As posted in the Tradeskill forum. ^^
Hey there boys and girls. Being a mage is expensive. Hell being any job is expensive. I personally do not like to farm or camp NM's unless I'm doing it with friends. Myself, I took another road to gil.
The first section of this post is an explination of how I make gil. Second section is my cooking guide which I used to level to 40. Last section is fishing to 40, where I am right now. I hope this in some way helps at least one of you. I know gil is hard to come by. :) I understand there are many ways to go about how I did this. What I'm writing is how I personally did it.
Section 1 - The General Guide
You cannot rely on a single craft to make money. The obvious trick is to level a few crafts so you can supliment the one or ones you really want to level high. First, we start with fishing.
Fishing you say? Why that's too boring. No it's not. Spend this time chatting with your LS, answering shouts while in town, and/or catch up on your reading. This is the first step to making gil. We will take Windurst as the example for fishing. At first, you have no need for expensive poles or bait. We want you to level your fishing. Buy several (4 or 5 depending on your luck) bamboo rods from the fishing guild and buy several stacks of little worms from there as well. Take your little whm buns over to Windy Woods and fish at the fountain.
"But Mistress I've fished for hours and am still not level 1 fishing!!"
I know I know, the first level is indeed the hardest. Keep it up! What you are catching right now are crayfish (600 - 1k a stack) and moat carp (4k on up a stack). See? You are making money.
At level 8 it's time for a change. With this newfound money, go buy all 4 peices of the fishing gear (hands, feet, body, legs), a composite rod, and a carbon rod. These two rods are all that you need in the game until lu shang. Use the composite rod inside Windy as this is the only one that won't break in town. When you hit 8 use this rod and insect paste. Also, uncap your fishing level at the guild by taking your first test.
Ok now you have some nice gil from moat carps. What should you do now? Get cooking! There are several guides on this website to easily and cheaply raise your skill. Always buy ingrediants from regional NPC's or the cooking guild. Get your cooking up to level 40 so you can make your own juices. If you are serious about fishing, get it higher to make crayfish paste.
So where does much of my income come from right now? Insect paste. Don't you ever every buy millioncorn! Never! Grow it! The profit potential is huge. Get yourself a mule in all 3 cities. Set two of them up with ceramic pots, grain seeds, and wind crystals. Dosn't matter when you plant them. Yield from each pot is 20-22 ears of corn! If you don't get corn you may get earth crystals out of this. That is great too since it's the crystal you need to make paste. I make 100k every single week by having my mules put paste up at the AH's in each town twice a day: Once before I go to work and once before bed. It's a few hours worth of work but indeed worth it. No need to undercut prices at all! Insect paste is a big seller and sells out daily. Best part is, when the regional NPC dosn't sell corn due to beastmen control, you'll make even more gil. :)
Serious fisher are you? I am too. once you have a nice gil flow stop selling moat carp and start turning them in for your Lu Shang rod. Stay in windy till 11 then head to East Ronfure and use a comp rod and a fly lure to catch cheval salmon until about 15, then head to Jungar Forest to the Lake (top of the map big lake). Make sure you have a ledge behind you so you don't catch any monsters. Use comp rod and insect paste here. You'll catch moat carp, gold carp, tri colored carp, and dark bass. I stayed here until 28. You make decent gil with those other fish. (sell those to the NPC for gil not to AH)
When you hit 30 fishing and need gil, start ferry fishing. Comp rod and crayfish paste will catch you nebomites (14k a stack). Your rod may break on rusty stuff found in the ocean but it's very rare. Hasn't happened to me yet but I always carry a second rod just incase. :)
Section 2 - The Cooking Guide
Remember to not buy ingrediants at the AH. Either buy them at the cooking guild or from your regional vendors. Print this out: http://cannotlinkto/ffxi/regional-merchants.html for a list of all vendors and what they sell with prices included.
I also reccomend getting paid advanced imagry support. It's worth the gil as you'll lose less items.
0-3 Carrot Broth - Sandy Carrot x 4 + Water Crystal (sell to NPC)
3-9 Orange Juice - Saruta Orange x 4 + Water Crystal (Sell to NPC)
Remeber at 8,18,28, etc take the guild test to keep leveling your cooking skill.
9-10 Sliced Sardines - Sardine + Wind Crystal. Use for fishing or sell on AH.
