The best online fishing tackle stores

Writing an article like this is sure to attract some criticism, as personal preference is inherently subjective. Added to this, no one wants bad press, so it’s important to be fairly balanced and look at the pros and cons of the multitude of options available to us when spending our hard-earned online. Each online fishing tackle outlet has it’s own character, and it seems silly to be wedded to one or another when it’s often a ‘horses for courses’ approach to getting what you need.

The main online outlets I use are the the lesser-known Fishing Tackle Traders, the ubiquitous Motackle, Manic Tackle (NZ), Aliexpress and Ebay.

Fishing Tackle Traders

FishingTackleTraders

These guys are the new kids on the block. They specialise in high-quality sportfishing brands, excel in customer service and have a commitment to the philosophy of sustainable fishing. All of this ticks boxes for me. Prices are about the same as you will find in the stores, which is fine. So far, I haven’t had any issues with substitution, which is great. Definitely worth a look, and I think it’s great to support some of the smaller players to encourage a bit of healthy competition, particularly when it’s a relatively small Australian business with Australian staff. We all know that competition equals better deals for us, so you’re doing the industry and us a favour by spreading your dollar around a bit.

One thing I love about this website is their species profiles. Great fishing tips and photos and a few comments on the sustainability and stock status of key species. Disclaimer: I wrote some of them. But that shouldn’t matter!

Motackle

MOTackle

Motackle’s main drawcard is volume and variety. Pretty much anything you can think of is stocked in this store, and the prices are generally reasonable. You can get some things cheaper from places like BigW (e.g. metal slugs and some brands of plastics and braid), but price is usually competitive. My biggest annoyance with Motackle stems from their propensity to substitute items that are out of stock. I can’t remember the last time I made an order for a few different items and didn’t receive a call saying ‘Sorry mate, but we’re out of the bloodworm wrigglers. Would you like a few in silver fox?’. My reply is usually “No. But I don’t really have a choice”. Good price and reasonably fast delivery, but after a while it can become frustrating.

Manic Tackle

Manic Logo

This is a New Zealand store specialising in flyfishing needs. These guys are good. Really good. Most of their stock is high quality, including their great selection of flies, which are immaculately tied on good hooks and with nice materials. Specialising in Simms, Scott, Airflo, Loon and Lamson, these guys clearly understand the ethos of ‘good business is based on good products’ (I just made that up, but I’m sure someone has said it before). The website looks cool as well, which is a big plus for me. You can’t generally buy straight from the website, but most decent fly fishing and tackle stores stock some Manic gear. It’s also worth trying to contact them directly if there is something you really really want to get your mitts on.

Aliexpress

If you have been living under a rock and haven’t heard of it yet, Aliexpress is basically the Chinese version of Ebay. To be honest, Aliexpress kind of scares me sometimes. I find it weird that I can buy 5 spinnerbaits for $10 and have them delivered within two weeks to my front door, for free. The quality isn’t as good as what you might get with some of the better gear, but they still catch fish. The variety isn’t necessarily there, either. I can’t buy a cod whalloper, or a jointed mantis, but I can buy a packet of perfectly fishable little 3inch placcies that will nail flathead, bream, bass and redfin. For less than $3. With free postage.

I understand that buying from some entrepreneur in China doesn’t necessarily help Australia’s economy, but as mentioned before, competition is generally a good thing for the consumer.

Ebay

Ebay is kind of cool because it’s a bit of mix between Aliexpress and other online outlets. Some of the gear is super cheap and with the quality to match, but there are also some really good deals on better brands and higher quality gear that can make it worth a good long look. Interestingly, companies like BCF and TackleWorld are all over it, and good on them for doing so. I’d rather go to Ebay to buy a reel than talk to some pimply kid in Tackleword that knows everything about fishing but has the emotional intelligence of a squashed slug.

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So that’s pretty much my online shopping mall. It certainly beats walking around a shopping centre, but sometimes visiting your local tackle store can be a rewarding experience. It can be good to talk to fellow fishers about what is happening around the place (sans aforementioned slugs), and getting a look and feel of the lures and gear is always a good idea before you make a purchase. I’m keen to hear about your experiences and tips in the comments below. Happy shopping.

Lee

flickandflyjournal.com

Hamish Webb, Dan Firth, Graham Fifield and Lee Georgeson have been fishing the south-east Australian region since 1987. Since then they’ve become avid sportfishermen who are constantly looking for new ways to challenge themselves. They are all scientists and conservationists who are passionate about the long-term sustainability of the ecosystem in which they live. They promote understanding and appreciation of the complex socio-political, economic and environmental issues surrounding fish, fishing and fisheries, while never losing sight of the various motivations that keep them coming back. In English, that means they love all things fishing and have a damn good time on the water, and that’s all that really counts in the end!

One thought on “The best online fishing tackle stores

  • February 25, 2016 at 12:28 pm
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    So funny reading the MoTackle experience. That sums it up beautifully! Some local tackle shops just don’t know how to run a business. For any reading this – Customer Service!!

    Reply

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