Getting the most out of your trout fishing setup means matching your rod, reel and line to the types of lures you are casting and the kings of waters you will be fishing on most often.
For a beginner the huge amount of rod choices is often the most confusing as there are so many different configurations of rod power, action and length.
Both brown and rainbow trout will be most commonly caught in small rivers, streams and even in stocked lakes or small mountain lakes that have feeder streams where trout can spawn.
The majority of these fish will be 4 lbs or under so you can size your trout setup correctly when targeting these fish.
Although 4 lbs or under might seem small to a musky or lake trout angler trout particularly wild brown trout pound for pound are very spirited little fish once hooked so you can have quite a bit of fun with them, and they taste pretty good too!
The best trout fishing setup is a 6'6" ultralight spinning rod with a fast action and a size 2000 spinning reel with 6 lbs monofilament.
The best trout rods will be roughly 6 to 7 feet in length with an ultralight power rating and a fast action.
Trout fishing is all about throwing small lures and bobbers/rigs so you need a rod that is rated for lines in the 2 to 6 lbs range.
A heavier rod will feel far to cumbersome and will loose any kind of sensitivity you may have in the rod tip.
A fast action means that the bend in the rod will start to form higher up on the rod blank towards the tip.
A slow or more moderate action will start to bend in the middle of the rod.
Moderate action rods are less sensitive than fast action rods.
A fast action has a much softer tip which gives a lot more feedback from the lure or hook and it also allows you to set the hook quicker.
They are also more suitable for casting light lures a there is a bit more of a whipping action in the rod tip.
Rod length will depend on how big a river you are fishing.
For smaller rivers and streams a 6' rod is more than enough and it will make it easier to move around especially if there are a lot of trees on the river bank.
On larger rivers you may need a longer rod. The extra length helps with casting distance but also allows you to get the rod tip up higher and pick up line quicker when you strike.
Spinning reels are most definitely the preferred choice when fishing for trout as a baitcaster is generally only suitable for casting lures over a certain weight.
With a small spinning reel in the 1000 to 2500 size range you can cast much lighter lures as the line will fall off of the spool much easier than on a baitcaster.
A baitcaster needs a certain amount of weight to get the spool up to speed when casting.
With a spinning reel you can throw some very light lures on small weight lines.
Most fishing setups for trout will be on a size 2000 reel.
As with buying any trout fishing setup buying a high quality reel is always a better investment in the long run.
For trout monofilament is usually the number one choice. It's cheap pretty see through and knots easily.
It is also fairly durable so it can take quite a few bumps and scrapes off of the bottom before needing to be replaced.
Fluorocarbon is another good choice particularly if you are using small jigs and need to set the hook quickly as it has a lot less stretch than money.
Braid is not that usable in really small weights as it is so thin that it can bed down into the previous layers of line on your spool.
This bedding in can result in poor casting performance and occasionally in a snapped line. It is also very prone to wind knots.
Regardless of whether you choose mono or fluorocarbon line in the 2 to 6 lbs range will be best for small stream trout although on really large rivers you may need to go as high as 8lbs.
The best trout fishing setups will generally use monfilament as their go to line of choice.
As a beginner trout angler you might be surprised by just how light most trout fishing gear and tackle really is.
If you are coming from the bass or musky fishing world then chances are you are used to heavy power rated rods and big baitcasters spooled with braided fishing line.
Trout on the other hand need a somewhat gentler touch and the tackle needs to match their size and the lighter lures you will be using.
Most trout fishing will fall into the ultralight category i.e gear that is rated for line in the 2 to 6 lbs range.
Rods need to be light and precise and reels need to be small and light to keep the rod perfectly balanced for casting.
Ideally you would be looking at the following type of setup all of which are within certain ranges:
On really small streams when targeting brook trout or small wild brown trout you can use the lower end of the range for the above, for larger rivers and bigger fish use the upper end of the specifications.
The best trout spinning rod will generally be a spinning rod and not a casting rod. A casting rod does not fair to well with very light lures as the reel needs a decent amount of weight to get the spool running up to speed.
Look for an ultralight power rated rod with a fast action.