10-19 Apple Juice and/or Selbina Butter. I made both of these depending on what the guild had run out of at the moment. This was long before I could easily get to Sandy for apples. Apple Juice - Faerie Apple x 4 + Water Crystal. Selbina Butter - Selbina Milk + Rock Salt + Ice Crystal. Sell to NPC's or AH.
19-28 Insect Balls - Little Worm + Distilled Water + Millioncorn + Earth Crystal. This right here is a fantastic moneymaker. I reccomend growing your corn as sometimes the region falls into beastmen control and it's a pain in the arse to get the 2 stacks the guild has every day. Grow your corn and you will make 200 gil or more profit per synth. (ceramic pot, grain seeds, wind crystal dosn't matter when you plant them or pick them, yield is 20-22 millioncorn per pot or earth crystals)
28-30 Pineapple Juice - Kazham Pineapple x 2 + Water Crystal. Buy these in Kazham right near the airship exit. Don't ever buy these at the AH. HUGE waste of money. Cheapo from vendor. Just use these juices yourself or give to fellow mages.
30-35 Meatballs - Sandy flour, Distilled Water, Hare Meat. I waited till Windy was in control of this region as the flour dosn't stack so it's a pain to run back and forth. I just shouted in Windy that I was giving away free Meatballs to fisherman. People still remember me for it lol. Didn't want to waste the time selling just wanted to level.
35-37 Bubble Chocolate - Kukuru Bean x 4 + Selbina Milk + Maple Sugar. Give to mages (more ticks of mp while resting) or sell to NPC
37-40 Melon Juice - Thundermelon + Watermelon + Water Crystal. I actually grew my watermelons as I use this juice when leveling. Sell on AH or give away to mages.
At this point it's safe to make meatmithkababs. Of course, it's much more profitable to make when you're cooking is higher as you get better synths of it. This is as high as my cooking is right now, I will add to it when I get back into the groove of working on this. My goal in this craft is 60 eventually.
Section 3 - The Fishing Guide
You've heard tales of people making millions of gil a month in fishing. These tales are true. I have seen the screenshots and heard the tales myself. You too can make this amount of money! BUT you must be ready to dedicate a large chunk of time to this guild.
How do I keep myself from being bored? I read while I fish. I LOVE to read so this is very easy. I just listen to the creak of my pole and hit the appropriate macro.
How many hours do I fish? 5-7 hours during the week. I only level on weekends so during the week I spend crafting/fishing.
Is there a difference between leveling your skill and making money? In most cases yes. Depending on your level, some parts are nice money makers while others are just skill fishing.
How soon do I make gil? Right away.
Do moon phases matter? Yes. Fish are most active when it's near full/full or near new moon/new moon.
Does time of day matter? Yes. Nighttime/dawn is the best time to catch fish.
I've been in this spot for hours and havn't caught a thing, what's wrong? Some days are just bad for fishing. I just move to another zone or pack it in for the day. Don't get discouraged it happens to everyone.
Are there other crafts I should level to enhance my fishing? Yes. Level cooking up so you can make your own bait. You will also need to level your woodworking up to the 70's to fix your Lu Shang rod. Yes it can be fixed by going to Rabao and having an NPC fix it, but when you're fishing with it on the ferry and are trying to make money/gain skill that's not a good option.
Skill Level 0-8. March yourself to the fishing guild and buy up about 4 bamboo rods and 6 or 7 stacks of little worms. Never buy at the AH. Park you lil buns at the fountain in Windy Woods. With this combo you catch crayfish (600-1000 a stack at AH), moat carp (4k on up a stack AH), and the very very rare gold carp (623 gil at Guild). The first level of fishing is VERY painful. It may take hours, even days to reach level 1. You will break alot of these bamboo rods as well. That's ok. We are looking to level you. If you buy another rod this early it will take you much longer to reach 8. Keep it up. Use this time to read/chat in LS/answer shouts. At this point, feel free to sell your MC to the AH.
Skill Level 8-11 It's time to turn in a Moat Carp to the guild for your first test. With your moat carp money it's also time to buy the 6 items you will need for a long long time. Yes it's alot of money but you will earn it back quickly. Buy a composit rod, a carbon rod, and all four peices of the fishing gear. There are two types of fishing gear. Don't buy the more expensive set, it only gives you better defense not better fishing skill. Also buy Insect Paste. From now on when fishing for carp this is all you use. (A serious fisherman should be skilled in cooking and you can make these very cheaply. I will post the cooking guide later in the other thread). Use the comp rod in the city. The rusty items are what's breaking your bamboo rod. It will not break your comp rod. Stay here until you hit 11 then it's time for a change!
