Are you considering taking up fishing?
It's a relaxing sport enjoyed by many, from young kids to retirees. Not much can top an early morning out on the water, sitting in a skiff with your rod and reel while the trees, birds, and calming quiet surrounds you.
It's about more than just catching a fish. Fishing takes you from your everyday busy life back to a simpler time, one where people made space for breathing deep, sitting in silence, and contemplating life out in nature. If you bring a friend, it's where connections happen, where good conversations are had, but also where you can enjoy each other's company without having to say much. When all is said and done, bringing in that fish is just a bonus.
At Freedom Inflatables, we have many models of kayaks and boats to help you get started with fishing or upgrade your current equipment. But first, let's talk about what preparation you'll need beforehand in order to begin a lifelong enjoyment of the sport.
Do Some Research
Luckily, fishing is a popular and ancient past time, and many books have been written on it. I recommend you go to your local library and pick up a few guides to fishing, especially if you have a specific type that you're wanting to try, such as fly fishing. Online fishing forums will also have some good advice.
Start researching what equipment you'll need before starting, too. At first, stick with the basics, but make sure they are of good quality. These are a rod, reel, line, hooks, weights, and live or artificial bait. Once you become more familiar with the sport, you can get more equipment. The main types of fishing are saltwater, freshwater, ice, and fly fishing. Also, find out which lures are best for the fish you want to catch. Old fashioned earthworms are the gold standard, but many artificial lures or other types of bait work well for the many different species of fish that can be caught.
What to Know:
- The basic parts of fishing rods and reels
- The anatomy of a fish
- Where you will primarily be fishing
- What types of fish you want to try to catch that are in your region
- Decide on mainly freshwater or saltwater fishing (the gear changes significantly for each of these)
- The types of lures you'll need
Obtain a Licence
Each state here in Australia has different regulations on and how to get a fishing licence, if you need one. There are generally exemptions for youth, seniors, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Each state also has restrictions on fishing, which can be found on their respective Department of Fisheries websites.
Get the Gear
At your nearest sporting goods store, try and find someone knowledgeable about fishing who you can speak with about purchasing your equipment. Keep in mind what location you'll be fishing at and what kinds of fish are there. Avoid all of the gimmicks and whirligigs that you don't need, like thousands of artificial lures. The goal is to get out and fish, pure and simple.
If you're seeking to bring your fishing to the next level, some of our offerings at Freedom Inflatables may interest you. We carry both inflatable kayaks, nifty boats and dinghies, depending on your goals. The Advanced Elements Angler Kayak is specially designed for the discerning fisherman in mind, packed with conveniences like a mounting rail and comfortable high back seat. Our line of Nifty Boats are incredibly durable and versatile, able to be used with paddles for rowing or with a motor up to 5 horsepower. They’re stable enough that you can stand while in the water, too. We enjoy inflatable kayaks and boats because of their extreme ease of use - they both pack up in a zippered bag for effortless transporting and storing.
Before heading out, get some techniques under your belt. Learn a couple of knots, how to cast, and how to assemble your rod and load the line on your reel.
How to cast a spinning reel rod: Tie a small sinker to your line and go out into your backyard or a field to practice. It helps to use a target spot you want to aim for as you practice. The key here is to practice until you get the timing of release right.
1. Grasp the rod at the reel level with your thumb pointing up. The place where the reel fixes to the rod is held between your ring and middle fingers. Press the line above the reel with your finger against the rod.
2. With your other hand, open the reel’s bail so that the line is free to come out.
3. Standing in the direction you are casting, lift the rod in a smooth motion up just behind your head. This action happens in your wrist and elbow, not your shoulder.
4. As you snap the rod forward, release your line to send your lure flying.
Knots: Two indispensable knots to know are the Arbor Knot and the Improved Clinch Knot. Nick at fishingnoob.com gives this good advice: A great way to learn new knots is by printing out an article with graphics on how to tie knots, and leave it by the television or your bed along with a hook, some line, and scissors to cut the line. Before you go to sleep or during commercials, practice tying knots.
A Few Explanations:
Fishing tackle encompasses all gear used by fishermen when fishing. Terminal tackle, alternatively, describes all artificial lures, hooks, sinkers, floats, and other gear attached to the end of a fishing line.
A fishing pole is a simple natural stick with line attached for catching fish, while a fishing rod is a more complex modern version made of other materials and including guides to feed the line through.
Angling is another word for fishing with a rod, which has its origins in Old English, and which is even referenced in Shakespeare.
Beginning fishing doesn’t have to be as complicated as it may seem. Keep to the essential elements, combine that with a bit of humility for when you make newbie mistakes, and you’re well on your way to an enjoyable lifelong hobby.