When getting started in the sport of fishing,
you don't need fancy and expensive gear. A hook and a length of
fishing line will catch fish! You might like to start with a handline
(about 100m of fishing line wrapped onto a plastic ring called a
caster) This will help give you the "feel" for catching fish. You
will get to know the feel of a fish taking the bait and how a fish
runs and fights. You wont be able to throw (cast) the line as far as
a rod and reel, and a handline is best used off a wharf, jetty or
A good size line for your handline is about 4 to
8 kg breaking strain. Lighter line works best, thicker line can be
seen by the fish and it gets dragged around by the wind and current.
Also with lighter line, you can "Feel" the fish messages.
Add a hook, sinker and bait (more about that
below) and you're ready to go fishing!
When you think it's time to progress further
than a handline, it's time to visit
local tackle shop to select your first rod and reel.
Select a good medium priced outfit. There are
some very cheap rods and reels on the market, but these may break
easily and in the long run you will be better off buying a better
quality outfit. When visiting your local tackle shop, discuss with
the staff the type of fishing you would like to do, and tell them
you're a beginner. This way you will get an outfit that is suitable
to your needs.
There are several types of reels that you can
- Closed Face
Each one of the above reels is suited to a
particular type of fishing. When you're starting our the two most
suitable types are the threadline (also called a spinning reel or
eggbeater) and the sidecast reel (an Alvey is very popular) To select
the type that best suits you, if you are going to mainly fish
freshwater, lake, harbour or estuary then a threadline is your best
choice. If you are going to be fishing from a boat, the beach or
rocks, then choose the sidecast reel.
A medium sized, lightweight threadline that
holds 150 - 250 metres of 3-6kg line will cover most fishing
A lightweight sidecast reel with a fairly large
spool, say around 14 cm diameter, will hold plenty of line, be easy to
cast, quick to wind in and not be prone to twist and tangles.
Always look after your reels. When you have
finished fishing for the day, wash it down with some mild soapy water
and oil the moving parts about once a month. This way, your reel will
be in good condition for the next time you want to go fishing.
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Now that you've chosen your reel, you need a rod
to match. There are many types of rods to choose from, made from many
types of materials. The rod needs to match your reel, and this is
where good advise from your local tackle store comes in handy. Take
your time when choosing a rod. Try using some of your friends, or
most tackle shops have some that you can wave around a bit! A rod
should be light enough for you to fish all day, and not tire you, but
be strong enough to help you pull in that big fish.
If you have chosen a threadline reel, choose a
rod that is about 1.7 to 2.2 metres long, with a light tip and a
stiffer lower end. If you will be fishing from the beach, rocks or a
wharf using a larger threadline, choose a slightly longer and heavier
Rods can be one or two piece. The two piece rod
transports and stores easily. Care for your rod the same as your
reel - wash it down with mild soapy water after each fishing trip.
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Well, you've got your rod, reel and line. Now
we need what is called the Terminal Tackle. These are the bits and
pieces to put it all together and make it work! (that is catch fish)
Obviously the most important type of terminal
tackle is the hook. There are numerous types of hooks in all shapes
and sizes, but to start out you will only need a few types.
Example of Hook Sizes:
16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, No.1, 1/0, 2/0, 3/0,
4/0, 5/0, 6/0 Larger Hooks