Skill Level 11-15 Go to East Ronfrue and fish in the river. Best spots are near one of the waterfalls and where you can see fish swimming. Take along with you 2 fly lures just incase you lose one and your comp rod. This is not a money area at all, just a good place to level. Sell the Shining Trout and Cheval Salmon to the npc. Save one of these salmon for your next rank test at 18.
Skill Level 15-28 Take yourself to Jungar Forest. I reccomned you be high enough to fish here as there are bogys at night around the lake. The lake is located at the top of your map. Can't miss it, it's huge. Make sure you fish with a rock or wall behind you. This will prevent you from catching up any monsters. Using Insect Paste and your comp rod you'll catch moat carp (save don't sell), tri-colored carp (sell to NPC), Dark Bass (sell to NPC), and Gold Carp (NPC again). Yes you can sell the MC for money, but if you are truly serious about fishing, now is the time to turn these in to earn your Lu Shang rod. It takes 10,000 moats to earn this baby and the sooner you start the better.
Skill Level 28-38ish Turn in your Giant Catfish to the guild. At this point you can also start earning guild points by turning in fish to the NPC wearing an apron at the guild. Well worth it. Everyday I check what fish it is and if it's not too expensive and the AH/Guild has it I'll turn them in. These are the items you can earn.
Waders - 70000 guild points - DEF:2 [Water]+1 Fishing skill +2
Lv.1 All Jobs
Fisherman's Apron - 100000 guild points - DEF:4 [Ice]+1 [Water]+1
Reduces chances of fishing up items
Lv.1 All Jobs
Fishing Hole Map - 150000 - Furnishing:Numerous prime fishing locations are indicated on this map.
Map is not a real map, just a peice of furniture you put in your moghouse that gives you fishing mog enhancement.
Now back to fishing. Use your comp rod and sliced sardines to catch bluetail and gold lobsters at the cliffs on East Saru.
At this point, you can catch Nebomites off of the ferry. They cap at level 30. Take a couple carbon rods with you as there is a very rare chance of a rusty subligar in the ocean. You will catch most of these at night. They go for 14k on up a stack so when you need money fish here.
Also, ALWAYS carry both rods with you. When waiting for a party in Jueno take your comp rod and a Sabaki Rig to catch Yellow Globes (2k at AH) and Bastore Sardines (600-1000 at AH). You can make a little or alot of gil while waiting instead of wasting your time. I save these sardines as with one wind crystal and one sardine it will yield 2 sliced sardines, and this is my current bait for leveling.
When you hit 35 fishing take 7 comp rods and sliced sardines and "break fish" off the ferry. Your target is Gurgua Tuna (which is the fish you need at lvl 38 to advance fishing). Tuna will break even the lu shang rod. You'll catch some noble ladies and blue tails as well. Sell these to the fishing guild in the ship. Remember to fish off the steps so you don't catch any monsters and always have sneak up for that darned sea horror. Your broken comp rods? Sell them in Bastok. Alchemy guild is here and broken rods sell for more than fixed ones. ^^ I went from 35-40 in a few evenings after work. Skill ups are crazy fast.
Happy fishing and I hope you all earn zillions!
Forgot to add a couple things and thoughs. Firstly, here are two websites that should be your fisherman's bible.
http://www.lisaarndt.com/phpBB2/index.php She is one of the first yanks to get not only her Lu Shang rod, but the Fishing Hole Map as well. That site is a goldmine of information. Please though, before you ask a question be sure to check the forums by using the Search function. Many things have already been answered.
http://www.clanwind.com/ffxi/fishing/ He posts on her site daily and updates his just as often. Here you can plug in your rod/bait/location/skill combo and see what you can fish up. It's a fantastic tool that you can use to level up your fishing.
How do I feel about people that arn't "serious" fisherman and are only in it for the "easy money" of moat carp? Meh I don't mind. I need to buy those moaty's off you for Lu Shang. If I had to fish them all up I'd go crazy lol. Fisherman are fisherman imho.
How do I feel about bots? If you are botting while at work/doing other stuff, yes, it ticks me off. To me it's cheating. If you are botting while sitting in front of your computer reading/chatting to the LS, then no, I absolutely have no problem at all with this. SE dosn't have a problem with unattended bots either from what I've read. As long as you're at your keyboard it dosn't matter to them or me.