Going fishing? This ready reckoner on fishing equipment will help you pick the right combination of fishing rods, reels, lines and baits.

Salt water fishing:
Salt water fishing includes many variations, rock fishing, surf fishing or boat fishing, for example.

Salt water rods are made from graphite, carbon fibre or fibreglass materials and each has benefits for particular fishing types. Graphite rods are sensitive but more brittle and are best suited for deep, bottom dwelling fish or light biters, where sensitivity is a big plus.

For both sensitivity and toughness, a carbon fibre rod is best for the more active fish, while fibreglass rods are more flexible and are suitable for troll fishing. For making long casts from the beach, go for a graphite or carbon fibre rod.

Monofilament line stretches, are good for trolling. Braided line, being low diameter and sensitive, works well for bottom fishing; fluorocarbon line, being practically invisible under water, is perfect as a leader line.

For bait, the choice is between artificial or natural. Again, the choices are many, but the basic rule is to use, or mimic, the natural food of the fish you are trying to catch. Great natural salt water bait includes sea worms, mussels, shrimps or small crabs.

Fresh water fishing:
Rivers, lakes or streams, the varieties for fresh water fishing are almost endless, as are the choices for tackle and bait.

Most rods are made from carbon fibre or fibreglass with fresh water rods generally shorter than salt water rods.

Fishing line should be matched to the type of fish you’re hoping to catch.  Using too heavy a line can result in fewer bites, while a large fish can break a light line.

The choice is again between natural and artificial bait. Good natural baits include worms, grasshoppers or leeches. Dough bait can also be used, ready-made or make your own from flour and water.

Fly fishing:
Most fly fishing rods are made from bamboo, fibreglass or graphite. Use a shorter rod for small streams where space for casting is limited and save the longer rod for large rivers.

Fly fishing line is specifically designed to allow you to place the fly exactly. The weight, colour, coating and taper of the line all affect this ability.

Best results are obtained if you can identify the local insects in the stream you are fishing in and selecting a fly to simulate these. Basic types of flies are dry flies, simulating the adult insect, wet flies that resemble the emerging adult and streamers that represent small swimming insects such as larvae.

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