Fishing is a great way to spend time with friends. It’s the perfect activity to get away from the city, relax, and maybe bag some game fish for dinner. If you’ve never tried it, we highly recommend that you do. But before you head out with your buddies, there are a couple of things you need to have in your tackle box.
If you’re a beginner, shopping for fish gear can be overwhelming. There are numerous fish rods, reels, tackles, and accessories that you can find on the market—not to mention they each have their own unique features for enhancing the experience.
Anglers, or fishers who hunt by means of a fish hook, are used to bringing a tackle box full of fishing equipment, but every box will have the same basic items aside from your traditional fishing rods and reels
Below you’ll find what most (if not all) anglers have in their arsenal, so you can have a better idea about how fishing works and what you need to get started.
Fishing Equipment for Beginners:
In this article, we’ll be enumerating everything you need—from your rods and reels to your smaller tackle items, like your lines, hooks, sinkers, baits, lures, swivels, and cutters. Don’t worry, the beginner fish gear we will be listing down are generally inexpensive and readily available at your local fishing store (or at LeisurePro). Enjoy!
Fishing Rod and Reel:
Fish rods are slender poles that are made of flexible but durable material—typically fiberglass or graphite—to allow you to cast your fishing line further and deeper into the water. They can be classified by their strength (power), responsiveness, action (bending capability), and taper.
Choosing the right rod for you should depend on the kind of fishing you’re going to do. If you’re just starting out, use a rod with medium strength so that you can angle different kinds of fish, and enough responsiveness so you can easily feel when the fish bite—allowing you to quickly reel it out of the water. The ideal length of a rod should be around 11.8 inches (30 centimeters) longer than your height.
As for your fishing reel, this is attached to your rod to help you wind your line and draw in your catch. They are lightweight, affordable, and easy to handle. Spinning reels, in particular, are quite versatile since they’re good for fishing from the shore, at a pier, or while on a boat.
You probably already know that you’ll need a fishing line. In fact, your new reel might already come with a roll or two, but remember to always bring extras. It’s normal for fishing lines to get tangled up or break, whether its because it got caught on logs or bitten by a particularly strong game fish.
You’ll also want a variety of simple strings or specially-designed cords for fishing, with different strengths and weights. Many of them are classified based on their castability, visibility, and elasticity—all of which vary in strength depending on what type of fish you’re after.
Rough environmental conditions call for heavier and stronger fishing lines, while clear waters typically require stealthy thin and clear ones (like braided lines) so your fish don’t run away from them. You may also want to try monofilament lines, which are very user-friendly and easy to knot.
Remember that you shouldn’t ever have less than 100 yards of line on your reel.
The Power Pro Super Slick Line ($37.95-$42.95), for example, is 300 yards long, super strong, and has a bluish or greenish color so it’s easier to see above water but hardly visible under the water.
Many beginner reels also have fishing lines that are already wound up on the spool. But in case your reel doesn’t, you can easily do it yourself with the help of the tutorial below:
Aside from lines, you’ll definitely need to stock up on an assortment of fish hooks to catch fish of different sizes. These hooks are used to catch fish by poking them in the mouth when they come in for a nibble, although in some cases they end up getting caught in the fish’s body.
There are also various types of hooks, such as single, double, circle, and treble. But if you’re a beginner, it’s best to start with single hooks. Sizes range from number 32 (smallest) to 19/0 (largest). Find out how you can set the hook (and almost all of your other fishing tackles) with the “uni knot” below:
Bait is what you attach to the end of your line to attract the fish. The best option is usually live bait. Then again, different types of fish are attracted to different types of food. You should be all set with either of the two most common and effective live bait: worms and minnows (small freshwater fish). Other cheap options include grubs, corn, smooshed bread, marshmallows, or bits of hotdog.
You can get live bait at your local bait shop or simply dig up the worms in your backyard on a dewy night, store them in a tin can with grass and soil, and place the container in a cold, dim place until you’re ready to take them out.
Fishing lures are basically artificial baits that are designed to mimic real fish in order to get the attention of a predator. Fishers have these stored in their tackle box in case they’ve run out of live bait or simply prefer to use plastic, non-moving ones. For some, the variety of lures makes it easier for them to hunt specific types of fish and allows them to be successful in different weather and water conditions.
For example, light-colored lures are ideal for bright days and clear water, while dark-colored lures are used on cloudy days and in murky waters. Two-toned plastic worms (with a darker head and bright tail color) are also great for cloudy waters.