TACKLE AND EQUIPMENT -
AS 1 - 2 - 3
Fishing is a great sport. Its popularity is increasing
every day and more and more people are getting involved.
The result of this continued growth is a large number of
eager beginners. Beginners know that knowledge is the
key to success. Reading, attending fishing schools and
lectures, and asking questions of those with experience
is the key to knowledge. Traveling
in the circles that I do, I usually end up talking about
fishing. The people most eager to talk fishing are the
beginners or those that are relatively inexperienced.
The questions they ask are good questions, to the point
and relevant. They want, appreciate, and deserve answers
that are direct and honest. In trying to answer all
these questions over the years, I have noticed that the
most commonly asked questions are related to inshore
fishing and specifically to tackle, the tools of the
have my theories about this observation. Fishing
involves a lot more than just having the right tackle.
Knowledge of areas to fish, techniques to apply, bait to
use, tides, weather and numerous other things all are
involved in the sport to some extent, but are not as
frequently asked about as is tackle. Why is this? I
believe that having the correct tackle is the best
starting point for the beginner and he probably feels
the same. It is something that can be immediately
achieved with a modest investment of time and money.
Amassing the proper assortment of tackle and related
equipment provides a feeling of accomplishment and a
firm base with which to begin the real job of learning
how to fish. I think the beginner accepts the fact that
such knowledge will come slowly with time and
experience. Having the tackle however, is of immediate
tackle is a really big subject and often very confusing
for the novice, lacking the hands on experience. In
trying to provide some help, I have organized a list of
what I believe to be the most important concerns for
tackle and related equipment. I have tried to keep this
list as simple as possible, listing only three specific
suggestions. Wherever possible I give specific reference
to the particular type or product that I use. I feel
this is important because when people ask me questions,
they want to know exactly what product I have used and
been successful with.
ROD AND REEL COMBINATIONS
Medium/light weight bait-casting.
Penn PPG 4971 rod and 930 reel with 15 lb. Ande line.
This outfit would be appropriate for flounder, fluke,
weakfish and small blues.
2. Medium/light spinning. Penn PSG 4871A rod and
722Z reel with 10 lb. Ande Super Soft line. This would
take care of casting jigs and lures for blues and weaks
and school size bass.
3. Medium/light conventional. Penn
PC 3801L rod and 320 GTi levelwind or 25 GLS reels with
25 lb. Ande line.
Chart, navigation and bottom contour, waterproof.
chart for sportfishing. This chart provides information
about fishing areas and local names. In addition, a NOAA
regulation navigation chart should be aboard for
precision navigation and buoy information.
2. Bait cutting board and knife. Preferably
a rod holder mounted teak or nylon version which is
available in most marine supply houses or the popular
and inexpensive bucket mounted board. Dexter or Russell
fillet knives of 7 or 8 inches serve well for both bait
and fish cleaning purposes.
3. Landing net. I
prefer a telescoping model that stores easily, with at
least a 30 inch wide opening. Several different
manufacturers produce such nets but be sure it utilizes
a polypropylene mesh. This material is light,
nonabsorbent and long lasting.
SPECIAL TACKLE BOX
Fisherman's pliers Parallel jaw pliers with wire
cutters, spring loaded, and in the smaller of the two
sizes available, 5 inch. Sargent, Manley, Sampo and
Berkeley make good pliers and stainless steel varieties
are available if you can afford the high price.
2. Sharpening stone. For keeping knives and hooks
in top shape. Several different manufacturers, styles
and shapes are available. Keep it as simple as possible.
3. Swivels. Assorted
sizes of high quality barrel and combination barrel/snap
swivels should be on hand. Sampo makes excellent swivels
both standard and ball bearing, in all varieties.
Pre-smelled and packaged. (various local brands) Have at
least one dozen (two packages) for each of the most
sought after species. My
recommendations are: Fluke
- 2/0 English wide gap. Flounder
- #8 Chestertown with yellow beads. Blackfish
- #5 Virginia style. Weakfish
- 2/0 Bait holder.Stripers - 4/0 to 6/0 Bait holder.
Bluefish - 5/0 with 6 inch
single strand wire leader.
2. Loose hooks for live bait. I
use size 7/0 O'Shaugnessy short shank Gamakatsu hooks
for stripers and size 5/0 for weakfish. These hooks are
exceptionally sharp right out of the package.
hooks. For backups,
special conditions, and custom rigs tied as needed, I
carry an assortment of O’Shaugnessy style short shank
hooks in sizes from #8 to 6/0. Mustad hooks are
excellent quality and reasonably priced for this
purpose. Sharpen them before putting them in your tackle
Sinkers for still and drift fishing. The
basic variety of bank style sinker which is available in
all tackle shops will suffice. Cover the range of 3 to 8
ounces with the bulk of them in the 5 ounce size. This
is the weight I most often use.
2. Drails for live bait fishing. In areas where
water depth is rarely over thirty feet, 3 ounce drails
will be just right in most cases. I also carry a few
four ounce and two ounce versions for the odd occasion
when they may be needed. Bead Chain brand is an
3. Small weights for special applications. On
many occasions small specialty weights are useful. I
carry an assortment of Dipsey swivel sinkers, Rubbercore
torpedo weights and egg sinkers covering the range from
1/2 ounce to 2 ounces in each style. Water Gremlin is
the brand I use.
Hopkins 1 1/4 ounce no-equal #3SB with single hook white
bucktail. This is a
very versatile productive lure which can be worked at
all depths. It will catch bass, blues and weakfish. As
with all lures, if bluefish are around, a short trace of
stranded wire leader should be used to prevent chopped
off lines. Berkeley makes pre-rigged leaders for just
such purposes. I use the 6 inch 20 pound test version.
2. Rebel #S3001S, 5 inch sinking minnow in silver
with black back. This
will also catch all gamefish but is particularly deadly
for mid-water use and when fish are on the shy side.
This is a super lure for big weakfish in water up to 15
feet deep. It is also a great lure for school bass along
the banks and edges of channels.
Atom #58P, 1 1/4 ounce "Talking Atom" surface
The best all around surface lure. This lure it most
calm water conditions, in fairly shallow water, or
are feeding near the surface. It also casts a long
Those things that I think
are a must, but mentioning them where I should have
would have broken my self-imposed rule of only three
Lead head hooks.These are a must for rigging plastic
lures such as jelly worms and salty dog shrimps. These
are still very effective lures. Mann makes excellent
lead heads in two sizes. I carry at least half a dozen
of each size.
Diamond Jigs. These
jigs are best for working schools of fish in a vertical
fashion rather than casting. Ava brand jigs are popular
and work very well. For bay fishing I use the 007, 17
and 27 sizes both with white tubes and with plain hooks.
McClane's Fishing Encyclopedia. This
is a most informative and useful addition to any
fisherman's library. I would have to consider it a part
of the basic equipment required. It can provide
information about the life history, feeding habits and
basic behavior of the fish you will pursue, the basic
rigs you should use and the knots you will have to learn
to tie. I still consult it frequently and can't imagine
not having it. All
that I have mentioned may seem like a lot but it is what
I believe to be essential for the person that really
wants to be successful at catching fish. I am also sure
that other people might have recommendations that differ
from mine. What I have written is not the last word, but
simply my suggestion. Hopefully it can serve as a
guideline for someone that has made up their mind to
quit playing games and do it the right way.
Al Lorenzetti ©
Al Lorenzetti 1991