Because I live in Houston where (understandably) most fishing stores have little gear suitable for my Rockies fly-fishing, I buy most of my fly-fishing gear online. Since Cabala's
has the best selection by far of any online store I know of, I buy a lot
of items there (ask my wife
). While I haven't bought rods & reels there (which I've generally bought on eBay
), I have found their prices to be pretty competitive, particularly when it comes to their store brands, which are quality products for the most part and very competitively priced. Their numerous and candid customer reviews on almost every product are also very helpful when making a buying decision, as are their comprehensive product descriptions and pictures, and their saveable "Wish List" allows you to think about an item for a while and check out alternatives elsewhere before deciding to purchase it there. Where I do think they lose out to their online competition is in their shipping charges & sales tax (if they have a bricks & mortar store in your state), when many of their online competitors such as Fishwest
charge nothing - a main reason along with selection & service why Fishwest
is my preferred online shop. Online shopping can be rewarding, not only for price comparisons but particularly if you can avoid sales tax and shipping, which can really add up.
That's not to say I don't also frequent local shops. One of those few here that do feature fly-fishing gear for my Rockies fly-fishing is Orvis
, where I also buy a lot, particularly when they have their coupon sales which makes their prices quite reasonable.
Flies I always buy locally where I fish, not only because local shops know what's working there then, but also as "thanks" for advice on local hot spots, etc.