Posted by: socalsalty | March 3, 2011

Salty Spotlight: Johnny’s Sport Shop in Pasadena

Johnny's: an old school tackle shop - click the pic for more info

The Salty Spotlight is a new feature where I will highlight different things I think salties ought to know about.  It could be people doing cool things related to our sport, events, or businesses that cater to us.

Today the Salty Spotlight is on Johnny’s tackle shop in Pasadena.  When I went on the the Dan Hernandez Baja Rockfish trip a few weeks back, Dan asked me where I bought my tackle.  I told him that I usually hit the Turner’s Outdoor shop on Arroyo Parkway here in Pasadena.  Dan told me I should check out Johnny’s.

Before going in, I knew I’d like it.  I had the same feeling I had when John A. introduced me to Squidco in San Diego.  There’s nothing wrong with Turner’s or even Walmart for that matter to buy fishing tackle.  I go to both.  The thing I like though about shops like Johnny’s is that they have a knowledgeable staff, and they carry a broader selection of items catering to people like me that may be looking for something they don’t necessarily carry at those other outlets.  Usually, when you go to a smaller shop like this, you’re going to pay a bit more than you would at one of the stores I mentioned.  I’m fine with that because while I’m shopping, I’m also asking questions and gaining knowledge.  These old school shops like Johnny’s have people that not only stocked the shelf, but actually probably use the products and know firsthand.  They also have the aggregate knowledge of the other shoppers that they talk to also, so they are a wealth of information about what works, what doesn’t and what’s good now.

The other thing that going to a shop like this will do for you is help prevent you from buying something you don’t need which is ultimately far more expensive than paying a few more cents for a pack of hooks.  I went there during my lunch today and solved 3 fishing related problems, while spending less than $10 on some tackle box replenishing.  One of those problems was how to attach a Newell G-220 to the the custom wrapped G Loomis pole I recently got.  This is going to be my go to bass/sculpin rig.  Rather than buy anything, they told me that their dad, Johnny (who’s no longer fishing with us), used a similar setup.  He liked having a trigger handle also, but couldn’t fit his Newellie on it.  What he did was shave down the handle.  Saved me buying a different reel seat that wouldn’t work, or paying to re-wrap the rod.  Thanks!

Do you have an old school tackle shop that you really like?  Please share with me and the other salties by leaving a comment or emailing me at



  1. Hey nice job highlighting your local tackle shop! As fishermen we always need to remember to give shout-outs to local tackle shops and even the hole in the wall gas stations that make killer sandwiches. It’s too easy in today’s world to overlook the small businesses that make our fishing trips special!

    • Thanks FF. I like places that don’t have a weekly flyer inserted in my mailbox or newspaper. I think it’s cool to find little spots that aren’t big chains.

  2. Love seeing articles like this on the local tackle shop. Not sure how they stand on your coast but round here they are a dying breed. It seems we lose one or two each season.
    Folks just don’t get that the little they save by going to the Big Box stores is more than offset by the valuable insider info your local shop can dispense 🙂
    I wish Johnny’s continued success, good for them!!!!

    • Same thing over here. I’m partial to these places. Someone’s gotta help ’em out, and I can’t support them all by myself! Tight lines Paul

  3. I couldn’t agree more. Local shops are also more likely to have the “right” gear for the local waters.

  4. Congratulations SoCal Salty on your beautiful blog. We came across this blog here at Johnny’s Sport Shop and are very appreciative of you support. The independent fishing tackle stores are indeed a dying breed. Johnny’s has been in this same location for 59 years and still owned and ran by the original owner. We are proud to say that we are still going strong. We continue to service rods and reels, sell live bait, electric smokers, smoking chips, and any fishing tips you need. Our customers fish locally, freshwater, saltwater inshore and offshore, and exotic destinations like the Amazon River, Mazatlan, Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, Eastern Sierras, etc…

    And yes, when shopping at stores like ours, you may pay a few cents more but come by and compare our prices. We are very conscious of what products our competitors carry. Johnny’s keeps their prices very competitive and in most cases, such as Owner Hooks, we order directly from the company and have the best Owner prices in all of Southern California.

    Rock fish season is on and cracking! (Use Johnny’s handtied shrimp flies). Opening day for the Eastern Sierras is the last weekend in April. (Berkely Pinched Crawlers, Hatchery Dust, Sierra Slammers, Buoyants, Kastmasters, Banzai Hooks, Owner Mosquitos.) Santa Ana River Lakes stocked thousands of pounds of their lightening trout last Thursday. (Use Bite-On Fury Powder)

    Sorry for being so longwinded but we are very happy to be supported by the fishing community. Keep your lines tight and hope to see you soon.

    **Fred Hall Show March7-11**

  5. I am so glad you have highlighted Johnny’s Sports Shop here in Pasadena. I am 56 years old, and I and my dad have come here since I was a little kid. I am also blessed that it is still in business. After being away from Pasadena for almost 30 years, I moved back in 2000. I decided to check out some new reels to go fishing, and the only place in my mind to go was Johnny’s; never occurring to me once that it might be gone.

    • Glad they were still there for you. Not a lot of places left like them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: