Essential Fishing Gear: A Beginner's Guide to Setting Up Your Tackle Box
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Hi Rachel! It's great to see that you're getting into fishing. To help you out, could you provide some more information on your fishing setup? What type of fishing are you planning on doing? Are you fishing in freshwater or saltwater? What species are you targeting? Knowing these details will help me provide you with a more accurate answer. SquatchBot is GoWild’s furry assistant powered by artificial intelligence. He comments on all posts flagged as questions. It’s a good idea to also ask a human.
I would add some hard baits to your set-up like spinners and crankbaits. I would go up to a #2 spinner, a minnow imitation up to 3 inches that runs up to 4 feet deep, and I would add a Jitterbug to the lineup to cover the surface bite. It's pretty awesome when a Bass blows up on a Jitterbug either early morning or evening. I prefer Mepps spinners and either Rapala or Bomber for crankbaits. Hope this helps.
@David thanks so much! I’ll look those up. Also do I need bobbers? Or is that just for live bait?
@Rachel bobbers are mostly for bait but you can use them for depth control to swim a jig for suspended fish.
@David ok thanks for the help! So does it matter what kind of reel I have cause I’ve seen two types and I don’t know why there’s two and if mine will work with what I have
@Rachel what you have should be fine. It pretty much comes down to personal choice what type of reel you have unless you're doing something specialized like trolling. I use spinning gear myself.
@David ok good I like my zebco I have been using it sense I was a kid
@David just haven’t been in years
I caught hundreds of bass on a zebco 33 the first couple years I got into bass fishing. It will be fine. I would maybe get a couple spinner baits,square bill crankbait and just Texas rig worms. I like the zoom trick worm in green pumpkin.
@Tyler I have a Texas rig kit so got that! Now what the heck is a crankbait lol and how do I know what to use when?
@Rachel lol. Just experience. If targeting bass I usually start out with a moving bait like a crank bait to try to get a reaction bite. You can cover so much more water while casting and winding. If they don’t want that I will slow down with a Texas rig and drag it slow across the bottom. These are some of my favorites. The square bill will dive 3-5 ft so if the area you’re fishing has a lot of weeds you would have to maybe go with a spinner bait rather than a square bill. Because it has treble hooks and would probably get tangled much easier than a spinner. I hope this is making sense the way I’m explaining it. I would recommend YouTube. There is thousands of videos on whatever you want to throw.
@Tyler yes the pictures help a lot 🤣 I’ll probably go by Walmart and pick up a few more things. The book kits I got from Crème have helped a lot though they have good info and tips
@Rachel a crankbait. There are many types and sizes but generally look like this. Easy to use, just cast out and vary your retrieve from slow to fast.
When looking at getting one, look for diving depth. That'll tell you how deep it dives on the retrieve. Use one that matches or barely reaches the max depth of the body of water your fishing.
If it goes from 0-10' max, get cranks in that range. Ones that work for me are Cotton Cordell Big O, Rapala DTs, WNC Shaky Shad 5s. Of course there are many kinds. Pick some out and try them.
@Tyler really good choices and recommendations.
A good starting setup! For the 1/8 oz jig heads you can put a minnow on them under your float. Most types of fish will go for it. I've caught bluegill, crappie, bass, walleye and catfish this way. Get a really good aerated minnow bucket to keep them alive. I love my Frabill one.
For those jig heads you can also get 3"-4" curly tail grubs like Mister Twister.
Spinners and crankbaits are good to get. Easy to use, just cast and retrieve back, just vary your speed. Your rod should say on it the size in oz that it can handle. A very light one on say a Medium Heavy rod won't cast very far. Likewise too heavy a lure like 5/8 oz on a light or ultralight will make the tip of rod really bend, you'll feel the lure way too much on the retrieve.
Our shop has many great items. The Vexan Rattling Wasp, the BioSpawn creature baits, and so on.
Look at people's posts, especially trophies, to see what they might've used, that will also give you ideas.
Check out videos from Bill Dance, he gives a detailed list of what he used. Gives really good explanations.
And feel free to ask any of us a question on our post. Hope this helps.
Good luck and tight lines!🎣
@SquatchBot she's asking in general. Her setup has gear for different species.
Thanks for clarifying, David! In general, the type of gear you need will depend on the species you're targeting and the type of fishing you'll be doing. For example, if you're targeting trout in a stream, you'll likely need a light or ultralight rod and reel combo with light line. If you're targeting larger fish like bass or pike, you'll want a heavier rod and reel combo with heavier line. It's also important to consider the type of lures or bait you'll be using, as different types of lures require different gear. In addition to the gear you already have, you may want to consider adding some lures or bait that are specific to the species you're targeting. It's always a good idea to do some research ahead of time to make sure you have the right gear for the type of fishing you'll be doing.
@SquatchBot thanks. She has gear for crappie and panfish. What can you recommend?
For crappie and panfish, you'll want to use light tackle and smaller lures or bait. A light or ultralight rod and reel combo with 4-6 lb test line should work well. For lures, jigs are a popular choice for crappie and panfish. You can use a 1/16 or 1/32 oz jighead with a small soft plastic grub or tube bait. You can also try using live bait like minnows or worms. A small hook and split shot weight can be used to rig the bait. Remember to adjust your bait's depth to match where the fish are located in the water column. Good luck and happy fishing!
Get some slip bobber to use with the jigs. Can also be used with split shot and hook. It comes with a knot you slide on to line, when cinched down it can be studying up and down to adjust the depth of bait. A bead goes in between knot and bobber to keep knot from sticking in bobber.
@David thank you so much!!!! I’ve gotten nibbles all day! Just nothing set on the hook!
@Rachel thats another thing is learning patience and letting them take it. I still get too excited at times and don't give a proper Hooksett after all these decades!😁
@David that was my issue today! It’s been so long and I’ve always had live bait and a bobber so this is new for me. But it was exciting to feel the nibbles. Let me know I was doing something right lol. Just need to learn how to set a hook in them.
@Rachel just relax and let that bobber go down. Then set the hook. Of course still might not got it if its too small. I get that at times on minnows. They grab the minnow, not the hook. Mostly they're small bluegill, ill see them at times. They get a meal and I get nothing. 🤣
@David well I was using my lures with no bobbers this morning so I wasn’t sure how to set the hook that way. The bobber one I got lol they just decided to leave that one alone this evening. As soon as we left the Northport side of the river and came to the Tuscaloosa side they were jumping like crazy over in Northport 🤦🏻♀️ made me wanna shoot them all 🤣
@Rachel aah with a lure. That's a little different. Basically you want them to take it. When you feel them after it, pause a second or two. Gently lift rod, when you feel weight, set hook. This one just takes consistency and practice, and lots of patience! I still will miss them, at times.
Just ask Mr Muskie! We have a grudge match going on. 🤬🤣
@David hahah ok good to know! I like the lure. Never caught a fish that way sense we’ve only used live bait so wanted to try something different
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