I never... okay, rarely was not up front with my wife about getting new gear. A friend of mine had a slippery way of getting things through spousal inspection. First, he never told her he got expense account reimbursements. That was his fun money. His next trick was to throw a small fit because he couldn't find that 'old' driver (that's a golf club for those of you who got this fly fishing bug bad!) His wife then went bananas looking for that club and when she found it in the closet he sighed a sigh of relief (and at the same time unknown to her introduced her to his new toy)
I used to call the wife and say I NEED a new fly rod. "Don't you already have some" was her usual reply. I went on to say why I needed a such-and-such a weight rod and that besides, I wasn't out drinking, smoking or snorting the funds up and that saved us a ton of money.
This worked for quite a few cycles until one day I went through the same 'I don't drink, smoke or snort the money up routine and she said, 'well neither do I'!