Fishing Equipment for Beginners

18 March 2011 For The Angler

Here’s the best fishing gear for beginner anglers of all ages.
Most new anglers want quality and budget-friendly fishing rods, reels, and starter kits to catch a variety of fish such as perch, bass, walleye, trout, pike, crappie and catfish.

Beginner Fishing Gear

The following suggestions are all good choices as starter fishing equipment gifts for beginners.

The rod and reel combos are budget-friendly and recommended according to their appropriateness for anglers based on the person’s age.

The lures, hooks, sinkers, floats and other accessories that are suggested are chosen to provide a balanced assortment of tackle that should be a part of every beginner fishing kit.

Click on the picture of each item to get more information.

Rod and Reel Fishing Combos

For Kids
For children, a simple rod and reel combination package is the best starter kit. Choose one that has a spin casting (closed face) reel.  It is the easiest to use because the reel has a push button line release.

Fishing kit for the little ones
This Kid Caster combo is great for little kids aged 3-5 who want to fish like Dad. The plastic lures are perfect for the kids to learn how to cast and use the rod and reel. When the basics are sorted out, the kids can add some bait and catch real fish as this rod and reel combo is also adequate for catching small fish like perch and sunfish.

Good Beginner Fishing Rod For Young Kids
Boys: Shakespeare Spincast Fishing Kit

Girls: Shakespeare Spincast Combo Kit

Good Beginner Fishing Rod For Older Boys and Girls
These kits are designed for easy use and are good for catching perch, sunfish, bass, small pike and walleyes.

Boys: Spincast Fishing Combo
Girls: Spincast Combo

Here is a useful spincast combo kit that includes both!

Good Beginner Fishing Rod For Teens and Adults
A basic all-purpose rod and reel combination would be a 5.5 or 6 foot medium action rod and reel combination with 8 or 10 pound line. 

These kits are ideal for catching a full range of fish from smaller perch and sunfish, to larger walleye, bass, trout and even pike.

First time anglers should stick to the spincast models. Anglers who have done a bit of fishing or plan to fish more often may want to use the slightly more technical spinning reel.

The combo rod and reel kits below have been chosen as good fishing rods for the new angler who is going on a trip with friends. These also make great fishing gifts for Dad on Father’s Day or Mom on Mother’s Day.

The fishing gear listed for women is not chosen simply because it is a different colour. These fishing kits are considered good for ladies because girls generally have smaller hands than guys and these rod and reel combos are a bit easier to handle.

Men’s and Ladies Spincast Combos

Men’s and Ladies Spinning Combo
Men: Shakespeare Travelmate Combo Rod and Reel

Ladies: Women’s Spinning Combo

Easy to Pack Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
Here is a fishing rod and reel kit that is easy to travel with. We have also found a good travel tackle bag for carrying the gear. If you don’t have a lot of storage space in the car, these are good options.

Lures and Bait

Small spoons, spinner baits and an assortment of jig heads and rubber tails should be enough to catch some fish for dinner. Perch, walleye, bass, trout and pike will all bite these types of lures at different times.

These tackle kits will get any beginner angler off to a good start.

Fishing Knot Cards and Tackle Box

These waterproof cards fit nicely in the tackle box and are a handy reference when you forget how to tie your favourite fishing knot. They are great for beginners because the instructions are easy to follow and all the important fishing knots are covered.
Every angler also needs a basic tackle box to keep the gear neatly and safely organized.

Hooks, Sinkers, and Floats

A kit containing a range of hook sizes is needed for fishing with live bait. An assortment of weight sizes will provide enough options when you want to get your bait to the bottom. Floats are used to keep live bait at a certain depth above the bottom.

Some regions require the use of barbless hooks. It is a good practice regardless of the local rules. You may lose an extra fish once in a while but it certainly makes pulling a hook out of your finger a lot easier.

Fishing Line

It is always a good idea to keep a spool of extra fishing line handy. Eight or ten pound line is good for a medium action rod and reel combo.

Leaders and Swivels

When using lures, a package of wire leaders is useful. Fish with lots of teeth such as northern pike and muskie will cut through regular line. When using lures to fish for bass and walleye you don’t need a wire leader but it is helpful to tie a swivel onto the end of the line. This makes it easier and faster to switch lures.

Fishing Net

Always use a net that is capable of handling the largest fish you are likely to catch. This net is a good one for beginners. It folds up nicely and is easy to store.

Hook Removers

These are essential for removing hooks from the fish especially when the fish has swallowed the hook or lure. You can use a pair of long needle-nose pliers or a specially designed fish hook remover. The hook remover below is good for beginners because it is easy to use and works well with a variety of fish.

Mouth Spreader

This is a critical piece of equipment if you are catching pike or muskie. Mouth spreaders are inexpensive and very useful for keeping the fish’s mouth open when removing the hook. Consider buying two or three because they often end up at the bottom of the lake when the fish suddenly shakes it’s head. You don’t want to catch a big pike if you don’t have a set of mouth spreaders in your tackle box.

Fillet Knife

Cleaning your fish is much easier and more efficient when you use a sharp fillet knife.  Always wear protective gloves and sharpen the knife before every use. The knife kit below comes with a glove, cutting board, small weigh scale, scissors, and a sharpening file. The case is convenient for traveling and easy storage. an extra glove is worth having to protect your fingers.

Waterproof Camera Float

Use a camera to take pictures of all the fish you catch and release. The best camera for anglers is one that is water proof, shock proof, and won’t freeze. Be sure to get a floater for it!

Polarized Fishing Glasses
Special glasses are available that help you see what is going on below the surface of the water. This is a great idea for beginner anglers because it gives them a better understanding of what the fish are actually doing when they follow a lure up to the boat, dock or shore.

Here is a handy pair of glasses that are even designed to fit over your existing glasses.
Cocoons Over-Glasses Sunglasses - Mini Slim

Fishing Backpack
This fishing backpack is a great option for anglers who prefer to hike to their favourite fishing spot. It gives fishermen full versatility and provides fantastic storage space for packing the fishing gear you need. Trout, salmon, bass, carp and catfish anglers will find this tackle bag very handy. It even has a built-in LED light system!

Fishing Book
Here is a comprehensive, easy-to-read book that does a good job of introducing beginner anglers to all aspects of fishing.

Fishing can be a wonderful experience for beginner anglers of all ages. You don’t have to spend a fortune on the equipment you need to start catching fish.

Need more Fishing Tips?
Go to the Beginner Fishing Tips page for information on how to catch all your favourite fish.
Go to the Bass Fishing Tips and Gear page.
Go to the Tips and Gear for Catching Pike page.
Go to the Tips and Gear For Catching A Muskie page.