Top fishing gear with tips on how to choose (and use) important accessories
Fishing is a fantastic pastime. Whether you are an onshore angler or offshore, here is a list of the essential marine accessories you need before heading out on any fishing trip.
1. Fishing Rod and Reel
If you are unsure what fishing rod and reel are suitable for you, hopefully these suggestions may help.
- Spincasting reels are the easiest for beginners to cast and they can handle fish up to 9 kilograms.
- Longer rods allow you to cast longer and generally fish better.
- 5ft 6inch rods are good for smaller people, while a 6ft 6inch rod is a great for bigger people.
If you do not have your own fishing rod and reel there are a few places you can hire them for the day. If you are new to fishing it’ll be to try it out first before you invest your money into top quality boating accessories. There are very expensive, high quality rods and reels but start basic if you are not experienced.
2. An Additional Line
Your fishing rod may come with hooks and a line but it is almost guaranteed that your fishing line will break – always prepare to take back-ups with you.
Firstly, it is essential to check it for any twists, nicks or knots and change the line if necessary. Monofilament fishing line is very durable, all-purpose and easier to handle than other line types. It is the most popular style of fishing line for fishermen worldwide. Available in many different tests ranging from one pound right up to four hundred pound.
When using live bait smaller hooks are easier to get into your fish’s mouth than bigger ones. Circle hooks are the best hooks for beginners. They also will not end up in the fish’s stomach and instead they will stick in the corner of the fish’s mouth, allowing for an easy hook removal. Another plus is that you do not need to set the hook it starts reeling and the fish hooks itself. Different hooks are good for catching different fish, size 1 hooks are better for catching bass and catfish, while size 6 hooks work well for panfish or crappie.
4. Tackle Box
Make sure your tackle box is filled with lots of hooks, sinkers, bobbers and any other lures you can find. You can now find tackle boxes already stocked with this equipment. If you are bank fishing then a smaller tackle box would be more efficient so you do not have to haul around a big one, also if you are kayak fishing due to the restricted amount of space.
5. Live Bait
It is extremely unlikely that you will catch a fish without any bait, so don’t forget to stock up on plenty of live bait. Such as, earthworms, nightcrawlers, grubs, grasshoppers, mealworms and maggots. Bait can be bought from any local bait shop and can even be found in your garden.
Knives are a must for the dedicated fisher. Whether it is for preparing the bait or for filleting fish there are many different styles of knives to suit the variety of applications. A blunt knife is no good so always ensure you sharpen it before you head out on the water.
7. Emergency First Aid Kit
It is unlikely that you would have any major medical emergencies while you are fishing. However, small injuries are likely to happen, for example, getting a hook caught in your thumb or falling over and hurting yourself.
In case any of these sort of incidents do occur, ensure you have a small first aid kit on hand, in a waterproof container. It can be as simple as a few band-aids, a few bandages, some painkillers and some waterproof medical tape. It would also be a great idea to include insect repellant.
8. Hat and Sunscreen
When you’re fishing, you are going to be out in the sun all day. Water reflects light so sunburn happens even faster on the water and usually without you noticing especially with a light breeze out on the water. In order to stop yourself from getting sunburn make sure you apply sunscreen frequently. A hat is an effective way to protect yourself from excessive sun exposure and lessens the risk of catching sun stroke and it is even worth investing in a boat canopy to protect yourself effectively.
Make sure you remember to pack your camera (or smartphone). You wouldn’t want to land the biggest catch of your life and have nothing but a fishing story. Catch and release is a wonderful idea, catch the fish, take a picture for you to treasure and then let the fish go. Now you have a great picture and a great story. Make sure you remember to put your camera or mobile phone in a resealable plastic bag, and it will be safe in case water gets splashed on it.
10. Fishing License
Nothing can ruin a fishing trip more than being caught out for not having a valid license. Ensure you have a valid fishing license and make sure everyone on your boat does. Teenagers and younger children do not need a license in some states but ensure you consult your state’s laws.
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