When going fishing, regardless if you are a novice or a professional, there are 10 items every fisherman should include in his kit or tackle.
1.) Fishing Pole
The first thing you will need if you intend to fish is a fishing pole. For beginners, I would recommend a 6ft spincaster rod (pictured above) however a regular spinning rod will work just fine. Just takes a little more getting used to.
A good cutting tool is a must in almost any outdoorsmen activity you choose to embark on, fishing is no different. I like to carry a decent buck knife with me as they’re stainless steel but any stainless-steel knife will work just fine.
For a decent budget blade that won't break the bank check out the stainless steel version of the companion from Morakniv.
2.) Needle Nose Pliers / Multitool
Needle nose are great for getting hooks out of fish. Sometimes the fish will swallow the hook and it can be difficult to dislodge without assistance from a tool. A multi-tool will serve the same purpose as the needle nose. Because other tools are included in a multi-tool, it is much more versatile. I use my multi-tool almost every single time I go fishing.
4.) Spare Tackle
Having spare tackle on hand is a good idea in any fishing scenario. Lines get snagged, hooked in trees, or just sometimes break under the weight of a large fish. Whatever the case chances are you're going to be losing a few hooks and sinkers. Maybe even your bobber. Or if you're more like me I prefer to have a variety of hook sizes, sinker weights and bobbers at my disposal so I can set up different rigs. Sometimes what you're trying just isn't working and you have to adjust. For this reason I recommend carrying a few different hook sizes. I typically carry 10, 8, and 6. If I'm fishing something like a drop shot I may include 1/0 and 2/0 circle hooks. For sinkers I carry mostly split shot sinkers in a few different weights up to 1/4 of an oz. Depending on the type of fish you're targeting you may choose to carry different sizes.
5.) First Aid Kit
Carrying a small first aid kit is a always a good idea. Anytime you're out in the wilderness you never know what can happen. This can be especially true when you're fishing. I see stories all the time about hook accidents people get hooked in the face or near a vein or artery. Fishing accidents can and do happen. In your first aid kit I would include things such as band aids in a few sizes, gauze, medical tape, antiseptic wipes, and some kind of antiseptic cream like Neosporin.
6.) Cell Phone
In this day and age it is almost rare to hear about someone not having a cell phone. Always be sure to carry one rather for emergencies or maybe to look something up if you're not having any luck with your current set up. Whatever the reason carrying a cell phone is just a good idea.
7.) Live Bait
Live bait is one of the best go to options a fisherman can use. On the plus side if you don't mind getting dirty, live bait can be free. You can use worms to catch pan fish such as crappie, perch, or blue gill quite easily. Pan fish make a great bait for larger fish such as bass or catfish. You can also use helgemites, shiners, minnows, or meal worms as well. All of these baits can be bought at your local bait or pet store.
8.) Lures / artificial bait
Sometimes fish don’t always go for live bait. Fish can be picky when it comes to a meal. This is especially true of Trout. Be sure to include some power bait, jigs such as grubs, and a few other various lures. Feel free to switch up tactics if you find one presentation isn’t working for you.
9.) Snacks & Drink
Chances are if you’re fishing you will be gone a good part of the day. It is best to include a few snacks and drinks to stave off hunger and thirst. By doing this you will make your trip more enjoyable and hopefully keep you coming back.
10.) Extra fishing line
Having extra fishing line is a must, especially if you’re fishing a spot where you could get snagged frequently by overhanging trees or brush in the water. It could also be the line is old and brittle on your current setup. Being able to switch out line on the spot is useful for keeping the day going. With extra line you can also make your own leaders as well.
Keep in mind this is not a full list and your needs may vary. This is what I carry when going fishing and it has served me well. Also, a little tip to keep in mind is to be buying fishing stuff for the following year. Wait until the end of summer when fishing stuff is on clearance and you can save a ton of money by stocking up on lures, sinkers, hooks, and more.
Got a special item you carry with you when bank fishing or think I missed something? Let’s talk about it down in the comments.
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