An ultralight rod should be rated for line in the 2 to 6 lbs range. These lighter rods are extremely sensitive and coupled with a fast action will give you a lot of feedback through the tip.
A fast action rod blank bends in the upper one third of the rod towards the rod tip. This means better sensitivity and a much quicker hook set.
Most beginners fishing rods will be okay but after a while you might want to upgrade to a more specialist rod.
Spinning reels are the top choice for fishing with smaller lures as they can cast smaller weights with much more ease than a baitcasting reel.
A size 1000 up to a size 2500 spinning is what should be paired with the rod described above.
They should hold enough line for most trout waters.
A high quality drag and reel housing is important for almost any reel but for such light lines the lip on the spool is one of the most important features as it will have a big impact on how well you can cast small lures.
The number one choice as a fishing line for trout has always been and probably will always be monofilament fishing line.
Mono is cheap pretty low viz and can take a few knocks and scrapes. It also knots quite well particularly if you are a beginner.
Fluorocarbon is a good second choice as it has pretty much all the same attributes as mono apart from the fact that it has a much lower in built stretch.
If you are jigging then fluoro makes a lot of sense as you do not want much stretch or delay in the system.
Braid is just too visible and does not fair well when worked over rocky bottoms as the individual strand can fray quite easily.
The majority of trout lures will be small spinners, spoons and Rapala like small baitfish imitators.
Spinners are probably the most popular trout lures that are in sue today and they really haven't changed all of that much over the past 50 years and the same can be said for spoons too.
Rapala style lures can be extremely effective and on certain waters out-fish any spinner on the right day.
Depending on your particular trout fishing setup how you rig your bait can have a big impact on what style and size of hooks that you use when fishing with bait.
Single hooks are preferred although some anglers will use treble hooks when using something like Powerbait.
If you are planning on releasing your catch and not keeping them then please use a barbless hook as it lessens the chance of gut hooking the trout.
Although a net is not a requirement if you are practicing catch and release then a modern rubber meshed landing net is a good idea as it allows you to de-hook the trout safely and easily without too much handling involved.
Older style knotted string mesh nets unfortunately will end up scrapping the slime off of the scales and skin of a small trout. That slime is a protective barrier that helps reduce infections in the trout so these types of nets can do more harm than good.
If you have to handle a trout then please do so with wet hands that are clean. Dry hands will remove the slime so simply wetting them can make a massive difference.
As we have seen trout fishing gear and tackle is quite light and in essence very simple.
Getting your crankbait setup right from the start means better casting, better hookups and a much more precise presentation.
Crankbaits give you the ability to cover a lot of water in a short space of time.
They can either be cast or trolled and allow you to run a lure at a variety of depths and speed.
But getting the right setup for crankbaits means understanding how a bass strikes them.
Like with any lure with big treble hooks you really do need to leave a slight pause before you strike and try to set the hooks.
With these types of lures it takes a split second for the bass to fully inhale the lure into their mouths.
With smaller single hook lures and presentations you need a quick hook-set but the opposite is true of crankbaits.
The best rod for crankbaits will usually have a moderate to moderate/fast action and this is probably the most important thing to get right when fishing a crankbait.
A more moderate action will start to bend down closer to the center of the rod blank. When you strike it will delay the power of the strike running through the rod to your line and ultimatley to the lure.
This slight delay stops you from ripping the treble hooks to early, resulting in better hook up rates and less foul hooking.
You'll need a medium or medium/heavy power rated rod as you will be casting in and around heavy structures and weed beds.
This type of crankbait rod setup will generally give the best results.
However if you cannot run a separate setup specifically for crankbaits then ensure that you are using monofilament as your main line as the added stretch in mono can help to delay your hooksets.
Regardless of what type of reel you choose you should not use a reel with a high gear ratio.
Crankbaits create a lot of drag in the water and if you want to get them down to their best running depth then a high ratio gear will be running too fast and will also be difficult to use at a slow speed.
A lower gear ratio makes pulling cranks with large dive bills on them much easier.
The best fishing line for crankbaits will either be monofilament of fluorocarbon. Although if you are working crankbaits around a lot of weed braid may be an option but unfortunately it has very little if any stretch and is also highly visible.
