Family Camping, Fishing, Outdoor Education, Outdoor Gear, Top Outdoor Lists

First Time Fishing Gear – Must-Haves for Beginner Fishing

First Time Fishing Gear

Fishing is a fantastic pastime to pick up. There are few things more peaceful than relaxing on the bank of a river or stream waiting for that big one to come by. Not to mention how fun it is for children when they catch their first fish. however, how do you know what first-time fishing gear you need without spending loads of money?

Up until now, I have been lending my own tackle box and pole to my children. However, I am thinking it is time for them to get their own. What should their first set of fishing gear include though? Well, they have fished before, but I would still consider them beginning fishers. I want them to be prepared for fishing in rivers or lakes since our home is close to both. The local lake as bass, trout, catfish, and carp. I also do not want to break the bank. That is why I put together this list of first-time fishing gear. You will find that this list is great for kids but also for adults who want to go fishing for the first time.

Looking for some lure options? Check out these lures from Orcutt’s Advantage!

The thing with fishing, that I have found is that it is a lot like building a collection. It is a hobby that can quickly get out of hand if you aren’t careful. With so many options to choose from it can really get confusing. that is why in this list I tried to pare it down to just what is needed in your first time fishing gear tackle box. Once you get into the swing of fishing you are going to want to start collecting and trying different things for your local area, or wherever your fishing adventures take you.

First Time Fishing Gear – The Rod and Reel

You cant go fishing without a rod and reel! This is likely the most critical item beyond a hook and bait. While you could certainly make something out of a stick you will want something with some sensitivity to it in order to feel when the fish hit. You also want a reel that is strong enough to pull the fish in easily. A standard spinning reel will do the trick. Don’t forget the line as part of the reel. You will find that most first time rods come with fishing line attached. This fishing line is generally not that great but it is good to get started with. The options below provide options for adults or children.

Generally, if looking for a child’s first fishing rod stick with something about six feet in length. This will give them something to grow into. For adults, you can go longer. Remember you don’t have to get the top of the line right out of the gate. Build your skill and improve your gear as you go. There is always a market for used fishing gear!

first time fishing gear

Firestick Casting and Spinning Reel

This rod and reel combo is great because it is sturdy yet flexible and will sure catch everything you need as a first-timer.

Sougayilang Spinning Fishing Rod

This is another great option especially if you are looking to land some trout. It comes in two lengths which will help you adapt for child or adult use.

first time fishing gear


Generally, I wouldn’t recommend a kit like this for experienced fishers. However, this has a lot of the things I will be discussing and is a great starter kit for children.

Tackle Box for First Time Fishing Gear

The tackle box is a little bit more straightforward than the rod and reel. You essentially just want something to store all of your fishing items. You will also want it big enough for some of the other items that I list below. Therefore, for a tackle box don’t go crazy with something that is huge, but also don’t just send your first-time fisher out with a Tupperware container! Here are two good tackle box options. Both of these options offer space to store your fishing gear with a lower area for bigger items or snacks.

Flambeau Outdoors 6382TB 2-Tray

first time fishing gear

Plano Three Tray Tackle Box

Fill the Tackle Box with First Time Fishing Gear

Okay now that you have your rod, reel, and tackle box you need to put other first time fishing gear inside of it. Where do you start though? Do you need lures, bait, floaters, and weights? Or are there other things you aren’t even thinking of that you need? Luckily here is a quick list of things to put in your tackle box!


You will need some hooks. For starting out you can keep about two dozen fishing hooks in your tackle box. That will help in case you child anglers like to fish for trees. Having a nice range of sizes will help you with different types of fish.

Floaters and Bobbers

Floaters are good to have as a new angler because they help you recognize when a fish has hit the line. They aren’t entirely necessary but until you get the hang of things they can act as a visual cue to set your hook. They do serve another purpose as well. Some fish like to swim higher in the water column. A floater helps keep your bait and hook up off of the bottom.

Sinkers and Weights

You will want to also include a few fishing sinkers and weights. Getting a box of these that includes multiple sizes will help with different fishing situations. The weight also helps the hook get to where you want it in the water column. I also find that having the right weight at the end of the line helps to get the hook out further into the lake.

Fishing Pliers

Having a good multi-tool at hand is invaluable. The tool will help you with tying your knots, pulling hooks from fish, and even cleaning your fish for dinner. The pliers are probably the most useful part of the tool. Make sure that you look for a pair that has a study set of pliers. While you can get specific fishing pliers I like to have a tool that I can use all over, especially while I am camping. No matter what tool you select make sure that you maintain your tool expertly.

Top 5 Multi-tools under $25 Dollars

Rags and Gloves

Palmyth UV Protection Fishing Fingerless Gloves

Having rags and gloves available when you fish is another thing that you may not normally think about. The reason that these are so valuable is that they serve as a way to get cleaned up quickly. I don’t mind touching fish or cleaning them to eat. However, they can leave a slimy residue and that doesn’t always feel the best. It also makes tying lines difficult.

Fishing gloves certainly help to prevent getting speared by your own hook! They can also help with those catfish that like to sting you as you remove the hooks.


You can fish with an empty hook but you won’t likely have much luck. There are many different types of bait and all of them have their use. You may even choose to use scented lures. If you are interested in lures you should check out our top five lures. However, if you are just looking to get out on the water and cast for some fish then I would recommend hitting your local bait shop and picking up the bait that they recommend for your local fishing area. Heck, some fish will even just go for some good old American cheese.

Sun and Bug Protection

first time fishing gear

Since your first time fisher will be out on the bank of a river or lake it is likely that the sun will be beating down. Don’t forget to give them the protection that they need from the sun. Sunscreen easily fits into the two tackle boxes recommended above. The other thing that can be super helpful is a good hat with an all-around brim. It will help keep the sun off their face and neck. Trust me, no one wants a sunburn after a day of fishing!

The other thing to pack in the tackle box is bug spray. I get eaten alive when I am down by the water where the mosquitos breed. It is a real pain, honestly. That is why I always take along bug spray to make sure that I am protected throughout the day. You may even consider a Thermacell if you are planning on staying in a single location for a period of time.

Some Light Reading

In the age of Pokemon kids are excited to catch and find as many of them as they can. Fishing can be fun in much the same way. Having a good fishing book to identify the fish that they have caught can make things fun. Especially as they start fishing in more exotic locations. Have your first-time anglers add a fish identification book to their tackle box. Even a journal accompanying it will work well so that they can write and draw the fish they catch. It is a great way to keep the memory of the trip.

Aside from identifying the fish, there are many knots that you can learn. Consider adding in a book that shows how to tie all of the fishing knots that they need. It will help them become more confident in their fishing ability because they will learn to tie the right knot to catch the right fish.

Final Thoughts on First Time Fishing Gear

Getting out into the wild is the best part about fishing. We are going back to a way of hunting that many have forgotten. So whether you are fishing as a hobby or fishing for food the above list of first time fishing gear is sure to set you off on the right foot. Remember that you don’t need to break the bank to supply your first time fisher. Instead, focus on this gear because it will get them into the hobby fast. Then as they start to build their skill and confidence you can help them to expand their gear. Good luck and don’t forget to record that first cast and catch!

What first time fishing gear did you have when you first headed out? Tell us in the comments below, on our Facebook, or on Reddit!