or me for that matter. I think everyone should use what they want or what their circumstances allow for. There is no need to excuse an old rod or reel, or to look for the blessing of others regarding the rods & reels we fish with. I figured out a long time back that this is what I wanted to do with my life and I made choices. Those choices made life different for me than the way others choose to live but what's done is done. Something I learned way back on July 20 of 1980 when my best friend died in my arms was that I had no way of knowing when I would run out of time. That realization steered me toward having the best I could get and to live my life the way I wanted. Of course my best may not suit someone else but fishing is what I do and I don't cut corners on fishing.

I like vintage but in unused condition.

 

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I'm cheap out of necessity for now. Built my last rod for under $200 because I wanted (needed?) a new one, but all disposable income was being funneled into my kids' education. The Bob Clay or Meiser I really wanted was simply out of the question. Would love to put a Spey Co. reel on it, but will be content to fish my grandfather's Ocean City, at least until my youngest is out of college in 4 years. I think in the future, though, I will invest in that Spey Co, mostly because I know it will be a lifetime purchase. And when I build my next rod, I will use top of the line components and cork for the same reason.

I have splurged on some legal heron at more than $1 a feather, and I'd also like to own a Wheatley spring clip box, because sometimes, it just feels really good to have the real thing.
 

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It's about what works for YOU

I don't think it's about being a cheapskate so much as its more about what works for the individual.

I have never been one to have to have the latest on anything. What l want is proof first. I leave that up to the ones that have to have the newest, the best, the fastest, the biggest. Why stand in line for two days to buy a phone just because it's the latest thing? I don't need a 50 K pickup truck with a back up camera, and hands free parking. I learned how to do it back when it was a requirement, not a 5 K option.

Will a 500 dollar reel catch more fish. No. A 50 dollar one achieves what l want it to do, carry my line on a spool while I'm walking to the next hole. My line is out in the water most of the time. Hell, give me a broom stick, a boat winch, and a kite string and l will figure out a way to fish. Sure it's nice to say you own a Perfect, but if you don't know how to fish what good is it doing for you.

It's like at the golf course. You are behind a 4 some that has 4 grand worth of clubs, another 500 in top of the line pants and jackets, boy do they look good. Then they get up there and hit the ball 50 yards, or shank it straight into the bush.

it's not being a cheap skate, more than it has to do with some people being able to accomplish the same thing as others but at only half the cost.

Oh ya, and l wash my truck once a year whether it needs it or not.😆
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Btree: I've also been known to take the razor to or untie flies I wasn't going to use to get the hook and some materials back - I don't like waste so recycle when I can. I don't tend to keep up with all the latest and greatest stuff coming out as well. Yearning for stuff I can't afford wears me out, thus I am also content with used/abused stuff!

bbudesa: we may have various stages of "cheap skateness"! Mid cheap is good.

MT Box: glad that you picked up on the non-elitist vibe in my post!

Ard: Agree, getting the best one can get that doesn't necessary equate to the newest and most expensive. Vintage, equipment in unused condition is great to find.

Alan: Good on you for making sacrifices for your kids's future. Great that you are finding serviceable gear in the meantime. That Speyco and rod built from premium components will be worth the wait!

Bargeboss: Good points, it is about what works for each individual. If one can afford high end gear and enjoys owning such, that is great. I suppose if I was somehow offered a quiver of Burkies, Sages, Winstons... I wouldn't complain! I've just been blessed with a spirit of contentment with functional gear that is inexpensive, used, beat, and worn. I do find great joy in getting the job done using gear that costs a small fraction of what the latesst and greatest can cost.

Cool to hear that you wash your truck at least once a year - can you wash my Honda at the same time??

Todd
 

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I've been thinking about this a lot since reading your blog the other day and my conclusion is I am very cheap but with fishing I have nice gear, not a ton of it but the stuff I have is nice and most all was bought at a discount. Every other aspect of life I am cheap (maybe to pay for fishing?) I.E. my goats hay feeder is an old cabinet I fitted a metal shelf (the white ones with bars), the roof I my chicken coop is old greenhouse junk that looks terrible Etc...

I drive a garbage truck and after seeing how much goes into the landfill every day I do all I can to repurpose absolutely everything that I can....

Oh I am a huge fan of pallets too! Here is a pic of a planter box I made for the tomatoes this summer, total cost was maybe a dollar worth of screws, and a shot of the goats feeder.
 

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Well Done Jabrowning24

Well done my man!

Nice to see people reclaiming items and putting them to good use.

And the goat feeder isn't baaaaaaaaaaaaad either!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
cool stuff Josh. Way to recycle stuff. You are right, we are a "disposable society" and anytime we can reuse stuff is great. I haven't reused pallets, but I do keep those black plastic ramen boxes and use them for collecting trash when I'm tying skaters and I also have friend through work who goes through tons of Altoids, so I end up with a bunch of those great Altoids tins that work great for storing flies and for mailing out flies as well.

