An important part of your fishing outfit is your fishing reel. There are two categories of fishing reels; spinning reels and fly reels. Fly reels are for fly fishing, and fly fishing is a different animal altogether. For now, lets stick to spinning reels.
There are 3 types of reels:
Spincast: This type of fishing reel has a closed face. All the important parts are kept inside, under the nose cone. The line comes out of a little hole in the cover. You see a lot outfits designed for children sporting this type of fishing reel, because it is the easiest to use. To use a spincast reel, you press the button on the back of the reel during your forward cast. The line peels out, and you let go of the button the line stops. Its very easy to get the hang of this reel, but you sacrifice some accuracy and distance.
Baitcasting: This is the probably the most difficult to master, because the spool turns when you cast. The spool must be kept under control so as not to turn into a nasty nest of line. It works great with heavier lines and lures, and is considered very accurate. But, because it can take a while to master casting with this type of real, they tend to be used only by experienced anglers.
Spinning: This is the most popular reel, it has an open faced design, it is easier to use than a baitcasting reel and more accurate than a spincast. It’s versatile. It has great line capacity (can put a good amount of line on it) and you can usually buy one with an extra spool, making it easy to change out your line while your on the water. Though it doesn’t perform as well when heavier line (20 pounds +) is required.
The three basic types of fishing reels
The spin cast reel sometimes called the "Closed face" reel is typically an inexpensive type of reel and by far the easiest reel to use. I recommend it for a beginning fisherman's first reel. The spin cast reel fits on top of a spin cast rod. The spin cast rod has eyelet guides running along the top of the rod and the spin casting reel mounts on top of the rods handle. The spin cast reel is fine for the casual weekend bobber watcher but if you think that your going to get fairly serious about fishing you might want to consider the next 2 types of reels.
Spin cast reel
For many anglers, spinning reels have surpassed bait casters as the reel of choice, probably because spinning reels are easy to use and don't have the learning curve of casting reels. Also, for light-line applications and finesse techniques, spinning reels reign supreme in terms of performance and ease of use. When purchasing an open face spinning reel; generally your best value is to purchase a rod and reel combo. Most often these combos have a good reel to rod match and come in a wide variety. However, I recommend combos that do not come pre-spooled with line. Check the reels recommended line size and pick up a good quality line, this will promote smooth tangle free casting. Another good feature of the spinning reel is the anti-reverse handles. Anti-reverse handles are a prerequisite when searching for that perfect spinning reel. This function prevents the handle from spinning backward so that hook sets are powerful and accurate. If the spinning reel you're looking at has any sort of backward motion, my advice would be to look for a different model.
Fly reels, or fly casting reels, with a few exceptions, are really little more than line-storage devices. In use, a fly angler strips line off the reel with one hand while casting and manipulating the rod with the other. Picking the right fly reel all depends on the type of fish you are fishing. Here are a few things to conceder when buying a fly reel. 1.For general all-around use, both fly reel drag mechanisms work well. However, disc-drag fly reels are far more common.
2.Weather resistant. Your fly reel will get wet. Make sure that the reel is rust-proof (made of non-rusting components).
3.Fly Reels that cost less than $30 are generally cheaply made inside. The drag is uneven and they break down quickly. Spend just a bit more and you'll have a fly reel that can last decades.
4.Get a single retrieve fly reel (the most common). Don't get an automatic or multiplying retrieve, which are nice for saltwater fishing but not for freshwater fly fishing.
5.Make sure, repeat, make sure that you match up the fly line weight with the fly reel weight. Thus, if you have a 4-weight floating line, you want to get a fly reel designed for 4-wt line. And then match that with a 4-weight fly rod.
6.Order a spare spool when you order the fly reel. You will want the spare spool sooner or later, and most likely, by the time you want it the type of spool you need will no longer be sold. Good luck and happy fishing.
