If you’re thinking of taking up fishing as a pastime, then you’re about to take your first step into an activity which requires a great deal of skill, finesse and accuracy. Fishing is also a hobby which can bring you a lot of joy if you’ve got the time and patience to learn. As you set out, the various techniques and pieces of equipment out there may cause you some confusion.
Below is our “idiot’s” guide to 5 Essential Items for New Fishermen that you will need to invest in if you’re thinking of taking the plunge (forgive the pun) and devoting your idle hours to the pursuit of fishing.
Rod and Reel set
This is where you need to start. A good rod and reel are essential to helping you build your confidence as you start. Your rod and reel will be your trustiest friend, and you will need to be comfortable with whatever you pick. A rod and reel combo set is the best option for beginners, as it allows you to grasp the basics of fishing and begin to get a handle on your technique.
The other great advantage of rod and reel sets is that they are relatively inexpensive, meaning that if you decide fishing isn’t for you, you’re not going mad with your money.
What to look for in your first reel
- The ideal reel needs to be about thirty centimetres longer than your height.
- The rod needs to responsive; it’s essential you can feel the fish bite and are able to pull them out of the water.
- Spincasting reels are the best option for absolute beginners, as the line can be cast automatically, mounted on top of the fishing rod.
- Baitcasting reels are manually controlled, and offer greater distance, but they are perhaps more suitable for someone whose technique is more advanced.
- It needs to have the necessary weight and lifting power that you are able to practice catching different types of fish.
Choosing the right setup is important. If interested, Gear Lobo has a good review of the Ugly Stik GX2
The experts say that a monofilament is your best bet for a beginner. Durability is key for fishing line; they are classified in terms of their breaking strength, which is the weight they will support. Obviously, the breaking strength of the line needs to be matched with the size and weight of the fish you are trying to catch, so you need to bear this in mind when purchasing; if you’re planning on going for bigger fishing then you will need a rod with a greater breaking strength.
Again, as you grow more accustomed to fishing, you will want to practice with different types of hook. It’s important to understand the size classifications of different types of hook; the higher the number, the smaller the hook. Any size classification beginning with a 1 or 2 is best for a beginner, as it’s likely you’ll be starting on smaller fish, and you will want to learn precision catching.
*I learned that smaller hooks catch more fish, I also learned a neat trick to keep your hooks organized.
Baits and lures
Lures and baits are both integral to learning your fish-catching technique. Lures are like decoys which, you guessed it, enable you to “lure” your fish to the bait. Fishing spoons are a popular form of lure, as they mimic the shape and behaviour of prey. Meanwhile worms and insects make the most effective form of fishing bait. You will need to match the size of the bait to the size of the fish.
The types of fishing bait you use will most likely depend on what kind of water you are fishing in, and the kind of fish you are looking to catch. Weather and water conditions can of course, have an effect on the feeding patterns of the fish, which in turn will affect the kind of bait you use.
Floats and sinkers
Floats are used to keep bait close to the surface, allowing you to lure in fish feeding close to the surface. Sinkers provide casting weight, weighing down your bait and line so that you are successfully fishing at the level where fish are likely to be feeding.
This list of supplies is not exhaustive, but these are arguably the essential pieces of equipment for getting you comfortable with the strategies and techniques of fishing. The most important thing you need as you start out is a willingness to have fun, and the patience that comes with being a novice.
Basstastic offers fishing equipment, clothing and accessories for both beginner and professional anglers and fishermen.