Author Topic: Tipping a guide  (Read 1167 times)

Offline Bryfish84

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Tipping a guide
« on: Jan 10, 2019, 08:56 PM »
Whatís a good tip? Headed on a guided trip in a few weeks. Four guys, all together looking at about $500-$550 for the trip. The guide is grilling lunch on the ice as well. Anyone with experience, opinions are appreciated.

Offline bootstrap

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Re: Tipping a guide
« Reply #1 on: Jan 10, 2019, 09:27 PM »
i would say 50-100 depending on how you liked his service/attitude. dont tip based on the bite alone.

Offline Van_Cleaver

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Re: Tipping a guide
« Reply #2 on: Jan 10, 2019, 09:34 PM »
I agree with bootstrap; I think you should tip about the same as as a restaurant, around 15-20%. That should really be based on his knowledge, effort, etc. As a customer it is always up to you, but if a guy is trying his best to put you on fish and make you feel comfortable then you should reward him or her for it. On the flip side if someone is snarky and just going through the motions well; tip accordingly.

Offline Bryfish84

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Re: Tipping a guide
« Reply #3 on: Jan 10, 2019, 09:48 PM »
Thanks guys!

Offline Ice Surveyor

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Re: Tipping a guide
« Reply #4 on: Jan 10, 2019, 09:49 PM »
The successful guide gets a cash payment (which means the tip is already there, and then some), the so-so guide gets a check, which includes sales tax. 

If your guide is female with great big honky tonks, maybe talk to your wife about pulling some money out of your 401K. 

Offline Noon

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Re: Tipping a guide
« Reply #5 on: Jan 11, 2019, 01:08 AM »
Is this a guided trip where your guide is out in the camp for extended periods or is it from a baitshop outfitter and he sleeps at home before and after your trip?
If he is out there for a while, tip him with some gear, gadgets, food, drinks, books, etc. In addition to some cash. These things add up to way more when you dont have the chance to restock all the time because you're guiding. They can add a lot to your trip if you offer them at the start of the trip compared to the end because the guude will appreciate it and want you to have a good trip.
 If he is the day trip guide, i say exactly the same as the previous posts. Cash tip bassed on his/her service.
And always remember, they cant make the fish bite but they can try and put you on them and have a good time
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Offline Yellowstoner

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Re: Tipping a guide
« Reply #6 on: Jan 11, 2019, 02:37 AM »
I can speak to this as a former fly fishing guide and charter captain.  Full day trips should tip out at $100 at least, with a generous day being in the $150-200 range.  You guys should each be able to chip in $40 to show your appreciation.

I would argue against what Noon is saying - guides normally have pro-deals which afford them 50-70% off of their gear.  When you tip them a $100 rod (which I'm sure he has plenty of the same rods and doesn't like having just one "good" rod that everyone wants to grab and fight over) for him or her, that's a $30 tip at best.  Tipping at the beginning of a trip was always super awkward, and as a guide I feel like I couldn't help but be unmotivated by it.  As a guide you have nothing to gain at that point (aside from all the good feels, etc... that everyone thinks that guides experience day in and day out  ::) )

I would say to start out at $100, and the more s/he works at getting you fish, making good conversation, and generally being supportive and informative, the more you should tip beyond that.  As a fly fishing guide, my average day was in the $125-150 range, with isolated great days being $250-300.  Anything less than $100 was a disappointment.

I realize this may come off as arrogant or whatever, but it's the absolute truth, and I know most guides would agree.

Offline mboss13

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Re: Tipping a guide
« Reply #7 on: Jan 11, 2019, 06:21 AM »
Aren't they self employed?? Isn't their salary directly linked to their performance? Aren't they who sets their own pricing??


I always get a laugh out of the "should" we tip debate......still waiting for the day someone shows at my place of employment with a tip.

Funny how the tipping culture only works in certain industries.

I get that restaurant employees are underpaid due to some idiotic minimum wage rules, but just for about everyone else I'd go by the level of service received and the willingness to throw your money around...I don't think there is some unwritten % rule.....