Mono has a nice bit of inbuilt stretch so if you cannot afford a dedicated rod with a more moderate action then I would suggest that you use mono as your line choice.
You get that extra little bit of a delay when you strike with mono which should allow bass the extra time needed to really engulf your crankbait properly before you set the hook.
You can use fluoro if you have a rod with a moderate action or if you are fishing in really clear waters as it can be a little less visible than mono.
Rules for Checking Fishing Gear – Can You Bring Fishing Gear on a Plane?
When going on a fishing trip in another state or country, you may find it more convenient to fly rather than drive. However, flying brings a few additional details to consider, including whether you can bring your fishing gear on the plane.
Airlines have different rules and policies regarding what you can or cannot bring on a plane. Before your next fishing trip, make sure that you can check your gear.
You will need to carefully read the fine print of the baggage information before you book your flights.
Most airlines allow you to bring one carry-on item on the plane and check everything else. In most cases, your fishing equipment will need to be checked as baggage.
Some airlines do allow certain fishing gear on the plane as carry-on. For example a travel fishing rod is usually contained in a small rod case that can easily fit in the overhead luggage compartment.
However, your equipment still needs to comply with the standard carry-on size and weight limits. The typical carry-on size limit is 22 x 14 x 9 inches, which may not be big enough for a tackle box or a fishing pole.
If you need to check your equipment, you may pay additional fees. The number of bags or items that you can check depends on the airline. However, you typically get to transport one or two bags in the cargo section of the plane, before getting charged additional fees for excess baggage.
Unless you are traveling with no other baggage to check, your fishing equipment will likely be considered excess baggage. The fees for this excess baggage vary, with some airlines charging $100 for each bag that needs to be checked.
Airlines often have additional rules and packing instructions for specialty and sports equipment, including fishing gear. For example, many airlines have a size and weight limit for your fishing equipment.
The size and weight limits depend on the policies of the airline. One airline may allow fishing rod cases measuring up to 126 inches, while others only allow cases up to 115 inches. The most common weight limit is 50 pounds, which applies to the rod case, tackle box, and any other bags that you bring.
Exceeding these limits results in additional fees for overweight or oversized baggage, along with the excess baggage fees.
Besides excess baggage fees and size and weight limits, some airlines clearly outline what type of equipment they consider fishing gear.
For example, American Airlines and Delta count a fishing rod and reel as one item, if they are safely contained in a fishing rod case. Most airlines also consider a tackle box to be one item.
However, some airlines also allow two of these items to count as one piece of excess baggage, lowering the cost of flying with your fishing gear.
As the policies for checking or carrying fishing gear varies with each airline, the best way to determine the cost is to contact the airline before purchasing a ticket.
When inquiring about the fees, you should let the airline customer service representative know how many regular bags you plan to check, along with the number of fishing rod cases, tackles boxes, and other equipment.
Summer top water action doesn't get much better than throwing frogs over deep cover. Choosing the right frog fishing setup means hooking more fish.
Choosing the wrong setup can be a disaster. Working a frog across matted grass or heavy lilies needs some beefier tackle than other topwater lures.
Casting these lures into the type of cover where a big bass might be waiting in ambush takes a lot of accuracy.
But so too does playing the fish once it is hooked. Bass will run straight into the cover as soon as they are hooked. This means big heavy weed beds or even large lily pads.
Your frog tackle needs to be able to handle this. A light weight setup that you may use for spinning or presenting a worm on a rig just won't cut it.
The basic combination of rod, reel and line needs to be right. These are the foundation of any setup.
A good setup for frog fishing should have the power to handle dense weeds, but still have the finesse to enable super accurate casts.
You'll need to place that frog in the right area's often trying to avoid certain structures or larger heavier grass patches.
The best frog rod will tend to fall in the 7 to 8 foot range. Getting snagged in lots of weed will happen as so you will need a rod that has a lot of backbone. That means a heavy power rating.
If you end up with a big bass running through a heavy weed bed then there is no way a light or ultralight rod is going to be able to stand up to that sort of punishment.
In terms of sensitivity you will need a rod that has a fast action or even an extra fast action.
