Rods & reels
Lets dismantle a rod and reel. A fishing reel. Most spinning reels have between three and seven ball bearings (BB). One, good quality, sealed bearing costs around about $16, so how can the quality of a $60, 7BB reel be ok? Answer: it can't. The low-quality/cheap bearings soon pack up, which means the gears (which are probably cast of "muck metal" anyway) get out of line. Everything quickly gets broken or worn, and it's not worth the cost of repair. Low cost reels are low cost for a reason: plastic spools, rubbish bearings, steel parts that rust and, often, no spare parts. A fishing rod. My pet hate is low cost, low quality, sub $100, fishing rods. Sometimes, the carbon or fibre-glass blank is just about passable. But the components are, without exception, low-quality knock offs of the quality standard for guides: Fuji guides from Japan, and they don't have Fuji reel-seats. It costs an average of about $15 to repair a guide when it gets broken – and believe me non-Fuji guides do just that, regularly. So, looking at your cheap rod, multiply the repair costs at $15 per guide, and it's not such good value now. Low-cost rods with poor quality guides also chew your braid to bits at a microscopic level. While some knock-off reel seats are ok, most are sub-standard, with poor build quality. Low UV-resistant finishes on the guides, and glues that break down quickly. So, next time you're about to buy a rod and reel, think about what you spent on your last restaurant meal, laptop or cellphone. Then look at what you ask that cheap little rod or reel to do, day after day. You probably expect it to last a good few years. Is that "bargain" set really going to cut it? Fact: low cost usually equals low quality when it comes to fishing rods and reels.