Hi, I have made this website about fishing & fishing tackle to help you out with the best gear for your money, whether you are a sea angler, fly fisherman or carp angler – there will be something here for you. From Waders to rods, lures to boxes (BTW check out this cool seat box), all the gear you need to enjoy your fishing will be discussed.
Fishing Tackle and Gear Guide
You can learn more about me here in my about page. But to give you a low down I have been fishing since I could hold a rod and I have tried so many damn products, ideas and stuff I thought it was time to share my findings. Mates are asking me all the time for the best gear, coz I read the mags and am pretty good when it comes to drowning worms, catching mackerel and all that stuff.
I am not an expert (well sort of) I am some one who bloddy loves fishing! I would also love your thoughts on what I say. It’s all a bit subjective so your opinions really count and matter.
Fishing Tackle for Beginners
A question I get asked lots is “What sort of stuff should I start with?” – Don’t worry we have the noobs covered here. In fact I love help out new anglers get into the sport! Without them the sport would die, especially the youngsters among you.
There is lots of really specialist tackle like LRF (light Rock Fishing) and tapered leaders for fly fishing. I kinda want to keep it more general, but may go specialist here and there.
Types of Gear
I cover Sea fishing, Fly Fishing a bit of Coarse fishing and will touch on Carp fishing. My focus will be the first two as that’s what I do most of and understand better than the rest. I also have a loft full of sea and fly fishing tackle which I am told I need to sell (hum!)
I love the latest fishing rods, high power beach rods that can throw a lead over 200 yards as well as enjoying fishing with an old flexible glass rod. They both have a place and different rod construction gives it a totally different feel and pleasure. Its just marrying the right rod & reel to the right species, methods and tackle.
Taper is the key word when it comes to how a fishing rod will react under strain. A fast taper rod bends near the tip, a slow taper generally allow the whole rod to bend. I tend to prefer fast taper rods with fine tips as they let you see what is going on as opposed to the whole rod absorbing any small bites or knocks – going unnoticed.
If you are targeting large species, casting larger lures and terminal tackle then you will be looking for a stiff rod. The smaller the species the finer and more delicate your fishing rod should be. Catching minnows on a 12 foot heavy weight rod is pointless, whereby small fish on a really light, fine rod produces good sport! (ok maybe not minnows, but you get the gist)
Fishing for bass, close in with a cheap glass rod is exciting. The softness in the action takes me back to the good old days and protects from heavy takes. Also using a super light, tiny boron rod to cast a fly on a small stream lifts my spirits. Match ya gear, that’s the key.
The technology in fishing reels is amazing compared to what I used in the early days. Casting reels are scientific equipment – smallest tolerance, sing like a bird and are a joy to use. Drags are precise and work very well giving maximum control what playing a fighting fish.
All that said, if you go fishing occasionally or are short on cash then there is no reason why you shouldn’t go cheap and get a reel that will get you by with lite use – as long as you use it properly. Do not expect a cheap fixed spool reel to cope with a days heavy boat fishing. They go bang and crunch and give up. However if you are enjoying some gentle fishing on a calm day in the local harbor – they will work!
Balancing Your Tackle
This is not some weird stage trick, it’s all about selecting rods and reels that balance and feel good together. At the most basic level you want to look at the type of fishing you want to do and find the right gear to match it.
When you are looking to buy gear choose a rod and reel that match in size, I will help you out more as I write articles on gear,
If you want to fish of the pier you don’t need an all singing all dancing beach caster capable of throwing 8 oz of lead into heavy sea ideal for winter Cod fishing.
If you are looking to enjoy some float fishing on your local river again you want a light set up that nicely and comfortable casts a small float and baited hook into the water.
Deciding what you want to catch, where you want to fish and the conditions you are prepared to fish in are some important decisions you need to make. If you make the decisions and stick by them when selecting your gear you will not go wrong.
Sadly there is no one-size fits all, but there is tackle that will be really good at one thing and not bad at others. For example I have a lovely rod and reel for flattie fishing (flounders) which also makes a really nice Bass rod and pier fishing rod (some carp rods fit this niche as well). I also have a stiff strong lure rod, that also works for float fishing for Mackerel and close in ledgering for Bass with a fixed spool reel and a multiplier that balance it perfectly.
