Fishing is a growing sporting industry that is increasing in popularity every day especially with people under 45. It is the second most popular outdoor activity with 47 million people in 2016 right behind running with 52 million.
There are three main types of fishing: freshwater, saltwater, and fly fishing, but there are many more specific styles of fishing to consider, like ice fishing! Depending on where you live, one or the other may be more popular. These are all great ideas to start with for your affiliate website, and we'll give you even more suggestions at the bottom of this article.
Fishing is a great niche to get into because it's an evergreen topic. Though it's seasonal, you can bet that there will be fishing enthusiasts browsing the web each year for information about how to catch and cook 'em, or just improve their skill. Here are 10 great fishing affiliate programs to turn your hobby, into an online business.
Oh, and don't forget we took a deep dive in the sporting goods niche too, including research into keywords, trends, and website building tips.
Table of Contents
Fishing Affiliate Programs
- Bob Ward’s
- Hook & Tackle
- Trouts Fly Fishing
- Vail Valley Anglers
- SA Co.
- West Marine
- Marine Products Pro Shop
- Telluride Angler
- Columbia Sportswear
- URL: Bob Ward’s Affiliate Program
- Commission: 8%
- Cookie: 120 days
Bob Ward’s is an industry leader in sporting goods. Bobwards.com has been recognized as a Gold Certified Merchant by BizRate.com. They strive to provide outstanding customer service and the best selection of top brands in sporting goods at a great value.
The average transaction is between $100-200. Affiliates receive very generous 8% commissions. The cookie life is an incredible 120 days. You can sign up to join their affiliate program with Commission Junction or AvantLink. Either way, you will receive access to banners and text links you can use to promote their site.
Why Should You Promote Bob Wards: Very long cookie life, great commission rate, high average transaction amount
While Bob Ward’s is not solely a fishing supply store, they still have a large selection of fishing rods and reels, tackle, and apparel. Plus you could promote their other outdoor products if your site focuses on other sports besides fishing.
Hook & Tackle
- URL: Hook & Tackle Affiliate Program
- Commission: 8%
- Cookie: 30 days
Hook & Tackle creates performance fishing apparel with UV sun protection. Their one-of-a-kind products are loaded with performance features and functions to optimize your fishing experience. They were started by a bunch of fisherman in Miami in 1963 that loved to fish so you know they craft every product to make your fishing experience easier and more enjoyable. Their products are built to withstand abuse from UV rays, saltwater, and bending and stretching. You can tell their products are well made by the reviews from their loyal and passionate customers. Hook & Tackle offers fast, free standard shipping and seasonal promotions. They also frequently reward customers with a free gift with purchase.
Affiliates receive an 8% commission on all sales with an average order value of around $115. The cookie duration is 30 days. Their site-wide conversion rate is great than 4.01%. Affiliates have access to their professional product video, detailed product descriptions, and best-in-class product photography to use to promote their products. Their product fit guides also increase conversions and minimize returns. You can even request custom creative to help improve your performance.
Why Should You Promote Hook & Tackle: Competitive commission, month-long cookie life, one-of-a-kind products
It’s important to note that Hook & Tackle does not allow trademark bidding, any coupons that were not provided by them, or the use of discounting terms like sale, cheap, or closet in any marketing materials. You should read through their terms and conditions before you start promoting to make sure you are following their rules and guidelines.
Trouts Fly Fishing
- URL: Trouts Fly Fishing Affiliate Program
- Commission: 8%
- Cookie: 90 days
Trouts Fly Fishing has been selling premier fly fishing brands since 1995. They are one of the top Fly Fishing retailers in the country. They carry major brands like St. Croix, Patagonia, Rio, Orvis, Simms, Sage, and more. Free standard shipping is included on all orders and they offer a price match guarantee on all current model years.
Affiliates receive a great 8% commission rate. The cookie life is a very long retail time of 90 days. The average ticket size is greater than $125. Trouts Fly Fishing uses AvantLink to manage their affiliate program and track sales, get promotions and sales, create links, and process payouts.
Why Should You Promote Trouts Fly Fishing: Long cookie life, generous commission rate, free shipping on all orders, price match guarantee
Trouts Fly Fishing only sells the top fish brands that they use themselves so you know you are purchasing high-quality products. They offer free shipping on all orders and a price match guarantee on all current model years. Affiliates receive a generous 8% commission rate with an average order value greater than $125.
Vail Valley Anglers
- URL: Vail Valley Anglers Affiliate Program
- Commission: 8%
- Cookie: 30 days
Vail Valley Anglers opened in June of 2012 and has quickly become the premier fly fish operation in the Vail area. They have over 25 years of experience in the fly fishing business and are passionate fly fishermen themselves. They carry the finest fishing gear and tools for everyone from avid fishermen to beginners looking for the best tools and guidance to get started. Some of the top brands they carry include Hardy, Simms, ExOfficio, Sage, Scott, Patagonia Fish, and more. Along with the online retail shop, customers can also book rentals and guided fly fish trips and tours online which helps drive traffic to their eCommerce site.
