To the inexperienced eye, a fishing pole, is a fishing pole, is a fishing pole! But to the experienced fisherman a pole is the 1st item in the list of things you must get right to catch a fish. There are heavy duty salt water poles that are made for catching something huge out of the ocean. And if salt water fishing is what you have in mind then the monster pole is exactly what you need. A person might think that the salt water pole is the way to go with all types of fishing. The bigger the pole the bigger the fish, type thinking. But as heavy as those salt water poles are, it takes a big fish to even know you have something on your fishing line. Also the boats you go out on to fish the sea have pole holders to help you hold and control your pole. Those poles are too heavy and awkward to use for fresh water fishing. Fishing in any of the fresh water rivers, lakes, or beaver ponds you can go with a lighter fishing rod. In most stores you find poles marked medium, light, and extra light. The lighter the pole, the smaller the fish you will feel on the end of the rod. That’s called the action of a pole. Now that means feel the fish bite the bait, not the size of fish the pole can catch. But if you go too light you run the risk of breaking your pole when trying to bring in a fish.
If you do go with a lighter pole (an extra light is my favorite due to its action) you can beef it up a bit by going with fishing line heavy enough to handle the size of fish your expecting to catch. I fish beaver ponds and mountain lakes mostly that’s why an extra light works for me. If your fishing in the south for a big ‘ol catfish then you will do better with a medium action pole. Then there is also a fly pole which can be used in fresh water fishing except for trolling or fishing for something like catfish (they’re bottom feeders, you use a fly pole for on top of the water feeders like rainbow trout). Once you figure out where you want to fish and pick the pole best for you, then you decide on the weight of the fishing line. From this point on your supplies that you need depend on where your going to fish and the environmental conditions. I recommend trying to put together a well stocked tackle box that cover the needs for several types of fishing and different conditions.
You will need extra fishing line, hooks of different sizes, sinkers, bobbers, an assortment of flies, salmon eggs, and other bait. A small but sharp knife, a pair of scissors, a stringer to put the fish you catch on, and a fish scale. For the Rookie I would recommend a beginners book to explain some of the basics about light, water clarity and some of the other things. Another thing I always do when preparing to fish in a new area, is to talk to the natives. Ask the gal at the counter of the fishing tackle store what the fish are biting on and where are the hot spots. With time and practice you will develop your own technique and figure out which pole, line, and bait work best for you. There is only one thing left….Don’t forget to buy a fishing license! Oh and have FUN!!