Beginner Guide to Buying Fishing Gear

Having the right fishing gear is crucial for beginners to have an enjoyable and successful experience on the water. Without the proper equipment, fishing can quickly become frustrating and unrewarding. Using the right equipment not only enhances your chances of success but also ensures you enjoy the process, learn effectively, and avoid common frustrations.

Here will walk you through the essential fishing gear every beginner needs to consider. Understanding the purpose and features of each piece of equipment will help you make informed choices, setting you up for a rewarding and enjoyable fishing journey.

Determine Your Fishing Style

Choosing the right fishing gear begins with understanding your fishing style, as different environments and fish species require specific equipment. Here are the factors to think about.

  • Freshwater fishing (lakes, rivers, streams)

    When freshwater fishing, it’s essential to equip yourself with medium to heavy rods that feature moderate to fast action. These rods offer the versatility needed to handle a variety of fish sizes and behaviors typically found in lake environments. Complement your rod choice with either spinning or baitcasting reels, which provide the necessary strength and flexibility for anglers. Common freshwater species include bass, trout and so on.

  • Saltwater fishing

    For saltwater fishing in bays, oceans, and the surf, which exposes your gear to sand and saltwater. Therefore, durability and resistance to corrosion are critical features to look for in your equipment.
    Rods and reels made from corrosion-resistant materials like graphite, stainless steel and new-generation composite are common. Longer 7-8 foot rods provide the leverage and casting distance needed for surf casting or bottom fishing from piers and jetties. When targeting popular inshore species like redfish, seatrout and snook, medium-heavy power setups are a good all-around choice. However, those venturing offshore for big gamefish like tuna and swordfish will require extremely heavy and robust gear capable of subduing these tenacious fighters.

How to Pick Gear for Beginners

Fishing Rod and Reel

Selecting the proper fishing rod and reel combo is arguably the most crucial gear decision for any new angler. With so many options available, it can quickly become an overwhelming process for beginners. However, by understanding a few key factors about rods and reels, you can narrow it down to outfits specifically designed with novice users in mind. The ideal starter setup balances user-friendliness with the capabilities needed to effectively cast, present baits, and play fish - setting the stage for a smooth introduction to fishing fundamentals. By reading the guide, "How to Pick the Right Fishing Rod and Reel for Beginners", will break down the different types of rods and reels, allowing beginner anglers to know get outfitted for their very first outings on the water.

Fishing Line

Types of Fishing Lines

  • Monofilament - A single-strand nylon line that is affordable and has good knot strength, stretch, and shock absorption. Common for many techniques.
  • Fluorocarbon - A denser fluoropolymer line that is virtually invisible underwater. Less stretch than mono for better sensitivity, but more difficult to manage, requiring careful knot tying to prevent slippage or breakage.
  • Braided - An ultra-strong, tightly woven line made from synthetic fibers like Spectra or Dyneema. Zero stretch but visible in the water.

fishin lines

Factors when Selecting Fishing Line

  • Strength

    The strength of a fishing line, measured in pounds (lb) test, should match the size and species of the target fish. Use lighter lines for smaller fish and heavier lines for larger, more powerful species. Ensure the line strength is appropriate for the rod and reel setup. Common tests range from 4-30lbs.

  • Visibility

    The visibility of a line can influence the success of your fishing, particularly in clear water. Fluorocarbon lines are less visible underwater, making them suitable for clear water and cautious fish. Monofilament is more visible but comes in various colors to match water conditions, while braids are most visible.

  • Stretch

    The amount a line stretches affects sensitivity and hook-setting power. Monofilament stretches more, which can be beneficial for absorbing shocks but reduces sensitivity. Fluorocarbon and braided lines have less stretch, providing better sensitivity and stronger hook sets.

Lures and Baits

Live Bait Vs. Lures

The Pros and Cons of Using Artificial Lures


  1. Incredibly diverse range of lure types to cover all situations
  2. Durable and can last for many fish caught with proper use
  3. Allow for enticing action and triggering strikes with rod wor
  4. No foul smells or mess to manage


  1. Require more skill and practice to use effectively
  2. More expensive upfront investment in variety of lures
  3. Can be less effective when fish aren't actively feeding
  4. Easy to hang up and get snagged under water

Fishing Lures

The Pros and Cons of Using Live Baits


  1. Triggers strikes more easily due to real biological scent/taste attractants
  2. Common live baits are relatively inexpensive
  3. Versatile - live baits like worms and minnows catch many species


  1. Bait can be messy, smelly, and requires extra storage/containers
  2. Keeping bait lively can be challenging, especially in hot weather
  3. Limited casting distance compared to lures
  4. Must be continually re-applied or changed out

Lures or Live Baits?

