ROD & REEL
There are very expensive, specialty, high-quality rods and reels available these days. But don’t go there. Start with an inexpensive basic, sturdy rod with an attached reel. It’s a simple, no-frills choice that will serve you well for years to come.
HOOKS & LINE
Your fishing rod may come with hooks and a line, but even if it does, you will need back-ups eventually. The most common type of fishing line is monofilament, a great all-purpose fishing line that can be used anywhere. When it comes to hooks, choose a simple and basic product. Steer clear of the fancy, embellished, multi-hook options.
It is extremely unlikely that you will catch a fish without any bait attached to your hook! Live bait is most common. Choose earthworms, grubs, maggots, grasshoppers, or meal worms. Feel free to dig around your yard for worms, or pick up live bait at a local bait shop.
BOBBERS, SINKERS, & LURES
When you’re first starting out, a bobber is extremely helpful. Simply watching your bobber and reacting appropriately will help you snag your first fish. In addition, try adding a sinker to your line to weigh down the bait and line. Finally, although lures are not necessary for fishing, their fun shapes make them appealing to anglers of all ages. Pick up one to fool the fish into taking your bait.
You don’t need a large, multi-level tackle box just yet, but why not purchase a small container to hold all of your new supplies? This will keep you organized, prepare you for emergencies, and allow you to go fishing at a moment’s notice!
Spinning rods should be accompanied with a spinning reel. The reel seat faces down and they have larger guides than casting rods, which helps to manage line on casts. Spinning rods are more versatile and often used in a multitude of scenarios.
Casting rods are generally used by intermediate to avid anglers and are more powerful than spinning rods. The reel’s seat faces up and should be fished with a low profile bait cast reel. They are typically used with heavier weight lines when fishing amongst weeds and stumps.
Spinning reels are the most common reel on the market and are versatile enough that they can be used by anglers of all skill levels. The spool is exposed on the outside of the reel, which allows for easier access when spooling new line or dealing with line twist.
SPIN CAST REELS
Spin cast reels are a great choice for beginner or intermediate anglers because of their ease of use. The covered spool protects against line tangle. Casting tends to be easier, but they will not cast as far as a spinning reel.
Baitcasting reels are more popular with advanced anglers for their casting distance and accuracy, powerful retrieves and tackle handling abilities. Anglers can control the speed at which the spool turns and the distance the fishing line travels.
Monofilament is generally more forgiving than any other fishing line. You can tie just about any kind of knot with mono without having to worry about it slipping. It can also offer more stretch than any other line, which acts as a shock absorber on bigger fish, helping you land that trophy. It is recommended that you use 6-12 lb. test line for bass.
BRAIDED OR FUSED LINE
These lines are the ultimate in sensitivity because they have zero stretch, which means you feel everything. They’re typically thinner, allowing greater line capacity on the spool. Standard fishing knots tend to slip with braid and fused line, so it is highly recommended that you tie a palomar knot. It is recommended to spool up 15-50 lb test line for bass depending on the conditions you are fishing.
Fluorocarbon is a popular choice with anglers since it has the same refractive index to water, making it virtually invisible to fish. It sinks and has more abrasion resistance than many nylon monofilaments, which is why many anglers connect fluorocarbon to their braided line and use it as leader material. It is recommended to use 8-20 lb test line for bass.
LURES AND SOFT BAITS
Soft plastic lures come in many different shapes, sizes and colors. When selecting the best bait, you should consider what type of bass you will be fishing for. A variety of conditions, like water color and clarity, will dictate which colors should be used to increase success.
Spinner baits create a lot of flash and turbulence, which mimics the wounded bait that naturally attract bass in the wild. These baits come in a variety of different colors and weights and are typically weedless to allow fishing in different depths and conditions.
Topwater lures can be one of the most exciting techniques to fish because of the aggressive strike. These surface baits are buoyant and are typically jerked or twitched across open water or over lily pads to imitate frogs, mice, minnows or insects that bass feed on.
Crankbaits come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. These types of baits imitate minnows and other types of swimming prey. The lip of the crankbait is designed to get the bait down to a specific depth. Generally the larger the lip, the deeper the crankbait will dive.
SOFT TACKLE BOXES
Soft tackle boxes allow anglers to customize how they organize their tackle. Most come with plastic trays that can easily be removed and have several zipper pockets for additional storage.
HARD TACKLE BOXES
Hard tackle boxes have a tier shelf system that lifts up when the lid is opened, making it an efficient way to store all your tackle. The hard shell offers protection during transportation and keeps your gear dry if left outside.