Offline Doeslayer

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Re: Tipping a guide
« Reply #8 on: Jan 11, 2019, 06:33 AM »
The successful guide gets a cash payment (which means the tip is already there, and then some), the so-so guide gets a check, which includes sales tax. 

If your guide is female with great big honky tonks, maybe talk to your wife about pulling some money out of your 401K.
this made me laugh so hard my wife asked what was so funny.... Then she wanted to see... Then she got mad at me lol... Worth it lol
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Offline JayWirth

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Re: Tipping a guide
« Reply #9 on: Jan 11, 2019, 06:34 AM »
"I realize this may come off as arrogant or whatever, but it's the absolute truth, and I know most guides would agree."

I agree - most guides are arrogant.

 ;)
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Offline hnd

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Re: Tipping a guide
« Reply #10 on: Jan 11, 2019, 06:46 AM »
I can speak to this as a former fly fishing guide and charter captain.  Full day trips should tip out at $100 at least, with a generous day being in the $150-200 range.  You guys should each be able to chip in $40 to show your appreciation.

I would argue against what Noon is saying - guides normally have pro-deals which afford them 50-70% off of their gear.  When you tip them a $100 rod (which I'm sure he has plenty of the same rods and doesn't like having just one "good" rod that everyone wants to grab and fight over) for him or her, that's a $30 tip at best.  Tipping at the beginning of a trip was always super awkward, and as a guide I feel like I couldn't help but be unmotivated by it.  As a guide you have nothing to gain at that point (aside from all the good feels, etc... that everyone thinks that guides experience day in and day out  ::) )

I would say to start out at $100, and the more s/he works at getting you fish, making good conversation, and generally being supportive and informative, the more you should tip beyond that.  As a fly fishing guide, my average day was in the $125-150 range, with isolated great days being $250-300.  Anything less than $100 was a disappointment.

I realize this may come off as arrogant or whatever, but it's the absolute truth, and I know most guides would agree.

out of curiosity what was a day of fishing with you price-wise?  fly fishing guides usually service a specific clientele.  a tad different than most ice fishing experiences. 
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Offline rscimagery

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Re: Tipping a guide
« Reply #11 on: Jan 11, 2019, 07:29 AM »
Interesting answers here....

As someone who really appreciates the services that guides offer (I treat mysekf to a couple trips per year) I say the more the better *if* the guide busts his butt to make your day special. $100 is pretty much my baseline. Most of these guys spend 8-10 hours with you if you consider the time it takes to travel, set up gear and shop for food, etc. so they are making maybe $50 hour. Which ainít bad, but they arenít getting rich when you realize they have to pay for insurance, health insurance, taxes and for all the equipment. They arenít getting rich.

That being said - tip to the experience. If they made your day - screw it - go big or go home. $150. And that isnít based on the fish biting, itís how much effort went into your experience. If they were relentlessly trying to get you on fish - thatís hard work and stressful. Reward them. However I have also had some guides that sit off to the side, smoke cigarettes and text, and others who brought me to a closed river because they hadnít done their scouting. Iíd still tip them, but they were callin it in. I think for a good day $ 125 is a nice number. For a great day, $150. And remember - if you tip them well, theyíll remember you next time.

Offline 4x4Dad

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Re: Tipping a guide
« Reply #12 on: Jan 11, 2019, 07:33 AM »
First let me say I have 0% experience going on guided ANYTHING . But , I do eat out a lot at restaurants . If it's a fair comparison , I base my ( usually generous ) tip on service , experience , attitude and timeliness . Attitude and knowing what you need BEFORE you know you need it , is professional . Some people are meant to work with the public and SOME are NOT , and just in it for the money , if you understand what I mean . I start at the basic 10% and if the person is anything more than a robot , the tip increases from there . JMHO

Offline jrodm13

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Re: Tipping a guide
« Reply #13 on: Jan 11, 2019, 08:25 AM »
Aren't they self employed?? Isn't their salary directly linked to their performance? Aren't they who sets their own pricing??


I always get a laugh out of the "should" we tip debate......still waiting for the day someone shows at my place of employment with a tip.

