Spending metrics [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Spending metrics

01-31-2003, 08:55 PM
FF'ers are accused of being big spenders. How much do you spend on fly gear, travel to flyfish, licenses, lodging, expenses associated with flyfishing?

(Pls average spending from 2 yrs prior to 2 yrs from now)

Go on and vote, your wife can't tell who voted! :devil:

02-01-2003, 10:20 AM
I would HOPE my wife wouldn't find out how much I spend on sports in general, and fly fishing in particular! She would first have a fit, then go on another shopping spree!

Fortunately, I've got a BIG tax refund coming this year.



02-01-2003, 11:31 AM
Seriously tho I am glad I tie my own or the cost would be even higher:chuckle:

02-01-2003, 11:53 AM
That must be Fred Evans in the 5-10K range.

You all know what range I am in and proudly so.

Got to work on the tax refund, got Turbo Tax this morning and need to generate some cash for that Sage Ultra lite spey. :p

PM Out

02-01-2003, 12:21 PM
Joan keeping track of "all spending" on Quicken she 'presented me' with a total expenditure of over $4,000 last year. I didn't tell her about the stuff I paid cash for either .... cut your losses in the discussion that followed.

Dble Haul
02-01-2003, 02:12 PM
Why do I have this nagging feeling that I've lowballed my real annual expenditures?


02-01-2003, 02:15 PM
in the average year i only spend 200-300 dollars but in 5 years i've been FF maybe around 1.5 thousand.

02-01-2003, 02:30 PM
Originally posted by Dble Haul
Why do I have this nagging feeling that I've lowballed my real annual expenditures?


By time you toss in food, gas, etc., and etc the clock is ticking big time.:D

02-01-2003, 02:37 PM
I voted in the under 1000 range, but now after recalculating everything for 2002 I am in the 1,000 to 2,500 category for all equipment and fly fishing trips. Majority of cost was new equipment and fly tying material, not the actual fishing trips.

PM Out

P.S. Don't email to my personal address and tell my wife I have probably a 1,000 unused flys and ten other fly rods that were not used in 2002 either !! :chuckle: I am not sure if she would fully understand the fly fishing malady we have.

02-01-2003, 02:53 PM

I did'nt think your range was on there, a negative number.:hehe: :hehe: :hehe: :hehe:

02-01-2003, 03:14 PM
Does the boat count?:whoa:

02-01-2003, 03:25 PM
Everything counts - but don't forget (a) this is FF spending and (b) averaged over a few years. So the boat, if used as a tanning platform for the wife and kids or to >gasp< liveline pogies, is only partially includable. A 15k boat over 5 years is only 3k per year, plus expenses of running and repairing of course.

I'll have to admit I am not in the low end or the high end. I don't HAVE to spend as much as I do but I LOVE to. For instance, my primary striper fly line still casts fine but after a few seasons of hard use (abuse) on the coast I replaced it whether it needed it or not. I got 3.5 seasons out of my Simms guide weight waders and they are still usable but decided to renew my wader vows this Xmas ;)

A fly line lasts years, monofilament gets re-spooled several times a year every year. A hand tied flies uses pennies in materials, while the dollars stuffed into America's tackle boxes or the food value of discarded herring, shrimp or eels could save a small country from starvation, even more if you could eat worms. The plastic polarized lenses at the cash register at any sporting goods store will let you see the fish just fine. An 89 cent nail clipper cuts the tippet as well as the $20 titanium midgeclipper deluxe. You don't need a live well, minnows, ice to keep the squid from stinking up or a sand spike never mind a fresh spray bottle of pheromones to spray on the $10 crankin' lip buster tournament lure like the 2 dozen others in various colors on the hideaway lure drawers of the sparkle finished carpet floored bass boat.

It doesn't have to be more expensive to flyfish. It just is :devil:

02-01-2003, 05:47 PM
For instance, Last year I left for a trip forgeting #1-My cooler, and thinking #2- There would be a Safe-fred-bertson's up there in the Fir trees somewhere! Cha-ching, an extra Saw-buck at Lucy's Gas and Tackle! Yeah it add's up.
And I remain, next to the ATM with my PIN...

02-01-2003, 06:41 PM
Fortunately, I do much of my purchasing on line, and very little of it actually walking into a store; if it were the other way around, Heather would probably hit the ceiling! Also, thank God that Cabela's offers to send your invoice without $$$ totals, so that way you can plead ignorance! :smokin: "Hmm? How much did that cost? I forget..." :chuckle: Actually, I'm blessed with a wife that really doesn't care what I spend on fly fishing, so long as I take good care of her (she's got her eye on a new ring for her birthday, which is a small price to pay in trade for what I spend yearly on this sport).
I justify all the money I spend on tying materials by telling her that $60 worth of that merchandise can tie something on the order of 100 flies, depending on the pattern; that works out to $0.60 each. Would she rather me buy flies for $5+ each, and therefore spend over $500 for an equivalent number of flies? She just smiles and reminds me about her ring...
I think that there should be some sort of code used in fly shops when a guy walks in accompanied by his wife. The guy behind the counter smiles at you and nods in a knowing fashion, so as not to arouse the suspicion of your better half. You meander around the store, picking up a few items, pointing out the rediculous price of this year's latest model Brand X fly rod (which you already own, but what does she know about that) in an attempt to distract her from the meager bundle of stuff in your hands. Then you slip the merchandise to a guy standing at the back of one of the isles, who then rings it all up covertly, puts it on your tab, and hands you the goods in a brown paper bag on the way out the door. "What's in the bag?", your wife asks. "Oh, this? Just a few things I needed to tie up some horse flys", you respond. "What did it cost?", she asks, left eye brow raising ever so slightly. "Hmm? How much did it cost? I forget..." A good fisherman knows when not to spill the beans... :chuckle:

02-01-2003, 11:31 PM
Rods, reels, lines for all 4 members of my family, fly tying material, hooks, SUV to haul the boat or just my family to the river with our gear to fish, licenses for 3, waders and wading shoes for all 4 of us, gas, food, lodging are all in the amount spent each year. Man it doesn't take long for it to add up to a whole lot more than most of us think. So, what, I can think of a lot worse things to spend some of my income on.

02-02-2003, 04:52 AM
I would not know where to start.

My personal or shop??

Of course the shop is personally mine.
I have not a clue.

Let's have some help here.

02-02-2003, 07:44 AM
I recalculated my 2002 expenditures and I am definitely in the
1,000 - 2,500 range along with the majority of those voting to date. 55.17 % of the voters.

I will probably be in that range in 2003 if the purchase of the Sage ultra light spey rod occurs which now has a probablity of G.T. 50%, pending the pilot casting test.

Could be other major purchases this year of a new wading jacket and another large arbot reel, and spey line.

So I am with the majority at this time and perhaps should not be labelled as "cheap". :hehe:

PM Out

02-02-2003, 08:30 AM
So should I ask Sean to move your vote out of the "under $500" bucket? :hehe:

Just kidding, frugality is a virtue.

02-02-2003, 09:00 AM
No leave my vote in the lower category.

I don't want to materially alter the perceptions of other forumn members on my "prudently cheap" economic fly fishing methodology.

BTW, I picked up some very cheap and nice small craft plastic storage boxes for 99 cents each yesterday at the craft store that are going to be excellent nymph storage boxes. :chuckle:

Got to love those craft stores for additional fly fishing economic bargains.

PM Out

02-02-2003, 09:31 AM

In reality I'll bet I could get thru a year of flyfishing for peanuts. Partly because I already have a lotta stuff but also because it really doesn't take money to catch fish as you know. I only really need a couple of flies to catch any species I have already figured out somewhat. I could get by without breathables if I fished in the morning and evenings or nighttime when the fish are most aggressive anyway, I don't have to sight fish mid day which requires high-end sunglasses and breathables, top material light longsleeve shirts, etc.

The amount of money definitely makes no difference toward the fish you catch.

I knew a guy named Roy who fished the rivers of SW Washington. He worked timber, but his passion was steelhead. He had a no-name rod, old pflueger reel, a level fly line (yes that's right a level line) that he didn't know what weight, a straight length of mono and a "black fly" that someone gave him that he said was magic. With the faraway eyes of a forlorn cowboy he talked about how that one fly was lost on a big steelhead, and implied there could be no fly as good as that for the job.

