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Practical Guide To Must-Have Fishing Equipment

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It’s hard to find an outdoor activity more tranquil and soothing than fishing. Unlike other pastimes that usually involve a lot of physical activity, fishing is a static hobby that gives you respite from the buzzing city lifestyle. You have nowhere to hurry, and nobody’s pacing around. Only you, nature, and those people you decide to spend time with.

Fishing has never been an exclusive activity – it has always been available for everyone who possesses the tools for it. Our fishing equipment is more advanced than our ancestors’, but today, we need a license to fish safely. Unless you have a thing for violating the law and some spare hundreds of bucks. But, let’s say you are determined to start fishing, you’ve done your homework and acquired a license, and now it’s time to do some serious preparations. What is it that you might need? Should you already be looking for a spot to dig nightcrawlers? Or hastily search for the nearest outdoor equipment store? With huge demand for products both domestically and internationally, you can check out Nomad Design.

We’ve compiled a list of fishing gear you better not leave at home. 

Fishing Rods

We know that look. “Wow, you need a fishing rod to fish, how mind-blowing that is”. Well, it’s an essential, and you would have a hard time catching fish with your bare hands or, say, a fish fork. Fishing rods are the backbone of all other fishing equipment. The thing about rods is not that you only need to have some – you should choose a rod that suits your needs and matches your fishing style. There are several parameters to the rode that determine how well it functions. 

Materials influence the robustness of the rod and its cost. Graphite fishing rods are flexible and relatively inexpensive, while ceramic ones are much more rigid and somewhat pricier.

Power determines what species and sizes of fish the rod is most suitable for. The classification begins with ultra-light and ends with ultra-heavy, with all possible combinations in between. As your intuition might suggest, ultra-light rods are most suitable for small-sized fish, and ultra-heavy ones are the best choice for deep-sea fishing. The higher the power is, the more pressure is needed to bend the rod. 

The action suggests how fast the rod returns to its neutral position. It ranks from slow to fast with similar variables between them. 

Configuration describes the number of rod parts. Single-piece rods tend to have a more natural “feel” and are favored by many anglers. Such rods are, however, harder to transport, especially if they are long. Two-piece rods are more compact and easier to carry around and, if well-engineered, don’t sacrifice much of their sensitivity. 

And, of course, there are rods for every type of fishing. Fly rods are used to cast artificial flies, spinning and baitcasting rods are designed for casting baits and lures, and trolling rods are most suitable for dragging baits and lures behind a moving boat. But if you are a beginner, you should start with a simple spinning rod. And if you are an avid angler, you already know which rod you need.

Fishing Reels

A fishing reel attaches to a rod and is used for storing and winding the line. Many modern reels have fittings that help anglers cast further and more accurately as well as control the speed of line retrieval. Even though there are reels designed for corresponding rod types (like fly reels), the main options here are spinning reels and baitcasting reels. 

If we were to classify those two according to the level of user proficiency, spinning reels would fall into the “better for novices” category. A spinning reel has a fixed spool, which makes it a perfect choice for beginners. Such reels are less precise than their counterparts and have a shorter casting distance, but they are much easier to use and maintain. Spinning reels are mounted below the rod since this is the way spinning rods are designed. When you start fighting a fish, the rod will bend, and, as you can imagine, if the fish is too big or heavy, there is a high chance of line guides breaking. Spinning reels are more suitable for lighter set-ups: lighter lines and lures for catching smaller fish. They are less prone to line tangling and can be used for the majority of fishing techniques.

Baitcasting reels are an attribute that expert anglers can appreciate and utilize. Such reels offer more control over the casting process through a revolving spool that turns while you cast the line. They also have break mechanisms that allow you to slow down the spool once the lure reaches the water. Baitcasting reels are mounted on top of the rod, and so are line guides. Such a set-up allows for fighting bigger fish without risking your rod’s integrity. Generally, baitcasting reels offer more advantages, but you need to be an experienced angler to make use of them. 

Fishing Line

The last and concluding element of the Holy Trinity of fishing, lines come in a variety of lengths, materials, and diameters. The line is the element that attaches the tackle, so it’s important not to skimp on it. The most widespread are monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braided lines.

Monofilament is the cheapest option that stretches well and ties easily. That is also a floatable line, which makes it a great choice for topwater fishing.

Fluorocarbon lines are almost invisible in the water, so be sure it won’t alert any fish that something fishy is going on. It is also more resistant to abrasion and sharp fish teeth (if you want to catch something predatory).

Braided lines are relatively old but have recently reincarnated in a more advanced variant of themselves. Braided lines of small diameter are as robust as their thicker counterparts and are perfect for deep-sea fishing. However, those lines are very visible, so it’s a common practice to attach a fluorocarbon line to the end of the braided one to reduce the visibility. 


Now, let’s get down to those little things that make catching possible. Tackle is a term that encompasses everything you put and attach to the line. The basic items you’ll need are hooks, weights, and floaters. 

Hooks are the very element that pokes fish and allows you to reel it in. It’s reasonable to have several hooks in your tackle box since some of them will inevitably be lost to the waters. Besides, the size of the hook should match the size of the fish you are trying to catch. There are many types of hooks that all look different but ultimately serve the same purpose. 

Weights give you more casting distance and keep your bait underwater. Depending on the size of hook and bait (or lure), it might be more challenging to cast a line with a light tackle attached. Weight makes the whole assembly heavier and casting easier. The heavier the weight, the deeper the hook goes, so choose them accordingly. 

Floaters, also known as bobbers, serve the opposite function: they keep your bait from sinking too deep. Bobbers also serve as an indicator for when the fish takes the bait, so it’s hard to overestimate the role they play. Floaters can take many shapes: round ones are easier to attach, while elongated ones allow the hook to go deeper in the water.

Baits and Lures

Your fishing rod is finally complete, so it’s time for the final decision: original bait or an artificial one? Original bait includes alive or dead creatures that are a part of your target fish diet. Nightcrawlers are the most versatile choice, but as you can imagine, bigger predatory fish have no interest in this type of bait. In addition to that, you need to get new live bait before every fishing trip, which might be tiresome for some anglers. Lures are lasting and reusable artificial baits that mimic real creatures. Once you buy several of them, you can forget about bait for some time (until they no longer look appetizing or get carried away by some determined scaly overachiever). Lures are designed for different fish and environments: some are more suitable for clear waters, while others shine in murky ones.

All the items mentioned above constitute a list of fishing must-haves for every angler. As you can see, they only make for one functioning fishing rod, but nothing else is “obligatory”, so to say. You can easily fish in whatever clothes you choose, in a standing position or sitting on a foldable stool, in sunglasses or without them – the choice is yours. You can get by without some fishing accessories, but there is one thing you cannot do without. Or five of them, as we’ve already described.