Funny how the tipping culture only works in certain industries.

I get that restaurant employees are underpaid due to some idiotic minimum wage rules, but just for about everyone else I'd go by the level of service received and the willingness to throw your money around...I don't think there is some unwritten % rule.....

I agree with this at least in part.  I find myself far more likely to tip someone (or tip them more) if they are an employee rather than self-employed.  This goes across industries, as I personally have never paid for guide service. 

Offline Philip

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Re: Tipping a guide
« Reply #14 on: Jan 11, 2019, 10:11 AM »
I can speak to this as a former fly fishing guide and charter captain.  Full day trips should tip out at $100 at least, with a generous day being in the $150-200 range.  You guys should each be able to chip in $40 to show your appreciation.

I would say to start out at $100, and the more s/he works at getting you fish, making good conversation, and generally being supportive and informative, the more you should tip beyond that.  As a fly fishing guide, my average day was in the $125-150 range, with isolated great days being $250-300.  Anything less than $100 was a disappointment.

I realize this may come off as arrogant or whatever, but it's the absolute truth, and I know most guides would agree.

Not going to lie, its things like this that turn me away from ever going on a guided trip

Offline Noon

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Re: Tipping a guide
« Reply #15 on: Jan 11, 2019, 11:26 AM »
I can speak to this as a former fly fishing guide and charter captain.  Full day trips should tip out at $100 at least, with a generous day being in the $150-200 range.  You guys should each be able to chip in $40 to show your appreciation.

I would argue against what Noon is saying - guides normally have pro-deals which afford them 50-70% off of their gear.  When you tip them a $100 rod (which I'm sure he has plenty of the same rods and doesn't like having just one "good" rod that everyone wants to grab and fight over) for him or her, that's a $30 tip at best.  Tipping at the beginning of a trip was always super awkward, and as a guide I feel like I couldn't help but be unmotivated by it.  As a guide you have nothing to gain at that point (aside from all the good feels, etc... that everyone thinks that guides experience day in and day out  ::) )


I can definitely see your points. My comments were based on my experience going on and talking with guides for hunting trips where they may be out in the woods for a good 4-8 weeks at a time without getting back into town. I could see buying a fly guide a new rod kind of as an insult. But the guides I know who spend weeks on end out in the bush always appreciated a variety in their food or adult beverages or an exceptional pair of gloves or otherwise. And as far as tipping in the beginning, I meant the material tips as a thank you for having me with a monetary tip still to come at the end of the trip no matter what. But as I read through all of these responses, it seems clear that like most things, everyone has their own view and ideas of this. The safe option is to give a generous cash tip commensurate with the efforts of the guide.

Aren't they self employed?? Isn't their salary directly linked to their performance? Aren't they who sets their own pricing??


I always get a laugh out of the "should" we tip debate......still waiting for the day someone shows at my place of employment with a tip.

Funny how the tipping culture only works in certain industries.

I get that restaurant employees are underpaid due to some idiotic minimum wage rules, but just for about everyone else I'd go by the level of service received and the willingness to throw your money around...I don't think there is some unwritten % rule.....

Some guides may be self employed and set wages to have a comfortable income without tips, but this isnt always the case (not that I have done a ton of guided ice trips). A lot of the guides I know don't run the whole show. Due to requirements of outfitter/guiding licenses or otherwise depending on the state laws leads to a lot of guides working for someone else under their credentials. Leaving them in a paid position rather than a self-employed business owner. So it really depends on the circumstances.

Bottom line. If they work hard, reward them. Especially if you wish to have other good trips with them in the future as well as to help out a fellow sportsman/woman
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Offline SLAYERFISH

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Re: Tipping a guide
« Reply #16 on: Jan 11, 2019, 12:10 PM »
"I realize this may come off as arrogant or whatever, but it's the absolute truth, and I know most guides would agree."

I agree - most guides are arrogant.

