Fishing is the perfect way to spend time with loved ones and enjoy the outdoors. It is a great activity to escape the everyday stresses of life and maybe even catch yourself a tasty dinner. But before you can head out to the water, there are a few things that you will need to get started.
As a beginner, choosing the right fishing gear can be a little challenging. There are many options when it comes to basic fishing gear, and you may not know where to even start. Most anglers will have an entire tackle box full of gear for their trip, aside from an actual fishing rod and reel. Let’s go over a few of the basic gear that you will need to get started!
Fishing Rod and Reel
This one is an obvious one, but you literally cannot go fishing without it! Choosing the right rod will largely depend on the type of fish that you are going to be going after. For beginners that are just starting out, using a rod with a medium-strength will be best as it can handle different species of fish. It will also be responsive enough to easily feel when a fish is biting.
A medium action rod rated for 8lb to 20lb line will be a great start and give you the ability to catch many different species commonly found in lakes and rivers. The Ugly Stik GX2 model is a very reasonably priced, durable combo that will last many seasons with proper care. First time anglers should start with spinning reels (commonly called “open face” reels) before attempting to use baitcasting reels.
Along with a fishing rod, you will need some fishing line to go with it. Many fishing rods and reels might even come with it already, but it is always smart to bring some extra. Your fishing line will get tangled or break, so having some extras is a must. Similar to the fishing rod and reel, the fishing line you end up with will largely depend on the fish species that you are pursuing.
Nowadays, fishing line is available in many different materials and diameters. Larger diameter lines are stronger than smaller diameter lines made of the same material. In general, braided lines are very strong and thin, fluorocarbon lines are typically abrasion resistant and almost invisible underwater, and monofilament lines are buoyant and will stretch.
While there is a specific reason to use each of these line types, keep it simple when starting out and stick with monofilament. Berkley Trilene XL Smooth Casting clear monofilament in 10 lb test is a great line to get started with.
Aside from the fishing line, you will need to stock up on an assortment of hooks for fish of different sizes. Hooks are an essential part of the process, and a beginner will be best suited with a simple J-hook design, single hook in a few different sizes.
Remember to purchase hooks that are not snelled. Snelled hooks have a leader pre-tied to them that the user then attaches to a swivel snap. Gamakatsu makes sharp, durable, long lasting hooks that are available in almost every tackle shop.
Bobbers, also known as floaters, will help you to keep your bait closer to the surface of the water and let you know when a fish is attacking it. When a fish bites at your bite, the bobber will sink in the water, signalling you to set the hook or reel in the line. It is always smart to have a few bobbers in your arsenal.
Finally, there isn’t an angler out there that didn’t start fishing with a float. Oftentimes called bobbers or strike indicators, floats help keep your bait off the bottom of the lake and provide a clear visual indication when a fish is eating your bait. Comal Tackle Company sells a wide variety of effective and inexpensive floats that are great for freshwater fishing.
Another important thing to get is some sinkers. These are weights that will help stabilize your line and allow you to cast further and your bait to sink deeper. Make sure that you get plenty as they are very inexpensive and you will probably lose plenty of them during your fishing trips.
And there you have it, a few basic pieces of fishing gear that you will need to get started into fishing. This is just a basic list, but once you have these things you are ready to hit the water and start learning!
For more great ideas on how to fish and hunt from the experts, check out the awesome articles on our Bradley Smoker Hunting & Fishing Blog for more great tips & tricks.