If you have ever done much pitching or flipping then you'll know that these types of setups sound familiar. In fact a lot of frog fishermen will use their pitching and flipping rods for frog fishing.
without a doubt throwing frogs all day through heavy cover is hard work and to make life easier on yourself you really should use a baitcaster reel.
Although you could use a spinning reel having the ability to stop a lure mid cast with your thumb for pin-point accuracy using a baitcaster is a major advantage.
Most frog fishermen will use a baitcaster reel that has a very high gear ratio. Look for reels that have at least a 7.1:1 gear ratio. Having that extra power in your hands means you can get the bass once hooked away from the heavy cover as soon as possible.
A high quality reel is crucial. Cheaper reels will tend to seize under heavy loads.
The type and strength of line that you choose is probably even more important the what rod or reel.
The only real answer here is braid.
And that braid needs to be heavy. Your line will need to be able to with stand not only a big bass running through heavy weed beds but it will also need to be able to cut through those weeds as much as possible.
Braid is the clear winner, Mono or Flouro just won't cut it. Both Flouro and Mono lines will not slice through weeds like braid will. At the same braking strain braid will usually be twice as thin.
It also is very low stretch which is super important for when you are setting the hook.
Braid will also float especially the heavier strength that is required for frog fishing.
You are going to need to spool your reel with at least 50 or 60 pound braid especially in very heavy weeds.
Hollow body, crankbait and popper types are all available. Hollow body is probably the go to of choice.
These will generally float, however if you find that after a few casts it starts to lose it's buoyancy then you can give it a little squeeze to remove any water from the soft body.
Throwing frog lures over weed beds and across lily pads is one sure fire way to make a bass strike hard from below.
Bass and frogs tend to hang out in similar spots i.e anywhere there is lots of cover. Large weed beds in particular are a frog favorite.
Using soft hollow bodied frogs is a tried and tested tactic that has landed many's the lunker.
If you have never tries them before then read on as we dig a little deeper into what works best and what kind of tackle to use.
The best frog lures will mimic the action that a real frog makes as it swims across the top water of a pond or lake.
They will generally be considered "weedless" lures. A weedless lure is one that has the hooks protected from being snagged on weeds by having the hooks point in and behind the body of the lure.
In the case of topwater frog lures the hooks will generally point upwards. Seeing as the lures float on the top of the water the hooks will always be up on top of the back of the frog so the chances of getting snagged are minimal
Firstly you need the right tackle!
A light weight setup is in no way strong enough for fishing with frogs. A good frog rod should have the following characteristics:
Line wise you are looking at roughly 50 lbs braid. Depending on the brand that you use you can get away with 40 lbs.
For the most part you will need a baitcaster that has a high gearing ratio on it.
Frog lures are generally cast across and on top of weed beds. However you can of course cast them just about any place that you think bass might be hiding out.
For the most part though weed beds, submerged trees and the banks of lakes that have a lot of vegetation will be the best place to catch bass with frogs.
Always try to vary how you retrieve the frog. At the end of the day you goal is to mimic how a frog would naturally swim across a pond or lake. So be sure to pause regularly just like a frog would.
If you are in more open water between two different weed beds then it makes sense to retrieve the frog at a consistent pace just like a frog would.
There are a number of different types of frog lures available on the market, the most popular kinds would be:
Without a doubt the most popular type is the hollow bodied lure. They will usually come with soft rubber legs. The legs are designed to move about as the lure is being retrieved.
The legs can either be lifelike and molded from rubber or they can be just strips of rubber that are attached on either side of the frog body.
For the soft hollow body lures there will be two hooks one on either side and both will point upwards. The hooks are both connected to the eye at the front where you tie in.
The reason they are soft is so that when a fish strikes the lure their mouth will naturally push down the soft upper back of the lure and expose the hooks leading to better hook rates.
There is a huge range of colors available but do always try to stick to the more natural looking ones. If you can try to find a frog near by and see what kind of color it's skin is. Any easy way to find then is to lift up any object that they can naturally use for cover.
The most common colors will be in either a green of brown with a natural pattern on top.
Armed with a few of these bass fishing tips you will greatly increase your chances of landing a lunker. Although some beginners can get away with beginners luck the more you know about where, when and how to fish for bass the better your chances of catching some.