 ;)

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Offline Elrik

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Re: Tipping a guide
« Reply #17 on: Jan 11, 2019, 02:41 PM »
My thoughts on tipping guides is to either wait till they doze off or when they are bending over a hole trying to scoop the fish of a lifetime that bit your buddies line instead of yours. Both make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Be advised if you practice either of these tipping recommendations you better be willing to give a very large amount of extra cash to the guide at the end of the trip to make up for your tipping him earlier...

Offline 4x4Dad

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Re: Tipping a guide
« Reply #18 on: Jan 11, 2019, 03:33 PM »
My thoughts on tipping guides is to either wait till they doze off or when they are bending over a hole trying to scoop the fish of a lifetime that bit your buddies line instead of yours. Both make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Be advised if you practice either of these tipping recommendations you better be willing to give a very large amount of extra cash to the guide at the end of the trip to make up for your tipping him earlier...

I honestly didn't know where you were going with that at first ! My bad ! ! ! :whistle: :clap: :roflmao:

Offline BigSling

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Re: Tipping a guide
« Reply #19 on: Jan 11, 2019, 04:30 PM »
I can speak to this as a former fly fishing guide and charter captain.  Full day trips should tip out at $100 at least, with a generous day being in the $150-200 range.  You guys should each be able to chip in $40 to show your appreciation.

I would argue against what Noon is saying - guides normally have pro-deals which afford them 50-70% off of their gear.  When you tip them a $100 rod (which I'm sure he has plenty of the same rods and doesn't like having just one "good" rod that everyone wants to grab and fight over) for him or her, that's a $30 tip at best.  Tipping at the beginning of a trip was always super awkward, and as a guide I feel like I couldn't help but be unmotivated by it.  As a guide you have nothing to gain at that point (aside from all the good feels, etc... that everyone thinks that guides experience day in and day out  ::) )

I would say to start out at $100, and the more s/he works at getting you fish, making good conversation, and generally being supportive and informative, the more you should tip beyond that.  As a fly fishing guide, my average day was in the $125-150 range, with isolated great days being $250-300.  Anything less than $100 was a disappointment.

I realize this may come off as arrogant or whatever, but it's the absolute truth, and I know most guides would agree.

I too am curious what the daily rate was here before a tip. I tip based on a variety of variables including professionalism (being on time, being prepared, etc), interactions (being polite, not necessarily chatty but at least some attempt at conversation), and fishing experience (explaining/teaching techniques and outcome). Yes, I include the catch for the day because while it's never a sure thing, I expect a guide to be knowledgeable of a variety of tactics/locations to yield a better day than someone with no prior knowledge of the body of water going out by themselves.

My general tip is around 10% for the day (this is for daily rates of 400-500 per day). I can't imagine tacking on 50-60% of the rate in a tip and if a guide was expecting 20-25%, almost every time they'd be leaving disappointed.

Offline paguy15545

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Re: Tipping a guide
« Reply #20 on: Jan 11, 2019, 08:53 PM »
At one point in my life i worked as a highly certified snowboard instructor/Coach if you wanted a 1 on 1  session with me it cost you $100 -$150 an hour. I was never worried if my client would tip me. I was getting paid a lot to be out snowboarding with someone and sharing what i know with them. A tip was nice but i never expected one. Also its true about pro deals for example i wore $500 dollar pants i paid around $190 for.

Offline dunnhuntin

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Re: Tipping a guide
« Reply #21 on: Jan 12, 2019, 12:04 AM »
At one of the lodges I used to work for, the lodge charged $150 per group per day for my services. I got paid $110-120 depending on group size. My average tip was a little shy of $100 from a group of 3-4 guests. I really relied on my tips to make a living.

Some guides I know charge $2-300 per day, sometimes they got similar tips, sometimes smaller depending on the day and group.

The outfitter's  rate and guide's cut of the price may influence your tipping. If you're  getting a cheap price on the service, a higher tip helps boost wages. Attitude, quality of service and other aspects influenced my tips. My best tips came on days when I really clicked with my guests and had a lot of fun with them, taught them some new techniques or really went the extra mile to put them on fish. I never felt entitled to a big tip. If we had a bad day and it was my fault I knew I wouldn't deserve a good tip.
Myself and the other guides I worked with always felt like we let our guests down if we had a good day and a low tip. It felt worse to get a $20 tip than no tip at all. Our reasoning was if someone had a good day on the water, seemed happy and didn't tip then they just don't believe in tipping. If you got an unusually small tip the guest must have been unhappy with your service that day.

