Fishing Gear and Equipment for beginners: The Ultimate Guide

For first-timers who are new to the art of fishing, this activity may seem complicated at first, but that doesn’t have to be your lot of you know how to go about fishing in open or deep waters. With the right information and tools, as well as proper tracking, you can become an expert at fishing in no time. In this ultimate guide, we bring you all you need to know about fishing. Our aim is to make your fishing weekends a lot more memorable for you and your family.

This guide covers fishing gear and equipment every beginner should have before they set out. With minimal investment, you can organize all the necessary equipment suitable for freshwater or saltwater fishing. We will also show you some healthy practices and tips to increase your chances of making a big catch as often as possible.

There is no reason why you can’t become a successful fisherman……or woman.  This ultimate guide shows you how. Read on.

Important information to take note of

Here are some vital things to know before you commence your journey into the exciting world of fishing.

Make sure you get a license

Only very few fishing spots or regions do not require a license from the authorities to fish in them. So to about breaking the law and attracting legal sanctions, make sure you get a license from the authorities before heading out. To get a license, you can do so online or at fishing shops and convenience stores operating in the area close to the fishing spots.

Getting a license is easy and relatively cheap. Some fishing licenses are as cheap as $20 it even less per day. But do note that fees vary from state to state and from location to location within the same state.

In addition to that, the fishing season also matters as peak seasons attract higher license fees than regular seasons. In many areas, visitors are charged a higher fee than locals. These are some of the things to bear in mind when shopping for a fishing license.

Where should you go fishing?

Picking the best fishing spot can be tricky, especially if you are not familiar with the area. The spot you pick will influence you to catch potentially since some spots have more fish population than others even in the same lake or river. To identify a very good spot, consider taking to locals who know the area well. You can source information from attendants at fishing equipment stores, your guides, or tourists who are fishing enthusiasts.

Another option is to use fishing apps to pinpoint reliable spots. Common examples of apps used to localize searches are FishBrain and FishAngler. If these apps don’t work for your area, visit Google Play Store to find an app that works for your area.

In general, lakes are ideal spots for beginners. This is because most lakes have banks or docks that you can position yourself on. Furthermore, lakes are generally known to possess a large fish population too. In lakes, you are likely to find varieties of fish species like Bass, Trouts, Salmon, etc. As a beginner, stick to lakes and river banks at first. After gaining more experience, you can then proceed into deeper regions.

Items you will need

To be successful at fishing, you need to organize the items needed. These items are loosely called fishing supplies. Fishing supplies are generally equipment and materials required for fishing. Below, we review some very important supplies used for fishing by both professionals and beginners.


Fishing Gear

Fishing Gear is also called fishing equipment. Some of the best gears are a combination of spinning reels and rods. Having a gear like this is advantageous for beginners because they are easier to set up. Spinning reel and rod combos do not require expert handling to get them to work, which is why I recommend them for beginners making their first foray into fishing. 

Some other items to procure are lures and baits. These items serve as decoys to ensnare fish. They come in varieties so you might need the help of an expert or a rep at the equipment store to pick a very good lure.

Your chances of making a good catch on your next fishing expedition depend on having the right fishing tools. You may not buy all that you need at once, but if you make it a habit of buying them one at a time, you will have a complete fishing set in no time.

Fishing Equipment

Like I pointed out before, any tool used for fishing is classified as fishing gear or equipment. Fishing tools are also called fishing tackles. Common examples of fishing equipment besides lures are hooks, sinkers, lines, baits, reels, nets, spears, rods, traps, faffs, tackle bags, and waders. The list is practically endless. Below we explain some of this equipment in detail.

Baits and Lures

A fishing bait or lure is a device that is practically designed to ensnare fish. The lure used vibration, movement, and flash color to attract the fish. The average lure comes with a hook that catches the fish when it bites. Baits are generally of two types. We have the hard baits and the soft plastic baits.

Hard baits are made from hard plastic, and they come in different shapes and sizes. The design dictates just how deep the fish will dive to bite the lure. Soft baits, on the other hand, have a very soft and flexible rubber texture. They come in different colors and sizes like hard baits. Both types are effective and work well in attracting fish.



To make a catch by jigging, you need a tool called a jig. A jig is simply a sinker with a hook attached. The exterior is covered with a soft material. To use a jig, the fisherman makes a jerky and vertical movement with the device in the water.


