Say you’re starting all over with fishing and have $200 for a tackle purchase. Here’s how I’d spend it.
Your $200 tackle purchase should have lures that catch just about everything that swims. If you’re on a limited budget or starting fresh, these seven types of lures will help you catch the most variety.
Crankbaits work well by casting and retrieving as well as trolling. Strike King makes a solid crankbait, including everything from mini-crappie crankbaits to jumbo deep-divers for bass. With an average cost of around $5.99 each, you can pick up six in different diving depths and colors for a good variety of multi-species baits.
Six Strike King crankbaits: $35.95
2. Senkos and hooks
If you plan to fish for bass at all, Gary Yamamoto Senkos are a must. They’re not cheap (usually $8 a pack), but the original from this brand has the best fall and action. You will want three packs of the 5” versions and one of the 4” size. When choosing colors, I like anything with green pumpkin or watermelon. Gamakatsu EWG hooks ($4.49 a pack) are a great choice for these, and you will want a pack of 2/0 and 3/0 for your Senko fishing.
Total cost for four packs of Senkos and two packs of hooks: $40.94
3. Inline spinners
No species of fish can resist the tried-and-true inline spinner. Trout, bass, walleye, pike, you name it; they all will bite one of these. A good selection of Mepp’s Dressed Aglia Spinners will help you catch a variety of fish. They come in many sizes: one each in sizes 0, 1, 2, and 3 will help you build your $200 tackle box.
Retailing at $4.59, these four will claim $18.36 of your budget.
You can spend $25 on a top-of-the line Japanese jerkbait, but it would eat up your $200 budget pretty quickly. The expensive ones are worth it, but you can get by with much cheaper options.
A solid jerkbait that costs around $9.99 is the Rapala Shadow Rap. They have a shallow and deep version so make sure to get one of each and then pick another of the type you will use the most.
Three jerkbaits at $8.99 for $26.97.
While mostly used for bass, spinnerbaits will also catch pike, walleye and even an occasional catfish if fished near the bottom. They come with many blade combinations and many more skirt colors. Keep it simple and get two with double willow blades, one with a single Colorado blade, and one with one of each type of blade. The 3/8 and ½ oz. sizes with black, chartreuse, white and white/chartreuse skirts will have you covered. A solid spinnerbait like the Strike King Tour Grade will run you $6.99 each and is a must for your tackle purchase.
Total for the spinnerbaits: $27.96
6. Rapala Shad Rap
This is a true multi-species bait. It catches everything that swims and can be cast and retrieved or trolled with success. A multitude of sizes and colors are available. You’ll want to pick up sizes 5, 6, and 7, as well as a jointed version. Pick colors that match the forage in the area you plan to fish.
At $7.49 each, these four will set you back $29.96.
7. Lipless Crankbaits
Lipless crankbaits like the original Rat-L-Trap have been producing fish for generations of anglers. They still work. A shad pattern and a chrome blue-black in the ½ oz. model should do the trick. Since they’re just $5.49 each, you might as well add another in a red crawfish pattern.
Three Rat-L-Traps: $16.77
After gathering all of these baits, you can expect to spend just under your budget for a $200 tackle purchase — my total cost before tax was $196.90. However, if you’re lucky, you might find a few on sale and pad your box with something extra.