GEAR: Fishing for Trout – What do I need to Start?

Go to the Middle.

Whether you are a complete newbie or a veteran of the sport, you likely know that in most things – you get what you pay for.  While getting your gear together, whether it is for yourself or your young angler, we recommend that you don’t go super cheap on the set up. Those rod & reel sets you see on sale for $12, are not worth the money you’ll pay for them….and why waste money on something that is just going to break? Nothing makes for a worse fishing experience than having to shortchange it because your equipment failed.

When starting off in trout fishing, we often say you should go middle of the road on your set up. Get a solid starter reel and a decent rod that is at least a graphite composite – so it’s fairly strong but has a little give. We tend to like Zebko in general for beginners and you’ll find that something like the Zebco 33 is a great starter…it’s not expensive and you can find it at Bass Pro Shops.

Think About Your Line.

While you’re shopping around, be sure to get decent line as well. While a lot of people use 4 lb monofilament lines, we think if you’re just starting out you should grab something with a bit of higher test strength like a 6 lb braided line. You want to go with a stronger line like this particularly if you’re a newbie, they just hold up better with some of the snags and other abuses you might be putting them through as you learn. I can’t tell you how many times my sister has gotten her line stuck in something or other while she was learning…and the braided line actually held up!

Ask the Locals About Lures.

The last thing you’ll need is your lure – using a spinning lure is the way to go, but ask the locals for specifics. One thing we know from traveling is that different patterns tend to work better in different areas.  If you go to a local bait and tackle shop, you’ll get an earful on what they’ve used with success…be sure to listen carefully.

Make Catch & Release Easy.

One other tip is that if you are specifically fishing in an area that’s catch and release and you are not planning to take home your trout, think of crushing the barbs on your lure with a pair of pliers. Crushing the barbs (just mashing them down) makes it so much easier to remove them from the fish when the time comes.


Photo by:  Laszlo Ilyes via Flickr