Essential Fishing Gear for Beginners

Fishing is one of the great pleasures of life. Ask any veteran fishermen and you will be amazed at how highly they value the experience of fishing itself—let alone the outcome. Many find fishing intimidating and come up with plenty of reasons backing their claims.

Be it a fear of water, or the feeling of failure after unsuccessful sessions—we believe, if the proper methods are followed and the ideal equipment is implemented, nothing can be more satisfying than spending a lazy afternoon at the lake fishing.

Beginners opting to join this great venture face the biggest challenge before even setting out on the water. To implement proper fishing techniques, anglers need specialized equipment along with the necessary skills to utilize them. If you go into a store for fishing equipment, chances are, you will be dazzled seeing all the options before you.

Even in the case of a basic fishing rod, the number of brand options, as well as the different functionalities of each, make it an impossible task for a newbie to choose the perfect one.

Thus, every potential fisherman needs to have a comprehensive knowledge of the necessary gear for fishing. This article focuses on these devices and is intended as a point of reference for any would-be angler out there.

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Fishing Shoes

Many people—even experienced anglers—underestimate the importance of bringing a pair of specialized shoes for fishing on their trips. Although they might feel work is being done without them, chances are, they can do a better job wearing a pair of fishing shoes while at it. These shoes come in a range of quality, functionality, and price.

If the plan is to catch fish from a boat, fishing shoes with non-slip soles can be greatly advantageous, as the angler will not be facing the risk of slipping when the boat sways. Some of these shoes are also extremely quick to dry after being exposed to water.

This is especially good for individuals who prefer fishing from the shoreline and occasionally need to go into the water.

Waterproof fishing shoes are also available for purchase. Imagine fishing in a lake high up on a snowy mountain, with temperatures below freezing limits. Having to go into the water can prove to be an impossible task. A waterproof shoe can be the savior under such circumstances by allowing the feet to stay dry despite having to go underwater.

Make no mistake: fishing footwear does not necessarily have to be shoes. Depending on preference, you will find fishermen wearing all sorts of footwear, including water shoes, boat shoes, mesh wading shoes, and fishing boots.

Fishing Rod

Arguably the most important gear of all, fishing rods are highly flexible, slender poles, generally made of graphite or fiberglass, that allow the fisherman to cast the fishing line deeper and further into the water. These are highly durable devices and can be used for decades if taken care of.

Typical fishing rods are classified based on their rigidity, responsiveness, and ability to stretch, bend, or taper. The expensive variants are capable of them all, while the cheaper ones fail to respond well under certain circumstances.

Make no mistake: different types of fishing techniques require different fishing gear for maximum efficiency. Although the general perception is that fishing rods are required to catch, more or less, the same type of fish, it is not true.

Beginners benefit from using medium-strength rods to be able to catch fish of all sizes and nature. Such rods also tend to be great in terms of responsiveness, as the angler would be able to feel the subtlest of nibbles. Although fishing rods come in a variety of sizes, the established standard to follow is to get one that is at least 30 centimeters longer than your height.

Fishing Reel

The fishing reel often comes with the rod, although you can always take a reel brand of your own choice and not match that of the rod. The reel has the task of holding and controlling the fishing line. They generally tend to be extremely lightweight and manageable even by amateur anglers. There are certain variants of reels, including the spinning reel, which are particularly good in versatile conditions like fishing at a pier, off from the shore, or on a boat.

If you plan a shallow water fishing trip, almost any type of fishing reel would work wonderfully. That is because you would not need extravagant rods and reels when the primary target is small fish.

Fishing Line

The fishing line is the part that goes underwater. When you purchase a reel, chances are, the line will come with it. However, the smart choice is to bring a pair of your own, just in case. As these lines are quite delicate and vulnerable, they may end up breaking or getting tangled. They can also get caught in underwater rocks or torn by immensely strong fish.

The required strength of fishing lines completely depends on the location and the type of fish the angler is targeting. Heavier lines are needed when the water is rough or when the prey is large. Fishing lines are thus classified as elasticity, castability, strength, and more. The standard length of a fishing line is 100 yards minimum. Any less is considered insufficient.

Fishing Hooks

Fishing hooks are the components used for catching fish. These materials are great for poking a hole in the mouth of the fish when they approach to take a bite of the bait. Once they are locked in, the angler can simply yank the line out of the water, with the fish attached to the hook.

Often these hooks are caught in the body of the fish, instead of the mouth. There are a variety of fishing hook types that you can go for. Examples include single, double, treble, and circle.

Baits and Lures

In simple terms, baits and lures are the sole elements that attract fish to the fishing gear. These are attached to the hook at the end of the fishing line. The key difference between baits and lures is that the former is living while the latter is artificial.

Do remember that not all fish prefer the same type of food. Hence, not all baits, or even lures, have the same effect on different species of fish. The most common forms of live bait are minnows and worms, although many anglers use items like corn, bread, grubs, marshmallows, and more.

Lures are often contrived replicas of real fish, which attracts predator fish breeds. Many fishers bring lures on their fishing trips for situations when they run out of living bait.

Tackle Box

A tackle box does not have anything to do with fishing but is still considered one of the key components of a fisherman’s gear. All of the small equipment like baits, lures, hooks, bobbers, sinkers, pliers, and many more, are stored in a tackle box to keep them organized.

Fishermen can easily keep all their necessities in a single container and transport them with ease. These boxes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, depending on the nature of the fishing trip.

First Aid Kit

You would be wrong to think small fishing trips do not lead to major injuries. Yes, it is one of the most fun outdoor activities to attempt. However, do remember that fishing is done on the water, which in itself is a risky place to work in. 

Fishing hooks can also be quite dangerous if mishandled. Keeping an essential first-aid kit at hand can work wonders, as victims can be treated right away in case of emergencies.

Honorable Mentions

Below is a list of equipment that is also needed for making the fishing experience smoother and more successful.

  • Bobbers: These usually float but sink when the fish bites the bait, alerting the angler.
  • Sinkers: These help the bait and hook to maintain their course while going deeper into the water.
  • Swivels: These prevent the line from twisting excessively which reduces the risk of line breaks.
  • Pliers: These are used to remove the hook from the fish after catching it.
  • Line cutters: These are needed for splitting and detaching damaged fishing lines.
  • Sunglasses: These help in preventing the angler from suffering due to the occasional glare of the sun reflecting off the water surface.
  • Sunscreen: This keeps the angler safe from the rays of the sun, especially during long fishing expeditions.
  • Fishing license (based on the location and if required): Most locations around the world require a license to fish.

Final Thoughts

If you think you are ready for your first-ever fishing trip, think again. Do you have all the necessary gear? Is there someone that can show you the methods hands-on? As fishing is a skill, know that it does take time to master.

Do not be disheartened if the first few sessions fail. Make sure you have all the fishing equipment that you will be needing on the trip before beginning your journey to the lake.

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