Preparing a fishing tackle box

The most important piece of equipment a fisherman will have, besides his fishing rod, is his fishing tackle box. Preparing a tackle box involves two methods of planning, firstly you want to have enough equipment for your outing, including equipment that will allow you to change between lure and bait fishing without any issues. The second most important thing about a tackle box, is not overcrowding it with every single possible item a fisherman may need, you want to plan your tackle box so your bring the lease amount of fishing tackle, but enough tackle to cover your requirements.

There is nothing worse than carrying around a heavy tackle box, full of all sorts of things not required for the outing, such as if one was to carry around squid jigs when they are going out freshwater fishing. You don’t want to be keeping everything in the tackle box, for this reason, if you regularly switch between a few styles of fishing, such as salt water pier fishing, freshwater fishing and boat fishing, it often makes a lot more sense to have multiple tackle boxes, one for each type of fishing you will be taking on.

This limits the amount of tackle you carry around, while also ensuring when it’s time to go fishing, you have the correct gear for the type of fishing you are heading out for.

While some fishing tackle is standard across all types of fishing, such as carrying fishing pliers and lip grips, other types of fishing require a varied assortment, carrying around all these things in one fishing tackle box is pointless, and sorting into multiple boxes for each type of fishing makes a lot more sense.

In freshwater fishing, you often require smaller hooks, such as sizes 4 to 10, you may also require an assortment of hook styles such as the ‘suicide’ highly curved hooks, regular fishing hooks and also long shank fishing hooks. You would also want some light weight sinkers such as 3 gram, 5 gram and 10 gram variants, you may prefer to also carry a small amount of 15g and 20g sinkers for long distance casting, such as at lakes and water reservoirs, otherwise in rivers and creeks, anything from 3 grams to 10 grams is enough. You may also like to carry around a small assortment of fishing floats, if the weather is clear enough sometimes fishing on floats is more productive than sinking baits, and finally you want to be carrying some lighter weight fishing line.

Freshwater fishing often requires a light weight main line, if your main line is in good condition, then carrying only equipment for a leader is the best way to go, with a main line of around size 2, you may want to pair this with sinking fluorocarbon fishing line of size 5, this gives you around 15kg / 33lbs of line strength, enough to take on fish to around 7.5kg. When fishing smaller species, you may also prefer to pair with a size 3 fluorocarbon line, this size is ideal for fishing perch and stocked rainbow trout.

Salt water fishing is a fairly different game, while in fresh water you will be using mostly sizes 4 to 10 hooks, in salt water most species will be best suited to a 1/0 sized hook, this hook is suitable for highly aggressive fish, and will provide good strength for most species to around 70cm in length. Only on species such as bream / snapper / sheepshead can be fished with a smaller size 2 hook, but as you can see, the tackle mentioned already is for the most part unsuitable for freshwater fishing. In terms of sinkers, because you will be fishing in estuaries with tidal influence, or maybe even our on the bay or beach itself, weights such as 3 grams and 10 grams is going to be nearly useless to you, weights of around 15g to 30g are often used, with the 15g used in estuaries with tidal influence, and 30g to 50g for fishing off the beach itself. Float fishing is also extremely difficult in waters with tidal movements, hence you likely won’t need to bring a float along with you when you are targeting salt water systems.

Now for fishing line, most salt-water fishing rods are fitted with size 4 or 5 mono-filament line, and as most salt water species put up a much stronger fight, and also the fact that a lot of species can be quite large, most people prefer to pair their line with a Fluorocarbon leader of around size 6, allowing 16kg / 35lbs of line strength to handle bigger fish, some may even go larger to around size 8 if species regularly caught exceed 1 meter in length.

When fishing in salt water, you will also need to rinse your fishing line after use, so bring along a small bottle of fresh water, and at the end of the day pour this over the line in your reel to remove the salt and prevent line damage.

Preparing multiple tackle boxes will save a lot of time, both in terms of preparing to go out fishing, and reduce time spent at the actual fishing spot, as everything you need will be in the box you took. The only thing you need to remember is which box is which, a label maker, engraving tool or permanent marker can help avoid this easy to make mistake, and ensure you can fish both light and prepared each time you head out on the water.

