Perhaps you've seen the well-stocked tackle boxes and gear trunks of experienced anglers and figured you could never afford that much gear for a hobby. But here's the thing: you don't need that much stuff to start fishing. Your first few times out, you can make do with just a few basics, and then you can slowly build your collection of tackle over time as you get more familiar with the hobby. So, what are the basics you need for your first day of fishing? Take a look.
A Fishing Rod
This is the most important piece of gear you'll buy. For your first few trips, you want a medium-length rod, which will let you cast a decent distance but will also make it easy enough to reel your fish in. A good guideline is to buy a rod that is longer than you are tall.
Most rods and reels come pre-strung with fishing line. But it is helpful to bring along an extra spool of fishing line just in case yours breaks and you need to re-string your rod.
As a beginner, you will probably be fishing either from the shore or from a boat that's just a little off the coast, so the fish you'll be catching should be pretty small. A medium-sized hook should be ideal. Hooks usually come in small packs of three or four; grab one pack, and you'll have plenty.
A bobber attaches to your fishing line so that you can see where your hook and bait have sunk. Most bobbers are made from cork or hollow plastic. Either option is fine for a beginner. Grab two, just in case something happens to one. (Bobbers often come in packs of two, anyways.)
You will need a sinker to attach to your line along with the hook. It helps your bait and hook sink to the level where fish will find it.
Pliers will make it easier for you to pull the hook out of the fish's mouth, and they also come in handy when you're adding sinkers, bobbers, and other elements to your line. There's no need for specialized fishing pliers; if you have a pair of general-purpose ones, just bring them along.
And there you have it — the basics you need to head off on your first fishing adventure. You may add to your collection over time, but with the items above alone, you can certainly catch a fish.
To learn more, contact a fishing supply store.