What type of gear checklist do you have?

When the average angler or hunter considers paying for a guided trip they usually think of a few things.  They picture a hands-off approach where the guide will effortlessly lead them to game and the customer simply has to pick out a trophy.  What customers don’t realize is that the guide has spent literally hours scouring the best places to find where the big trophies hang out and how to best approach them.  What customers also don’t realize is that they have a responsibility to be prepared when they arrive.  As the guide you can offer some assistance to make sure your customer is ready to have a good time.

Checklist for New Bookings

One of the easiest ways to help customers is to offer a simple checklist.  Everybody gets excited and can easily forget something in the rush to get out the door and headed to their destination.  Offering a checklist of everything the client will need can set the expectations for the client and make your job easier.  It will also make the trip more enjoyable for the customer.

When you are putting down the items it is a good idea to mentally walk through a typical day and see what you would use for the trip.  Think about your clothes, your bathroom items like deodorant and toothpaste, your prescription medications, and similar items.  Consider recommending that the customer bring some backup items like an extra set of sunglasses or extra pair of shoes.  Accidents happen and nobody wants a trip ruined by a simple everyday occurrence like breaking a pair of sunglasses.

It goes without saying that you should offer an extensive list of the gear that the client needs to bring.  Again, go through a typical day in your mind and consider the types of reels, rods, line, hooks and lures you use in your operation.  Any special tools that are unique and handy for your type of fishing should also be mentioned.

Inspect the Gear

When the client arrives, take 10 minutes to look over their gear.  Make sure the rods are in good shape with no broken or missing eyes.  Check the reel to see if it was recently oiled.  Inspect the line for nicks, abrasions or weak spots.  Taking these few moments to look over all the equipment could spare you and the client heartache on the water when that elusive 10 pounder breaks a line or jumps off the hook because of some issue that could have been resolved back at the lodge.

Remember this one thing.  Even if a client leaves with a wall hanging trophy, it does not mean they will come back to you for another trip.  Make the outing as enjoyable and hassle free as possible so that they tell all their friends “Man, you HAVE to go see these guys!  They really take care of the angler!”


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