Various types of fishing lures for spin rods / reels

An article by Ultimate Fishing (FishingTackleLures.com.au)

Spoon Fishing Lures
Spoon Fishing Lures

Spoon Lures:

The most simple and effective lures on the market, they compose of something looking like the end of a spoon, with two holes top and bottom, one side is a swivel clip and the other is a hook attachement. They often come with a single regular style hook at the end, but some also come with treble hooks.

They are very cheap to buy, easy to make and easy to use. The single hook ones are often able to be fished through weeds with ease, a benefit spinning blade (spinner) lures do not have.

Spinnerbait Fishing Lures
Spinnerbait Fishing Lures

Spinner Lures (Spinning blade lures / Spin lures)

The spinner is an evolution of the spoon lure, while they still use one or two spoon shaped ends, they are attached to a main rod, either by a swivel or with a crescent shaped piece of metal that holds the spoon in place. These are designed so that the center shaft is pulled through the water, and the blades then spin freely, sometimes in the case of spinnerbaits there is also a soft plastic grub or similar on the end, making these lures look like a small school of fish, very attractive to perch, bass and many other predatory species.

Spin Fishing Lures
Spin Fishing Lures

The regular spin lure however is a central shaft, with a spoon attachment, and an attachment below which aids the water to extend outwards, causing more spoon rotations, they end with a treble hook and are made for high speed retrieves.

Popper fishing lures
Popper Fishing Lures

Surface Lures (Poppers)

Poppers or otherwise known as surface lures are almost cylinder style shape, with a half circle indent at the front, as they are moved through the water, they create ripples at each side, this disturbance catches the attention of fish, who detect this in a similar was as we do to regular sound waves. Their idea is to imitate a frog, small lizard, or small mouse, which regularly cross the water on the surface to get to new areas.

Some surface lures today have avoided the popper pattern all together, and instead are frog shaped for trout, perch and bass, or even mouse shaped (for areas where a lot of ground mice are known to be).

Crankbait Hard Body Diving Lures
Crankbait Hard Body Diving Lures

Diving baits / Hard Body Lures / Crank-baits

The name crankbait comes due to the fact these lures have a diving lip on the front, the rest of the body is designed to look like a bait fish, when the fishing reel is ‘cranked’, the lure goes from floating on the surface, to a fast deep dive, once at the desired depth, the speed of return is lowered to keep the lure at this depth, these lures are the most commonly used by more experienced fishers, and are excellent at getting down deep where the target fish are safely camping out for an easy feed.

Soft Plastic Fishing Lures
Soft Plastic Fishing Lures

Soft Baits / Swim Baits / Soft Plastics

Soft baits or soft plastics are exactly as you would imagine, a soft rubber / plastic lure, sometimes with a lead weight inside as is the case with most swimbaits, other times you will attach a jig head which contains the hook, a varying lead weight at the front, and an attachment for your fishing line. Soft plastics are excellent for fishing the bottom of water bodies, their heavy weight drops them to the bottom of the water fast, and by jerking the rod upwards a few times with the fishing line tight, makes this seem like a distressed bottom dwelling fish, extremely popular for perch fishing when the lure is dragged through weed beds, perch love weed beds to hide in and wait for a small minnow to come past, so a soft plastic coming past in this manner is often a good trick.

Weedless jig heads are heavily recommended when fishing soft baits, especially for perch when going through weed beds, to ensure the best travel and avoiding any snags.

Soft Plastic Jerkbait Fishing Lures
Soft Plastic Jerkbait Fishing Lures

Soft Plastic Jerk Baits

These are often realistic looking baits, with a small Y shaped tail on the end, these baits need to be moved and active in the water to be effective, you have to try and draw as much attention to these lures as possible, as their realistic looks will attract fish, but only if they know where your bait is. Extremely temping and very fun to fish with, these lures often account for many fish in an outing, and can be coupled with a weedless jig head with a small amount of weight to get them deeper in the water.

As you can see, there is a large amount of choice involved for choosing different types of fishing lures, depending on the water conditions, target species and types of minnows in the water where you are fishing, will determine what types of lures you will need.

We hope this brief introduction into the world of lure fishing has been informative enough to get you started, and try out a few different types of lures instead of aiming solely for live or dead bait fishing.

Fishing Rod Pods: Make fishing with multiple rods a simple process

Fishing rod pods are a great alternative to regular fishing rod holders.