Bass are the most popular game fish in North America. As long as you know what you are doing bass are some of the easiest fish to find and catch. However if you don't know what you are doing then they will not be quite so easy to catch.
That is why learning the right bass fishing tips and techniques early on will save you a lot of time and frustration. The more experience you acquire bass fishing, the more you will develop your skills and understanding of various bass fishing techniques.
This involves selecting the appropriate lure and learning which technique should be used for a given situation. Also, you would need to spend some time learning about the different fishing conditions that you may encounter in order to fully understand how to target bass..
Most bass fishermen start out learning the traditional overhand cast. Although it is easy to learn and can be used in most scenario's sometimes you want more precision and finesse.
Next up they will probably learn the underhand cast which is on a par with the overhand casting technique. However if you want to increase your accuracy and your ability to spook fish less whilst casting I would suggest getting to grips with the pitching and flipping casting techniques.
Flipping involves dropping the rod forward as you let out some line through the guides. If you are right handed it would be as follows:
Flipping is best in darker waters when getting up close to the bass without spooking them is easier. It has a limited range, the longer your rod the longer a distance you can get. Flipping is not about distance though it is primarily about close range accuracy.
Pitching uses the same action to get the lure moving forward as flipping does. However instead of letting slack line out from your other hand you let it out directly from the reel.
A bait casting is generally best for this as you can control the amount of line out with your thumb. Pitching allows you to get more distance than flipping casting does but you are probably less accurate with it.
Understanding where bass a most likely to be hiding is crucial. Bass will favor different types of cover depending on the time of year and the weather etc.
Decaying wood or wooden man made structures is one of the best spots to find bass. Fallen trees, floating logs or wooden docks bass can find really good cover under.
Fishing a topwater lure near to these structures can be very effective and also reduce the risk of snagging on them. One of the reasons these area's are effective is because baitfish also like this kind of cover, so you just consider this when choosing a lure.
Weed beds are a great place to find bass. You can work a lure across the top of a weed bed or along the side of it.
Bass will like to hid out in a weed bed especially the newer greener foliage rather than old and brown weds that are dying off. This is where a weedless jig or a spinnerbait can be best utilized. Being able to work a lure without the risk of snagging the weeds will greatly improve your chances.
Smaller shallower rocky bottoms that may be home to small insects and crayfish are going to be more productive than larger deeper rocky areas for bass fishing.
You can find a lot of smallmouth bass spawning in spring over gravel beds near to the shore and this can be a great time and place to target them.
Knowing where to find bass is only half the challenge in bass finding you still need to know when to look for them in these spots, in fact the two are directly linked.
Bass are like most other fish and will move around relative to the changes in water temperature as the seasons progress.
Without a doubt the best time to catch trophy bass is during pre-spawning in the spring. At this time bass will move to shallower waters. In these shallower waters they will feed more aggressively than usual.In warmer states this spawning time may happen as early as late January, but mostly it will occur around March/April.
At this time of year bass can be seen from the shore hanging around a particular spot as they choose a sight to spawn. This will usually occur near some kind of feature be it a dead tree, weeds or some kind of drop off or even a man made structure.
During the summer months and after spawning season bass become a lot more active due to the increase in water temperature and the need to replace lost energy from spawning. Be careful with the water temperatures bass tend to be most active between the high 50's and low 70's. Once the water temperature hits the low 80's bass may seek out the cooler deeper water.
During the fall bass can put the high summer temps behind them and hunt a lot more in the shallower waters. This can mean that fall is one of the best times to fish for bass as they begin to stock up on food before the winter. Also the waters you fish will generally become less crowded so you can gain access to the more productive spots.
Winter fishing for most fish is usually a little slow and bass are no exception. The drop in temperatures will considerably slow down the bass's metabolism and as such they will be less inclined to strike hard. Your best bet is to put a jig or worm right in front of them.
What would a bass fishing tips guide be like without a section on lures?
There is a massive variety of bass lures available ranging from simple spinner baits to plastic frog replica's. One thing is for certain, most bass fishermen use a huge variety of lures in order to cover almost every eventuality.