So if you are keen and you have identified the type of angling you want to do there are solutions. A small selection of carefully chosen tackle can provide you with lots of great fishing options!
Terminal Tackle and Rigs
There is a whole range of bits and parts, hooks and clips out there. Some great, some nice to have but a few bits that you really need.
Here is a list of basic components you might need:
- Right size hooks
- Good line
- A selection of weights
- A selection of Swivels
- Disgorger (for removing hooks)
- Net or Drop net (not so much for sea fishing)
- Good tackle box / Box seat
- Suitable clothing
This list is not exhaustive and some type of fishing require more or less of this kit list. If you are taking up fly fishing the a box of flies is essential. Carp waters often require you to have a suitable un-hooking mat. Coarse anglers, unless hunting predators generally do not use many lures. So there are lots of things to consider, but again it comes down to the type, species and location you are going to fish most.
Just be aware of the latest, newest, bestest gear that is being marketed today. You don’t really need much of it, if any of it. When you start to get really good, then it might make a difference and it is worth the investment. But if starting out focus on the basics, it’s really all you need.
Right on my soap box now. There is one thing that is worth spending a little extra on and not scrimping on, FISHING LINE!
Its the one thing that connects you to the fish, the rest just makes it easier to do, but the one thing that if it lets go results you in losing fish is the line. Old line and cheap line is a total false economy.
I have seen so many fish lost due primarily poor fishing line. Sun light degrades most line, I really wouldn’t want to fish for more than a season without replacing the line – it get weak & scraped, it develops a memory and wants to stay curly it just cannot hack it any more!
Please, please spend a little more on line, get the next cheapest line, not the bargain basement stuff and change it regularly even if you are not fishing regularly.
Fishing Seasons and Rules
Many species are protected by a “closed season” meaning you cannot fish for them during this period.
For example, you can’t fish for coarse fish on any river in England and Wales from 15 March to 15 June.
Other species have other closed season depending on where you live in the country. There are often bylaws that need to be viewed to make sure you are adhering to them. A quick search on Google should help you out.
Some fish have minimum size limits. Bass ( please don’t call them Sea Bass) have to be 42 cm to be caught and kept, however there are some nursery areas where you cannot leaglly catch and keep them full stop. Make it your job to find out.
Many private game waters have “Bag Limits”. So you might by a ticket to go fly fishing but it might limit you to 2 fish and not allow you to then catch and release.
Some waters prevent certain baits and lures. Please read the regulations for the water you are fishing in and adhere to them. They are in place to keep the quality of the fishing good and so others can enjoy good angling.
Finally please respect other anglers and the public. I remember watching a fella fishing from Torquay pier. He was casting Mackerel lures between the boats that were coming into the harbor. He cast a string of feathers (lures for catching Mackerel) over the stern of a boat hooking the man stood on the the very back! From what I saw 3 hooks carried by a fast moving sinker ripped into the guys flesh! If some one is fishing an area (aka a swim) then don’t set up right next to them and squeeze them out, give them space to fish. Lastly keep the noise down, especially if stalking trout or fishing a peaceful still water.
Really this should be the first paragraph. Water is wonderful when respected, however if abused it will treat you badly!
Every year hundreds of anglers get into trouble by falling, slipping, washed off or getting cut off around water.
Rivers flood and become fast moving and turbid. The sea with her tides and waves is not something to get caught out by.
Please do a little research and learn a little about the tides and sea conditions if you are considering sea angling. I have had my scrapes thinking I can fish a mark a little longer only to find my escape route under 2 ft of water. I have scrambled down rocks to collect a fish and nearly lost my footing. I have seen people run to the waters edge to land fish between waves that would have eaten them.
If fishing a pond note where the flotation devices are, where you can get out if you fall in. Be aware all the time as a simple slip is all it takes and once things start to go wrong around water, they turn nasty, really, really quickly!
Please be warned.