While holders are good for a single rod, or for multiple rods fixed to a boat, on land and fishing with bait, especially for carp, perch and tench, a rod pod enables you to use 3 (sometimes even more) rods at once, keeping them fixed in place effortlessly even when a strike occurs.

The benefits of a fishing rod pod is that a auditory fishing alarm, or L.E.D visual strike alert fishing alarm, can be affixed, and you can sit back and enjoy reading or take in the atmosphere while ensuring you will be alerted when something is present on your bait.

The fishing rod pod will keep your rod in place, even if the fish makes a large strike and run, the alarm will alert you to the lines movement, and the simple unlocking method of ‘under and over’ for some, or simply a single direct lift for most, will free up your fishing rod almost instantly, ready for you to make a strike and set the hook.

Fishing rod pods are most enjoyed in Europe and Asia as a main method of fishing for carp species, but in reality can be suited to all land based bait fishing. They are an ideal investment, can be easily disassembled (some can even fold up) after use for easy transportation.

If regularly fishing with more than 1 line in lakes or rivers, provided you wish for all rods to be kept at the one location (i.e not placed at different areas of a river to cover more ground), then the rod pod is an ideal companion for all your fishing trips.

The basics of getting started with fishing

Before getting into the major details, before fishing, always ensure that you obtain an angling permit for the area you are fishing.

For the novice angler, there are a few fundamental pieces of angling tools required to enter into fishing as a sport or recreation, and to immerse yourself in the angling scene.

Knowing the correct weight class of fishing line is essential, it is graded at break point, for example 15lbs line will break if the weight on the line is over 15lbs. Remember that this weight does not simply rate to the weight of the fish, as the fight when you hook onto a fish will place up to 10x the fishes weight on the line. For this reason, if you expect the biggest fish you will catch will rate at around 1kg, go for 7lbs to 12lbs line. The benefit of lower weight line is that it is often much thinner, and can improve casting distance.

Some tackle shops will try to sell you braided fishing line, which is lighter weight and has more strength than regular fishing line (known as mono-filament), to begin with however, regular mono-filament is often the best way to go. Braided is very expensive and requires you to attach a mono-filament or fluorocarbon leader to the end of the braid, this is often beyond that of the beginner, so sticking with the good old, low cost mono-filament line is the best way to begin.

Co-ordinating the right length pole is also important, on open waters such as bays, large lakes and very wide rivers, when using bait or heavy lures (lures above 20 grams) it is often best to stick to a rod length of around 2.1 meters. Rarely will larger rods be required, but if you are fishing in salt water ensure that the rod is thick in its construction, a slimmer and lighter weight rod is often best for light lure casting and freshwater situations, where fish caught will rarely be above 3kg. Salt water with a variety of large fish often demand much higher strength equipment, and when casting any bait or lure over around 20 grams, you want something sturdy and strong in construction.

For the reel there are a few options, for freshwater most people opt for a regular spinning reel, these are small reels with multiple ball bearings, they have the lowest drag possible and are extremely light weight. This suits the travelling nature of the water, ensures that the line is able to cast the maximum distance even on the lightest of lures, and provides just enough strength to fight a fish of upto around 5 to 7kg in weight to the shoreline.

For salt water, where the type of fish hooked could be substantial in comparison to freshwater, a larger spinning reel is often preferred, for catching extremely large fish over 10kg, then you will want to switch to an overhead reel.

Overhead reels also come in smaller sizes, some may prefer a small overhead to a regular spin when casting short distance into freshwater, it all depends on personal preference. Starting with a spinning reel however, and some basic advice on how to use it, is often the best method of fishing, although there are a few things required to operate them, they are by far the most reliable when it comes to fishing for species under 10kg, or for species where the fight they put up is not substantial.

Many factors can cause a spinning reel to snap a line or tangle, don’t stress, even experienced anglers experience this sometimes. For those who want to avoid this problem, a switch to overhead or spincast style reel exists as a much more reliable, albeit nowhere near as accurate (in terms of lure casting) option, the spincast is often used by children learning to fish, as it is a simple press button style and is easier learnt compared to spin reels.
The fundamental goal in fishing is to co-ordinate the pole, reel and line to get the correct casting distance and angle, many people begin fishing swinging the pole like a baseball bat, this is not a correct method unless you are fishing in narrow waters where a direct cast is very difficult. The best way for lures or small baits is to cast overhead, take the pole and take it completely over your shoulder, so the line is inverted, ensure nobody is walking behind or beside you and if clear, bring the rod fast over your head to around chest height on a 75 degree angle, letting the line go as it passes through becoming completely vertical.