It's your money so you should decide how hard the guide worked at the end of the day and if/how much of a tip they earned.

If you want some advice on a guide's average tip, ask the outfitter or another guide that works there what he usually gets. I hated telling guests what my average tip was because it was awkward and I always worried I would come off as arrogant or entitled if the number was higher than they were expecting.

Offline Yellowstoner

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Re: Tipping a guide
« Reply #22 on: Jan 12, 2019, 01:19 AM »
For those curious about guide rates, we charged between $450-600/day depending on number of clients and whether we were boat fishing or walk/wading. Of that I received usually right around $300 take home (before taxes), but my outfitter had insurance and a vehicle for me to take, and also provided flies.  Most guides that are independents are going to get closer to $400 for a day.

Offline RickWakeman

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Re: Tipping a guide
« Reply #23 on: Jan 12, 2019, 06:59 AM »
Aren't they self employed?? Isn't their salary directly linked to their performance? Aren't they who sets their own pricing??


I always get a laugh out of the "should" we tip debate......still waiting for the day someone shows at my place of employment with a tip.

Funny how the tipping culture only works in certain industries.

I get that restaurant employees are underpaid due to some idiotic minimum wage rules, but just for about everyone else I'd go by the level of service received and the willingness to throw your money around...I don't think there is some unwritten % rule.....

Whether intentional or unintentional this sounds like Mr pink from Reservoir Dogs. And I agree  :tipup:

Offline Seamonkey84

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Re: Tipping a guide
« Reply #24 on: Jan 12, 2019, 08:50 AM »
Whether intentional or unintentional this sounds like Mr pink from Reservoir Dogs. And I agree  :tipup:
Omg I had to go look up that clip lol. Itís been so long since Iíve seen that movie. I for the mot part agree, but because tipping is considered the norm, restaurants donít have to pay the wait staff as much, and donít need to charge more for the meals. But exactly where is that line and what kind of services are you supposed to tip? Having never used a guide, I would of been clueless that they expect a tip after the 400 I already paid to be brought out.

Offline Super-ice-bird

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Re: Tipping a guide
« Reply #25 on: Jan 12, 2019, 11:22 PM »
Went to Mexico once and was hell bent on catching bill fish. When we got on the boat we told the skipper and deck hands that we would pay $100 for every billfish we caught. Needless to say they were motivated, we got 2 marlin and 6 sailfish! Thatís the kind of tip I donít mind giving out.

Pay for the trip, tip for results.
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Offline DTro

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Re: Tipping a guide
« Reply #26 on: Jan 13, 2019, 12:38 PM »
Not all guides work the same way.  Some are self proprietors, some work for a Captain as a Mate.   I am a one man show and set my price accordingly and decided to refuse all tips.   If I want more money, I'll charge more.  The best tip you can give me...rebook another trip in the future or give a good recommendation to friends, family, or business associates. 

Offline Doeslayer

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Re: Tipping a guide
« Reply #27 on: Jan 13, 2019, 12:41 PM »
Not all guides work the same way.  Some are self proprietors, some work for a Captain as a Mate.   I am a one man show and set my price accordingly and decided to refuse all tips.   If I want more money, I'll charge more.  The best tip you can give me...rebook another trip in the future or give a good recommendation to friends, family, or business associates.
This is kind of how i thought most would be.... But what do i know lol
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Offline Seamonkey84

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Re: Tipping a guide
« Reply #28 on: Jan 13, 2019, 02:38 PM »
Not all guides work the same way.  Some are self proprietors, some work for a Captain as a Mate.   I am a one man show and set my price accordingly and decided to refuse all tips.   If I want more money, I'll charge more.  The best tip you can give me...rebook another trip in the future or give a good recommendation to friends, family, or business associates.
That makes the most sense!  Though all the guides in my state basically all charge the same rates.

 



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