fishing gear

5 Places to Buy Fishing Gear Online: Supporting Small Business

When it come to fishing gear, big box stores like BassPro and Walmart are hard to beat. They are convenient, yes. I myself try my best to support small business as much as possible. When out, I stop and visit local mom and pop shops like Wormies (the local pay lake/bait shop here but doesn’t sell online).

An upside of buying from smaller places, especially fishing stores, is that they usually have their own small batch brands. You can find some good hand-made lures!

This country is built on small business and though their prices may not be as good as big box stores, your helping the little guy. So today, I’m going to go over a few small online fishing shop you should check out before visiting the larger guys. Support small business!

JustForFishing.com

First up is probably my favorite online fishing store. The site is well made and easy on the eyes. It is easy to search for your favorite gear and set up in a way that is easy to browse looking for something to catch your eye.

JustForFishing.com carries a wide range of brand names. If it is made you will probably find it here. They have  everything broke down into easy to choose sections.

  • Saltwater Fishig
  • Freshwater Fishing
  • Fly Fishing
  • Cast Nets (yes a whole sections on cast netting!)
  • Appeal
  • And even a “Bargain Cave”

Based out of Tampa Florida, you can be sure shipping is fast. They are good group to deal with and are very nice people.

They also have their own products listed below:

If you are looking for new gear or your favorite lure, I suggest checking them out before heading out to Walmart. It might surprise you how a small business can hang.

Fishing Frugal Lures

Nick from Fishng Frugal Lures offers custom made lures and jigs. Sure they may be a little more pricey than big box stores, but you can be sure they are hand made and can be customized the way you want.

He offers:

  • Crank Baits
  • Buzz Baits
  • Soft Plastics
  • Jigs

If your looking for custom made baits, check Nick out.

Speedy Worm

One thing the bog box stores can’t do nearly as good as smaller shops, is to sell good live bait. Have you ever bought live bait from Walmart? Dried up and junk!

Ever think of buying live bait online? Small companies like Speedy Worm does just that, and they do a good job at that. Sure, the website may be small, but they will give any other bait shop a run for their money.

When it comes to prices and shipping, they are hard to beat.

They offer in Bulk:

  • Wax Worms
  • Canadian Nightcrawler
  • Leeches
  • Meal Worms
  • European Nightcrawlers
  • Spikes
  • Butter Worms
  • Composting Worms
  • Crickets

If you are looking to buy live bait in bulk, check them out before buying from a bog box store.

PTL Craft Lures

If you are looking for Trout specific lures, PTL Craft is a good place to start looking. All of their lures are handmade and PTL is all about Trout. They love to fish them, and that’s all they do.

All lures are made from beginning to end by Guilaume and Christelle in their home. Based out of South of France so shipping times may be a little longer but it is worth the wait.

Just note that they are redoing their website and it will be up again soon.

Slater’s Jigs

If you’re a jig person, you know there are tons of options out there. Most are junk! Slater’s Jigs offers some handmade jigs that will make you want to bite at them!

From plastics to hair, these jigs will put the bite on. You will not find anything like them at a bog box store.

The Bottom Line

The point of this article is to open your eyes to choices other than big box stores. There are tons of small businesses out there that you could be supporting. You will find some real gems!

Why buy from a corporation when you have hard working people that are making/selling what they love? Buying from local mom and pop fishing stores and supporting the little guy on the net is a way to contribute to our hobby of choice.

10 Must Have Items When Out On The Water Fishing

How many times have you been out on the water just to discover that you don’t have something you could really use? It happens, right? Everyone has been there along with myself. Today, I’m going to share my must have items to have while out on the water fishing.

Must Have Items While Fishing

Extra Gear/Lures

So, I’m sure you are not going to forget your gear. But let’s think about it in a different light. How many times have you been out on the water and have you gear fail on you, your reel backlash or you forgot to reload your favorite plastics?

Caring an extra rod and reel (or two) with you can save you a boatload of time if something happens to your gear while out on the water. In place of needing to spend time untangling the line you just back-lashed, you can work on it later.

It is always smart to carry extra of your favorite lures, but do you have an assortment? What if your favorite Fluke just isn’t working? No one likes carrying around a large tackle box, but it just may save your trip out.