Choosing between lures and live baits depends on various factors, including fishing conditions, target species, personal preference, and angler skill level.

  • In clear water live baits may be more effective. And in murky or stained water lures may be more enticing to fish.
  • All species like live baits while lures can attract particular types of fishes.
  • Live baits are straightforward to use, requiring minimal technique beyond presenting the bait naturally. They can be particularly effective for novice anglers or in situations where simplicity is preferred.
  • Anglers with more experience and confidence in using artificial lures may prefer them for their versatility and ability to cover more water efficiently.
  • Check local fishing regulations, as some areas may have restrictions on the use of live bait or specific types of artificial lures.

Popular Lure Types

Spinnerbaits: As the lure is retrieved the rotating spoons to mimic fleeing baitfish


Crankbaits: Crankbaits are hard-bodied lures designed to mimic the appearance and swimming action of baitfish. These lures typically have a bill (lip) that causes them to dive and wobble when retrieved. The depth and action vary based on the size and shape of the bill (lip).


Topwaters: These lures float on the water's surface and create disturbances to attract fish, with types including poppers, frogs, and stickbaits. They are ideal for targeting fish that feed on or near the surface, and are particularly effective in early morning or late evening when fish are more active near the surface.

Topwaters Lures

Jigs: Jigs are weighted lures that sink to the bottom and are designed to mimic the movement of prey like crawfish or minnows.

Jigs Lures

Flies: Flies serve as artificial lures designed to mimic the appearance and behavior of natural prey. Flies are typically lightweight and constructed from various materials such as feathers, fur, and synthetic fibers. Know the species of fish you're targeting and their preferred prey to choose flies you use.

Flies Lures

Choosing the right lures/baits

While the options for lures and live bait can seem overwhelming initially, beginners should start by focusing on just a few proven offerings and presentations. For lure selection, match the type and size profile to the preferred prey. For live bait, worms and nightcrawlers are versatile for most freshwater species. Match your bait size and profile to your quarry. Keep it simple initially with just a few lure and bait choices, focusing on developing proper presentations before expanding your arsenal over time - the right lure or bait makes a huge difference in your success.

Tackle Box or Bag

Having your fishing tackle organized and easily accessible is crucial. It allows you to quickly rig up or re-tie as needed without wasting time digging through piles of tangled gear. Proper storage also protects your tackle from damage.

Types of Tackle Boxes/Bags

  • Plano Boxes: These hard-shell boxes come in various sizes and configurations with adjustable dividers, providing customizable storage for lures, hooks, weights, and other tackle.
  • Soft Tackle Bags: These bags feature multiple compartments, pockets, and trays for organizing tackle. They are lightweight, portable, and often come with shoulder straps for easy carrying.

How to Storage Live Baits

It's generally not recommended to store soft plastic baits like worms, creature baits, etc. in a regular tackle box for extended periods. The air exposure inside tackle boxes causes the salt-impregnated plastics to dry out and become brittle over time. Additionally, the elevated temperatures a closed tackle box can reach on hot days may cause some softer plastic baits to partially melt and get misshapen. Soft baits also have a tendency to absorb and retain odors from other tackle and chemicals in the box, making them less effective.

To keep soft plastics in good condition, store them in sealed plastic bags, utility boxes, or specialized soft bait wallets instead of commingling them with other tackle contents.

Organization Tips for Fisihing Tackle

  • Sort by Category: Group similar items together, such as soft plastics, crankbaits, hooks, and weights, to easily locate specific gear when needed.
  • Labeling: Use labels or markers to identify compartments and trays, making it quick to find the right tackle.
  • Utilize Dividers: Adjust dividers in tackle boxes to create custom-sized compartments that fit your gear snugly and prevent items from shifting during transport.

Other Accessories

Excpet the core essentials for getting started, there are several other handy accessories that no anglers's fishing arsenal is complete without. From tools for conveniently caring for your catch to specialty items for pursuing different fishing disciplines, these extras may not be priorities for your first purchases but are invaluable additions as your skills and interests grow. Let's cover some key accessories to consider adding to your kit.

