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Fishing Tackle Buying Guide

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/26/2006 | Fishing and Boating

Technique and experience are undoubtedly the greatest and most important things that you need when you go fishing. But you can't ignore your fishing tackle either. After all, however experienced or technically advanced you are, you can't catch fish with bare hands. You need workable equipment, and the higher its quality, the greater are your chances of hauling in a good catch.

If you're interested in fly fishing, then look for a rod that is around eight or ten feet in length. The kind of fly line you shall need will depend on what type of fish you are targeting. You shall also need a reel for holding the line back, a leader attached to the fly, and finally of course you shall want to have a good assortment of flies ready with you.

These are the basics that you cannot do without when going fly fishing. As for what quality to buy, you must decide that for yourself. If you're a beginner, it may be best to go for the cheapest stuff on display. Fishing tackle can start from as low as a hundred dollars or less, and go up to a couple of thousand dollars easily. So cut out the fancy high-end wares and go for the most affordable that will serve your purpose, until you graduate from the beginners' grade.

In addition to the above essentials, an experienced fisherman will also advise you to include in your gear a good pair of glasses that can cut the glare from the sun's reflection off the water. Absence of these on a sunny day will most likely give you a headache to spoil your trip. Also, a small pair of scissors can be very handy when cutting knots or releasing flies from the leader. It would be nice to have a box in which to store your flies. Even nicer would be a medium sized bag, preferably of waterproof material, in which you can carry all of the above.

What kind of fly to buy is determined on what species you're looking to hook, and the current eating habits of that species. Experience and careful observation will tell you which shape and size to choose for your fly, and whether to go for dry or wet flies. Two drums of line, one of floating type and the other of fast sinking type (to be used mainly with lures, not flies), are necessary additions to the all-purpose fishing tackle kit.

For spin fishing, concentrate on the most important bit of equipment the reel. This should be large enough to hold a sufficient length of line, yet not so big that it impedes performance. Weight is also important buy the lightest available for the target size. Two-handed models are a waste of money if you're the only one who's going to use the gear; so buy a left or right-handed reel as appropriate in your case.

Spin fishing rods are somewhat shorter than those used in fly fishing, the maximum acceptable length being less than two and a half meters. If you can't afford a boron rod, go for carbon fiber. For beginners, even a glass rod will do nicely. Nylon fiber is a good choice for the line and the trace.