Spoons are lures shaped like dinning spoons. This tool reflects light randomly to attract fishes.


Rigs are tool arrangements for fishing. Rather than having all items scattered in a bag, which will be difficult to identify when the need arises, a rig is used to arrange items in order for easier differentiation. Rigs are either held by a hand, with a rod, or attached to a pier or boat.

Fishing Rod

This is a very long and flexible pole that has been used by fishermen for years to make catches. It has a fishing line attached to the pole, and the line has a hook. Fishing lines can be as long as 20ft. The longer the rod, the more distance you can cover.

Fishing Reels

A Reel is a device with a cylindrical shape. This device is attached to the fishing rod, and it is used to wind in or stow the line. With this item, you can extend the fishing line far and deep into the eater as an extension from your current position. Once you’ve made a catch, you use the reel to retrieve the line and the fish hanging at the end of the lure.

Terminal Tackle and Line

What is a fishing tackle? This is an equipment used for fishing. The term “terminal tackle “ is generally used to describe items like hooks, lines, lures, sinkers, rods, floats, spears, and any other fishing item. Most professional fishermen use rigs to arrange and to organize their items before they embark on a fishing trip.

What is a Fishing Line?

A fishing line is a material used for fishing. They are made with silk thread, long horse hairs, and similar materials. Today, it is not uncommon to find lines made from cotton though this is very rare.


Hooks are used for impaling the fish once it bites the lure. Hooks are very effective for saltwater fishing.


Also called Bobbers in the US, a float is a fishing tool attached to a line. Floats are essentially used for two different purposes. A float has the capacity to carry a hook into deeper and otherwise inaccessible areas in deep water. Secondly, it can also be used to suspend the bait inside water for a prolonged period. Float fishing is when a lot is used to catch fish. Floats have different build materials, some of which are cork, plastic, foam, balsa wood, and bird quills, etc.


As the name implies, Sinkers are used to push the bait or lure feel into water. They are quite weighty and very effective.  Without sinkers, lures and fishing lines will simply suspend just below the water surface, thereby making it quite difficult to make a catch if fishes do not swim to the surface.

Tackle Boxes and Bags

Owning a tackle box or bag is very important. Tackle boxes and bags are used to carry all the items required for fishing. Rather than carry them in different bags in a disorganized manner, you can arrange them orderly in a bag meant for that specific purpose.

Fishing Apparel

There are different fishing apparel you should consider buying to ensure that your fishing trip is comfortable. Here are some of them.

Fishing hats: When fishing in windy areas or during the summer when the sun is at it’s highest, wearing a hat can be a lifesaver if you ask me. A hat will keep your head and face protected from weather elements.

Fishing gloves: Fishing without a glove on isn’t a good idea. Wearing gloves will prevent your hands from getting dirty or from handling the fish with your bare hands when you catch them. Gloves also protect your hands from potential injuries.

Fishing Vest: In some fishing locations, you are expected to wear the best while this is not required in other areas. To be on a safe side, always carry a vest in your bag.

Fishing Footwear: Not all footwear are ideal for fishing. Walking on soft earth can be difficult if you are not wearing the right shoes. There are shoes specially designed for fishing. These types of footwear are largely waterproof and protect not just your feet but your ankles and shin too.

Sunglasses:  Just like hats, Sunglasses protect the eyes from UV rays of the Sun or strong winds.

Neck gaiters: If you like to fish when the sun is up, but you want to protect your self from sunburn, then neck gaiters should be added to your collection. Neck gaiters protect the neck region.

Jackets: Fishing jackets have smaller pockets all around them that can be used to carry objects like hooks, lures, and other items of importance.

Fishing Accessories

When it comes to accessories, make sure you add the following to your collection of items.

Fishing lights: Fishing lights serve two purposes. They help you fish at night, and they are effective tools in attracting fishes to your lure. Underwater fishing lights are waterproof and effective fishing instruments.

Rod holders: This is used to hold fishing lines. With holders, you can change the direction of the line or extend your reach.

Fishing net: Nets have been around for a very long time and remain popular the world over. If you are a fan of mass fishing and intend fishing in deep and open water at some point, then it is never too late to acquire one.

