Start Reeling: What You Need to Go Fishing & Tips for Beginners

Quick tips to get you reeling through the fresh water near you

Fishing can be an intimidating hobby to pick up. You can spend a lifetime on the water and still have lots to learn.

Waterfall GIF Top Strike Fishing

If you’re just getting started, we’ve put together some basic gear recommendations for fresh water fishing along with some tips that might help beginners reel in their first catch.

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Creek Fishing? Try Casting Downstream for Trout

Four good reasons to give it a shot…

Conventional wisdom says that if you’re fishing a creek for trout, you should cast your lure upstream and retrieve diagonally downstream. And there’s a good reason for that: trout are often watching upstream for their next meal to swim by.

However, there are many benefits to casting downstream when creek fishing, and in our experience a hungry trout will strike your bait just as aggressively regardless of which direction you cast.

In fact, we’ve caught just as many fish casting downstream. Here are four good reasons why you might want to try casting the opposite way next time you’re stomping through a stream near you.

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Spool Up: How to Put Line on a Fishing Reel With an Arbor Knot

Grab your rod, reel and some line…

There’s a lot to learn if you’re just starting to fish, and knowing how to put line on a reel is up high on the list of essentials. Although it’s simple to do, spooling fresh line on a reel can be confusing.

We’ll get you casting in no time flat with a few quick steps and some demos.

Before we get going, note that we’re assuming you already have a rod, reel and some line at-hand.

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Stop Reeling: Try Flipping and Pitching for Bass and Trout

Great technique for stream fishing and bank fishing

Working your bail and spool while making long and accurate casts can be big fun. But those types of casts don’t always make sense. Sometimes more finesse is required if you want to get your lure in more difficult but less-fished locations.

How to Pitch Cast a Fishing Lure

Densely weeded banks and rocky creek beds are home to many bass and trout that flip and pitch casting can reach more easily than you would be able to by making standard casts.

The techniques take a little practice to learn but we’ll get you started on pitching and flipping your lures with this guide.

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Is Today a Good Day For Fishing? Where Can I Go Fishing Near Me?

Tips and resources for determining when and where to go fishing…

When’s the best time to fish? If you love fishing, the only bad day is the one where you aren’t on the water. But there are certainly better and worse conditions for catching fish, and countless variables that can be taken into consideration if you want to know whether or not it’s a good day for fishing.

The weather alone is tough to judge. Has there been a big change in barometric pressure? What about temperature? Is a storm coming? Did it just blow over? Are the water levels different? Muddy? Is it day or night time? What about the lunar cycle? Full moon? New moon? Neither?

Those questions and more are worth discussing. But if you just want to know whether you should hit the water today, there are many sites that can help you find times when fish are most likely to be active.

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How to Make a Fish Stringer Out of Carved Wood and Cordage

Do it yourself with scrap materials and a knife…

If you plan to keep your catch, you’ll want some way to bring it along as you continue fishing – ideally keeping it alive in water so the meat stays fresh. Fish stringers made out of paracord, bank line or some other cordage are cheap and compact, so it’s worth keeping a couple of them with your other fishing gear.

Although basic rope stringers are only $5 or $10 on Amazon, you can make one yourself for free with scrap materials – a strong stick and some durable string. The only other thing you’ll need is need a knife or something to carve down the wood, and half an hour to spare.

Full demonstration video below!

The “needle” end of a stringer is narrow enough that it can slip through the mouth and openings in gills of a fish. You guide the needle through its mouth and gills, pull the string most of the way through, then wrap the needle around a ring or loop on the opposite end of the cordage to secure the fish. Now you’re ready to carry your catch from fishing hole to fishing hole.

These simple rope stringers are still great to have as a lightweight backup if you already own a heavier all-metal stringer like this.

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Why Should You Learn How to Fish? That’s a Good Question

Some lifelong skills and lessons we’ve learned from fishing…

They say that nothing worth having comes easy, and this is certainly true when it comes to catching fish. Learning how to fish is anything but easy. Getting started involves handling sharp things with unfamiliar motor skills, there are plenty of confusing knots to memorize, and because the activity has an infinite skill ceiling, it can take a while before you’re any good at it.

But once you get the hang of it, fishing is more than just fun. Casting and retrieving eventually becomes muscle memory, letting you focus deeper on all the other factors that can be taken into consideration when catching a fish, and worrying less about keeping your line out of a tree.

Rippled water surface.

Before long, fishing becomes meditative and struggling through the initial learning curve comes with valuable lessons.

If you’ve ever asked yourself why people like to fish or how people benefit from fishing, here’s our best attempt at answering those questions…

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How to Tie Fishing Knots – Two of the Best Fishing Knots to Know by Heart

The improved clinch knot & double uni knot cover most of the bases…

Knowing how to tie fishing knots can make or break your experience on the water. For all the knots there are to wrap your head around, few are as valuable to memorize as the improved clinch knot and double uni knot.

Versatility can be hard to come by in a knot. Most of them serve a specific purpose with few use cases outside that special scenario. They also tend to be complicated, involving many wraps and loops to complete.

Animated GIF of Improved Clinch Knot Being Cinched Down
Full demonstration video below!

Remembering how to tie fishing knots can be difficult between their limited applications and how many steps are often involved with tying them.

Whether you’re fishing for the first time or just brushing up on the basics after taking a season off, we’ve got you covered with a quick guide on how to tie two fishing knots everyone should know: one that will let you attach any line to any lure, and another that will attach any two lines together.

Let’s get tying.

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