This will ensure the longest distance is achieved and the lure or bait will travel completely in front of your starting angle, if the cast is too short, you can increase the power of which you bring it over your shoulder, or if the distance too long, lower the amount of force you use to bring it over your shoulder vertically.

This article has covered the very basics of how to begin fishing, what we haven’t yet covered is knots, specific bait rigs, how to choose a bait, and what equipment is required to rig a line with bait or a lure.

For now we will end with the items you should have at minimum before heading out, they include fishing nets, fishing pliers / scissors (these are often combined together and ensure you are able to remove the hook from the fishes mouth easily), a fishing priest (a small metal club used to kill fish, they should never be left out of water to die as this is stressful to them, a heavy hit a few times just behind the eyes on the absolute top of the head will kill most fish, for eels though a sharp blade straight through this area wiggled when no more impact can be had is the regular method for ray finned or flat headed fish).

Remember to bring a basic first aid kit too, cuts are common when you begin fishing, as is getting hooked yourself on a lure or baited line if the correct care is not taken.

If it is a warm day then a small plastic container filled with ice to keep the bait in is a good method, as is wearing a cap and placing sunscreen to ensure you aren’t burnt to a crisp and able to fish again the following day or weekend!

Bring some snacks for lunch in case it is not your lucky day fishing is also good, not every-time you go out will you hook a fish, and it may take some time initially, but persistence will always eventually pay off.

Good luck and tight lines!

The use of fishing floats and benefits of float fishing

All fishermen and women alike have been known to float fish at some time in their hobby / profession. A fishing float is the most simple and effective way to tell when a fish has taken bait, as bait fishing usually involves some slack line, the strike of the fish onto the bait may not travel the entire length back to the rod for indication, hence the fishing float comes in to provide a reliable way of detecting when a fish is on the bait.

Most people know of the most basic style of fishing float, these are often small red and white plastic balls with a button on top. Many people often incorrectly fish these floats by placing a swivel on both top and bottom, in reality however, the design of this type of fishing float is meant to only encompass the usage of a swivel attachment at the bottom as you press the button in.

In fact, the great majority of fishing floats often require attachment from the bottom only, most fishing floats on the market tend to allow only for bottom attachment, this is often seen as more reliable, and allows the float to sway much easier, instead of being dragged along, a float attached from the bottom only will sway side to side, and respond quickly to any small movement in the line. Only in western countries has the “inline” fishing float proven popular, mainly due to it’s ease of use and the extra weight it provides on the line, another likeable feature is it’s inability to come off the line (unless the line snaps), they are however not as accurate as a bottom mounted float such as a pencil float.

Things in the west however are changing, with more fishermen and women from Asia and Europe integrating into society, we are moving towards using the bottom only style of fishing float quickly. For this reason, you should consider learning how to attach a fishing float to your line from the bottom of the float only, give it a chance and you will soon realise this is a much more reliable method of fishing, and allows you to use such floats as a pencil float, extremely popular in Europe and Asia, but rarely used by locals in the commonwealth or North America.

The main benefits of using a fishing float are as follows:

Your bait and line will remain suspended in the water column, important for presentation and detection by passing fish, surface bait and bottom bait only target species who are solely seeking out food, where as a central or slightly suspended bait inside the water column provides the ability for all passing fish to detect and consider taking an easy meal.

Bottom fishing often causes many snags, and when fishing with a sinker, there is nothing more annoying than hooking onto a fish, only to soon realise your line has become snagged and you will have to cut the line off or potentially snap it trying to get it free. This method of fishing also produces the most ‘line litter’ in the waterways, leaving fishing line in the water isn’t a good idea as it can cause harm to all species that use the waterway. Ducks for example are well known to dive under water and take fishing baits.

A float drifts with a light breeze, meaning that your bait will also move along with the waters surface movement, a slow moving bait is always more attractive to a fish.

The most obvious benefit however is that you will never have to guess if a fish has your line, once a fish strikes, or even bumps the bait (if using a bottom mounted float), the fishing float will move. Over time you will begin to be able to detect by the floats movement when a fish has brushed against your bait, when it is taking a quick taste test, and when it has actually taken the bait and it’s time to strike.