Fishing Gear Essentials

Fishing Gear Essentials

Rod & Reel

The rod and reel can either be purchased together or seperately, and like every other piece of equiptment on this list, the one that’s right for you will depend largely on personal preference and what kind of fishing you’re doing. The variety of options is astounding, but for general multi-purpose fishing, a spinning rod will get the job done. This graphite rod from Bass Pro Shops is a great choice—easy to use, well-made and very affordable. For help understanding the many options, take a look at this quick guide.; $30

Fishing Line

The line you’ll need depends entirely on what kind of fishing you’re doing. If you’re fishing in clear water, you’ll likely want a see-through line. When fishing in heavy vegitation, you might consider a dark green line. Above all, weight is most important, each line will be labeled. Generally, experts advise that beginners choose a line tested for either six or eight pounds.; $15


Hook designs have come a long way, there are literally dozens of options. Find a guide to the different types of hooks here or opt for this sturdy octopus hook, which reviewers say is strong, sharp and stands up to larger fish, should you be lucky enough to hook one.; $8-$13 depending on size

Bait or lures

When it comes to bait or lures, the choices are seemingly endless. Find a comprehensive guide here, or ask your local shop. Everyone has their own set of preferences, but a shop will have good suggestions based on the area, and they’ll be able to sell you whatever they recommend.

A Net

When you’re reeling in your fish, you’ll need a net to ensure the hook stays put while you pull your catch onto the boat. This net is 12 inches deep, with a pole that easily extends to five feet and it’s rust resistant.; $18

Needle Nose Pliers

Once you’ve caught the fish, you’ll need to retrieve the hook. Protect your hand with a pair of needle nose pliers.; $3

Tackle Box

A tackle box keeps everything organized, find this simple model at Bass Pro Shops or find a pre-stocked box at a local sporting goods store.; $13


Whether you’re up before dawn or your fishing trip runs a little longer than expected, it’s a good idea to take along some light. Headlamps leave your hands free to bait the hook, but if you’re looking for a brighter light option, Princeton Tec’s Sector 5 is a compact powerhouse featuring 550 lumens that work for 24 hours on four C-cell batteries.; headlamp $30; Sector 5 $100

Hat & Sunglasses

While you might just opt for a baseball cap and your old sunglasses, sporting goods stores have tons of specialized clothing and gear for fishing. Check out this “Boonie Hat” for added protection from the sun where it usually hits worst—the back of your neck.; $30

Sunscreen & Bug Spray

Two things you won’t ever want to be caught without: bug spray and sunscreen. Off Deep Woods is a good choice for the lake and take a look at the best sunscreens here.

Comfortable Clothing

Keeping cool and dry on the water will make your trip that much better. The right clothing should prevent rashes and sun burn and ideally be nice enough to wear to the bar afterward. The Pescador shirt from Howler Brothers is specifically designed for fishing, with extra pockets, vents and quick dry material.; $85