Byron is correct. It's a Federal tax called the Dingell-Johnson that was created about 60 years ago on rods, reels, nets, line, flies, etc (I think even boats and motors) and was modeled after the older and very successful Pittman-Robertson tax on guns and ammo and hunting gear. It's levied on the manufacturer, not the wholesaler or the retailer, and the monies are returned to the states for approved projects that encourage, restore &/or protect our fisheries. They cannot be applied to anything other than their approved use, and to qualify for them the states cannot apply any of their fishing license income to general revenue purposes. And Yes, the end consumer eventually pays for it, just like everything else, but that's the price we pay to have the great hunting and fishing we do in this country.