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7 Essential Fishing Gear for First Time Anglers

Posted on September 29, 2018 in Angling Fishing Fishing Lines lures rods

Going down an aisle of a big retail store is a daunting task when you are trying to get started with fishing. This is true whether you are returning from a fishing hiatus or a first-time angler. There are just options after options when it comes to fishing gear. It’s seemingly impossible to figure out where to start without breaking the bank. There are many approaches in preparing and gearing up for your first fishing trip but to help you narrow it down here are 7 bits that may help you find your right path to catching that first fish.


A great way to know where to fish is to talk to fishers who are familiar with the area. Fishermen love to talk about fishing, so asking for information wouldn’t be that difficult. Just don’t ask about specific locations where anglers invested countless hours learning the area. They might not be willing to share that information. Just merely identifying the site is not enough to make your first fishing experience successful. You need to learn what types of species are living in the area and know what bates and lures to use.

Fish Gear #1: Rod and Reel

Angling gear has a wide array of selection from mild to wild that can fit any fishing style. For a first timer, it is recommended to pick something that is simple. A combo of rod and reel that can be used both as for bait fishing or lure fishing.

For the ability to catch different species in lakes and river, 8lb to 20lb rated medium action rod is a great start. Ugly Stick GX2 model is a good investment. It is a combo that is reasonably priced and durable. With TLC it can last many seasons. Spinning reels or commonly known as “open face” reels should be the go-to-reels for first-time anglers before trying out baitcasting reels.

Fish Gear #2: Line

Fishing lines nowadays are available in varied materials and diameters. For lines with the same material, larger diameter lines are stronger than smaller diameter. Braided lines are much stronger even though they are thin.

Fluorocarbon lines, on the other hand, are abrasion resistant and almost invisible underwater. While monofilament lines float and stretch.
Each of these line types has a different and specific use. In keeping it simple, stick with monofilament. A great line to start with is Berkley Trilene XL Smooth Casting clear monofilament in 10lb test.

Best Fishing Knots When Getting Starting

Clinch, Palomar, and uni are few of the knots that you need to learn at a minimum. It’s frustrating when you forget how to re-tie a knot to your line when the fish are biting. So practice these knots with your monofilament before your next fishing trip. These three knots are sufficient to tie just about anything.

Gear #3: Tackle

Hooks, weights, and floats: 3 must haves of a first-time angler


Weights provide the necessary casting distance that you need, and it keeps your bait under water. For beginners, you may stick to the inexpensive and easy to install basic split shot weights.


DO NOT purchase snelled hooks. Snelled hooks have a pre-tied leader that needs to be attached to a swivel snap. Sharp, durable long lasting hooks made by Gamakatsu are available in most tackle shop. Other details regarding hooks will be discussed later in the article.


Floats or also called as bobbers or strike indicators. Anglers cannot fish without it. It keeps the baits afloat, off the bottom of the lake and allows you to see when a fish is eating your bait. A company that sells a wide variety of effective and yet inexpensive floats is

Fish Gear #4: Live Bait

Like any hobby, love of fishing starts from something. For most, it started out with live bait. Nightcrawler is probably the most effective, universal live bait because any and every freshwater fish eats it.

Hooking a nightcrawler

When using panfish like perch and bluegills, tie a size 8 or 10 circle hook to the line. Add a few 12-18” split shots above the hook. Above the split shot, clip the float on the line. Place pieces of nightcrawler through the hook then cast the line off the bank.

For Predatory fish like bass, live shiners are excellent bait. Bass cannot resist shiners (a small baitfish). To hook them, review the panfish setup but tie it on a larger hook. Hook a live shiner through the back and gently cast it. Almost always you have a good sized fish when your float goes under the water when you are using shiners for baits.

Fish Gear #5: Lures

When you get bored with bait fishing and trust me you will, it’s time to experiment with lures. There are a lot of lures, but we will focus on the most common ones with a high success rate for first-time anglers.

Soft Plastics

Yamamoto Senko is a favorite for artificial baits when it comes to fishing bass. Use 5” green pumpkin colored Senko wacky rigged; this can be deadly when you are on to largemouth bass in ponds or lakes.

Another option is swim shad by Keitech, it is a soft plastic bait. Use 1/8” ounce ball jig head and hook through the head of the bait. Cast it and let it sink, then retrieve it. Experiment with different speed and depth when retrieving, to know where the fish are.


Spinnerbaits have been used for a long time because they work. This is the last lure in the list that you should have. This is useful when the water visibility is low. Its spinning blade produces vibration that help fish locate it. For starters you can use a 3/8” oz white Booyah spinnerbait.

Topwater lures

When you notice fish feeding on the surface, a topwater lure is the best lure to use to catch them. Whooper plopper is the most popular topwater lure. To use it you just simply cast it out, wait until the water calms down after it hits the water, then start reeling. Mix your reeling with pauses, twitches, and varying retrieving speed. Once a fish hits the lure, it’s a sure thing.

Fish Gear #6: Castable Fish Finder

If you come to the point where you have used every trick in the bag and still can’t catch anything, it may be because the fish aren’t there. If only you can see underwater and know that fish are there for sure. Sonar devices can do that for you. Wireless, castable fish finders have been gaining popularity nowadays. You may think it’s expensive, but it’s not. There are products that are affordable, perfect for anglers who are just starting.  Get more details about fish finders from the fishseekers website

Deep Smart Sonar: How to use it?

Deep Smart Sonar is pretty light, and if you are not casting far, you can use your action rod and monofilament line. Cast the deeper system and walk along the bank until it detects fish. It doesn’t only locate fish; it also uses GPS so you can keep track of the location of the fish on your phone using an app. There’s a great note function on the app too where you can log your catches; this serves as your own personal database. This database is handy in accelerating your learning curve. You get to learn and review which structures your subjects like, where they are in different temperatures, how their behavior and location changes as seasons change. And because you know that there is fish, it also allows you to focus on your bait/lure presentation and experiment on new methods and gain confidence as you try different things.

Gear #7: Tackle Bag

Finally, we are down to bags. You have to have a good tackle bag to keep all your gear. Spiderwire is big enough to hold all the items listed above. It offers a single shoulder bag that is comfortable enough to carry around all day. Keep in mind that you need to keep mobile as you may need to move from one location to another. You want your hands free from anything when you walk up and down a river bank looking for the next bite.