How many times did you see a piece of fancy fishing equipment and though ‘I should be buying one for my fishing trips’ but it ended up being unused for several years? Not everything that is eye-catching or expensive must be part of your fishing gear. When going on a fishing trip, it is very important to have extra hooks, sinkers, proper bait and other things that we will talk about in this article.
Always take some extra line on a fishing trip if you don’t want to use your rod as a tool for spearfishing or catch fish with your bare hands. No matter if you are fighting a giant monster fish and it breaks the line or it simply gets tangled in a log, there is a high chance you will need a new line.
So it only makes sense to carry some extra line in your tackle box. However, don’t just put some old fishing line in the box and forget about it. The line you are taking with you depends a lot on where you plan on fishing and what you want to catch.
If the fishing conditions are rough, you need a heavier and more resistant fishing line. This way, the chances of it snapping are smaller. In case you are fishing in a lake’s crystal clear water, you need to be more stealthy. So take with you a lean, clear line to smart out the fish.
Right after adding some extra line, don’t forget to take some extra hooks. On every fishing trip, there is somebody in need of some fishing hooks. Stock your fishing box with a wide variety of hooks so you will be ready for any type of fish. Put there some traditional J hooks and some French ones so you can choose what suits better the situation.
Regardless of the hook’s type, make sure you have them in different sizes. There is no point in trying to catch a river trout using a hook designed for a 110 lbs catfish. If you feel you are not experienced enough when it comes to hooks’ sizes, ask a more experienced friend to give you a piece of advice.
Bobbers or floaters as they are known by some people are a must-have when it comes to fishing. A floater will let you know when a fish bites. When the fish tries to swim away with the bait, the floater will sink. As soon as the floater starts to sink or move in any direction, you know it’s time to reel in the fish.
When you are shopping for bobbers, you have multiple choices available. However, the most common ones are the round bobbers made of plastic. They are usually painted red or white. These round bobbers are a good choice for beginners as you just need to clip them to the line to attach them. Nevertheless, the round bobber limits how deep a line can be cast.
The slip bobber
Having a slip bobber allows you to slide it up and down the line. It takes a little more time to attach it to the line, but it allows the hook to get into deeper water. So many fishermen believe the extra time is worth it. If you forgot all your bobbers at home or simply want to go old school, you can use a piece of cork with a small stick in it.
The weight of the hook and worm is not sufficient to sink deep enough. To fix this, you have to attach a weight (also known as a ‘sinker’) to the fishing line. Since they are so small, they are very easy to lose. Sometimes, they simply come off and no fishermen will enter the water looking for his/her sinkers.
So it only makes sense to have some extra sinkers when you go fishing. In general, sinkers are made of lead but some countries are starting to outlaw lead sinkers due to environmental reasons. However, there are other options available. You can get sinkers made out steel, bismuth, or brass.
Even if you always use live bait, it is not a bad idea to have one or two packages of plastic worms in the tackle box, especially if you are going to bass fish. When it comes to plastic worms, there are a lot of options as they come in different shapes and colors.
If you are a beginner, the best choice is the worms with long tails as they are the easiest to use. Some of your fishing buddies might tell you that a certain color is more efficient than other colors. Probably it is only a superstitious belief, but if you had a lucky day while using a certain color of plastic worms, you can keep using it.
If you are fishing in another state, ask the locals what lures or techniques work best in that place. In general, the local fly shop is the best place to gather information.
In general, the old method of using a hook and a worm might fulfill your fishing needs. However, sometimes you want to take out some fancier lures to step up your fishing game. Because the number of models available is so big, you will definitely find something that fulfills your expectations. You can get spinners, minnow imitations or topwater lures.
Each of these lures is manufactured to act in a certain way in the water so it attracts fish. For example, many large fish are attracted by the minnow imitations because of their aspect. Also, spinners attract fish through their spinning move which is caused by an attached blade.
You can always ask a more experienced friend what lure you should use but it’s more of a personal choice. Try some of the lures to find what suits better your fishing needs and keep a few extra in the tackle box.
Needle nose pliers
In case you are fishing for a more aggressive species of fish, you must have needle nose pliers in your tackle box. It might be difficult to take out the hooks using your fingers and it could also hurt the fish. Instead of sticking your fingers down the fish’s mouth, use the needle nose pliers. There is also a chance you will use them to take the hooks out of you.
Small first aid kit
Let’s hope you or any of your friends will not have a major medical emergency while going on a fishing trip. However, small injuries are expected to happen, like stabbing your toe with a fishing hook or slipping and getting scraped up.
For these small injuries, a small first aid kit should be included in your backpack. There is no need for something over the top. Put in several band-aids of different sizes, a few bandages, and some waterproof medical tape. It should be enough for most of the fishing-related injuries.
Sometimes you have no option left but to cut the line. It doesn’t matter if it got stuck because of a rock or it simply got tangled, there is no point in spending a large amount of time trying to recover it. So a pocket knife is a handy tool to have while fishing.
If you forgot the knife, ask around for a nail clipper. It will get the job done and it is even more efficient than using a knife.
When you go fishing, keep in mind you will be out in the sun for a long time. In order to keep your face looking young and to avoid skin problems, put on some sunscreen. However, there is a high chance you will forget about it in the morning so go ahead and put in inside the tackle box.
This way, you will see it when you arrive at the fishing spot and you will be reminded to put it on.
Insect repellent is as important as sunscreen. Bugs and mosquitos could ruin the fishing experience if you let them. So make sure you pack an effective insect repellent. You can go with 100% DEET as long as you keep using it sparingly in order to avoid skin problems.
One or two pairs of polarized sunglasses
Polarized sunglasses will protect your eyes as they reduce the glare so you can see the floater, distinguish underwater structures and even spot fish. If you can afford it, buy a second pair of sunglasses in case you break or lose the main pair.