Well that definitely piqued my interest to see if my flies, which although I am no Glasso are OK and catch fish, would pass Roy's muster. I opened up my wheatley box and tried to get him to nod in approval but nary a nod was had. He said "fancy looking box of bugs but there ain't nothing in that box that comes close to that fly".

Keeping a smile yet somewhat devastated, I asked "where did you get it?". He said some flyfisherman he met on the river gave it to him, and he's sure like to bump into him again. I said "me too, brother - me too".

I'll bet his whole setup cost $15 at Yard birds. I'll bet Roy caught more steelhead on that one fly than most uptown weekend warrior anglers do in an entire season.

02-02-2003, 09:59 AM

Good story and I believe every word of it. Don't see many old timers like that anymore, did when I was kid back east, and 20 years ago ran into a few in Michigan.

I could get rid of all steelhead patterns but three and do fine, same for trout and king salmon fishing. These three nymph patterns I could use for all three of these great lakes species plus throw in smallmouths and I would do fine.

I have been tying more of these simple patterns the last two weekends. :chuckle:


02-02-2003, 10:37 AM
Well I voted 1000-2500 wasnt thinking hell I dumped 700 at the show and I had bought 6 reels and 2 rods before that 4 lines and a **** load of tying stuff so bump me up at least 1 intersesting post juro. always like to come on and see what youve come up with next your brain must be smoking by the end of the day

02-02-2003, 04:01 PM
Juro, if you ever get to the Adirondack back country, you will meet many guys like that. (I still have a buddy that I was in the service with that is still that way as I type this!) The reason he didn't know what size level line he had was you asked him for a number, not a letter! If you said, "Is that a "C" level line, he probably would have said yes."

Hal - please use the word "thrifty" - it sounds better than "cheap", and I ascribe to the same word to describe myself.

(When I get a phone call from some operator asking for a donation for their "worthy cause", I simply tell them that I am retired, living on a fixed income, and ask if they provide assistance to "us elderly folk". Boy, they can't wait to get off the phone with me!) And they never ask any more questions! Really works well.


02-02-2003, 04:45 PM
My conservative estimate of the total amount spent was close to $3000 and I just started fly fishing a year ago. About half of this amount was for gas, food and other travel-related expenses, which would count for a single year. But the rest of the total includes fly tying materials, rods, reels, lines and other items for which the cost can be averaged over the next couple of years. Knowing that I probably forgot to include some expenses and that I'm likely to purchase another rod or two during the next year, I figure that I'm probably near the high end of the $1000 - $2500 range.


02-02-2003, 05:20 PM
Now I need to know if my total expenditure can be mitigated by the money I make guiding for Salmon in the Queen Charlottes? This has paid for my jet-raft, its trailer and many essential items. The reason I guide in the summer is to support my habit, I would not spend near the money that I do did I not have the guiding $.

02-03-2003, 04:09 AM
Got some time to do some work with the figures and come with my toys about $7500
Bamboo rods are expesive: more so that Spey rods.
Hope that the next year will be as good.
Tax refund ???????????????????
Big puppy.

02-03-2003, 07:54 AM
Originally posted by pmflyfisher

So I am with the majority at this time and perhaps should not be labelled as "cheap". :hehe:

PM Out


You labeld yourself as frugal a while back. We didn't tag you with it, you bragged about it.

Now you will need to spend an additional 3k just to loose the "Frugal(cheap)" moniker.:hehe: :hehe: :hehe:

02-03-2003, 08:51 AM
If I spend an additional $3K above the planned $ 1K for 2003, you can change my fly fishing economics adjective from "frugal" to "poor" or "non existant".

The lithuian italian princess will see to that. I will be selling my fly fishing tackle to make the support payments and fishing with snoopy rods for great lakes steelhead.

Or maybe you can loan me your excess spey rods or Fred for sure.


