Fishing starter kit: Essential gear for beginners

If you're new to fishing and building out your very first fishing kit, we have you covered. We included the 5 most important items every beginner angler needs, at affordable prices, so you can quickly get started fishing.

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Fishing starter kit: Essential gear for beginners

5 Essential Fishing Products for the Beginner Angler

If you’ve heard how fun (and beneficial to your health) fishing can be, you may be eager to take part in this hobby but are unsure where, or how, to begin.  The first part (if you don’t have an angler friend who can lend you some gear) is to craft your first fishing kit. Understanding what gear you need to begin fishing can be confusing to a beginner angler.  Worry not, we are here to help.

Building a beginner’s fishing kit is an investment, but as someone new to the hobby, you may be looking to keep costs low and build the most affordable kit you can.  When creating the recommendations below, we kept cost in mind.  Our recommendations are also based on our database of Fishbrain users who own this gear.  

We have narrowed down the list to 5 essential items a beginner angler needs

Beginner Fishing Necessity #1: A fishing rod and reel

There are so many types of fishing rods and reels, designed for specific purposes.  As a beginner, you should choose a multi-purpose combo set that will allow you to both fish with bait and fish with lure.  For the reel, a spinning reel is the best choice for beginners.  Once you have leveled up your skillset you can try out some baitcast reels.

If you are new to fishing, you will most likely be sticking to freshwater areas and nearby lakes.  Here you are likely to find bass and other common freshwater species.  Investing in a medium action rod that is weighted for 20lb fishing line will be excellent to start with and enable you to grow as an angler.

There is a great selection of beginner spinning combos that will meet your needs and price point.  Here is a selection starting from $50 to about $130

Favorite Shay Bird Spinning Combo

Favorite Brush Dobber Crappie Spinning Combo

Multispecies Fishing Rod Reel Combo

Beginner Fishing Necessity #2:  Line

Choosing the right fishing line can be a challenge, even for a seasoned angler.  Fishing line comes in many different colors, weights, materials, and more.  The first choice you will have to make is between braided line, fluorocarbon, and monofilament.  Each line has its own purpose, and you will learn these as you become a more experienced angler.  In general:

Braided line:  strong and thin

Fluorocarbon line:  very hard to see underwater, making them nearly invisible to fish.  They also resist abrasion. 

Monofilament line:  Is stretchy and a good all-purpose line. 

For a beginner, sticking with a durable and all-around useful monofilament line is a good way to go.  There’s no need to overcomplicate things at this stage, and a monofilament will suit the needs of a beginner angler well.

We recommend the Berkley Trilene Smooth Cast in 10lbs as a good starting line, but feel free to check out other monofilament lines in our shop. 

Ande Braid - Graphite

Sufix Elite

Beginner Fishing Necessity #3:  Tackle

When it comes to tackle, there is a ton to choose from.  As you become more practiced and experienced, you will end up with a large tackle collection.  For starting out, you will need three key pieces of tackle: Hooks, Weights and Floats



Hooks is a large section to cover, but for now as a beginner, our recommendation is to use any hook that is not a snelled hook.  A snelled hook is a hook that already has a pre-tied leader.  

View our assortment of fishing hooks


Tungsten Drop Shot Weights - Teardrop

When fishing, you need a weight attached to your tackle in order to keep your bait underwater.  The extra weight on the line will also help you improve your casting distance, which is helpful when fishing from the shore or bank.   As a beginner, sticking with a basic shot weight is the way to go.  These are inexpensive and easy to install


Eagle Claw 1 1/4'' Snap-On Floats

Floats are often called bobbers and are one of the first things many anglers picture when thinking of fishing tackle.  Floats and bobbers will float on top of the water, and bob up and down when a fish is biting, giving you a nice visual indication of when a fish might be ready to hook. 

For this, there is no real need to overthink, any good float or bobber will do. 

Beginner Fishing Necessity #4:  Lures

Choosing the right lure is a huge topic, so we will try to keep it simple with some basic recommendations.  Many anglers will start out with bait fishing, often using live bait such as nightcrawlers or shiners.  When you’re ready to start experimenting more, lures can be a fun challenge to master.  Lures come in many sizes, shapes, and colors.  Because this topic is so in-depth, we will stick to the necessities a beginner angler needs to know.

For beginners wanting to upgrade their tackle-box, we recommend 1-2 soft plastics, a good spinnerbait lure, and a top-water lure. 

Soft Plastics:

We recommend a good 5” Yamamoto Senko worm (green pumpkin works great) and a good swim shad.  This one by Berkley works great, and is one of the top preferred lures by Fishbrain users.

Yamamoto 4" Senko Worm


Having at least one Spinnerbait on hand will come in useful when the water visibility is poor.  These types of lures will cause a ripple effect on the water, helping lure in fish to the bait.  One of the preferred spinnerbaits by Fishbrain users, is by Northland Fishing Tackle that mimics a minnow.


Top Water

One of the most popular and lifelike top-water lures is the Combat Frog from Lunkerhunt. This is a great top water lure for beginners due to its simplicity.  You just cast it out, wait until the water settles a bit, and then start reeling in short bursts, trying to ake as much water disturbance as possible. As you get the hang of it, you can begin adding in realistic pauses or twitches while varying the speed.

Combat Frog

Beginner Fishing Necessity #5:  Tackle Bag or Box

Last but not least is the tackle bag or box.  Once you buy your gear, you need a place to store it and easily transport it on fishing trips.  The style you prefer is up to you.  As a beginner, buying the items we recommend here, you can probably start with something small and upgrade later as you add to your accessories.  There are many tackle storage options to choose from.  One of our best options that offers organization and volume is the Plano Guide Series Tackle System. 

Plano Guide Series™ Pro StowAway® Rack Tackle System

Now start fishing!

With the kit recommendations above, you have everything you need to head out to the water and start fishing.  Read up on more fishing tips on our blog and reach out to us with any questions.

Tight lines!

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