Guidelines for novices

Learning a new sport or activity for the first time can seem overwhelming. Of course, if you want to learn how to fish there is new equipment, techniques, and environments that come with it. Getting started is easier than you think. Start with basic beginner fishing equipment and get used to getting out and fishing as often as possible. Researching and reading is a great way to learn, but nothing compares to casting lines firsthand and building your skills through experience. Here's a beginner fishing tackle checklist to get you started right away.

1. Rod and reel

Start with a spinning rod and reel combo that is already assembled and can switch from fresh water to shallow salt water. This takes the guesswork out of the endless fishing rod options for beginners. Try a medium-heavy rod of six or seven feet.

2. Fishing line

Rod and reel combinations are often supplied pre-wound so you don't have to worry about how to wind new fishing line yourself. For salt water, you may want to buy a lightweight leader like 20 pound fluorocarbon to add strength and abrasion resistance. Learn a simple line-to-leader knot like a double varsity knot.

3. Tackle

The choice of fishing tackle depends on the type of fishing you are aiming for. You can start with a simple J-hook and a cup of earthworms to make fishing gear easier for beginners. For freshwater lakes, ponds, and streams, try soft plastic bait on worm hooks or floating bait hooks. Soft baits can also be used in salt water or try hard baits like topwaters or poppers.

4. Tackle box

Organizing tackles will help reduce potential frustrations caused by a messy tackle box. Find a medium-sized device with trays, pockets, and plenty of storage options.

5. Hand tools

Beginner fishing equipment can include the most modern tools and equipment, many of which may not be needed. Stick to the essentials like needle-nose pliers and a hand-held cutting tool.

6. Fishing license

Before going on the water you need a fishing license. You can buy one online or from your local outdoor retailer.

For more information, please contact an expert at your local outfitter or fishing shop. They can give you recommendations on the best fishing equipment for beginners, along with tips and tricks. Have fun fishing!

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