Few things in life are better than a peaceful day out on the water. Casting your line, catching some fish and getting to spend some quality time with mother nature, fishing really is the key to a relaxing and stress free life. But not being adequately prepared for a day on the water or fishing itself can end up being more stressful and aggravating that it is worth. Having the best fishing tools can ensure you not only have a more enjoyable fishing trip but it can also mean you have a safer and more productive fishing trip. So it is important to plan ahead and have everything you will need ready beforehand so you can truly enjoy your time fishing.
There are a number of key items you need to have on every fishing trip, regardless of how big your boat or where you choose to cast your reel. We’ve listed some of the best fishing tools you should have on almost every fishing trip you take. These items include:
Fishing Rod and Reel
Obviously, you are not going to get too far without a rod and reel to catch fish. Look online for the rod style to meet the needs for where you’re fishing. For example, ocean fishing will most likely require a stronger rod and more powerful reel because of the larger fish. If your rod and reel aren’t strong enough to handle what you are pulling in you can end up snapping your rod, breaking your reel and end up with nothing to fish with.
While a fishing net might be a little bulky and seem unnecessary, the net will be a welcome addition to your boat when it saves you from losing a fish. The net helps combat trying to hold the rod and get ahold of the fish without it getting free. If the fish is in the net it is easy to get the hook out and maintain control of the situation all the way until the fish is in the cooler or strung together.
A Tackle Box
Obviously you will need to have a place to store all of your items to keep them organized and easy to access. If you opt for a fishing specific personal flotation device, or PFD, you can end up with a large variety of pockets and attachments to keep everything within your reach, but that may still not be enough and it is important to invest in a solid tackle box that will protect all your belongings. There are a large range of options when considering tackleboxes and all have pros and cons you will have to weigh to make sure you get exactly what you need out of a tacklebox and won’t end up having to lug around something bulky or cram your items into too small containers.
Within your tacklebox you will need to have a variety of different tools for fishing. These tools are:
Needle Nose Fishing Pliers
Often overlooked, but always important to have in any tacklebox, needle nose fishing pliers should never be left at home. Pliers are a must have because they allow you to remove hooks from the fish when they have swallowed them. This is especially important to have when you need to release the fish back into the water.
Scissors and Clippers
A good quality pair of scissors, even if they are just a small pair, should be with you in your tacklebox to allow you to easily cut through monofilament, fluorocarbon and braid to easily set up your next cast.
To help you fix little problems in your equipment as well as handle a variety of other tasks, a multi tool is a great tool to have in your tacklebox as well as in everyday life.
Because a fishing line is made to be sturdy enough to withstand the pull of a fighting fish, you will need something able to cut it without warping, wearing down, or breaking. So line cutters are a must have to get out of snags and change out the line. These can be something specifically designed for cutting fishing line, or something with many purposes like nail clippers or a knife.
To prevent unnecessary spinning of your line, a swivel acts as a connection between your line and the lure or bait. This means that the bait and lure can move around as freely as possible without impacting the movement of your line. The swivel also allows you to switch out lures and bait quickly and efficiently without spending too much time or energy just to try another option.
In every fishing situation, the best way to guarantee you get a bite is to get your bait below the surface. Sinkers will take your lure or bait under the surface and keep it there until you reel in your line, to attract fish and keep your line where you want it. Sinkers can be made of lead, brass, tungsten, bismuth and steel. They also come in a variety of weights and sizes that will help you determine how deep your lure or bait goes.
Also referred to as floaters, the bobber will keep your bait from going too deep and is an easy way to monitor your progress. You can decide how close to the surface you want your lure or bait using your bobber and if you watch the bobber you can see exactly when a fish takes the bait.
Lures are an artificial bait you can use to mimic live bait, while being reusable. There are hundreds and thousands of options for lures of many sizes, shapes and colors, and come in different materials as well. You can mimic the classics like worms made of plastic or get creative with brightly colored lures that work great in murky waters. It is all up to you.
If you would rather stick with the classics over a lure, you can go with the tried and true originals like worms and minnows. Other bait options include marshmallows, pieces of hotdogs, balled up bread bits, corn kernels, and grubs.
To attach your live bait and lures and guarantee the fish doesn’t just get away with the bait, hooks are a must have. Having a large assortment of hooks of different sizes is key to always being ready for the next fish.
Extra Fishing Line is a Must Have Fishing Tool
You never know when you may end up having to cut the line and move onto more fishing line. If you are in an area where there are a lot of trees and things to get your line caught on you can go through a lot of line quickly and without extra fishing line the trip will be over sooner than expected.
