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Tackle Guide

tackle guideHooks, Lines and Sinkers



Broadly there are bait hooks, lure hooks, and fly hooks. They then vary according to their purpose. E.g. a fine dry fly hook is made up of thin wire with tapered eye as weight is important factor, while Carlisle and Aberdeen light wire bait hooks’ eyes are not tapered as weight doesn’t matter. O’shaughnessy hooks are thick and strong useful for bottom fishing, while circle hooks are ideally designed for healthy catch and release.


Lines are made from artificial substances like nylon, polyethylene, dyneema and Dacron. Most popular is monofilament, that is, single strand. It is buoyant and has ability to stretch under load. Of late, lines made of copolymers or fluorocarbons or both combined have been introduced. Other types are braided lines, cofilament and thermally fused lines, also called ‘superlines’ because of their small diameter, no stretch, and great strength compared to standard monofilament lines.

Fishing lines are chosen considering their length, material and weight. Thick, sturdy lines are more visible to fish.  For a given environment, a fishing line should be chosen considering its breaking strength, knot strength, castability, stretch, visibility, abrasion resistance, limpness, and UV resistance.

Terminal tackle is the gear tied to the end of a fishing line. It consists of hooks, leaders, swivels, flats, sinkers, split rings and wire, snaps, spoons, beads, blades, spinners and clevises to tie spinner blades to fishing lures



A sinker or plummet is used as a weight so that the lure or bait should sink down the water or obtain a good casting distance. Traditionally it is made of lead. It can be of any shape, but generally is round like a pipe-stem with a swelling in the middle. Nowadays, the lead sinkers have been banned in UK, Canada and some states of USA, as they can be poisonous. The weight of the sinkers can range from a quarter of an ounce for trout fishing to two pounds for sea bass and menhaden fishing. There are brass loops on each end of the sinker to attach to the line. In swivel sinker there are swivels instead of loops. They prevent the line from tangling and twisting. The slide sinker is hollow leaden tube through which line passes, when the fish bites. It is the best sinker as it makes the fisherman aware of even the smallest bite, while in other sinkers when the fish moves them, the fisherman feels it.

fishing1Fishing rods

Most common materials used for fishing rods are fiberglass, bamboo or carbon fiber. Fishing rods have different functions and they vary in length from 2 to 20 feet. The longer the rod, the more is its mechanical advantage in casting. Several types of rods are there, such as, fly rods, spinning rods, spin and bait casting rods, ice rods, surf rods, trolling rods and sea rods.

fishing1Fishing Reels

A fishing reel is used to wind and unwind the fishing line on a spool mounted on an axle. Most often reels are adjoined to the fishing rods. But some special reels are placed on crossbows or to gunwales or transoms. There are centerpin reels, bait casting reels, spinning (fixed spool) reels, spin cast reels and underspin reels.


Fishing Baits

fishing1Natural baits

Natural baits used to attract the fish may be dead or alive, and commonly consist of bait fish, leeches, worms, minnows, salamanders, frogs, nightcrawlers and other insects. Natural baits are more effective as they offer the natural texture, color and odor.

Earthworms, grubs, maggots, grasshoppers, bees, and ants are the most preferred natural baits for trout fishing. Some believe that trout or salmon roe is the best, while others are of opinion that croaker and shrimp are more identified and accepted by the fish. Trout and salmon are not allowed to be used as baits because of the risk of whirling disease.

Processed baits are prepared by mixing natural ingredients like bread crumbs, flour, etc. Some of them are groundbait and boilies, which are best for coarse fish like carp, while bread bait, which are prepared by a small amount of bread moistened with saliva to make small ball which a small fish can gulp, are best for a fish like bream, found in the southern climate, like the lakes of Florida.

fishing1Artificial Baits / Fishing Lures

They are also called fishing lures, and are designed to lure fish. They may or may not look like a prey. They may impart an attractive action. Nowadays, electronic lures have been introduced. Fishermen have started using plastic baits too. A soft plastic worm is used to fish commonly using Texas rig, which is a fishing technique that uses soft plastic worms.

fishing1Bite Indicators

Bite indicators are mechanical or electronic indicators which make the angler feel if some movement is there at the hook end of the line. There are several types of indicators. It depends on the type of fishing, which one is to choose.

Other devices, such as floats, too work as indicators, as they dart about when a fish bites. Quiver tips which are mounted on the tip of the fishing rods are also indicators. An electronic device, such as, bite alarm is also used, which bleeps when the fish bites. They are audible, while floats and quivers are visible.