PM Out

John Desjardins
02-03-2003, 09:20 AM
Get the vintage Snoppy rod with the detachable reel. :devil:

I fall into the under 1k club, but it takes a lot of frugality to keep it there. Rods get built along with leaders and flys tied by me and closeout bins are regular sources of supplies. It also means that I don't get to travel very far to fish. :(

02-03-2003, 11:15 AM
Maybe we all spend so much money on our gear to get to a point where we will never have to spend again. I've been trying to get back to where the timberman in Juro's story is at for years. Maybe I just thought I was once like that guy. The timberman is pure, his instincts are razor sharp. For those who fished hard when you were young you know what I'm saying.

It is so hard to fish that way anymore as everything seems to evolve around my gears ability more than my instincts. Every day I fish a war goes on within myself trying to find what the timberman has. I am convinced it will not be found as long as I spend $2500 every year. To me all this gear is like listening to top 40 music when I should be content with the music of the river or the tide. But it is oh so hard to break away from the easy way out.

How about the food costs? I really enjoy making great sandwiches for friends when we float. A trip to Larry's Market the night before a float will cost me 60 bucks easy for speacial rolls, top of the line cold cuts, cookies, chips, bottled water, pop, and Coronas. In turn your friends may spend even more on expensive single malt, and expensive cigars to share. Good food and spirits tastes so good on a rainy, foggy gray day on a Puget Sound river.

I don't mind spending all my money on my toys and living pay check to pay check sort of makes me feel more like the timberman. But I got to get over that someday, after 40 years of fly fishing need to spend less and re-hone my fishing skills away from gear and back to instinct. Ah but not spending money on gear is not easy for a gear junky like me. Maybe we need an AA for us gear junkies.

02-03-2003, 01:00 PM

My wife used to mumur about me needing to curb my spending on fly tying materials. She hasn't said much about it the last 2 years because I have only spend about $800.00 each of these years compared to around $4500.00 to $5,000.00 that I spent for each of the 10 prior years.

Now she wants a new spey rod, a pair oaf breathables, and a pair of neoprenes as well; my 11 year old wants a spey rod and needs new waders because he has outgrown the ones he has; my 15 year old wants a pair of breathables and is now talking about us helping him get a car (his birthday is in May); and I want 2 spey rods and dwill probably have to replace my 4 year old breathables this year.

Oh well, the money could be spent on far worse things, and I do enjoy fishing with my wife and kids.

02-03-2003, 01:04 PM
Rumor is Key Bank in Medford, OR has fly fisher lines of credit at nice rates.

PM Out

02-03-2003, 01:12 PM
Last year was $500 to $1000. With only one trip made and no new equipment purchased. I am fortunate to live next to the Skagit river so I don't need to do a lot of travel to find steelhead.

This year might be more with 2 trips planned and a new rod/reel purchase planned.

02-03-2003, 01:45 PM
Originally posted by pmflyfisher
Rumor is Key Bank in Medford, OR has fly fisher lines of credit at nice rates.

PM Out

send out the credit card applications. We've also go great rates right now on Equity Second Mortgages. :devil:

02-03-2003, 02:05 PM
Flytyer, maybe your wife and son would like to join me in forming a new chapter of FFSA, (Fly Fishing Spenders Anonymous). Think about it before you end up in the poor house.

Like PM said, for those who love to spend on fly fishing maybe Fred can be a sponsor for fly talk with an easy line of credit site from his bank. 5 1/2 % intrest for all fly fishing related spending.
You get a credit card with you and your biggest fish picture on it.

The money I've spent in the last 5 years on fly fishing and my sail boat could have paid for 1/2 a house on the OP.

Kerry sounds like he has it under control.

02-03-2003, 05:59 PM

I think you are on to something with the Fly Fishing Spenders Annonymous! If my 11 year had his way, I would be buying him a Sage 7141 or T&T 1307 and a T&T 1409! My wife only wants the T&T 1307. I love my kids but this one really talks like there is a money tree in the backyard.

It also sounds like there are many more of us on this forum who should be members of FFSA.


Shhhhh, if there is truth to the rumor of 5 1/2% interest on fly fishing purchases, she'd be planning how to get the 11 year old the T&T 1307, herself one, and who knows what other fly gear.