Whether you’re catching dinner or a winner for the brag board, fishing is a great sport and provides enjoyment for people of all ages. With a bit of luck, persistence and a little know-how, you’ll be reeling in fish all day long!
This guide aimed at beginners or those looking to take up a spot of fishing for the first time.
Rods and Reels
With a huge selection of rods and reels available, the choice can be overwhelming. But with a little advice it doesn’t need to be!
Rods are described by their length and weight of fish they are suited to catch. For example, a common fishing rod is a 7’ rod suited to catching a 2-4kg fish. Rods often used in boats can be shorter in length and capable of catching fish from 5-7kg (and even up to 24kg!). Rods suited to surf or beach conditions are often longer coming in at 10’ or 12’. Surf rods are longer to help keep the fishing line above the waves and also to enable a further cast.
The key is to match the length and strength of the rod to the type of fish you’re targeting. For example, a 7’ spinning rod is perfect for basic estuary and boat fishing.
Fishing reels are available in various designs such as spin reels, side cast, bait cast and overhead reels and are rated by size (eg: 1000, 2000, 5000 etc). Spinning reels are the most popular as they are easy to use and suit most types of fishing. Side cast reels are also popular as they are durable and easy to use.
The key is to match the type of reel to your rod and also the type of fish you’re targeting. For example, a small/medium reel such as a 2000/3000 is great for your estuary fish.
Combos are a great way to grab a perfectly matched rod and reel that is suited to your type of fishing. Most combos also come spooled with line meaning that all that is needed is some hooks, sinkers, swivels etc and you’re ready to go.
Fish Tip: Grabbing a ‘species’ kit with your new combo will mean that you’ll have everything you need to start fishing!
Terminal Tackle (Hooks, Sinkers & Swivels)
Hooks, sinkers and swivels all come in a range of sizes and shapes. To increase your chances of landing a prize catch, try to match the hook shape and size to that of your target. For example, a whiting has a small narrow mouth, so a number 3 or 2 long shank hook will work well. When chasing fish with wider mouths such as Bream or Flathead, hooks with a different shape, such as ‘bait-holder’ hooks will increase your chances of a hook up. For bigger baits, gang-hooks can be used.
Bait holder hooks come in a variety of styles and are the most popular type of hook. Most feature barbs on the shaft to secure the bait in place.
Circle hooks have a large circular bend, short shank and an inward bending point. Once caught, circle hooks make unhooking fish easier for both the angler and fish. Great for bait and catch and release fishing.
Gang hooks are ideal for using on whole fish baits such as pilchards – especially when targeting larger fish species.
Bait or Lure?
Undecided? Don’t worry, the good news is both methods work! Typically bait fishing is easier and is a great start for beginners. Prawns, pilchards, squid and worms are common types of bait that fish love. Try to use bait that your target fish/fishes eat in their natural environment as this will increase your chances of landing the big one!
Lures, including soft plastics, metal jigs or hard body lures come in thousands of different sizes, shapes, colours and designs. It can be overwhelming! Different lures require different retrieve (or reel in) speeds or ‘jigging’ actions. The one thing to remember is that your retrieve of the lure should make the lure mimic the actions of real bait, such as a bait fish or prawn.
Most soft plastic lures will require a weighted hook called a ‘jig head’.
Mono or Braid?
Confused by mono (monofilament) and braid line?
We recommend mono line for beginners as it’s economical, easier to tie knots and more resistant on rocks, debris or pylons which is great for land based fishers. Braided line also has advantages that experienced fishers enjoy. Ask a team member in store for more advice on braided lines.
Once you’ve selected your rod, reel and grabbed the right tackle, learning how to tie a rig is the next step. There are many different types of rigs so we’ve included one of the most popular rigs below.
Back to Top