Tape Measure and Scales
Tape measures and scales aren’t just a great way to document the massive fish you caught, but also a way to make sure you are in compliance with the law. There are typically requirements for the size and or weight of the fish you catch to guarantee you aren’t taking fish that are too young to claim.
Other important thing to have while out on the water include:
Ice Chest or Stringer
It is important to plan ahead and have a way to store any fish you catch. One of the easiest and best ways for longer trips is an ice chest or cooler. Simply open the lid, throw the fish in and shut the lid so you can get back to fishing again without having to worry about the fish moving around or falling out of the boat. A stringer can also work to keep your fish organized and in place, but spending hours out on the hot water can have you risking them going bad. So typically a cooler with some ice in it is recommended to keep everything as fresh as possible.
Sunscreen is a crucial part to any outdoor outing to keep yourself healthy and protected. If you plan on going fishing, you need to invest in a good sunscreen to not only prevent sunburn, but dangerous UV rays and skin cancer. Make sure you have a strong enough SPF for being out for hours and that it is waterproof. Bring your sunscreen with you so you can apply it before your go out and again a few hours later to keep yourself protected.
First Aid Kit
While no one plans for there to be accident, they do happen and it is important for you to be prepared for it. Even the smallest injury can be a huge hinderance when trying to fish and can easily ruin your day and cause you to have to turn back to shore. Severe injuries can cause you to not only need to get back to shore for medical attention, but need to treat them in some way yourself in order to get there. So even if it is just the basics, you should always have a first aid kit to guarantee you can stay safe and not end up stranded and helpless.
Sunglasses may not seem hugely important to include on the list, but throughout the day you may get sick of the bright light reflecting off the water and into your eyes. Sunglasses, especially polarizing sunglasses, allow you to see what you are trying to do while protecting your eyes and preventing irritation.
Even with a tacklebox, there is more equipment you will need to bring and keep dry. So bringing a waterproof bag or two will guarantee you have enough storage and everything stays dry.
To guarantee you know where you are going, a physical map is a great thing to have on hand. You can opt for a physical map so you can mark hotspots as you find them, go with a GPS to get step by step instructions on where to go and how to get back, or use a combination of them both to make sure you are never left without a way to figure out how to get back. Compasses are also a great addition for those who prefer the paper map option.
No matter where you choose to go fishing, being out on the water means being exposed to bugs. So to protect yourself from any diseases they may carry or to just avoid being pestered by the annoying creatures, you should always bring some insect repellent on every trip. You can buy or make your own insect repellent and there is a huge range of options on the market for all your needs.
Basic Necessities for Fishing Tools
If you are planning longer fishing trips that can last overnight or even days, you should plan ahead and bring the human necessities everyone will eventually need. This includes food, lots of water and of course, some toilet tissue to guarantee you aren’t left needing anything while out on the water.
Capture the Moment with a Camera
Whether you want to take some candid shots of you and your friends fishing, save a snapshot of the wildlife and nature around you, or just want to guarantee you can document the big catch so you can brag to all of your friends later on. It is always best to opt for the waterproof option and even spend the extra money on a case so if you drop it in either the water or onto something solid, you won’t have to worry about damage or ruining your pictures.
Especially if you are going to be fishing in deeper waters like the ocean, one of the best fishing tools is a fish finder which can be a great way to up your game and guarantee you are fishing in the right spot. Being able to find not only the area the fish are in, but the depth that they are swimming, will allow you to focus your time on the hotspot areas rather than searching blindly and hoping to find a good spot.
While clothing is not really one of the best fishing tools it’s certainly worth mentioning. Wearing weather appropriate clothing for hours out on the water is key for staying safe and comfortable while fishing. Laying is always key to staying warm enough to prevent shivering and risking hypothermia, while able to remove clothing if you get too warm so you don’t overheat. Choosing waterproof clothing is also incredibly beneficial and you should always bring a change of clothes so you won’t be stuck in wet clothes for too long. Your shoes should be waterproof as well and gloves can be a massive help to your hands not only in the cold, but in any weather when you want to protect your hands from possible cuts or injuries. Waders are also a must have if you are planning to stand in the water while fishing at any point. This will not only keep you dry, but give you more options for where you can go fishing. A towel should also be included in your bag for every trip.
You should never fish without a license, no matter where you choose to go. There are reasons for the rules so it is always important to observe them and make sure you are legally allows to fish and if you’re going to be able to fish in specific locations. You can look online to research locations or call your local fish and game center.
So, whether you are an avid angler, or a casual fisher, it is always important to plan ahead and have the best fishing tools necessary to catch some fish and enjoy your time on the water. So get your tools together and ready for your next trip, and never be caught out on the water without an important piece of equipment again.