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Essential Gear Every Angler Must Have

By Kenneth Reaves

fishing gear

Image by James DeMers from Pixabay

It doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced fisherman or you’re just getting started. There are certain pieces of equipment you need to do it right!

Everyone knows you can’t go fishing without a rod and reel! But there are some other items that less experienced anglers may not think of, that can make life much easier and fishing more enjoyable.

Here’s the essential gear every angler must have in order for their fishing trip to run smoothly. With these items in your fishing collection, you’ll be off to the best start possible!

A Rod & Reel

Although a rod and reel is the most basic of equipment, it can be complicated shopping for them. There’s different types for every type of fishing, so picking one out can be tough.

Newbies, a combination rod and reel is a good way to begin. Choose a rod with a spinning reel, as this covers both bait fishing and lure fishing and it’s the most versatile starting option. Make sure it can handle up to a 20-pound fishing line.

Tackle or Live Bait

You can’t just throw your fishing line out into the water without bait on it! Artificial bait (tackle or lures) or live bait are both all right.

You can change your lure depending on the fish you’re trying to catch, but a newbie should have some plastic worms, jerkbait, spinnerbaits, and topwater lures.

Your tackle (different to bait) should include hooks (make sure to choose NON-snelled hooks), weights (shot weights are good) and floats.

Cooler Box

If you’re using live bait or you want to take home a fish to cook, a cooler box is an essential piece of gear to have with you. Don’t forget to fill it with ice before you go, so you can keep your live bait healthy and take home a fresh fish.

Fishing Pliers

Different pliers do different things, but these fishing multi-tools are very handy to have with you when on a fishing trip. You can use them to remove a hook from a fish’s mouth, cut fishing line if it gets tangled in something, or even cut through a hook if necessary.

They’re easy to slip into a pocket or fishing vest to keep them close at hand. Make sure to choose one made from high-quality material so it lasts through many fishing trips.

A Tackle Box

You can’t just carry all your various lures and baits and tools in your pockets, especially not because a fishing hook in the wrong place can be very painful!

A high-quality tackle box will keep everything safe and ordered and will make it easy for you to find what you’re looking for at a glance.

You’ll need to choose one that’s durable enough to deal with being bumped around a bit, and that has a variety of compartments to keep your lures and tackle separate.


Coming away from a fishing trip without wet legs is rare! Even if you’re fishing from the shore, you may have to wade in at some point to untangle your fishing line or to get your fish.

A pair of good quality waders or a bib can make a difference. They’re tough, waterproof and won’t let you get wet even if you’re chest-deep in the water.

A Fishing Vest

A fishing vest allows you to store your most important small bits of equipment close by so you don’t have to search through your tackle box for it. If you like specific lures, you want an extra hook close at hand or you need somewhere to store your fishing pliers within easy reach, a fishing vest could be the best thing for you.

It’s usually sleeveless and lightweight, and contains a lot of pockets, pouches, and hook-and-loops so you can store anything you need.


Once you’ve stocked up your fishing kit with these items, you can head out onto the water knowing that you’ve got everything you need to catch those fish. All that remains is to learn a few fishing techniques, understand how the weather conditions play a part, and you’re well on your way to becoming an intermediate, if not pro, angler!

Once you’ve mastered the use of this equipment, you can always consider upgrading your rod and reel, learning how to tie your own flies, getting a fish finder or even getting yourself a boat.

Don’t forget that you’ll also need a fishing licence in most places. These are usually easy to obtain, but you don’t want to be stuck without one—you could get into trouble with the fishing authorities.

Happy fishing!

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