The commission payout for affiliates is 8% of sales. The average order value is also very high at $200. The cookie duration is 30 days. Their affiliate program has been custom-tailored to fit the needs of the fly fishing industry and they provide the best possible customer service to their customers and their affiliates. They use AvantLink to manage their affiliate program, have a dedicated program manager, and frequently update their promotional banners.
Why Should You Promote Vail Valley Anglers: Very high average orders, custom-tailored affiliate program, dedicated staff, month-long cookie life
Vail Valley Anglers has a higher average order value than Trouts Fly Fishing, but a shorter cookie life.
- URL: SA Co. Affiliate Program
- Commission: 10%
- Cookie: 30 days
SA Co. was created to cut out the middleman and offer premium gear at affordable prices. They sell directly to their customers online. All of their high-quality products are crafted with the needs of outdoorsmen in mind. They even own their own factories and produce their own gear. This means they cut out even more expenses and pass that saving onto their customers. They are constantly innovating and improving their products to enhance their customer's experience outdoors.
The commission rate is an incredible 15% of sales. The average sale value is $24.75 which leads to an average commission of $3.71. They also offer a very long cookie life of 90 days to help increase your conversion rate. SA Co. uses ShareASale to manage its affiliate program.
Why Should You Promote SA Co.: Very high commission, high-quality products at affordable prices, long cookie life
While SA Co.’s commission rate is incredibly high, their average sales value is a lot lower than most of the other affiliate programs. It’s probably best to join a few other programs especially some that sell fishing gear along with apparel.
- URL: West Marine Affiliate Program
- Commission: Unlisted
- Cookie: Unknown
West Marine is the world’s largest waterlife outfitter. They carry over 85,000 products online and at their 275 stores. While they primarily focus on boating supplies and accessories, you can still find a large selection of fishing rods, reels, apparel, and gear.
West Marine’s affiliate program is non-profit organizations, local outdoor groups or clubs, yacht clubs, blogs, message boards, websites, and media outlets. Affiliates earn commissions based on the products and product categories with unlimited income potential. The average order size is very high at $200. West Marine uses FlexOffers to manage their affiliate program. They send out weekly newsletters with regular updates and custom promotions. Affiliates also have access to publisher tools like product data feed, advanced links, custom creative, and more.
Why Should You Promote West Marine: World's largest waterlife outfitter, very high average order size, good commission rates based on product categories
West Marine does not allow affiliates to bid on keyword phrases in pay-per-click search engines. Be sure to read through their terms and conditions to make sure you are following all their policy rules.
Marine Products Pro Shop
- URL: Marine Products Pro Shop Affiliate Program
- Commission: 8-13%
- Cookie: 120 days
Marine Products Pro Shop has been in business since 1971 and is one of the top 5 water sports dealers in the country. They’ve won 4 Water Sports Industry Association Dealer of the Year Awards. Like West Marine, Marine Products Pro Shop mainly stocks marine hardware, boat parts, wetsuits, life vests, apparel, accessories, even boats. They carry the top brands in the watersport industry including Liquid Force, Radar, Obrien, Company Wake, QuikSilver, RayBan, Reef, Ronix, and many more. They have some fishing gear but it is a better program for saltwater fishermen or fishermen who are looking to buy a boat or boating supplies. They offer free ground shipping on orders over $99. They also have a price match guarantee on all current model years.
The average order value is $250. Affiliates earn between 8-13% depending on their monthly sales amounts. The cookie day is a very long 120 days. Their design team generates new creative every month. Marine Products Pro Shop uses AvantLink to manage their affiliate program
Why Should You Promote Marine Products Pro Shop: Great commission rates, high average order value, long cookie life
While Marine Products Pro Shop doesn't have as great of a selection of fishing gear as most of the other affiliate programs, their high average order value makes it work promoting to fisherman with boats.
- URL: Telluride Angler Affiliate Program
- Commission: 8%
- Cookie: 120 days
Telluride Angler was founded in 1984 and is internationally known as a fly fishing specialty store located in Telluride, Colorado. It is the retail company of Telluride Outside, one of the top fly fishing guide services in the world. They introduce more than 2000 people each year to fly fishing. They developed their online store in 2005 and have optimized their site for high conversions which means more money for their affiliates. Telluride Angler carries the best brands in fly fishing like Hardy, Simms, Scientific Anglers, Scotts, Lamson, Hatch, Ross, Abel, and many more. They offer free domestic shipping on all orders over $100 and free international shipping on orders over $500.
Affiliates receive 8% of sales with an average order size of $350 or more. The cookie duration is a generous 120 days. Telluride Angler uses AvantLink to manage their affiliate program. They have frequent sales promotions like closeout merchandise, seasonal deals, and new product features with personalized endorsements. There is also cross-marketing potential with ski and general outdoors industries.
Why Should You Promote Telluride Angler: Very high average orders, generous cookie life, the competitive commission rate
Telluride has optimized their site for higher conversions which means money for them and their affiliates. Their company Telluride Outside introduces over 2000 people each year to fly fishing which means more potential future customers.