A good fillet knife is an essential tool for any angler who wants to properly clean and prepare their catch. After reeling in fish, a razor-sharp, flexible fillet knife allows you to efficiently and cleanly remove the fillets from the body. Look for knives made of corrosion-resistant materials like stainless steel or titanium in the 6-9 inch blade range - longer blades provide more cutting surface for bigger species. Having a dedicated fillet knife not only makes the cleaning process easier, but also maximizes your yield of quality fish meat to be cooked up from a successful day of fishing.

Fish knife

As you progress in your angling pursuits, investing in specialized gear can unlock new techniques and fisheries. For fly fishing, you'll need a dedicated fly rod, reel, wading gear, and accessories like vests, nippers, and fly boxes. If ice fishing, proper gears like augers and short specialized rods are essential for safety and success.

While versatile starter gear is suitable when beginning, having the right tools designed specifically for your fishing style elevates your capabilities and enjoyment on the water.

Choosing the Right Gear for Your Budget - Gonex Fishing Gear

Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Gonex Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo with Case includes 9ft 5wt 4-piece rod is constructed from premium 24T carbon fiber with durable stainless steel guides. It pairs with a large arbor aluminum reel pre-loaded with backing, fly line, and tapered leader for hassle-free rigging. The kit also includes a waterproof fly box with 12 assorted flies, line nipper, and portable case. With user-friendly features like anti-swing snake guides that avoids swing during fishing.

Gonex fly fishing rod and reel combo with case

Gonex Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Telescopic Pole Set comes equipped with an extra smooth reel designed for the challenge. The reel features a potent 5.2:1 gear ratio matched with an aluminum spool and interchangeable handle that provides silky operation when battling hard-pulling fish. The smooth power this reel delivers allows you to apply maximum pressure and work gamefish away from cover without fear of sticking or lock-ups that could risk lost fish.

Gonex Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Telescopic Pole Set

Fishing Line Spooler

Gonex Fishing Line Spooler with Unwinding Function Installation stands out as a truly innovative and convenient tool for anglers of all skill levels. Its patented design makes loading and replacing fishing line effortless, saving significant time compared to traditional methods. This 2-in-1 device allows both filling reels with new line and removing old line with simple one-step operation and no twists or tangles.

An adjustable tension setting and 8 lockable angled positions ensure compatibility with a wide range of reel types - spinning, baitcasting, spincast, and fly reels up to 3.1 inch spool widths. This accessory for anglers is efficiently manage line changes and keep their reels properly loaded for peak performance out on the water.

Gonex Fishing Line Spooler with Unwinding Function

Fishing Tackle Boxes

Gonex fishing storage system offers versatile and durable organization for anglers of all levels. The tackle boxes feature customizable dividers to create that can accommodate various sizes of lures, hooks, lines and accessories. You have a choice of transparency - the transparent design allow you to easily identify contents without opening, or the sun-proof tea-colored trays block the sunlight to extend the lifespan of your tackle. Standard 3600 sizing ensures the boxes integrate with backpacks and other storage options.

The boxes are designed with grooved handles, anti-slip buckles, and tight cam-action latches to provide a secure, portable carry. The complementary 3600 tackle trays have waterproof sealed lids, multi-divider customization, and transparency to protect your tackle. Whether you need to organize terminal tackle or keep baits and lures separated, the Gonex system combines practical versatility with functionality anglers demand for streamlined fishing management.

Gonex Fishing Tackle Boxes

Gonex Fly Boxes for Fly Fishing provides the perfect portable storage solution for keeping flies organized and protected during any fly fishing adventure. Designed with waterproof rubber gaskets to ensure contents stay dry no matter the weather conditions. The premium, lightweight yet durable construction allows the boxes to float if accidentally dropped in the water. The double-sided clear lids enable quick identification of flies without opening each box, saving valuable time on the stream. High-density foam inserts securely hold flies in place to prevent crushing.

Anglers can choose from multiple size and color options, whether a compact box for minimalist trips or larger boxes to carry a more extensive fly selection, these fly boxes offer the ideal combination of waterproof protection, visibility, and functional design that traveling fly fishermen demand.

