What Do You Need for Fishing: A Beginner’s Guide

Getting into the hobby of fishing can be an intimidating task. Not only do you experience the pressure of whether you will catch a fish or not, but also you get to feel the pressure of having the right equipment. As simple as the idea of fishing can be, the same cannot be said when it comes to getting ready for it. So, what do you need for fishing?

A quick Google search on the topic can leave you next to hopeless as countless fishing terms, and different kinds will just drown you. So, this article will simplify the tools and equipment that you will be using. Our goal is for you to be ready to head out the door to go fishing right after reading this article.

With that said, we will talk about what do you need for fishing. We will also give you some tips and tricks on how to maximize the tools that you would use. Lastly, we will give some precautions to ensure your safety when you go on your first fishing trip.

What Do You Need for Fishing: The Essentials

Here are the things that you exactly need for your first fishing trip:

  • Fishing License

This requirement will be based on where you are situated. Some countries do not require this, but it pays for you to check the area where you will go. You do not want your fishing trip to end in jail, right?

Along with the license, you should also familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of that fishing area. Usually, there are specific rules in terms of fishing methods, bag limits, and other regulations for specific fishes.

  • Fishing Rod and Reel

Think of these two as definite partners. One cannot go without the other, even if in some cases, they are sold separately. The fishing rod is where you will attach the essential tools for fishing. It is also the thing that you will hold in order for you to catch fish.

On the other hand, the fishing reel is the one where you can make the line move back and forth, or it is used to reel back the line when you hook a fish. It is that rounded axle with a small handle that is usually at the left side of your rod.

For beginners, spin-casting reels are the way to go as they can handle fish that are about 20 pounds.

  • Hook, Line, and Sinker

No, we are not talking about a figure of speech, but these three tools are what you can call the holy trinity of fishing. This is where the action is made possible.

First off, the hook is where the fish will get caught, and the best type of hook for beginners is circle hooks. You can also use size six hooks if you want to catch crappie and panfishes. On the other hand, size one hooks are best for catfishes and bass.

Now, we move on to the line. It is literally what you see hanging off the fishing rod, and this is the thing that you cast into the water. However, it is essential to take note of the material of the line because this is where the strength of the pull against the fish is tested. If you have a weak line, it will break, and you will go home without a catch.

Monofilament is commonly used. As for the size, you can use six or eight-pound lines for trout, panfish, or crappie. The 10 to 12-pound test can be used for bigger fishes like catfish, bass, or walleye.

Lastly, we have the sinker. This is that dainty object near the hook that will help it to go deeper into the water, or help you cast out the line farther. You can pretty much choose any sinker to your liking because it only has one purpose as its name suggests—to sink.

  • Baits

You have two kinds here: the live bait and the artificial bait. This is pretty much self-explanatory as you need to put something on the hook to attract fishes to get caught in it.

Live bait can be worms, snails, frogs, and other insects, while artificial baits can be a flashy object that can make the fishes think that it is food.

  • Bobbers

These little things have three purposes. First is that it can keep the level of depth of your hook. Second is it can take your line to different places where the current takes it. Lastly, it is also a hook indicator as you will see it move when the hook catches a fish.

  • Scissors, Cutters, or Pliers

Basically, bring anything that you can use to cut fishing lines and to remove hooks. As you go on with your fishing, you will realize that you have to replace these things from time to time.

  • Swivels

You use these little things when there are line twists. You might think that having line twists are next to impossible, but it actually happens a lot. This can disrupt the flow of the line and will prohibit you to properly reel back the line. So, having a few of this will be handy.

  • Tackle Box

Of course, you should not bring your tools individually. You have to invest in something that can hold them all and is clearly designed for fishing.

A tackle box has movable trays and compartments that are perfect for little tools such as bobbers and swivels. With this, it will keep your things organized.

Tips for Safety

  • Always have a companion.
  • Handle hooks carefully.
  • Always be mindful of other people when casting.
  • Wear a life vest.
  • If the pull is too much to handle, you can just let the line snag instead of the risk of you, falling into the water.


There you have it, the essential tools and equipment for you to go on your first ever fishing trip. At first, it can be a lot, as fumbling with little things that have different purposes can be challenging. Nevertheless, once you master the fishing tackle that we listed, you are well on your way to becoming a successful angler.