Soft plastic worms are some of the most versatile and effective bass lures that you can use. Because of the soft body the worm will feel quite natural to the bass and may result in a greater hooking rate than hard-bodied lures.
Worms are best fished slowly and carefully. Save the fast fishing for other more dynamic lures like crankbaits or spinnerbaits. The majority of strikes will come as the worm is slowly sinking through the water. It pays to keep the rod line fairly tight so that you can feel a bite. Once you feel a bite you will need to strike quite hard to set the hook.
The most popular way to rig a worm for bass fishing is to use the Texas rig. The Texas rig has the hook placed through the worm with the hook point back into the body. This makes the worm almost completely weedless. You can work the worm slowly along the bottom rather than leaving it too still. The other types of rigs to use would be the Drop shot rig and the Carolina rig.
Spinnerbaits are one of the best attractor baits for bass fishing. They do look slight weird but they are non the less very good at attracting bass from a distance. You can cover a lot of water using spinnerbaits.
Most spinner baits will some with a single hook that is behind the rubber skirt. This configuration makes them practically weedless and you can work the lure around and over weed beds very well.The spinning blade adds a strong visual flash to the lure. The bass can also sense the spinning blade vibrations due to sensors on their flanks. Most blade type will either be Colorado, Willow or Indiana.
One of the simplest lures for bass a simple cast and retrieve near an underwater structure or weed bed is ideal. You can also pause the retrieve to let the spinnerbait sink a little, this will cause the blade to flutter as it drops.
Like a spinnerbait a crankbait can be used to cover a lot of water quickly. Covering a large area with a crankbait can help you to locate fish a lot quicker than fishing with a worm.
There is a large range of crankbaits for bass fishing available. Lots of different color choices shapes and weights. The main factor that you need to be aware of is what depth are you going to be fishing at.
Fishing a crankbait for bass is as simple as cast and retrieve. However you do need to vary the speed of retrieval. Twitching and jerking the rod tip will give a more natural swim that mimics an injured bait-fish.
Jigs can and have produced some of the largest bass caught on a rod and line. Fishing with jigs is generally considered a little more difficult than say a spinnerbait or a crankbait as they are generally just cast and retrieve. When fishing a jig for bass however you need to use a little more skill.
Jigs are usually cast at a much shorter distance than the other lures listed above. You will be mostly pitching and flipping the jig into exact spots and this will take a little practice. You will also generally be on lighter tackle so it may be best to learn with other lures first on normal spinning tackle and then move on to jigs.
Jigs are generally worked along the bottom and they are often used to imitate small insects and crayfish that the bass will naturally feed on. They can however be taken by the bass as the jig sinks so it can be best to use some form trailer.
Topwater lure fishing for bass can be great fun. Enticing a strike at the surface can lead to more spectacular scenes than worm fishing on the bottom. Bass can hit topwater lures very hard as the stalk them from the deep.
They are shaped to produce a lot of surface ripple. This action is to imitate an injured bait-fish which the bass will consider an easy meal. The topwater lure will cause a little wake behind as it is retrieved and some will create small popping noises too.
Used when light conditions are low they can really get bass out from their deeper hiding spots. Try not to use them when the wind is too high though as the splashes they may will not be as noticeable.
Arming your self with the correct tackle is crucial to help make your lure presentation as natural as possible. Gear that is too heavy is a bad idea. Make sure you choose the right tool for the job.
For shorter casting and more accuracy a 7 foot light action spinning rod is probably the best bet. So if you are working worms or small jigs up close to natural structures or weed beds you will need something a good bit lighter than for fishing heavy crankbaits.
For longer casting and heavier lures you can use a rod 8 foot or longer with a heavier parabolic action. Fishing bigger heavier lures that you want to get down deep requires a long cast. The further the lure is away from you the deeper you can get it to dive.
A lighter rod and lure generally needs a lighter reel. A light spinning reel should be enough for most scenario's that involve accuracy and lightly weighted lures.For the bigger lures and rods then a baitcasting reel is more appropriate. A baitcasting reel allows you to throw heavier lures long distances with the advantage of being able to control the distance with your thumb. Baitcasting reels and rods are generally used once your line strength needs to be above 10 lbs.
There are three types of line available on the market and each has its own strengths and weaknesses: