Fishing has been a popular activity for centuries. Something that started off as a method used for survival, it is now a relaxing leisure sport with millions of participants taking part every day. One of the most popular forms of fishing is freshwater fishing. 

When preparing to go freshwater fishing for the first time, you may think that you’ll need to spend a lot of money to get started- this isn’t the case at all.

Here are some of the essential items of freshwater fishing tackle you’ll need to get started. 


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A Fishing License: Every place has different rules and regulations, but in order to fish, you need to do it legally. Consult this website here to check the laws of your state to avoid any legal complications later on. 

Fishing Line, Weights and Hooks: Use a microfilament fishing line with an 8-pound test on the label for catching the smaller fish when starting out. 

For hooks and weights, you should look for combo kits to begin with, as they tend to include several types of hooks and weights and various weights. Split shots are small weights that clip directly to fishing line-if these are not included in a combo kit, you should consider getting some of these, too. 

 If planning to catch and then release the fish back, you should consider picking up circle hooks which are more fish friendly than other hooks. 

Rod and Reel: Choose a rod that fits comfortably in your hand. Adults should choose a spinning rod and reel, and kids get along well with rod/reel combination. There are many types available for different levels, but many beginners choose to use close-faces reels. 

Clippers: Simple nail clippers will be fine for the task of cutting your fishing lines. 

Bobbers: Useful for knowing when fish bite- bobbers are very inexpensive and float in the water. 

Bait: There are many types of fishing bait available for freshwater fishing. You can choose to opt for artificial bait which is soft, or you can choose to go with live bait that comes in the form of: minnows, crickets and nightcrawlers being popular choices. Do some research around which you think will be best for you and talk to your local tackle store or sporting goods store to get some advice. 

Pliers: Useful for removing hooks from your catches with limited damage. 

Buckets: Good for keeping bait and fish in, as well as being a good seat if you don’t have one of those handy. 

Other Items You may want to Bring With You 

These items are non-essentials, but they may be worth investing in for a good fishing experience. 

Ice Chest: If you’re planning on keeping your catches to cook and eat later, it’s worth bringing an ice chest or two with you to ensure it’s kept as fresh as possible.   

Net: For if you’re wanting to throw the fish back into the water when you’re done. 

Further items: 

A Ruler or Scale, Notebook and pencil, sunscreen and insect repellant, sunglasses, your cell phone in case of emergency and to take photographs, and plenty of water and snacks.