You want to be a tackle dealer?

Fat, Richmond Hill Lake Bass

You want to be a tackle dealer. Are you sure? While helping anglers catch fish is rewarding work; this is one of the riskiest ways to earn a living. Let us discuss the pros and cons of opening a tackle shop.

Cons: Owning a tackle shop is not a full time job, it is a lifetime job. You literally live it. You may be there 80-hours or more every week. A friend calls a tackle shop, “A prison you own the keys to”.

Every dime matters. While the “governor” gets his sales tax on each sale, you get to keep three to four cents of each dollar. Margins are slim. If someone steals a lure, you will have to sell five more to break even.

Owning a tackle shop is like farming. You make money four months and barely keep the doors open the rest of the year. If the weather is bad several weekends in a row, you go in the hole.

Uncle Sam now sees you as you as a “rich” businessperson and your taxes will reflect that. Paperwork is mountainous. Be prepared to spend eight hours a week at your desk; paying bills, checking invoices and filling out government forms.

Buying inventory is easy. Buying it at the best possible price is not. Be prepared to spend 10-hours a week chasing products and shopping prices.

Pros: Probably the biggest reward in owning your own tackle shop is the friends you will make. Yes, you will have friends by the thousands, but you will make dozens that will be friends for life. For example, seven customers donated blood in mom’s name, just before her surgery. They just heard “Miss Mary” had to go to the hospital and simply did what they could.

Another major benefit is helping kid’s catch fish. Watching them grow into adulthood is a joy. Most “disappear” for a couple of years. Then they return with their child in tow, shopping for their first fishing trip. You may not realize it, but your efforts helped to pass the sport on to another generation.

If you still want to open a tackle shop, I would recommend working for one first. See what life is like there. Decide if you really want to cut your fishing days by two-thirds too. Some folks were born to run a tackle shop and some are not. Be sure to talk this decision over with your family. They may not want to “lose” you to the business.

Be sure to thank the folks at a local tackle shop during your next visit. They sacrifice much, to serve you and the fishing community.

Blessings, -TJ


About TJ Stallings

45-year tackle industry veteran Marketing and Crazy Ideas at TTI-Blakemore Fishing Group (Home of Road Runner Lures and six hook brands including Tru-Turn, Daiichi, XPoint, Team Catfish, Mr. Crappie and StandOUT Hooks.) Home of Gun Protect. The opinions expressed in this blog are those of TJ Stallings and not necessarily those of TTI-Blakemore.
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5 Responses to You want to be a tackle dealer?

  1. Great piece. I think few of us worry about the future of bait shops as we shop in the big box stores. I was not aware of the low profit margin on tackle. It is amazing that anyone can afford to operated a tackle and bait store anymore.

    This article makes it all the more important to buy bait and tackle in these shops when we go there looking for information on where the fish are biting. I don’t think the clerk in a big box store can provide much of that kind of information.

  2. tj stallings says:

    You are right on target Don. Those dealers provide a wonderful service but won’t last without support from local anglers.

  3. kandee2013 says:

    Sage words of advice Tj. A friend of mine owns just such a shop and as result, has had his fair share of the “Rainy days”. you wisely speak of.

  4. brian says:

    trying to start my own business here in Texas

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