Bait traps: Rather than go to the fish, you can have them come to you by setting up bait traps at strategic points.

Fish Finders: Also called a Sounder, a fish finger is an electronic instrument used for tracking fish underwater. This device detects sound energy at a higher degree of integration. Some advanced fish finders use marine radar and GPS systems to track lighting fishes. Fishfinders are most effective when fishing in open waters.

Good fishing ethics to keep in mind

As a beginner just starting out, it is important that you do the following:

  • Show respect to others: If you are not the only person fishing at a location, always show respect to other anglers fishing in the same area. Don’t crowd a spot already occupied by another individual or group of individuals. As a rule of thumb, give a physical distance of about 50ft-60ft.
  • Catch only what you can eat: Catching more fish than you need is not an ideal practice and should be discouraged. Catching more than you need will diminish the fish population and provide less fish for someone else. Also, the excess fish may go bad, which does you or no one any good.
  • Don’t litter the area: Clean up behind you after you are done. Avoid littering the spot with droppings. Keep the area clean.
  • Check for updates: Know the area well before you commence. Is the area limited to natural lures or ate artificial lures permissible? Find out all you need to know from the right sources to avoid violations.
  • Don’t throw wastes into the water: Throwing waste like food wrappers into the water is not a healthy practice. This habit will mess up the area rendering it unclean. Littering also endangers the fish population. In fact, fish populations face growing dangers from plastic poisoning, which is a dad’s development for everyone. When you go fishing, always keep your waste in a separate bag or nylon and dispose of them properly.

Fishing tips for beginners

As a beginner, you, too, can develop your fishing skills and become an expert in no time. Fishing takes time, practice, and patience, but here are some helpful tips to help you on your way to becoming a pro.

Learn how to use a cast: To avoid losing your lures, learn how to cast them properly. Don’t jerk the pole while the life is in water, or you may not be sure if a fish has bitten the lure. To determine if there is a fish at the other end, hold the pole with tension and see if there is a tug at the other end. If there is, you can now jerk and reel on the line.

Start with cheaper lures: As a beginner, bear in mind that you will lose a lot of lures as you gain experience. To avoid spending so many resources on lutes, consider using very cheap ones. The cost of the lure doesn’t matter. A cheap lute works just as well as an expensive one, so don’t worry about yourself. Start with the cheap ones then work your way up to the more expensive ones.

Take your time with the lure: Using a new lure will take a little time for you to get the hang of it, so don’t panic. Like I said, becoming a pro at fishing takes time.  To master the proper use of a particular lure, make sure you only use that lure when you go fishing.

Always come prepared: Plan well in advance before you go fishing. The day you choose to go shouldn’t be the day you pack your bag with the required items. The last thing you want is to arrive at the fishing location or resort only to find out that you left something very vital behind. Furthermore, do whatever research you can about the area before your visit. Is the water Freshwater or Saltwater? Is it a Pond, Lake or Ocean?

The water will greatly determine the fish species it contains, so your approach should be different given the water body. Saltwater contains a high degree of salinity and different fish species compared to freshwater. Also, find out if there is a maximum amount of fish you are allowed to remove from the water at every given visit. If there is a limit in place, make sure you don’t exceed the number.

Safety information to remember

Adhering to safety information will protect not only you but others fishing in the area as well. Before you visit a location, get as much information as you can about the area. If you plan to use a canoe or a kayak, adhering to safety regulations is doubly important.

Avoid going to areas termed as restricted or dangerous. If the location is a tropical area, always be on the lookout for alligators, crocodiles, snakes as well as other wild creatures. Wearing the right apparel to protect your feet, hands face and eyes will protect you from the weather as well as from harmful insects and reptiles. Bring along sufficient water to stay hydrated during your trip and sunscreen to protect your skin.


Fishing is indeed an exciting endeavor, and many people won’t have as much fun in their lives without this captivating activity. Contrary to popular opinion, fishing is not only an economic activity but a leisure activity as well. You don’t have to be a first time expert to fish.

 As a beginner, you can enjoy your trip to river banks if you have the right tools at your disposal. If you abide by the tips in this guide, your next fishing trip will surely be worthwhile. Take your time to learn fishing tricks. Do your research about the area before you visit and make sure that you adhere to the safety regulations in place at all times, and you will be good to go.