How to Donate Fishing Equipment

How to Donate Fishing Equipment
••• fishing image by Terje Asphaug from

After receiving brand new fishing gear over the holidays, you are at a loss for what to do with all of your old gear. It is still in great shape, but you know that you will be using your new gear exclusively. Instead of letting it collect dust, donate the old stuff to a local charity or a recycled sporting goods organization. The next time you cast on a peaceful lake, you'll feel great knowing you have given a fellow fisher the chance to do the same.

Gather up all of the gear you intend to donate. Include any unused rods, reels, spools of line and lures. Most charities will not accept open containers of bait.

Clean your old equipment using a bristled scrub brush, a sponge and a solution of warm water and dish detergent. Use the brush to scrub away dried fish mess on your lures and the sponge to wipe up any spilled bait in your tackle box. Dry all equipment with a soft towel.

Organize your equipment and place it neatly in several boxes. Fold up any collapsible rods to save storage space. Place all small, delicate items such as lures or hooks in large plastic bags and set them on top of the pile.

Contact local charities and religious institutions and see if they are accepting donations of used sporting goods. The YMCA, Salvation Army and Goodwill are great places to begin, and there are drop-off locations in most cities. Most church groups will gladly accept your contribution as well.

Browse the Web for more donation options. There are many online organizations that specialize in used sporting equipment. See the Resources section below for options. You will be referred to a drop-off location; or, in some cases, a pick-up of your equipment may be arranged.


  • If you wish to receive a tax deduction for your contribution, ask for a receipt from the charity or organization to which you contribute. They will assess how much your equipment is worth (using fair market value) and make out a valid receipt to you, for use at time of taxes.

    Ensure that your equipment is clean and presentable before bringing it to your selected charity or organization.