Beat the big squeeze and keep on fishing!

It’s a harsh fact that living costs are getting tougher by the week. But that needn’t impact your fishing if you’re savvy! Here are just some of the ways thrifty anglers can save pounds on every trip...

by Angling Times |


Buy now to beat rises

With prices steadily rising, and set to continue doing so, savvy anglers are playing things carefully to get maximum bang for their buck. Should you have your eye on a larger item, buying it sooner rather than later is sensible to beat rising costs, especially on bigger items like chairs, bivvies and rods.

Buy and sell second-hand

The second-hand market is another key area where you can save dough, whether you wish to pick up a bargain or sell off gear you no longer wish to use. Don’t be surprised if your old kit makes much more than you expected, thanks to high current demand! Again, it’s the larger items that are really attracting the eye-opening prices.

Recycle elastics

Used pole elastic is usually perished at the ends, but still has plenty of life in the middle. Use this bit to repair broken catapults, or make pole anchors and rig hook-ups with it.

Extend line life!

You can double the life of your mono or braid by reversing the line on your reel spools. This can easily be done if you have a spare spool to hand – simply wind it on to this and the old, used line will be bedded down under several hundred yards of new stuff.

Buy quality for longevity

It’s often false economy to buy cheap gear, especially with key items you’ll use every week. It might seem counter-intuitive to any Scrooge, but more expensive, better-made gear tends to last far longer. It’s also true that when we splash out on something a little special, we tend to look after it that much better!

Clean, mend and make do

It’s something of a dying art in today’s disposable culture, but there’s huge value in having a go yourself at fixing gear. Many common jobs, such as replacing a tip ring or treating a reel to some TLC, are relatively simple, thanks to sources like YouTube. It’s also worth getting to know your local tackle repair guy.

Boost your brolly

Brollies and bivvies are easily ‘holed’ by errant brambles, and frame seals can become frayed. Rather than buy a replacement, just patch the holes invisibly with Tenacious Tape. Similarly, if your shelter has become slightly less than waterproof, give it a new lease of life with a coat of Fabsil.


Blend quality with bulk

At around £12 a kilo of boilies, it can be pricey to feed a swim. This is where particles from a pet shop or wholesale animal feed store come in, with items like barley, halibut pellets, hemp, tiger nuts and layers mash supremely cheap and effective, especially if you buy bulk 25kg sacks. Expect to pay between just 50p and £1 a kilo.

You can always pepper a cheap mix with high-quality hookbait samples to make your money go much further.

Raid the supermarket

Even with silly current prices, certain baits stand out a mile for value.  Bread is a phenomenal all round bait, and economy brands are still often 50p or less. Frozen sweetcorn is another winner.

Freeze it!

Leftover groundbait and particles like corn and hemp can be frozen and saved for future sessions. Casters can be frozen in water, while maggots can be used dead and defrosted for bigger fish.

Worms are free!

Rather than buying them, lobworms can be collected on warm wet nights. Well after dark, they can be plucked from lawns – if you’re fast enough! They can be kept fresh for a surprisingly long time in a large bucket if you add in sphagnum moss, dead leaves and a little fresh soil every week or so.

Dendrobaenas can also be kept for long periods between sessions as long as they’re kept cool and fed – just don’t mix them with the lobs, because they’ll perish. Alternatively, start a compost heap for stacks of redworms in exchange for a little food and garden waste.

Muddy the water

Molehill soil makes a great carrier for bait or addition to groundbait for deep lakes and flooded rivers. It contains all manner of little microscopic goodies that fish love, and is secretly used by big-carp anglers and perch fanatics alike to add attraction to their spots.


With prices at the pumps rocketing in 2022, more and more of us are being mindful of the journeys we make. However, just a handful of smart yet relatively small changes can be a game-changer when it comes to keeping your fishing wagon rolling! How many are you aware of?

Feeling the pressure?

One absolute gimme to save money is regularly adjusting tyre pressures. Your engine has to work harder and use more juice when tyres are under-inflated! Being just 10 per cent out means two per cent more fuel use, so do yourself a favour and find a fill-up stop with free air. If you take lots of kit fishing, always go for the higher pressure rating for your vehicle.

The man inflating put air into the tyre and checking air pressure with gauge pressure in service station ; Shutterstock ID 1504594157; purchase_order: -; job: -; client: -; other: -

Slow down to save

Keen to get fishing or bag that top swim, many of us hurry while driving – but the fuel this wastes is scary. Dropping from 80mph to 60mph on long-haul journeys typically saves around 30 per cent  in fuel economy! In general driving, a small fortune can be saved by driving smoothly and avoiding sudden acceleration and braking. Slowing down also reduces stress and emission levels.

Fishing rod with reel inside the car. Fishing travel concept.; Shutterstock ID 1615644832; purchase_order: -; job: -; client: -; other: -

Plan well and share the damage!

Fishing locally is obviously a great money-saver, but on longer trips it’s much better to treat yourself to the occasional extended session rather than doing crazy totals in a day. Car sharing with mates is also a sociable way to slash fuel bills, whether you chip in with cash or simply take turns.

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