Warning!!!!!!! This advice comes from a crotchety old geezer who feels the world is passing him by the wayside.
If you have a piece of fishing equipment you like, buy and extra. If there is something you really like, buy enough to last the rest of your lifetime. I can’t say I actually planned it this way, but that is the way it worked out for me, and I’m glad it did.
Fishing rods and reels are not that big or hard to store. You can stockpile a true treasure trove in a surprisingly small, out of the way corner. If you have certain preferences about the equipment you use, there is a good chance you might not be able to find a replacement sometime in the not too distant future.
Case in point, I don’t like ferrules on my reeled rods. I’d fish a one piece reeled rod if it wasn’t for the logistics involved. I do need to transport rods inside my car, so I compromise (I’m flexible) and fish two piece reeled rods. I recently took the time to count while flipping through a fly fishing catalog. The catalog listed 440 rods in various models by various manufacturers. Out of the 440 rods, two were 3 piece, the rest were 4 or more. Not a single 2 piece rod was listed. Granted, if I needed to travel about a lot in airplanes, I might opt for a more multi piece, but what percentage of my or anyone else’s fishing time is done out of an airplane?
I feel that fly reels are also quickly passing me by the wayside. When I use a reel, I like a simple, small arbored, non disk drag reel. A fly reel should look like a fly reel (think Pflueger Medalist), not like an alien spacecraft.
If you still need further convincing, quality fishing gear holds it value pretty well. At least a lot better than a lot of stocks and bonds I’ve owned over the years. Back in 1986 I bought two Hardy Perfect reels. They cost $75.00 each. Now they are easily worth over $500 each. It’s easy to sell a Medalist reel for at least what you paid for it 50 years ago, so really you had the use of the reel at no cost to you.
The trend is particularly evident with fixed-length line rods. Just over the few years that tenkara has started to enjoy some level of popularity in the U.S., the complexity has dramatically increased. I like the simplicity – a stick, a string, and a fly. I don’t feel the need to use a rod that can be lengthen and shorted or to carry along 14 different lines. But again, that’s just me. If that’s what folks like, they should, and will, buy what they enjoy. I have no problem with that, I just want to make sure I have my own personal (and perhaps quirky) needs covered.
So when you find a piece of equipment you like, buy it. Don’t consider it an extravagant purchase, rather consider it an investment. We all know there is wisdom in the age old tome – Save for a rainy day.