- URL: Piscifun Affiliate Program
- Commission: 12-16%
- Cookie: 60 days
Piscifun was founded in 2013 by two close friends with a passion for fishing and family. They are dedicated to manufacturing and designing high-quality fishing gear at affordable prices. Pisci means fish in Latin so Piscifun means that fishing makes people happy. Along with their own brand of fishing rods, reels, lines, and tools, they also carry the top fishing brands like Abu Garcia, Pflueger, Berkley, Spiderwire, Mitchell, Penn, and more. They offer free shipping worldwide and fast delivery.
The average order value is over $160 with a very high conversion rate because they offer high-quality branded fishing gear at competitive prices. Affiliates receive an incredible 12% commission rate plus a bonus for higher sales totals with commission potentials of 13%-16%. The cookie duration is 60 days. Piscifun uses ShareASale to manage their affiliate program. They regularly update their text links, data feed, banners, coupons, deals, and promotional newsletter.
Why Should You Promote Piscifun: Incredibly high commission rates, high-quality fishing gear at affordable prices, very high conversion rate
Piscifun wants fishermen to have fun fishing without having to spend a lot of money on new gear. Their very high conversion rates, high-quality fishing gear, and great commission rates make them worth checking out.
- URL: Columbia Sportswear Affiliate Program
- Commission: up to 10%
- Cookie: 21 days
Columbia Sportswear started in 1938 and has been creating innovative apparel that keeps outdoor enthusiasts warm/cool, dry, protected, and comfortable all year long. They have a complete line of fishing apparel called PFG (Performance Fishing Gear) that was designed with fishermen in mind. It keeps you cool and dry when it's hot outside with advanced features like sweat-activated cooling, underarm and back vents for better airflow, sweat-wicking technology, and quick-drying fabrics. They also use water and stain repellent fabric with UPF sun protection to keep you safe and protected.
The average order value is over $90. Affiliates receive a very competitive retail commission rate of up to 10% with a 21-day referral cookie. They offer exclusive deals and promotions along with a daily product data feed. Columbia Sportswear uses Commission Junction to manage their affiliate program. To join, search for them in the Advertiser section.
Why Should You Promote Columbia Sportswear: High retail average order value, competitive commission rate, long retail cookie life, lots of deals and promotions
Columbia makes the very popular PFG fishing apparel line used by fisherman all over the country because of their innovative designs and features. They offer their affiliates very good retail commission rates and offer lots of deals and promotions to help you market their products.
Affiliate Website Ideas
Now that you've read through these great fishing affiliate programs, it is time to decide what fishing niche you want to focus on. How and where you fish depends on lots of factors like what species of fish you are trying to catch, the weather conditions, the water clarity, and more.
There are lots of different articles you can write about fishing depending on what niche you choose to focus on. Three potential ideas to start with could be freshwater, saltwater, and fly fishing. You could focus on what type of fish they are trying to catch like bass. A good niche for this would be catch and release bass fishing. This would cover fishermen who are trying to catch bass for sport and then releasing them back into the water.
They will need to buy lots of different types of fishing lures and gear depending on the water and weather conditions and how the fish are reacting to their baits. A good affiliate program to use for this would be Bob Ward's because of their large selection of fishing gear, 8% commission rate, and long 120 days cookie life.
Another niche you could focus on is fly fishing sets for beginners. Fly fishing is an expensive sport when you are first starting out because you have to buy a lot of fishing gear. Which means higher commission potentials for you. Telluride Angler has optimized its site for higher conversions and has an average order amount of $350. They offer their affiliates 8% commission rates with a 120-day cookie life. Vail Valley Anglers also offers an 8% commission rate but with a $200 average order value and a 30-day cookie life.
You could also focus on fishing shirts for saltwater fishing. The shirts, like most outdoor gears, need to be comfortable, sweat-resistant, breathable and have UV protection to hold up against the elements. SA Co. is a great affiliate to join because of their premium fishing apparel at affordable prices and very high 10% commission rate for 30 days. Piscifun is also another good one to join with 12-16% commissions for 60 days. They have a much higher average order amount than SA CO. but a shorter cookie life. Both companies design their clothes with the comfort of fishermen in mind.
Beginner fishing is another obvious one. Though 47 million people went fishing in 2016, only 29 million people did it with paid fishing licenses that year. If you are new to fishing or an avid fisherman, always check your local fishing license laws to avoid a fine if you are caught fishing without a license. Plus the proceeds go to stocking fisheries to maintain the fish population and make fishing fun and safe for everyone for years to come. Getting someone started with beginner fishing gear, or showing dads where to buy the best fishing gear for their kids could definitely be a useful website and thus a profitable venture for you.
Boost Your Affiliate Earnings
These 10 affiliate programs are just the beginning of what's possible. There are hundreds of ways to earn affiliate commissions with your website, including product reviews, top 10 lists, how-to guides, and more
But what about traffic and conversions? How do you make sure your affiliate links get clicked?
I used the affiliate training here to turn my brand new website into a six-figure income generator in less than two years. Build a business, not just a pocket-money side project!