Merwin: More On Budget Tackle

There's been a lot of talk around here lately about budget-priced fishing gear, and even more discussion about how ostensibly silly it is to pay hundreds for simple things like reels. All this leads me to point out an interesting paradox when it comes to tackle and gear prices.

Simms waders are a good example. When that company first came out with their high-end G4 waders selling for as much as $700 a pair, there was great hue and cry all over the Internet about how outrageous the price seemed. The very idea. $700 for a pair of stupid waders. Why I can buy a pair of waders for less than a hundred bucks! That's ridiculous. And on and on.

At the same time, those waders were (and are) selling extremely well. There was, of course, no big-noise equivalent from the people who were buying them. They were just buying a very good product, albeit expensive, because they could afford it.

Sure, you can buy less expensive waders. Or cheaper reels, rods, lines or whatever. They will work okay for a while, but probably won't last as long, work quite as well, be as personally satisfying, or be as comfortable. And it's also worth noting that Simms has various other wader models that cost a good deal less.

The other day I described a $39 fly reel that drew lots of favorable comment. Yes, I do enjoy fishing with that reel (mostly because I enjoy fishing) but I don't lust after one. What I really want is a Tibor Everglades fly reel for bonefishing. It's only about $640. It's a lovely, well-made, lifetime fly reel. Right now, I can't afford it. But someday....