I dont see how you could run one without them. You would be covered in dust. I bought them immediately once I got my catcher. You might get by just bagging grass but leaves, forget it. JMHO. Hope it helps.
I think the were around $60. I don't see how you can use the catcher in anything dry, the covers cut it down to almost nothing, similar to a regular 21" catcher. They told me you can remove them to bag regular grass and that it would bag better but I don't and don't see a problem with leaving them on.
I made my own out of some heavy duty landscape fabric (the kind to prevent weeds). Just used some nylon washers and some screws right into the holes in the perforated metal. Works great and had all the materials on hand...
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