In the midst of our busy and hectic lives, everyone needs time to themselves, or with friends, away from all the craziness to unwind. Fishing is an activity that can be a relaxing experience, whether it’s done alone or with companionship. You get away from the noisy city to spend a few hours in the open water, surrounded by trees and birds.
Fishing is also a great way to feel accomplished because the thrill of hunting down your own food and bringing it to the dining table is unparalleled. If you’re considering fishing as a weekend getaway or a new hobby, here is the basic gear you’ll need and what it’s used for.
1. Rod and Reel
This is the basic tool used to catch the fish. A fishing rod is a pole made of flexible material to easily cast its line as deep into the water as you need. There are different types of rods, depending on the type of fish or species you’re aiming for. They vary based on power, speed, bending capacity, and taper. If you’re a beginner, it’s best to keep it simple with a 6-7 foot long spinning rod that has medium power. The reel is attached to the rod and helps in drawing your catch; it also needs to be an appropriate size for the species.
2. Fishing Line
This tool already comes with your reel, but it’s something you’ll want extras of handy since they often break or get tangled. And because fishing lines are used for angling, they must have the right length, material, visibility, and weight. There are large and small diameter lines, braided lines, fluorocarbon lines, which are nearly invisible underwater, and monofilament lines. The best type to choose for a beginner is the monofilament because they’re stretchy and easy to knot.
This one is pretty self-explanatory and very important. Bait is to be attached to the fishing to attract the fish to the reel, making them easier to catch. Types of bait are diverse and depend on the type of fish you’re trying to catch. However, it’s agreed upon that live bait, like worms and minnows, is the best option. Some people just use pieces of bread, corn, or even hotdogs! Good quality bait is necessary for a smooth fishing experience, as explained by the experienced hunters from Tactical Huntr, who also swear by how much of a difference choosing the right bait makes. You’ll need to do avid research on the best of every piece of equipment before you buy any for your adventure.
Tackle is what you use to catch fish, and it comes in many types, including weights, floats, and hooks. Weights, or sinkers, will give you more distance when you cast your reel and keep your catch underwater. Floats, also called bobbers, are a popular tackle among fishermen because they help in observing the fish as they’re about to eat the bait, and it keeps the bait away from the bottom. Hooks catch fish by poking their mouths when they eat the bait, so it’s crucial to have a high-quality hook. For beginners, single hooks are ideal.
Lures are artificial fish-shaped bait. They are an alternative to live bait and other used food. They are designed to resemble fish to attract predator types. Those are ideal for beginners because they work in different waters and weather conditions. There are endless types and colors of lures, the bright ones are best for clear waters and sunny days while darker lures are ideal for murky water. You’ll want to have lures and spinnerbaits that are made of soft plastic seeing as they are the most efficient; the blade’s underwater vibrations lead the fish to it.
6. Tackle Box
Now that you have all your fishing gear set and ready to go, you’ll need a place to keep them. Tackle boxes come in many shapes and sizes, and you should choose yours, depending on the equipment you have.
Try not to get a box that is too big and hard to haul around while you’re on the move for new fishing spots. Some of them are shoulder-held for easier carrying and mobility. Make sure you have basic first aid in there for emergencies. You should also have sunscreen and remember to re-apply if you’re in the water for too long.
That’s all for the basic gear you’ll need if you’ve got a surprise fishing trip this weekend. If you’re taking this up as a hobby, there are more detailed tips to learn as you advance. You should know that fishing involves lots and lots of patience. Not every fishing trip will have the same results, and on some days, you could come back empty-handed. But the purpose of this activity besides catching fish is to unwind, so if you don’t come back with a catch, you should at least come back more relaxed.