For first-time anglers and enthusiasts, fishing might seem a bit complicated initially. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be so. With proper preparation and suitable gear, and a fishing license, any beginner will be able to get on the water and try their hand at fishing.
Listing all the definitive essential fishing gear is borderline impossible. Firstly, different types of fishing demand different gear. Secondly, in terms of essentials, you can practically catch fish with very simple and basic pieces of gear.
However, things can be boiled down to several essentials that you’ll find very useful and convenient on every fishing trip you take.
Before you head out, be sure you have obtained the current fishing license for the state you’re at. You can now buy the license online, at fishing shops, and often in convenience stores. The price will depend on the state and your residency. They cost more if you’re a non-resident. If you plan to be a regular, it pays off to get an annual license.
When you’re out in nature, it’s practical and useful to have all you need in one backpack. You can find a great variety of purpose-designed fishing backpacks. They all have great features – sturdy make, lots of pockets, waterproof material, etc. They’re a better option than a hard box as they don’t break if dropped. Also, a backpack on your back leaves your hands free for balancing when you tread over bumpy and slippery terrain.
Depending on the size, you can pack lots of your gear in a backpack and all the contents will be protected from the elements. With all the sections and pockets, your stuff will also be well-organized so you won’t be wasting time looking for what you need at the moment.
General-purpose fishing knife
One of the most important parts of your fishing kit is a good quality knife that you’ll be carrying on you at all times. Consider getting an OTF knife as they are small, compact, and designed for the strong and resilient. Strapped to your belt, it’ll be at your disposal at any given moment and the ergonomic grip design will make sure it fits your hand perfectly.
You’ll need your knife for everything, from dispatching fish to cutting lines, baits, opening split rings, and more. I use this knife for everything. It dispatches fish, cuts marine life from rocks, cuts lines, cuts baits, opens split rings, and more. Therefore, it’s a wise investment to spend even a bit more if necessary to have a quality knife that will last.
The best starter for a first-time angler is a spinning reel and rod combo. Combo means that the reel and rod are sold together, making it much easier for you to set up. Also, ask for some guidance and advice at your local tackle shop in terms of a good beginner rod that will satisfy your particular needs.
Your next step is to get lures and bait. A good starting point is to get live worms or Power Bait which is a scented putty-like material that is formed around a bare hook. Lures are decoys designed to attract the attention of fish. You’ll also need bobbers, which are indicators of a fish that has caught on. You required a rubber net, needle-nose pliers, and a small tackle box to store all your lures and bait in one place.
Essential clothes and accessories
The weather can easily turn on you, so proper clothing and boots are also essential. Good waders and a raincoat are must-haves that will keep you dry. You’ll also need a fishing belt long enough to go around your winter/wet weather fishing gear. Pick a heavy-duty one with a plastic clip buckle strong enough to hold your knife, pliers, and bait boxes.
A headlamp also comes in handy and a pair of fishing gloves – they’ll come useful when you need to pull in a fish and grab the leader with bare hands.
First aid kit
Being outdoors can be unpredictable due to many factors and injuries aren’t uncommon, so having a first aid kit is a wise move. It’ll help you avoid infection if you get wounded and prevent any serious consequences. Make sure your kit contains medical-grade disinfectant and lots of dressings and strips to close wounds.
This list may seem a bit basic but as your fishing experience grows, you’ll keep perfecting it so it suits your needs. It’s the little things in life that make the difference and so it is with fishing as well!