If you’ve decided you’re going to give fishing a try, the first thing you’re going to need is a fishing rod. Fishing rods come in many different shapes and sizes and understanding what you need isn’t necessarily easy. Before you’re ready to start fishing rod shopping, you may want to give some thought to the length, weight and, most importantly, power of your fishing rod. To make matters slightly harder, there is no statutory way of describing a fishing rod’s power. Some manufacturers use numbers – which usually correlate to the size of line or bait you will be casting, others use words like “soft” or “stiff”, while some measure what’s known as “test curve”. A rod’s test curve is the amount of weight needed to bend the tip of your rod to 90 degrees. The higher the test curve, the stiffer the rod will be. All of these ratings can help you select the right rod, but it’s often necessary to refer to each manufacturer’s literature to get a true understanding of their unique grading system. Generally speaking, the smaller the fish you’re pursuing, the lighter or more flexible your rod can be. Small fish require a lower rating (for example a 5- to 7-weight might suffice for trout fishing, while a big salmon might require a 9 to 11-weight). The same goes for test curve. A test curve of, say, 3lbs would give you quite a stiff rod – suitable for a large or hard fighting fish like maybe a redfish or jack, or in freshwater a carp or pike; while a 1lb test curve might only suit fishing for small bait fish or coarse fish species
The basic types of fishing rods
There are few things more confusing to new anglers than shopping around for a fly rod. For better or for worse, high technology has struck the fly rod market. And with it has come a wild assortment of high-tech sounding names, none of which make much sense to new anglers. So, in an effort to break free of this confusion, I've prepared this buyers guide to fly rods. Hopefully, after reading this, I hope you'll walk away with a better idea of what kind of fly rod to get, and why. For new anglers, get a medium-action fly rod. They are the most versatile of fly rods and are pretty forgiving to learn on. Rod length, for trout fishing, should be 8.5 to 9 feet in length. Beginners will not want to go any longer, and only should go shorter if the majority of their fishing will be for smaller fish, such as pan fish. The weight of the fly rod (which means what weight fly line you plan on using) will vary depending on what you fish for. But for trout fishing, generally a 4-weight, 5-weight or 6-weight rod is best. I personally prefer a 4-weight, but that's just me. A 5-weight rod is probably the most versatile, though. Make absolutely sure that the weight of the fly rod matches the line weight you plan on using. And likewise, make sure the weight of the fly rod matches the weight of the fly reel you plan on using. New anglers don't need a $700 rod. However, cheap fly rods perform poorly and will quickly prove frustrating to new anglers. Beginners should look at fly rods in the "mid-range" in terms of price. This way, you'll have use of this rod for many years with no worries of quickly "outgrowing" it. Good luck.
Spin casting rods are rods designed to hold a spin casting reel, which are normally mounted above the handle. Spin casting rods also have small eyes and, frequently, a forefinger grip trigger. They are very similar to bait casting rods, to the point where either type of reel may be used on a particular rod. While rods were at one time offered as specific "spin casting" or "bait casting" rods, this has become uncommon, as the rod design is suited to either fishing style, and today they are generally called simply "casting rods", and are usually offered with no distinction as to which style they are best suited for in use. Casting rods are typically viewed as somewhat more powerful than their spinning rod counterparts – they can use heavier line and can handle heavier cover.
Trolling is a fishing method of casting the lure or bait to the side of, or behind, a moving boat, and letting the motion of the boat pull the bait through the water. In theory, for light and medium freshwater gamefishing, any casting or spinning rod (with the possible exception of ultralight rods) can be used for trolling. In the last 30 years, most manufacturers have developed a complete line of generally long, heavily built rods sold as "Trolling Rods", and aimed generally at ocean anglers and Great Lakes salmon and steelhead fishermen. A rod effective for trolling should have relatively fast action, as a very "whippy" slow action rod is extremely frustrating to troll with, and a fast action (fairly stiff) rod is generally much easier to work with when fishing by this method. For most inland lake and stream fishing, a good casting or spinning rod is perfectly adequate for trolling. Happy fishing.
Beginners often get bogged down when selecting fishing hooks, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Know this: Some hooks work better than others with particular baits or plastic lures that require rigging. A nightcrawler presented to a largemouth bass excels when placed on a hook that matches the size of the bait, and the fish it’s intended to catch.Although hooks come in a variety of shapes and styles, they also come in a tremendous range of sizes. The classification system for hooks confuses some people, but here’s what you need to know:The higher the number, the smaller the hook. A size 6 hook is much bigger than a size 28 hook. Hook sizes are counted by twos (14, 12, 10, 8, and so on)
J hooks earned their name from their resemblance to the letter. J hooks work because they fit into a fish’s mouth and then catch on something on the way out, and they’ve worked that same way for a long time. Not every J hook is the same, though, and many styles put a twist (sometimes quite literally) on the standard. Any fish that swims can be caught on the right J hook.
Buy J hooks that match your intended target. What’s the typical mouth size of the fish you hope to catch? Bluegills, for example, have small mouths; even a big specimen would have to open wide to bite the tip of your thumb. So using giant J hooks to fish for bluegill will only result in hooks stripped of bait. But a fish with a big, toothy mouth, like a northern pike, calls for a larger J hook
Circle hooks are sized like J hooks, and available in the same wide range. Because they are so often used in saltwater, large circle hooks for species like groupers and sharks could almost encircle a coffee cup. But manufacturers make small circle hooks too, and they work for many freshwater species. Small circle hooks — about a size 6 — are good for catching carp, and 8/0 circle hooks, which work well for a variety of saltwater species, are perfect for blue catfish.
