The Complete Fishing Gear List for Beginners and Advanced

Spending a day out on a lake fishing can be very therapeutic. You get to unwind and maybe even reel in something! Fathers love teaching their children how to fish. Some people love doing it with their friends, whereas others enjoy their alone time doing this activity.

However, fishing can get complicated for beginners. There is a lot of equipment, different types of fish, and numerous techniques to catch them. Regardless, fishing is not as difficult as it seems, as long as you have the right equipment. Make sure you do not forget some crucial details and you will be just fine!

We are bringing you the list of essential fishing equipment for beginners and some additional ones for more advanced anglers. Stick around to learn more!

Basics For Beginners

Taking up a new hobby is very exciting, but starting it off can be overwhelming. Fishing is a relaxing sport that should not make you stressed out. Therefore, make sure to do enough research to know what you’re doing, and once you start, you will fall in love with it in no time!

This activity requires you to buy quite a few things, all of which are listed below:

Fishing Rod

A fishing rod is an indispensable part of the fishing gear. It is a long pole used by anglers to catch fish that can come in many forms and sizes.

The pole is usually made of fiberglass or carbon fiber, whereas the more traditional rods are made of wood, such as bamboo. Fishing rods are very flexible and they can be anywhere from 2 to 50 feet.

Different rods have different strength and bending capabilities. As a beginner, you do not need the most powerful rod ever. Something of medium strength will be just fine. Also, make sure that the rod is responsive enough so that you can feel the pull when the fish bites.

Fishing reel

A fishing reel is necessary for your rod to function properly. It is a cylindrical device that allows you to wind and stow the line by rolling the metal arm. A fishing reel is attached to the part on the rod where you generally place your hands when casting.

There are three types of reels:


It is the easiest reel to use, which is why many beginners opt for it. This kind of reel contains a button you press when throwing the cast and release it to pull out the line. A line can’t get tangled this way!


You must use your thumb to prevent the line from unspooling. One of the significant characteristics of this type of reel is that the spool rotates as you release the line, preventing entanglement.


These are the most popular reels in the industry, providing you with various ways to fish.

Fishing Line

A fishing rod with a reel is useless without this crucial piece of equipment. If you buy a new reel, you might get an extra line, but you should always buy more and carry it with you.

The fishing line breaks and tangles up quickly, which is entirely normal. Thus, you should have enough to replace it at all times. A line should be at least 100 yards long or you’ll easily run out when you’re in the wild.

There are different types of lines as well. For example, there are thinner and thicker ones. Some are more transparent, whereas the other ones are heavier and noticeable. Elasticity also plays a significant role in your selection.

Now, all of them have specific uses, but your selection depends on your fishing spot. If you fish on a clean lake, you will need a clear and thin line not to scare away the fish. If you are fishing in wild water, you will need stronger lines that do not break immediately.

Fish Hooks

A fish hook is usually a crooked piece of metal used with bait to catch fish. In an attempt to grab the bait off the hook, the fish grabs the hook itself. The hook impales the fish, and that is when the anglers need to pull the rod out of the water.

Fish hooks are attached at the end of the line, so they can easily be thrown into the water.

The size of the hook is critical when you’re choosing one. If the hook is too small, the bigger fish are more likely to swallow it, and if it is too big, it can be very traumatic for the fish.

Fish hook consists of 6 parts:

  • The Point is the sharp end of the hook
  • The Barb is the projection that keeps the fish from unhooking
  • The Eye is the part where you connect the hook to the line
  • The Bend is the curve in the hook
  • The Shank is the part between the eye and the bend
  • The Gap is the distance between the point and the shank


Bait is what you attach to the hook to attract the fish. This can either be live food like worms and insects or other baits like corn, bits of a hot dog, etc.

You can find live bait in almost every store with the fishing equipment, or you can find it yourself by digging up a tiny hole in your yard. Make sure to properly close the container because you do not want live worms all over the place.


Lures are also a type of bait, except that they are artificial. They are usually made to resemble actual fish that bigger fish would want to eat. These lures have hooks attached to them to trap the fish that takes the bait.

Apart from fake fish, there are also worm-shaped lures.

Lures can be either bright and dark, and you can choose which one to use based on the place you are fishing. If the water is clear, you can use bright colors. If not, use darker baits.


Floaters or bobbers are a handy tool that shows you that a fish has taken the bait. Bobbers tend to float on the surface until the fish grabs the bait. Once that happens, they start sinking, which is a sign for you to pull the line.

