Fishing is one of the top 10 most relaxing hobbies and it’s no surprise really. What can be more calming than sitting in the outdoors, casting a line into a tranquil lake and watching the world go by? It isn’t expensive to get started and it doesn’t take a great deal of skill, experience or talent. Sound good? Why not give it a try?
First in our fishing for beginners guide a few things to consider before going out and buying enough kit to sustain a whole syndicate of anglers! What type of fish are you after? Where will you be fishing? What is your budget?
The basic kit that we have here is really not going to max out your credit card and will enable you to catch a range of fish in either a lake or river environment.
Rods, floats, hooks and lines
A 12ft Avon rod with a quiver tip is quite possibly one of the most versatile rods you’ll find, it’s a decent all-rounder and is suitable for both river and lake fishing and will take a variety of floats. The rod needs to be balanced and comfortable. No it doesn’t have to be expensive but buy the best that you can afford. It will be a false economy to buy cheap for the sake of it. The line weight that you will want to use will depend entirely on the type of fish you are wanting to catch – more on this later, however a good selection would be to have between 2.5lb and 8lb. A small selection of floats to get started with will be a bonus but go for heavier than you think you’ll need, a heavy float will be easier to cast and will stay straighter, if you are just starting out. Choose ones that are easy to see. Hooks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, remember the higher the number, the smaller the hook. A size 10-16 should be sufficient for everyday fishing to start with.
A rod rest, although not essential, will be a good investment, as tired arms are not much fun. They can be picked up at a very reasonable price and will prove their worth within an hour. Trust me on this!
Clothing and comfort
A hot flask of tea, soup or coffee! No seriously, chances are when you are fishing you’ll need a drink after a few hours, and while generally a local pub will be within walking distance of the river there is no guarantee. While lake fishing usually has a slightly more user friendly setup with amenities, they may not always be open. Warm clothes are a must. Layers are your new best friend and a pair of comfortable shoes will definitely be welcome. A lightweight and waterproof jacket is also a must, as the typically temperamental British weather will always insist on catching you out when you least expect it. It may also be handy to have a kit box that can double up as a chair when needed and will save lugging about more kit than necessary.
A disgorger will help you remove hooks from the mouth of a fish, without all the fiddling about and stabbing of fingers.
A landing net, just as the name applies will help you land fish without hauling them through the air to your feet.
We’ll go into a bit more detail on baits in the next piece but choose your bait according to the fish you are wanting to encourage. Just like humans, different fish are attracted to different foods!
We could go on forever about what you may or may not need but remember your budget and stick to it! You can either go a to a local fishing shop to get your kit or to get the best deals try an online fishing tackle shop. Baggin Up Tackle is my local shop in Cambridgeshire and they have a great selection of products both online and in-store. Regardless, build a collection up as you go and be patient!