Gonex Fly Boxes for Fly Fishing

Fishing Tackle Bag

Gonex Fishing Tackle Bag with a cavernous main compartment, it can easily accommodate up to four 3700 size utility boxes, while six external pockets allow organized access to accessories like pliers, bait rigs and more. An internal transparent PVC pouch safeguards valuables from moisture, the heavy-duty 420D anti-tear polyester with a PVC waterproof coating, the bag repels water to protect contents. Besides, the HDPE reinforced, non-slip bottom prevents wear and tear. It also great as fishing bag, a hunting bag or a bag for other outdoor activities

Gonex Fishing Tackle Bag

Fish Fillet Knife

Gonex Fish Fillet Knife provides anglers with a premium, high-performance blade and accessories perfectly suited for cleaning and prepping their catch. The knife features SHARP G4116 German stainless steel blade with a Teflon non-stick coating to maintain its razor-edge and resist corrosion. The ergonomic, textured polymer handle delivers a non-slip grip, even when wet, reducing hand fatigue during filleting tasks. Choose from 7" or 9" blade lengths for the ideal balance of flexibility and precision. Each knife includes a 2-stage sharpener with carbide and ceramic rods to easily re-tune the edge.

Whether targeting freshwater or saltwater species, this professional-grade fillet knife has everything an avid fish hunter needs for quickly and cleanly preparing their prized catch.

Fly Fishing Lures

For anglers seeking a diverse and high-quality selection of flies, Gonex Fly Fishing Flies Kit Assortment. This meticulously handcrafted assortment of 64 flies features premium materials like vibrant feathers professionally hand-tied to ultra-sharp hooks. The lifelike patterns realistically imitate a wide range of insects to entice strikes from various species. They are organized in a lightweight, waterproof tackle box for easy carry. The kit provides a versatile mix of dry/wet flies and nymphs suitable for pursuits like bass, salmon, and trout fishing in both freshwater and saltwater environments. It's suitable for a beginner or supplementing an experienced angler.

Gonex Fly Fishing Flies Kit Assortment

Fishing Lures Spinnerbait provides anglers with a versatile arsenal of 16 premium spinnerbaits ideal for a wide range of freshwater and inshore saltwater species. Each lure features ultra-sharp treble hooks paired with brightly colored, vibrant sleeves that create enticing flash and pulsating action underwater to trigger strikes. Size variety covers everything from panfish to large gamefish like bass, trout, salmon, pike and walleye. The lures come conveniently organized in a zippered tackle bag with a belt/pack-attachable stainless steel buckle for easy access on the water.

Fishing Lures Spinnerbait

Chest Waders Hunting Fishing Waders

These nylon fishing waders offer unbeatable lightweight durability and waterproof protection. The 70D nylon/PVC construction sheds 35% of traditional wader weight without sacrificing toughness. Adjustable features like the waist belt and quick-release shoulder straps provide a customized fit. The anti-slip PVC boots with thickened soles prevent foot injuries. Most impressively, the reinforced stitching and welding ensure 100% waterproof reliability to keep you dry in any wet conditions. Whether fishing, hunting, or working, these versatile waders are a wonderdul piece of gear.

Gonex Chest Waders

Fly Fishing Vest

Gonex fly fishing vest with multiple pockets, including two large zippered compartments and two mesh pockets, it provides ample storage space for fishing lines, lures, and other essential tools. Additionally, the vest features a convenient hanging design with D-rings and a hook, allowing you to attach accessories like landing nets, line holders, and pliers within easy reach.

Comfort is a top priority with this vest, thanks to its adjustable chest buckle, waist, and shoulder straps, ensuring a secure and personalized fit even in hot weather conditions.

Fly Fishing Vest

Perfect Gift for Anglers

Having the proper fishing gear is absolutely pivotal for both novice and experienced anglers alike. The right fishing equipments allow you to fish more effectively and ultimately catch more fish. Improper or ill-suited gear can hinder your abilities. Select gear tailored to the specific fishing styles and techniques you plan on pursuing most often. Consider your budget as well, choosing affordable but quality starter gear that can grow with your skills.

Fishing gear also makes a fantastic gift idea for anglers of all experience levels. Rod/reel combos, tackle boxes fully stocked with essential terminal tackle, or a new pair of waders or fish finder can be the perfect Gift for a loved one's upcoming birthday or Father's day.

Whichever path you choose to start your fishing journey, having the right, well-matched gear will set you up for more success and enjoyment on the water from your very first cast. Tight lines!

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