Extreme Fishing Outfitters

Extreme Fishing Outfitters

Fishing reels and gear


Freshwater Fishing Gear and Tackle


Most freshwater fisherman have some gear that was either passed down to them by their parents or grandparents, or gear that they have purchased and collected over a number of years.  If you’re just starting out, and you haven’t yet bought your gear, this guide will help you decide what you need to get – from the essentials to the extras that can make the difference between bagging the big one, and coming home with nothing.


Freshwater fishing is any fishing that takes place in an pond, lake, stream, creek, or river, where the water is not saltwater.  Saltwater fishing – or fishing on the ocean – requires different gear, tactics and equipment.  Choosing a good freshwater fishing spot is important.  Do some research in your area and find out what bodies of water contain which type of fish.  If you are fishing for trout – make sure you know which rivers or streams carry trout.  Also, make sure you pick a place that is relatively secluded and free of water skiers, swimmers or children playing, as part of fishing is the relaxation and communion with nature factor – at least for me.


Obviously, the first thing we’re going to talk about is the most essential piece of fishing gear – your fishing rod.  There is something to be said for purchasing a higher priced fishing pole – as they tend to last longer, be more durable and work better.  A good guideline to follow is the $50 to $150 mark.  If you spend less than $50 – $75 bucks for a rod, you’re probably going to get something that won’t last very long and may snap or crack rather quickly. If you spend more than $150 then your likely wasting money unless your a tournament angler who uses their rod several times a week.


Ideally, you’ll want a solid pole that can support at least a 12 pound test line.  I recommend even going higher – with a pole that supports 20-30 pound test.  Make sure that your eyes are fitted properly, and that the pole feels comfortable in your hands. 


Your type of reel is important as well, whether you prefer a spinning or casting reel.  This will ultimately be decided by what fish you are going after, and your personal preference, but most larger species of fish will demand conventional reels.  Also, make sure that if you are using lures that you can comfortably cast your line again and again without causing strain. 


Another vital piece of equipment for freshwater fishing is the fishing net.  You can get a well constructed net for around $15 bucks, and they are invaluable for making sure you don’t lose your catch, or for extending your reach.  Talk to the clerk at the store you are buying it from to make sure that your fish won’t get caught in the net, or stuck at the bottom.  They should be able to point you to the right net for the fish you’re trying to catch.


Next, spend a few dollars and get yourself a pair of fishing gloves.  Your hands will thank you, I promise.  Fishing gloves are essential to providing a better grip for your catch, and for protecting your hands from blisters or chafing.  You can spend between $5 and $50 bucks for a pair of fishing gloves, depending again, on how often you plan to be fishing and how long you want them to last.


Another thing you’ll want to spend a few bucks on is a pair of waders.  Whether you are fishing from the shore, or in a boat, you’re sure at some point to need to wade out into deeper water to reel in a big catch.  Waders will keep you dry and cleated soles will prevent slippage on slick rocks and mud on the creek bottom.  A good pair of waders with the right soles with run between $20 and $30 bucks. 


Your tackle box is the last item on your list if you don’t already have one.  It’s important to pick a tackle box that you like, that suits your fishing habits well.  Tackle boxes are cheap – as low as $10 bucks and usually include most of the tackle that you’ll need.  Most equipped tackle boxes will have around 100-150 pieces included, usually equipped with assorted floats,  one or more jig heads, assorted sizes BBs, split shots, poly stringers, assorted baitholder hooks, curl tail worms, curl tail grubs, and hook disgorgers.


Of course – you don’t want to forget your camera.  Especially, if you are catch-and-release fishing.  You’ll want to take pictures of your catch.  Obviously there is a difference is what kind of camera you need to bring along based on whether these are just pictures to show your friends and family – or whether you want to use them for more commercial purposes such as submission to magazines or fishing publications.  Another thing to consider is the ruggedness of you camera.  If you bring a water proof camera – that’s great if you drop it in the water – but good quality waterproof cameras are expensive.  If you can’t get a waterproof camera then get one that will take a bit of abuse, whether its being kicked around the bottom of the boat, or being dropped on sharp rocks at the riverbank.  If you have already spent too much on your fishing tackle, then a good bet for a camera that you can afford to treat rough is a decent disposable camera – which run between $5 and $10 bucks.


Once you have your equipment you are ready to hit the lake, stream or river and hook the big one.  Becoming a great freshwater fisherman takes skill, persistence, patience but most of all the right equipment, which you should now have, so hit the water and start fishing!