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Fishing: Big Fun at Small Expense
No Fortune Needed to Go Fishing
Walk into any store selling fishing supplies and you might be overwhelmed by the variety of merchandise as well as the cost of some items. But getting started doesn't have to cost a fortune.
The essential equipment required includes a reel, rod, line, bobbers, sinkers, bait and hooks. To hold your gear, get a tackle box big enough to store your purchases and some future additions. Take out a fishing license, which most gear stores sell, and you're ready to start enjoying a great hobby.
A typical fishing rod is about six feet long with a handle made of either cork or foam. Grips are found in several sizes and lengths to fit any hand. Try various sizes to discover the one that feels best for you. Rods are available from heavy to ultra light, so select the strength based on the fish you expect to catch.
Often, the reel will be sold as a package with the rod, providing a cost savings over separate purchases. The fishing line required to set up your rod and reel is ranked in strength by the term "test," which indicates the the maximum weight it can withstand before breaking.
All fishing supply stores will stock two to ten pound test, so select your line based on the fish you plan to catch. If uncertain, get a medium strength, such as a four or six pound test. Another factor, though, is fishing location. Stronger line will be required for lakes with a lot of plants and rocks that could invite snagging.
Hooks are offered in a range of styles and sizes. Select a good assortment, because they are inexpensive. Again, tailor your choice to the size of the fish you're after, keeping in mind that the larger the hook the smaller the number you will see on the package. Try out a few sizes to find the hooks that work best for you.
The bait to get the fish on the hook can be live or artificial. Grab a couple of artificial lures to try after asking the clerk for suggestions about effectiveness. Earthworms and minnows are the most common live bait.
If you like, dig your own earthworms on a damp night with the aid of a flashlight. Keep the worms alive by filling a container with moist soil, grass and leaves. Slice the worm to the size needed for the hook.
Minnows come in three sizes, depending on the size of the fish. Put the minnow upside down on the hook when you're ready to fish
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