By Mark Anders
The thing about fishing is that all you really need to catch a fish is a simple cane pole, some line, a hook and a good dose of patience. That said, there’s lots of cool new gear out there that can make fishing easier and more enjoyable. And yes, some of it might even help you catch more fish.
Your Gear Guy did the shopping for you to uncover some of the newest, coolest and most affordable fishing tackle on the market. Read on, and reel ’em in.
The simplest type of fishing rods, spincast rods use a push-button reel that releases the line when you press the button and cast. If you’re a beginner, this is your rod.
Steinhauser Deluxe Tangle-Free Rod
TECH HIT: This unique, easy-to-use rod-and-reel combo feeds the line through the center of the rod itself, rather than through line guides on the surface of the rod, eliminating frustrating line tangles that plague most beginners.
Whuppin’ Stick/Zebco Platinum 33 Spincast Combo
For fishermen hoping to land bigger fish by using heavier line and lures, baitcasting is the way to go. These reels mount on top of the rod with a trigger grip to control the line and are the most expensive and most difficult reels to use. Definitely not for beginners.
Shimano Casitas Reel
($120; fish.shimano.com) is best paired with the
Shimano Sellus Rod
Berkley Lightning Rod LowPro CastCombo
While fly rods/reels are quite simple mechanically, the art of casting a fly to a specific location is challenging.
Redington Topo Combo
TECH HIT: This combo comes with everything you need — rod, reel, line, leader, flies, fly box and a nipper — all of which easily fits in a backpack.
Shakespeare Wild Series Fly Combo
Similar to a spincast reel, the spinning reel is the most popular type of reel for the average angler. It holds more line and can cast farther than a spincast reel but uses a more complicated bail system that can be challenging.
Cabela’s Fish Eagle Classic Spin Combo
Daiwa D-Shock DSK-2B Reel and Fiberglass Rod Combo
No more fish stories. Before releasing your fish, measure it with one of these cool and durable PVC rulers. They give you an easy and reliable way to measure length and estimate the weight of your fish, even without a scale. Rulers are available for freshwater fish like largemouth bass, trout, pike, muskie and more, as well as many inshore and saltwater species.
Use promo code SCOUTS at checkout for a 15% discount.
What you use to attract — and catch — fish depends on where and how you’re fishing. Sometimes you should use live bait like minnows or nightcrawlers, and when fly-fishing you should use specific flies to target specific fish. For basic freshwater fishing, here are a couple of products to consider:
LiveTarget Sunfish Hollow Body
Largemouth bass and northern pike love to eat sunfish. And this lure, while not exactly cheap, does a super job of mimicking an actual sunfish — you can even walk it along the water to make it look like it’s swimming. Comes in 12 colors, sizes 3 and 3.5 inches.
Berkley Gulp! Minnow
This versatile plastic bait is essentially “marinated” in a scented juice that really seems to attract fish. These minnows will catch everything from bluegill to crappie to pike and smallmouth and largemouth bass. Available in sizes 1- to 4-inch and 10 different colors.
You’re going to need something to carry and organize all your tackle. Check out these two good options:
Flambeau Ultimate Tuff Tainer
This is a waterproof box that floats and has removable dividers so you can configure it however you want. It’s also made with a built-in rust protectant that helps prevent your hooks from getting rusty. Comes in four sizes.
Bass Pro Shops Freestyle Satchel 360 Tackle Bag
Hard-faced tackle boxes are great, but when you’re hiking in to fish a river or stream, a soft-sided tackle bag like this is much easier and more comfortable to use.