 

Hat/Glasses

Smallmouth bass fishing wearing Sombriolet Sun Hat

Far too many people forget one or the other while out on the water. A hat and sunglasses are both important and play different roles.

Hat

Many wear baseball caps while out on the water which works but doesn’t give you full protection from the sun. Using a Sombriolet Sun Hat is a smarter choice. It will protect your face and the back of your neck from the sun. How many times have you come home with a burnt up neck…

Sunglasses

Sunglasses are a no brainier but if you have ever been out on the boat and didn’t bring any, I’m sure you remember going forward. Not only do they protect your eyes from the sun’s rays, they will also help you from getting that ridiculous headache from squinting all day. Everyone needs a good pair of fishing sunglasses. They don’t have to be expensive, just make sure they are polarized and keep them in your tackle box.

Sun Block

While we are on the subject of the sun, don’t forget to take some sunblock. If your going to be out all day, protect yourself.

Phone

Fishing app on phone

Photo Credit: navico

You may think this is pretty obvious, but it is worth mentioning. Besides being your way to communicate if you are in trouble or stuck out on the water for some reason, your phone is a great tool for other fishing related tasks. Here is a list of things you may have not thought about using it for:

  • Camera to snap shots of your catches
  • Maps or GPS to navigate the waters
  • Marking good fishing or potential fishing spots
  • Marking underwater structures you find
  • Fishing and weather apps

Measuring Stick

Bass being measured

Depending on what your fishing for and/or if you are keeping your fish, keeping a measuring stick on you comes in handy a lot. Maybe not really needed if your bass fishing for catch and release, but it could come in handy if your in a tournament. It is also smart to have a measuring stick close by if your keeping your catch. The DNR is strict on size limits and you do not want to have that conversation with an officer on why your catch in an inch short. You will be ticketed.

Tip: Look up length limits on what you fish for per your state regulations. Make your marks on the measuring stick so they are permanent. That way, you are always prepared.

Scale

I know, I know, you are a great judge when it comes to guessing weight. But if your in a tournament, you are going to want to check the right fish to keep for weighing and which to send on his marry way back to the water. A scale is not as important as measuring stick but they are nice to have on hand.

Snacks/Drinks

There is nothing worse than being out on the water all day baking in the sun without having energy. You get sick, dehydrated and it could turn dangerous. I have personally been with a friend that passed out because he was not drinking enough (water, he was drinking plenty of beer). Here are a couple ideas for quick energy:

For food

  • Jerky
  • Nuts or trail mix
  • Sausage sticks
  • Snickers (if you can keep cool)
  • Fruit (apple, banana)

For Drinks

  • Water (of course)
  • Gatorade
  • Apple Juice
  • Jug of tea
  • flavor packs for your water

Stay away from carbonated drinks

Friend/Kid

Dad and son fishing

Some hit the waters on their own. Maybe you have the day off, maybe your retired, some people do fish alone and there is nothing wrong with that. But lets’s think about it from a safety standpoint. You always want someone with you in case something happens.

Let’s take it a step further, why not take someone that may not have the opportunity to fish from a boat much. Spread the love of fishing and take a kid. It could be your own , a niece/nephew, a neighbor kid that is looking for the father figure, etc. Even if it someone from work, that person is going to be very thankful they were invited.

Fishing from a boat may be something you don’t think twice about. But for many, that is a huge treat and they will be grateful. People like this help grow the sport on to the next generation.

Safety Gear

Don’t be lazy or cheap. Have your safety gear on-board at all times. It’s not only smart but some of it is law. You do not want to be boarded by t he coastguard and not have your life jackets and fire extinguisher. Here are a couple other things that may come in handy:

  • Whistle (if your stuck out at night with no power so they can find you)
  • First aide kit
  • Small mirror
  • Air horn (may be law)
  • Extra rope (towing or needing to tie off)

Find your state’s boat safety requirements.

Rain Gear

When out on the water, you never know whats going to happen. I have been on the water many of time with sunny skies, and having a storm blow through. It’s always smart to keep some on the boat. Frogg Toggs are light weight and easy to stuff in someplace tight. I actually keep a set on the boat, in the camper, garage, etc. I’m never without. You can check out what I think about Frogg Toggs on a post I wrote a while back.