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Fishing for Beginners

Academy Staff
4 min read
So, you want to plan your first fishing trip, but not sure where to get started? Check out our handy guide to fishing for beginners! With our tips on how to build your tackle box with all the right fishing gear, you’ll be gone fishin' with the pros in no time!
Why learn how to get started fishing in the first place? Beyond the exhilarating rush of picking up a new hobby, fishing can quickly become a healthy habit that can lead to lifelong fitness. It may not seem like exercise but walking from one fishing spot to another provides low impact cardio and can vary in exertion based on the type of fish you’re after.
Being outdoors and getting back into nature can have a meditative effect on the mind, which helps fight off stress, as well. Plus, it’s a time-honored tradition for many, and is a great opportunity to relax and socialize with your friend and family!
Finding the right spot is an essential first step to starting your first fishing trip. Often, the best fishing spots are found through word of mouth — so make sure you keep your ears open and ask your more experienced fisher-friends for the best fishing holes! If you’re just getting started, or if your friend is being more tight-lipped than a Guadalupe Bass, don’t be afraid to do a quick online search and see what pops up nearby.
How Do I Find the Best Fishing Equipment for Beginners?
Rod and Reel
Now that you’ve got a few fishing spots in mind, it’s time to pick out the best fishing gear for beginners that works for you. The first thing to find is a good rod and reel. Of course, it can be a little overwhelming picking the best combo out of the hundreds out there.
Our recommendation is a spinning rod and reel combo for beginners. Since it’s a combo, it’s sold together and easier to set up. For advice on how to set up your new rod and reel, or if you’d like personalized advice for picking out your beginning fishing gear, check in with a team member at your local Academy Sports + Outdoors by locating a store near you.
Baits and Lures
After securing the fishing rod, you now need something with which to, well, fish. Finding the right fishing equipment for beginners includes looking for easy-to-use but effective baits and lures. For bait, start simple (but effective!) with live worms and PowerBait. Worms are a natural food source for many fish, and release enticing smells when they wriggle on your hook. PowerBait is a moldable, man-made substance that achieves this same effect — minus the wriggling.
Lures are also an important addition to your tackle box as they are visual decoys that mimic a fish’s prey. As there are so many types of lures out there, it’s best to start small and work your way up once you’ve got a better idea of the fishing you like to do. A great beginner’s lure is a Zoom 6” Trick Worm, as they are easy to stick on a hook and don’t require any special knots. You might also want to acquire some bobbers that you can attach to your fishing line to notify you when something has sunk your lure.
Hooks and Lines
As for the line, don’t worry too much. Just some good quality line will make all the difference in your collection of fishing gear for beginners. We recommend one that can hold its weight, like some 10 lb. H2O XPRESS Monofilament Fishing Line. It’ll be strong enough to reel in all sorts of different varieties of freshwater fish. It’s also very manageable, and easy to tie on your hooks with.
Speaking of hooks, the simpler the better. It can be daunting to see all the different options available but try to keep it simple and multi-purpose. One of our favorites is the H2O XPRESS™ Snelled Baitholder Hook, an all-purpose hook that holds bait as easy as it is to tie it on your line.
Tackle Bags and Boxes
Finally, now that you’ve got your shiny, new fishing gear, you need somewhere to put it all! Although a tackle box is the classic choice, there’s also plenty of other tackle storage options out there depending on what you need.Tackle boxes are a great go-to that’s durable, waterproof, and will hold your tackle with no trouble. If you’re looking for more storage space, tackle bags and backpacks can be a great alternative to haul more gear — plus the bonus of a (mostly) hands-free fishing trip. Whichever you choose, make sure that it has sturdy straps and latches, with deep compartments for extra storage.
In addition to a good way to tote your gear, there are plenty of other fishing tools and accessories for beginners to bring out your inner angler, from fishing gloves to handy filet knives!
Get Out There and Get Fishing!
Before you go on your fishing trip, the last thing you need is a fishing license. Don’t worry – this won’t require a dreaded visit to the DMV for this license. All you need is to find an Academy store near you and a friendly Outdoors Specialist can help you with the quick and easy same-day process.
Still not sure if you’re fully prepared? Get all the fishing gear for beginners you need at Academy online and in-store, plus even expert advice from our helpful team members.