So you decided to be a fisherman, or you are or want to be a fisher man, you must have some general knowledge about bait & tackle. I’m going to start off with the tackle part first because it is pointless to try and catch some fish with bait if you have nothing to snatch the fish up with.
Let’s start from the foundation, the fishing rod. There are many types of fishing rods that are used and designed to catch specific fish. For a brief example I’ll start with the light flimsy rods, they are designed to bend a lot, like into a complete “U” shape, and these rods are designed for smaller fish ranging from 0-50 lbs. The larger fishing rods that don’t bend as much, are usually a lot heavier and more durable, they are designed to catch the bigger fish 50 lbs and up. The bigger rods in saltwater fishing are mostly used when trolling fishing, deep-sea bottom fishing, or if your bait on the hook is over a couple of pounds you will want a big rod. For the inshore fisherman or beginner, you shouldn’t have a need for a big rod, unless of course you are on a boat at sea or charter boat etc.
The fishing rod is the foundation, the second part of the fishing rod is the reel. Again there are many types of fishing reels, there are spinning reels, bait castings reels, reverse reels and many more. Most reels that are manufactured today have a “drag” setting. The drag setting decides how much tension is going to be put on the line. For example, if you hook a 50lb fish using 10lb test line, and you don’t have a drag setting the fishes force is going to break the line. With the right amount of drag set though, the fish will not break the line, the fish might run for awhile before you can reel, but eventually the fish is going to get tired and you will be able to reel him in.
Next is the fishing line, fishing line is listed per pound test. Fishing line ranges from 5lb test to well over a hundred. Fishing lines come in many different types of colors, like white, red and blue, other colors of fishing line are there too of course.
The last 3 or so feet of you fishing line, called “the Leader”, should be rated at least twice as high as the fishing line you are using. The leader is what has the hook on it. If you are using 10lb test you should at the very least have a 20lb “leader line”. Leader lines are sometimes metal, which is actually quite often. Lots of bait & tackle shops sell pre-made leader lines to where you can just hook them up to the regular line. Also called “swivels”.
Depending on whether you are fishing on the top of the water or you want to fish the bottom you will need to decide how much weight you want to put on the line. The weight or weight’s, should be positioned right above the leader line in most cases. That way if you are bottom fishing the weight will hit the bottom and the leader with the bait can float freely a couple feet from the bottom.
Next I will talk about “bobbers”, which mostly come in handy when freshwater fishing or saltwater fishing the flats or canals. The bobber is generally positioned right above the leader also, and the bait will not sink due to the flotation of the bobber. Once the bobber is pulled under water, more than likely you have a fish on and need to “set the hook” to nail the fish.
Choosing the right hook is always a must, you will learn better the more that you fish as to what kind of fishing hook you need to choose, and what you are fishing for. If you are trying to catch snook don’t use a huge hook, if you are trying to catch some big shark then raise the size of the hook. The best types of hooks in my opinion are the “circle hooks”. Circle hooks are self setting and have a better percentage of landing fish.
Lures, artificial bait used to trick fish into thinking its live bait. Lures must always be moving to be put to good use, you cast out the line then you reel in at a fast pace. There are thousands of types of lures and since this is a very basic article I am not going too much into detail because that’s a whole different article itself easily.
Tackle Boxes are used to, well, store your tackle. The most common things found in tackle boxes are hooks, weights, lures, artificial worms, swivels, knives and whatever else you can think of to stuff in there.
There are many other types of tackle or fishing gear out there, this was just a very basic guide to the beginner or less experienced fisherman. Other types of bait & tackle I didn’t cover but are very essential are jigs, cast nets, gaffs, chum, bait buckets, spears, nets, live wells, and more. This was just a brief explanation of bait & tackle and I hope you enjoyed this article.