Here's the fishing gear for you and your family to start off on the right foot when you wet a line and try your hand at fishing.
One of America's greatest summer pastimes is fishing, mainly because it's become to accessible for so much of the United States.
It's almost a guarantee that, within an hour's drive or less, you can find a fishing spot close to home and enhance the way you and your family spend time together. Fishing will let you enjoy the great outdoors, teach the importance of caring for wildlife and wild places, and provide a fun, productive way to share each other's company.
For those who are considering giving it a shot, or the families that already love fishing and need to ensure they're properly geared up, we got a few ideas of things that need to be included in your fishing gear shopping list.
We'll make a few assumptions, but if we're close, this equipment should set you on the path to catch just about any fish, anywhere, no matter what your experience. Soaking worms under bobbers for panfish can graduate to freshwater bass fishing, and you'll find out what type of fishing you and your family enjoy most.
Grab your fishing license, figure out where to go, and collect these things to get yourself started.
Beginner Rod and Reel Combos
First thing's first, you've got to have a good rod and reel. We're going to suggest a combo, because you'll know they're purposely paired together when you get them, and you'll be able to put them right to use without much effort, if any.
We're also going to lean towards the IKE Dude Series from Abu Garcia, designed and named after Mike Iaconelli, who does awesome work with his professional angler platform to help get kids and their families hooked on fishing. We'll run the gamut of styles to allow you to pick what's best for you and your kids.
The absolute beginner-level option is the push-button Dude spincast combo, pre-spooled with line and built far better than those old Snoopy combos you used to see kids using. Iaconelli and the team at Abu Garcia made sure it was an accurate, durable, quality-built rod and reel that looks cool enough for a kid, and works fine for adults just starting out too. The fishing rod isn't too short, but not long enough to be tough to control.
One step up is the Dude Spinning Combo, which gives precision performance in a kid-friendly package. Two ball bearings provide the smoothness on the spinning reel, and the rod is the right size for someone who's yet to fully grow.
Our last pick is the Abu Garcia Gen Ike EZ Cast Baitcast Rod and Reel Combo, which really helps introduce and simplify the baitcasting technique for those who haven't made the transition. A baitcasting reel can really open up the possibilities as youngsters continue down the path of fishing exploration, and it's an awesome way to help learn a new skill to apply to your fishing adventures.
Basically speaking, a baitcaster is best for heavier line and heavier lures, and can be a far more accurate reel across more distance once you get the hang of it.
Go with one of these, or a combination of a few, but make sure you get everyone in the family their own setup. No one is too young or too distracted not to deserve their own fishing rod and fishing reel, so when the whole family goes fishing, they can all do it together.
Other Beginner Fishing Essentials
Ideally your reel comes pre-spooled with line, like with most of the combos mentioned above, but if not there's no need to complicate things. One large spool of somewhere around 8 pound test fluorocarbon line will do just fine, and can work across reel types and experience levels. Something like Berkley Vanish Fluorocarbon would work perfectly, and would last across plenty of fishing trips.
Tackle Box and Fishing Kit
Since there are a decent amount of fishing kits and collections of things like hooks, sinkers, and bobbers on the market, we'd be missing out if we didn't look to a package like this Flambeau Adventure 137-Piece Kit that's all stored nicely in a durable plastic tackle box. There's still room for more as you grow your lure and fishing tackle collection, plus you get a disgorger for pulling swallowed hooks out of small fish mouths.
Fishing Lures and Kits
While live bait is a pretty popular way to start kids and beginners out on fishing, the artificial lure industry has moved leaps and bounds ahead in recent years. Here are two examples to highlight two areas of fishing you can zero in on with a package deal.
Panfish, the small sunfish, bluegill, and similar species that frequent freshwater ponds and creeks, are often the first target for a beginner angler. Why? Because they'll eat almost anything, aren't heavy or particularly strong fighters, and they are found in so many places. This kit uses colorful fish dough as bait and includes the tackle needed to rig it up right.
The next step up would be bass fishing, another super-accessible species but one that requires a little more tact, a little more effort, and some different styles of baits. Soft plastic worms are the name of the game with bass, and this kit is packed with them.
These items represent the bare essentials needed to get you and your crew headed in the right direction, and it's hopefully enough to set the proverbial hook.
The fun part is, it doesn't stop there, and the amount of specialized fishing gear you can obtain to help increase your chances is endless.
Now that you've got a basic list to start with, gear yourself and your family up, head out to the water, and see what you can catch.