7 essential pieces of fishing equipment for beginners

December 29, 2014

Maybe your buddies just invited you on a fishing trip, but you’ve never before baited a hook. Or maybe you're just curious to get started on your own. Here's what you'll need.

7 essential pieces of fishing equipment for beginners

1. Tackle

Experts will tell you that the right equipment depends on the fishing technique you use and the kind of fish you want to catch. While that’s generally good advice, beginners should start out with versatile tackle suitable for all fish and fishing styles.

  • Avoid splashing out on professional gear before you know if you’ll enjoy it, or before settling on a particular technique—whether it's bait fishing, fly fishing, river fishing or lake fishing you intend to pursue.

2. Rod and reel sets

Start off with a rod and reel combo set. Masters usually customize their equipment by purchasing accessories separately, but as a beginner you'll be all set with the basics.

  • Rod and reel sets are fairly inexpensive; in fact you can find good quality combos for well under $50.
  • Children’s fishing sets are even more affordable.

As a general rule, rod length should measure about thirty centimetres longer than your height.

  • A beginner’s rod should have medium strength and lifting power to angle several types of fish.
  • The rod needs to be responsive enough to feel the fish bite and to quickly pull it out of the water.

Spincasting reels are usually recommended for beginners.

  • Mounted on top of the rod, the line is cast automatically with a handset button.

Spinning reels are, in contrast, attached underneath the rod. The line relies on the weight of the lures to move it forward.

  • Spinning reels are simpler to use than bait casting, but provide more control than spincasting.

Baitcasting is suitable for experts.

  • The reel sits on top of the rod and the line feed is controlled manually.
  • Baitcasting reels provide greater accuracy and casting distance, and are suitable for heavy tackle and large fish.

3. The line

Monofilament lines (a single plastic fibre) are durable, affordable and easy to find.

  • Fishing lines are sold in different diameters according to lifting power.
  • Remember to always bring an extra spool.

4. Hooks

A variety pack of hooks in different sizes is a good value.

  • Beginners can start off with sizes 1 and 2 (the higher the number, the smaller the hook), which are suitable for a large range of fish and fishing techniques.

5. Baits and lures

Lures are artificial objects used like decoys to attract fish and get them to take the bait.

  • Worms and insects are used as bait.
  • Fishing spoons are a popular lure, their appearance mimics the movement of prey in order to provoke a reaction from fish.
  • There are countless types of lures in different sizes, shapes and colours—all used to trick the fish into biting.

6. Sinkers (lead) and floaters

Sinkers are used to stabilize your line, while floaters are used to keep the bait closer to the surface and to let you know when you’ve got a bite.

7. Fishing license

Depending on where you’re fishing, you may need a permit and some restrictions may apply.

Everything a beginner fisherman needs can be found in a pre-packaged combo kit. As you progress and improve your technique, you can upgrade your accessories and customize your tackle like a pro.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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