🎣 Fishing on a Budget

Visit the typical fishing gear store and you will notice an amazing stock of merchandise — some with breath taking prices. However, spending big bucks isn’t necessary to get started with the fun of fishing.

Required equipment includes bait, sinkers, hooks, bobbers, line, rod and reel, along with a tackle box to store your new and future gear. Along with a license that most outdoor stores sell, you’re all set for one of the great pastimes.

Typically, a fishing rod measures about six feet and has a handle made of either cork or foam. The rod grips come in a variety of sizes and lengths to fit any hand. Try several sizes to see which feels right for you. Rods are graded from heavy to ultra light, so pick the strength to match the fish you would like to catch.

Frequently the reel will be sold with the rod as a package that offers savings over a separate purchase. You will need fishing line to string your rod and reel that has the correct “test,” which tells you how much weight the line can withstand before breaking.

All fishing supply stores will stock two to ten pound test, so select your line based on the fish you plan to catch. If uncertain, get a medium strength, such as a four or six pound test. Another factor, though, is fishing location. Stronger line will be required for lakes with a lot of plants and rocks that could invite snagging.

Hooks come in a wide variety of sizes and styles. Since they are fairly cheap, buy an assortment of sizes and styles to match the fish in mind. Experiment with a few types to find the hooks that work best for you. When buying hooks, keep in mind that the smaller the number on the package the larger the hook. For example, a number four will be larger than a number eight.

You have two basic choices in bait: live or artificial lures. Consult with the store clerk about effective artificial lures and select a couple. Various critters can be used in fishing, but the most common live bait is earthworms and minnows.

You can find earthworms yourself on a damp night with a flashlight. Fill a container with moist soil, grass and leaves to keep the worms. Just slice the worm to the size you need for your fish.

Minnows are usually available in three sizes. Choose the size that fits your fishing plan. Just before throwing your line into the water, insert the minnow upside down on the hook. The fish is attracted by the movement of the minnow trying to turn over.

Two other essential items that cost little are bobbers and sinkers, sold in different sizes and shapes. Bobbers float and tell when a fish is showing interest in your bait. With the pressure of the fish’s bite, the bobber will go below the water.

Sinkers are made of lead and are used to help sink your bait deeper into the water. Buy a few different types of bobbers and sinkers. Try them out on your next fishing trip and see what works best for you. Whatever you catch, you’re bound to have fun.