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Fishing Gear and Supplies

The quality of fishing gear and supplies often determine an angler's success.

Fishing line is available in almost endless varieties. [©Jupiter Images, 2009]
©Jupiter Images, 2009
Fishing line is available in almost endless varieties.

Fishing Gear and Supplies

Those who are considering fishing for sport or as a hobby need the proper fishing gear and supplies. For freshwater fishing, individuals will need a fishing rod and reel, fishing line, fishing weights, hooks, bait or lures, a plastic or wood bobber or float, and a fishing license.

Fishing Rods and Reels

When shopping for the proper fishing gear and supplies, individuals should begin with a fishing rod and reel and they will have many options from which to choose. Most rods are made of either fiberglass or graphite. Graphite rods have grown in popularity over the past few years because they are faster, stiffer and more sensitive, but fiberglass rods are more reliable, according to TackleTour LLC. It's important to find a rod that feels comfortable, so buyers should test rods before purchasing one.

Rods also come in different weights based on the type of fish they will be used to catch. Individuals should have an idea of the type of fish they wish to catch prior to purchasing a rod, so that the rod they buy is the correct weight. A few rods cross over between salt water and freshwater, but most rods are built solely for one purpose. The rod layout, action and components make it difficult for the rod to function properly outside of its intended range, so purchasing the right rod for freshwater fishing is imperative.

Individuals who own a boat or live close to the water will likely want to purchase a single piece rod, which comes in one piece and is usually more durable and sensitive. For those who have to travel farther with their rod, the collapsible or multi-sectional rod is a good choice. These rods break down for easier packing and transport.

Reels are sometimes sold with rods, or they are purchased separately. A salesperson should ensure that consumers purchase the correct reel for their rods.

Fishing Line

Although it may seem basic, fishing line can actually be intimidating to purchase because so many options are available. Bass Pro Shops explains that there are really only four types of fishing line: superline, fluorocarbon line, monofilament line and trolling line. Superline is a tough, thin diameter line with minimum stretch. It is highly sensitive and offers good-to-excellent knot strength. Fluorocarbon line is perhaps the most popular line among anglers because of its minimum stretch and the fact that it is practically invisible in the water. It also resists UV rays and won't break down as quickly as other lines. Monofilament line is easy to cut and casts very well. Because of this, it is a good line for beginners. Lastly, trolling line features colored sections that allow anglers to gauge how much line they've thrown into the water.

Fishing Hooks

When it comes to fishing gear and supplies, hooks are very important. Those wishing to fish will find that many types of hooks are available, depending on different needs. Fishresource.com recommends that beginners use #6 to #10 hooks. Beginners should realize that the larger the number, the smaller the hook. Once an angler becomes skilled, he or she may consider making hooks barbless by removing barbs with pliers. Doing this makes fishing more challenging.

Weights and Sinkers

Weights and sinkers help the fishing line sink in the water. Most weights and sinkers are made of metal. Fishresource.com recommends that beginners use a split-shot sinker. Weights and sinkers range in size from a BB to a raisin and are clipped onto the fishing line above the hook. Split-shot sinkers are typically used with live bait.

Bobbers and Floats

Bobbers and floats are also attached to the fishing line. They serve two purposes: to keep the bait suspended at a certain depth in the water, and to move or jerk when there is activity on the end of the line, which indicates that a fish is biting.

Baits and Lures

So many types of baits and lures are available that a beginner may feel overwhelmed. Lures come in all colors, shapes, sizes and materials and are used for attracting different types of fish. Beginners should visit their local sporting goods store and discuss their needs with a salesperson to select the appropriate type of lure for them.

Fishing License

Fishing license requirements vary from state to state. Individuals should check the requirements in their area by contacting their state government. Fishing Works contains detailed information by state for those wanting to acquire a fishing license.

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