For some reason, there are always a couple of goldens interested in a lure at the start of Winter. The rod loaded up and line ripped from the spool and within five minutes over a quarter of my line had disappeared after a large fish.
At the second run, the fish took to the weeds and with the third run the spool of my Daiwa Regal 2000 was looking very empty.
But after another five minutes, I finally started to get some line back. As the fish reached the rock platform, I arched the rod to bring the fish towards my net.
From the handle of the Procaster Z came a loud snap accompanied by series of tearing sounds – one yella too many!
At the start of the cork, running to the first guide, a split appeared. Once I had unhooked and released the fish, I surveyed the damage. The rod was virtually split in two and I had managed to break the anti-reverse switch on the reel. Time for a new combo.
I am the first to admit (and my mates hate it) that I fish too light and that the scenario above has happened to me more than once over the past five years.
I had accepted that replacing my gear was always going to be a costly and frustrating process. However, I visited a couple local tackle stores and found some truly surprising deals on some amazing tackle.
Having done some research on the internet, I walked in with an idea of what I wanted.
I decided that I would give away the light stuff for a while and check out some heavier gear. After one lap of the store I stopped at a small display of Team Daiwa rods that suited my plans and noticed the ‘50% off’ sign.
At this point a staff member approached and I asked if the rods were half price and why. He explained that once a line of rods (whether Daiwa, Shimano ABU Garcia or other reputable brand) had been discontinued, most tackle shops would get rid of them for half price or below.
A Daiwa Luvias, for example, which usually retails for over $400, was $200 but I was told I could get an even better deal. The Daiwa Heartland XA701MFS retails for 359 but I purchased this rod for $120.
What I found most surprising was that while I was at the counter, another customer bought for full price a rod which was half the quality of the sale items and cost more.
My new rod had been sitting on the shelf less than two years and the guides and graphite were the same as those used on many of the current Team Daiwa rods.
After this experience, I decided to call another couple of local tackle stores to see what I could get. I asked after discontinued lines and found a Daiwa Fuego, which still is one of the best baitcasters around, for $250. Only two years ago they were retailing for over $500.
There was also a lot of Shimano gear for under half price including the Stradic and Sustain threadline ranges. These are both great spinning reels with many of the components still used on the current Stella reels which are the cream of the crop.
I visited three local tackle shops over the next couple of days and bought up in preparation for Spring.
What I found most surprising is that these deals extended to fishing line and other tackle. I picked up three spools of Maxima Fibre Glow for $10 and some Black Magic Tough Trace for free.
I also found some great prices on discontinued braid and Mustad hooks.
When I expressed an interest in anything that had been discontinued, I was told that I could ‘buy one and get one free’ or I was sometimes just offered the item for nothing.
I got two rod bags for nothing. For 30% of its sticker price I also picked up a really nice Plano tackle box which had been sitting on the shelf less than six months.
I filled this tackle box with a bunch of lures that were sitting out the back, ranging from Rapalas to Mudeyes. Many of these lures were thrown in for free.
I was able to upgrade all of my tackle, three rods, two reels, a tackle box, lures, line and everything in between, for less than $1000.
The rods and reels that I purchased are some of the best that have been produced over the past couple of years and for most of them I paid less than half price and certainly nothing over half price.
Some of you may have been doing this for years but for the angler just starting out, or if you would like top upgrade your rod and reel yet haven’t quite got the financial resources, I suggest giving your local tackle shop a call and asking some questions about discontinued stock.
You will most likely be impressed with the quality and price of some of the rods and reels and you never know, maybe they will throw in some free stuff, too.
Just because it is discontinued doesn’t mean it isn’t unbelievably good. There is a lot of great gear for next to nothing in so many tackle stores sitting out the back gathering dust.
So now I have that heavy outfit to stop the bunker-busting yellowbelly but I couldn’t help but pick up a new light spin stick.
For the kind of prices that I found, I would’ve been stupid not to give the light gear one more go this weekend on some big redfin!
The faithful old rod just took one big golden perch too many. Time for a replacement!
The golden perch that did all the damage.
A whole lot of new gear at nothing near recommended retail price – and some of it for nothing. It’s worth checking out the discounted items and asking about discontinued items at your favourite tackle store.
Back in action with some tasty new kit.
It’s always a thrill to christen new gear with a good fish.
Another redfin bites the dust on the new gear.Reads: 1233