Enjoy the Fishing Life With This Must-Have Starter Kit
Depending on your interests, fishing can serve as a sport, a pastime, and a way to feed yourself and provide for your family. Spending time on a lake or stream helps me collect my thoughts, enjoy the beauty of nature and connect with inner peace. If you've long wanted to explore the benefits of fishing, don't wait. Start your journey as an angler with this selection of must-have recommended equipment for survival and tactical fishing beginners.
Survival Fishing Rod
Ideally, your fishing rod for survival use should be compact and lightweight. Telescopic rods are collapsible, which makes them easy to carry on a camping trip or river rafting weekend. Rods made specifically for ice fishing may seem like a strange choice, but they are actually incredibly sturdy without taking up a lot of space. When in doubt, shop for a fishing rod designed for backpacking.
You'll need a significant quality of high-quality braided fishing line. Opt for about 1,500 ft. of 10-pound line for your fishing pole. Purchase an equal amount of 65-pound line to use for trotlines, which consist of a series of hooks connected to a strong leader line. If you go this route, select a steel leader line measuring 9 to 12 inches.
Different-size hooks catch different species of fish. Avoid using the hooks in a prepackaged survival fishing kit, which are often too big to be useful. Small hooks are the most versatile, but for best results you should tailor your choice of hook to the type of fish commonly found in your target area. Purchase an array of size 6, 8 and 10 circle fishing hooks. If you plan to use worms or grubs, pack a few weighted jig head hooks.
Research the best type of bait for the fish you want to catch. While live bait works well, you should also keep some lures to use in a pinch. Spinnerbait, which ranges from 2 to 4 inches long, can attract many different types of fish. Floats clip on your line to effectively lure some fish species. Look for lighted varieties if you plan to engage in night fishing. Avoid fly lures unless you have experience with the specialized technique they require.
Sinkers and Bobbers
These small weights attach to your fishing line. They help you cast further, driving the bait deeper and expanding your ability to reach potential catches. Outfit your fishing kit with six to 12 sinkers. Split-shot models are simple for beginners to use. Swivel sinkers keep your line from getting kinked and tangled but can be difficult to tie if you're not into knots. Bobbers make it easy to find your line and to identify when you have a fish on the line if you're new to the sport.
Make sure to pack a multitool in your pack. At the very least, you'll need scissors or a knife that can cut your fishing line and needle-nose pliers that can take hooks out. A fishing ruler or scale comes in handy when you have to measure your catch, especially in areas with regulations about the sizes of fish you can keep. With a barrel swivel, you can save your line by swapping out your hooks using this tool rather than cutting it loose. A flashlight with extra batteries comes in handy for night fishing, or try out a headlamp to keep your hands free.
Last but not least, pack your gear in a durable, high-quality tackle box or fishing bag. Choose a lightweight option that you can carry with ease, including enough space to keep your tools and gear clean, organized and ready to go at a moment's notice.