Todd
 

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Cheap - yes and no

Todd, some things that are cheap are truly crappy. For example, I love old U.S. made Pflueger Medalist reels for trout. Very trustworthy. But, I have had a cheap STH reel come apart on the river and won't ever buy another. Today, there is a resurgence in the popularity of fiberglass rods. I have several old Fenwicks I would be slow to part with, but I also owned a Herter's fiberglass rod that was a real dog. Today, I own some nice high-end stuff (Hardy rods, Fin Nor reels) I almost never fish because in my rough and tumble style of fishing - they might get damaged. So, the nicest stuff sits in the closet while the cheap stuff goes fishing. Yeah, I'm a tad whacky, I guess.

I also have memories of my salad days, fishing home-made Fisher rods, wearing Seal-Dri latex waders (more like a full body condom) under my old logging pants, sporting a nifty vest my wife made for me, using flies I tied myself - consistently outfishing the Orvis-boyz who were decked out in the finest stuff money could buy, but couldn't fish a lick. Being a cheapskate and outfishing the preppies, has always been a source of pride for me. So, I know just where you're coming from. (I don't scrimp on waders):saeek:
 

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I don't have the best, but when I die, they can have a yard sale that will last a year. One mans trash is another mans treasure? I'm aways looking in the yard sales for fishing equipment. I say I will sell it and I never do?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Todd, some things that are cheap are truly crappy. For example, I love old U.S. made Pflueger Medalist reels for trout. Very trustworthy. But, I have had a cheap STH reel come apart on the river and won't ever buy another. Today, there is a resurgence in the popularity of fiberglass rods. I have several old Fenwicks I would be slow to part with, but I also owned a Herter's fiberglass rod that was a real dog. Today, I own some nice high-end stuff (Hardy rods, Fin Nor reels) I almost never fish because in my rough and tumble style of fishing - they might get damaged. So, the nicest stuff sits in the closet while the cheap stuff goes fishing. Yeah, I'm a tad whacky, I guess.

I also have memories of my salad days, fishing home-made Fisher rods, wearing Seal-Dri latex waders (more like a full body condom) under my old logging pants, sporting a nifty vest my wife made for me, using flies I tied myself - consistently outfishing the Orvis-boyz who were decked out in the finest stuff money could buy, but couldn't fish a lick. Being a cheapskate and outfishing the preppies, has always been a source of pride for me. So, I know just where you're coming from. (I don't scrimp on waders):saeek:
Rich:
I hear ya, cheap doesn't always equal something that does the job very well. Sometimes things that were top drawer back in the day, like quality vintage glass rods, are now bargains on the used market. In fact with each new generation of graphite rods on the market, the older models become obsolete and less expensive on the used market. Someday I'll shop for maybe an outdated Sage Z-Axis switch or something, but I don't have any real "need" for more gear, for now at least.

Like you I also have fun getting fish on my cheapskate gear, especially when it gets the job done was well as higher end stuff.

Todd
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I don't have the best, but when I die, they can have a yard sale that will last a year. One mans trash is another mans treasure? I'm aways looking in the yard sales for fishing equipment. I say I will sell it and I never do?
Very true, when I have bought my bargain gear, I've also bought greater quantities of them! Don't ask me how many inexpensive, used glass rods I've accumulated in the past few years, along with antique clickers and other items. I could have bought a modern top end two hander with what I paid for all my glass rods combined!!

I've also told myself that same thing, that I'll sell stuff after a while, but I'm also a pack rat so I hang on to stuff. There's one particular model of glass rod that I especially like and when I kept coming across good deals on this rod, I kept buying more of them, until now, I have four of the same model rod. What's a guy to do with four of the same rod?? I don't know, I just put them in a rotation!

Todd
 

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Good thread, Todd. I too have been living on a budget with kids in college. We finished putting our daughter through college and graduate school and she just landed her first job. Our son took longer to figure out that he needed to complete college, so we are supporting him now. Happy to do it - part of the deal when I got married and had kids!

I enjoy my Meiser rods and good quality waders that don't leak, but we have me on an allowance that I stick to for all of my fishing fun. Over the years, I accumulated fishing equipment that wasn't getting used, so my approach is that when I want to buy something, I have to sell. Speypages and Craigslist have been my friends! But, I've just about cleaned everything out... :) I also buy things when I find a good sale and row my 1985 Clackacraft with pride! A guide on the Deschutes refers to it as Mark's old boat. But, I wouldn't want to spend the money that it would take to replace it! So, it's all about living within your means and enjoying what you have been blessed with.

Mark
 

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I will also mention that a big part of it is taking care of the gear that you have - cleaning and putting things away so they are ready to be used again. It's part of enjoying your gear and making sure that it lasts.

Mark
 

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Been mulling this over, and it's been interesting to hear the responses. I think I'm cheap by choice - my two favorite rods, together, are less than $500 retail and I'm content for now. I do have some vintage glass and graphite that I don't see myself ever parting with. I had some upper end reels and was disappointed in the performance (believe it or not) and ended up going back to my roots with old SA System 1s and 2s. Couldn't be happier.

Different strokes for different folks. I'll never grace the cover of an Orvis catalog but I have fun.


Now lines are a whole 'nother matter...
 
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