There are 7 main types of lures
Spinners are a great beginner lure because they are so easy to use. They are essentially a metal shaft with spinning blade. The hook can be bare or dressed. Dragging a spinner through water causes the blade to spin. The spinning motion of the blade creates sound and vibration that can be picked up by fish through their lateral line (you’ll learn more about this in the fish section.) This makes spinners an excellent choice for stained or murky water. Simple as can be. Cast and retrieve, that’s it. As long as the blade is spinning, its working. You can try speeding up or slowing down your retrieve for variety.
Spoons are curved metal lures. The first spoons were just that, spoons with the handle broken off. Today, spoons can be had (like all other lures) in any color and size. There is a spoon for every fishing situation. The shape of this lure gives it its distinctive action. Spoons move through water with a side-to-side wobble that simulates an injured baitfish, and game fish just love injured baitfish.
Some spoons are made to be cast, others to be trolled, and some even to be jigged. As a beginner you will most likely be using the most common type; the casting spoon. Casting spoons are easy to use. Like spinners, just cast and retrieve. You can vary your speed as long as it’s wobbling. If the spoon begins to spin, slow down your retrieve. Add a split ring to the eye of the lure for better action.
Flies are traditionally used with fly fishing equipment, but with the addition of a clear bubble float, spinning gear will cast flies too. Flies are very light lures that imitate insects in various stages of their life cycle, or other natural prey such as baitfish, leeches, hoppers or even mice and frogs. They are usually constructed of fur and and feathers, though some patterns make use of new materials like foam and rubber. Dry flies are intended to float on the surface of the water, to this end they are dressed with some kind of floatant to aid in their buoyancy. Wet flies, like nymphs and streamers are designed to be fished below the surface of the water. Fly fishing is a difficult but rewarding area of the fishing universe.
Of all lures, I would say that jigs are the most versatile. A jig can catch about every game fish there is, and are inexpensive to boot. They have a weighted lead head and come in every size and color and can be “dressed” (think of it like a tail or skirt) in feathers, hair, a soft plastic grub, or with the bait of your choice. Jig fishing takes a lot of concentration, unlike spinners, all the “action” (how a lure moves in the water) comes from you. If you don’t do anything the jig just sinks. The classic way to fish a jig is to cast it out, wait until it hits the bottom (you will know it has hit bottom when your line goes slack), then retrieve it in a series of hops. You make it hop by lifting the rod tip, lowering it, and retrieving your line. Try different speeds, big lifts, little hops, twitching until you find what works. Pay attention, though. Detecting the strike is the hardest thing about jigging.
Soft plastic baits encompass a variety of different lures, mostly used for bass fishing. The classic soft plastic bait is the worm. These type of baits are created by pouring liquid plastic into a mould and adding dyes, metallic flakes, or even scent. They can resemble the natural forage of fish, like worms, crawfish, lizards or frogs, but some plastic baits don’t resemble anything you might find in or out of the water; these are referred to as creature baits or “critters.” The soft plastic bodies of these lures, encourage fish to hold on to them a little longer before they spit them out, giving the angler a better chance to set the hook. Presentation for soft plastic baits depends on the type of bait. For the classic worm, the most popular technique is the Texas Rig. To rig your worm this way, you use a bullet weight. Thread the bullet weight on the the line above your hook, and then insert the hook through the top of the worm’s head, then bury the barb into the body of the worm to make it “weedless” (meaning it will not get hung up on underwater foliage.) Now cast it into a likely fish holding area and let it fall to the bottom. Twitch your rod tip a few times. If you still don’t have a bite, hop it back to you in short twitchy hops.
Soft plastic baits
Plugs are constructed from hollow plastic or wood to resemble baitfish, frogs or other prey. They usually sport two or three treble hooks. These hard bodied lures can be fished at almost any depth, as some are made to float or dive or both. Depending on the design, a plug will wobble, rattle or gurgle. They come in all sizes, and most of them have some sort of plastic lip that allows them to dive when you pull them through the water. Different kind of plugs include: crankbaits, jerkbaits, surface plugs, floating/diving plugs, and poppers. One of the most effective (and one of the first plugs you should add to your tackle box) is the long, narrow minnow imitation in three to four inch length. It floats when its not moving and dives shallowly when it’s retrieved. Add a split ring to the eye if it doesn’t have one. Cast it out and wait until the rings on the surface of the water dissipate, then retrieve it slowly or fast, stopping suddenly and maybe throwing in an occasional twitch.
Spinnerbaits and buzzbaits are awkward looking looking lures, consisting of a safety-pin like wire attached to a lead head body. The body usually is dressed with a rubber skirt and the arm with one or two metallic blades like those seen on spinners. The most common way to fish a spinnerbait is what is called “Chuck-N-Wind,” simply cast it out and retrieve it at a moderate speed, keeping the lure at a depth between the surface and five feet. It is a popular technique because it is effective.
Spinner baits/Buzz baits