Fishing Tackle Essentials

Successful fishing takes more than an early-bird attitude: you also need the right tackle. This fishing tackle essentials article outlines what you’ll need to land the catch of the day.

Fishing Tackle Explained

To make the most out of your next fishing expedition, you’ll need to know the different kinds of equipment required for the sort of fishing you’ll be doing. For instance, a standard casting reel will help you to fish successfully for many types of fish, but a fly-fishing system, consisting of a specialized rod, reel and lure, is needed to fly fish for trout and salmon. Ice fishing, too, demands a particular set of tools, starting with a drill to make a hole in the ice. Whatever your fishing preferences, you'll find there are specific tackle items you should have to get the best results. 

Types of Fishing Tackle


Fishing Tackle & Tackle Boxes

With all the different kinds of fishing tackle on the market, finding the right tackle can be a challenge. Key fishing gear includes fishing rods, fishing reels, fishing lures, fishing line and fishing nets. A tackle box is an important piece of gear because it's used to store and transport other tackle. Tackle boxes range from simple flip-top units for the casual angler to large, elaborate affairs with multiple, extending drawers. Choose a tackle box that’s big enough to hold all of your current tackle, with some room left over to add new pieces.

Fishing Bait & Lures

Bait can be divided into two categories: natural and artificial. Natural bait often takes the form of worms and insects (alive or dead). To use natural bait, you must attach it to a fishing hook. Artificial bait like fishing lures are made with one or more hooks already attached. Examples of artificial bait range from plain plastic worms to colourful, feathered-covered fly-fishing lures. The type of bait you choose depends on the kind of rod you’re using and the type of fish you're trying to catch.

Fishing Reels

After your rod, the fishing reel is the most important part of your tackle. Cylindrical in shape, the reel is mounted either above your rod (casting reels) or below (spinning reels). Casting reels are the easiest to use: you hold the rod in your off hand and reel in with your stronger arm. They are also typically less expensive than spinning reels, so a good choice for novice anglers. The action of your reel determines how well (or poorly) you can cast your line, respond to bites and reel in your prey. Spinning reels give you more control because you hold the rod in your dominant hand. They are also better for casting light lures or bait because the line can peel off more easily than a casting reel. 

Fishing Line

Many anglers consider choosing the right fishing line to be an art in itself. It needs to be thin enough to go unnoticed by the fish, but strong enough not to break as you're reeling in your catch. Line weight is usually expressed in pounds as a range the rod is designed to support. Other factors to consider include castability, stretch, colour (so you can see your line in the water), and UV resistance (so the fish can’t). Some forms of fishing require specialized line. For instance, in fly fishing, the lures are exceptionally light, so thicker line is used to provide the weight needed for casting.

Fishing Nets & Scales

You'll want to bring along a landing net to assist in hauling in your catch. But nets can also be used as a tool for catching fish, independent of rod and reel. In fact, there's a wide range of nets available, each suited to one of the different net-fishing methods that have evolved over time. Cast-net fishing is one of the more popular forms of net fishing. Cast-net anglers throw a large, round weighted net into the water with the goal of catching multiple small fish. You’ll also want a good fish scale to weigh your catch after hauling it into boat or shore. 

Waders & Apparel

There are a variety of different fishing gloves available, including gloves for cleaning and scaling to gloves that simply protect your hands from the elements. Waders will keep you dry while fishing mid-stream and come in hip-high or chest high styles. Fly anglers can also purchase fly fishing vests to store the many different lures in use throughout the day. 

Ice Fishing Gear

Ice fishers catch fish by drilling a hole in the ice covering a body of water and dropping in their lines with fishhooks and bait. A great thing about modern ice fishing is you can use fishfinders to locate fish beneath the ice before you drill your hole. Other ice fishing accessories to take with you ice-fishing include a power drill, hand drill, chisel and ice saw.


A fishfinder is an electronic device that attempts to locate fish underwater by detecting sound pulses, much the same as SONAR. The results are shown on a graphical display. It take a bit of trial and error, but after a while you’ll get better at determining which is an actual fish reading vs. underwater debris or rocks.
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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