Home Fishing Tips & Advice Fishing Equipment: Is it Better to Rent or Own?

Fishing Equipment: Is it Better to Rent or Own?

If you’re in the market for some fishing gear, you may be wondering whether you’d be better off renting it. Let’s go over the pros and cons of each choice.

As is the case with many hobbies, fishing can get rather pricey, and many veteran anglers ask themselves if there’s a better way they can spend their money. Fishing gear rentals can feel convenient when factoring in boat rentals, reel combos, putting together your tackle box, and more. 

For some, they just want to get to their favorite fishing spots  or go on their next fishing adventure without worrying about the details. Rental prices for them are no problem.

On the other hand, there are also plenty of beginners who are intimidated by the idea of spending several hundred dollars on their gear, at the very least.

If you’re on the fence about buying your own fishing gear, you may have considered renting your equipment instead of buying it to own it. Over the course of this short article, we’ll take a look at buying fishing gear and renting fishing gear, discussing each of their respective pros and cons.

In the end, we’ll break things down and let you know which choice is the best.

Renting Equipment

Pros

More Affordable in the Short-Term

The main reason some people prefer to rent their fishing equipment is that it’s less of an investment. Most of the time, you can rent fishing equipment for a fraction of the cost of buying it, and it makes this option ideal for people who are unsure if they’ll have a good time fishing. 

If a beginner decides that fishing isn’t for them and they’ve rented their equipment, they won’t have to offload a bunch of gear that was only used once and has since depreciated in value. Renting equipment is also ideal if you want to go on a spontaneous fishing trip and don’t have the time to find and buy your own gear.

Not to mention, deciding to pick up a kayak, fishing poles, and a fishing tackle when you don’t know much can feel daunting.

No Storage or Transport Required

A frequently-overlooked advantage of renting fishing equipment is that you don’t need to store it anywhere and you don’t have to deal with the hassle of transporting it. Fishing rods and other gear can get rather bulky, and if you don’t have a car to transport your equipment, renting it may look like a convenient option.

This is also beneficial if you have a smaller home or apartment where you may not have room to store a bunch of fishing gear during the off-season.

Cons

Equipment Quality

One of the main downsides to renting your fishing gear is that it will likely be in a worse condition than any personal gear that you could have brought. Since this equipment frequently changes hands and is often used by beginners, there are no guarantees that it will be in great shape.

That isn’t to say that all rented fishing gear is necessarily broken, but some of the tolerances may be a bit looser, and the reel may not feel quite as tight. Of course, if you’re a beginner, you won’t be likely to notice these issues, but you don’t want to start cementing bad habits because of an improperly-maintained rod.

Long-Term Cost

Of course, having to rent gear every time you go fishing can also get expensive. After about three or four fishing trips, you may have spent as much money as you would have on buying the gear outright, so be sure to factor in how frequently you like to fish when determining if renting is worth it.

Buying Equipment

Pros

Personalized Gear

One of the most significant advantages of having your own fishing equipment is that you can optimize it to your liking. Having the right-sized rod can significantly influence the quality of your cast, and simply getting used to a particular setup can make you more comfortable with it.

If you’re often on the move, you may want to opt for a collapsible fishing rod. On the other hand, you may be looking for something a little flexible. These little details won’t matter to the rental clerk, and you’ll certainly have a hard time noticing them when you use a different rod every time.

No Need to Rent in the Future

Another huge benefit to owning your own gear is that you have it forever (or until it breaks and it’s out of warranty). If you invest in quality fishing gear, it can last you a lifetime, ensuring that neither you nor your children will ever have to rent or buy fishing equipment again, aside from tackle.

We’ve already mentioned that you’ll spend less money on your own equipment in the long run. Another benefit is that you’ll always have fishing gear ready for sudden excursions. If you have the sudden urge to go fishing with your friends on a hot day, you won’t have to go rent your gear first.

Cons

Takes Research

Picking out the best fishing equipment is a matter of doing the right research and carefully vetting all of the options that you have at your disposal. This takes time and effort, and not everybody has enough free time to spend hours searching for the perfect fishing rod.

As with many costly purchases, picking out the best fishing gear can get stressful, so take your time to find the perfect equipment for your needs.

Larger Up-Front Investment

Finally, the most noticeable downside to buying your own gear is that you’ll have to put a significant sum of money down at once. If you know that you have a passion for fishing, this shouldn’t be much of an issue, but beginners and anglers getting back into the hobby may not be sure if it’s worth it.

Which is the Better Choice?

At the end of the day, the ideal choice depends on how frequently you go fishing and whether or not you know that you will be fishing again in the future. If you’re a first-timer who is just getting into fishing for the first time, it may be a good idea to rent gear or (even better) borrow some from a friend and head out on the water with them.

On the other hand, anglers who know that they’ll be heading out again and would like a more personalized set of gear should instead buy their fishing equipment. You will save much more money in the long run, and you’ll be more likely to enjoy fishing with gear that is suited to your tastes.