Bobbers are usually made of cork and painted red and white. They have a stick in the middle so that you can easily tie them to the line. Make sure to pick a good size of a floater because bigger ones tend to sink, whereas smaller bobbers are usually more responsive.


Sinkers are an essential part of the equipment as well. They stabilize the line when you cast, as your hook and bait sink. Sinkers are made of lead, steel, bismuth, etc., and they are produced in different shapes and weights.

Sinkers are tiny, which is why it is really easy to lose them. You need them every time you go fishing, so you should have a lot of them on you. You should be able to put on a new one as soon as the first one is gone.

Fishing Swivels

Swivels are tiny metal devices that have two rings connected to a joint. The purpose of this piece is to untangle the line in case the bait or lures twist it. Having swivels is an excellent idea because they save you a lot of trouble when the line gets tangled, which is bound to happen.


Needle nose pliers have a thin point that helps you take out things that are stuck inside something else. For example, if a hook gets stuck in your hand, you can use pliers to take it out.

You can also use them to unhook the fish so you do not hurt yourself. Having this piece of equipment is not essential, but it is undoubtedly beneficial.

First Aid Kit

While discussing possible injuries, having a first aid kit is always a responsible thing to do. Band-aids, spirits, and bandages can come in handy in case of minor injuries. You do not have to carry a lot, but make sure to make a small set that you can carry at all times.

Fishing injuries are not too common, but they occur every once in a while and can take a while to heal, especially if they occur in a humid environment. As they say, better safe than sorry.

Sunglasses and Sunscreen

Sun provides vitamin D, which is healthy for us. However, the sun is also a source of many harmful UV rays, which can cause damage to our skin, eyes, and the immune system. Too much exposure can even lead to skin cancer.

Apart from that, looking at bright light the entire day is not comfortable for your eyes. Make sure to get sunscreen with enough SPF content to stay protected. The number represents the fraction of sun rays that go through the protection but don’t obsess about getting the highest SPF product at all costs.

A 50 SPF sunscreen lets through 1/50 or 2% of harmful radiation while a 30 SPF lets through 3%. Slather it on every couple hours and you’ll have a pleasant fishing experience instead of getting burns and not being able to move the next day.

Wear sunglasses and avoid headaches. Anything you can do to avoid unnecessary harm is a great idea!

Tackle Box

Finally, since there are many smaller pieces of equipment, you want to organize them well so that they do not get lost. You can organize all these small parts inside a tackle box. They come in different sizes, and you can choose one that fits your needs.

Pick one for yourself and keep your equipment properly arranged!

What About Advanced Fishermen?

There are many reasons why people go fishing — some compete, some relax, but whoever spends years doing it will become a lot better at it. Once you get to the point where you become advanced, you get tired of using the beginner-tier equipment.

Here are some tools you can add to your routine:


This is a device or a radar that helps you find fish. It monitors chirping in the water and shows if it catches a sound. You can attach your fishfinder to the line or throw it in the water if there is a possibility to retrieve it later.

Of course, you must make sure that your location and distance are in line with its abilities. This device is amusing and incredibly useful. Do not hesitate to try it out!

Landing Nets

If you figure out where to find plenty of fish, try incorporating landing nets into your routine. Landing nets are basically hand-held nets that are used to catch and lift fish directly from the water.

Catching fish with your hands is not very easy, and lines on rods tend to break, which is why using landing nets can come in handy.

These come in different shapes and sizes, depending on what kind of fish you are trying to catch.

Digital Scale

As you garner more experience, you might start to catch bigger fish consistently. Eventually, you will have the desire to keep a score.

For this reason, you should buy a digital scale to check how much the fish weighs. You do not want to break your record without tracking it. These scales are usually handheld and relatively cheap.

Tips For Beginners

Beginners do not have enough experience to go angling in any place they wish. Thus, you should understand the following:

  • Safety First — Bring all of the essentials that will keep you protected, such as the first aid kit and sunscreen. Other than that, pick your fishing spot, and be very careful not to fall into the water.
  • Be patient — Beginners might find fishing a bit boring, but you need to know that fishing is all about waiting and keeping still.
  • Experiment — Try using different baits, rods, etc.


Fishing is a relaxing activity that requires a lot of equipment. Beginners have to get quite a few things to start their journey. However, once you become more advanced, you can incorporate more techniques and fun devices to elevate your fishing experience. If you are on a tight budget, try purchasing only the essentials, like a fishing rod, hook, fishing line, and the like.

However, both beginners and advanced anglers need to think of safety above everything else. Make sure you do not take unnecessary risks while fishing and don’t risk it; fishing is first and foremost a way to relax and take in nature.