Sifting through the countless numbers of websites that offer fishing guides and how-to’s can be overwhelming, but we want to assure you that you’ve come to the right place to glean some powerful beginner fishing tips that will get you started on the right track.
In your quest to become a skilled angler, you’ll want to know and understand exactly what kind of rod and reel is best for each particular situation or for individual kinds of fish species. Aside from having a solid grasp of bait and tackle items needed for a successful outing on the water, one of the most important bits of wisdom one angler can pass on to another is advice pertaining to the various kinds of gear items utilized by expert fishermen and women.
The following list of items are among the most fundamentally important things an angler can have in their arsenal of fishing gear.
Table of Contents
- Do I really need polarized sunglasses?
- What kind of hat is best for sun protection?
- What does needle nose pliers look like?
- Are circle hooks better?
- What are the best fishing gloves?
- Why is basic first aid important?
- Why do we need insect repellent?
- What is the best headlamp for fishing?
- What do you wear to go fishing in the rain?
- Why use a dry bag?
Eyesight is vitally important for anglers the world over. Whether you’re fishing on a small mountain stream for elusive trout or miles off the coast in search of giant blue marlin, your ability to protect your eyes and improve your vision will play a major role in the overall success of your trip.
A good pair of polarized sunglasses is essential for anglers to have success on the water. Polarized sunglasses block out horizontal light rays while only letting in vertical rays. For those who spend hours and hours on the water, a good pair of sunglasses will go a long way in preserving eyesight.
Polarized shades also provide a significant advantage to anglers by allowing them to better see into the water and identify submerged structures or schools of fish. No matter where you’re fishing, having a good pair of polarized sunglasses is absolutely essential.
Wearing a Sun-Protective Hat
Anyone who spends more than a few hours in the outdoors will quickly realize the necessity and value of having a hat that is both comfortable and cool, and also has the ability to protect you from the sun’s rays.
When it comes to choosing a good hat to wear for fishing trips, it’s best to lean toward headgear that will protect you from damaging UV rays instead of simply grabbing a hat that will look cool in a photo op of you holding a trophy game fish.
If you pay attention to the kinds of hats worn by fishing guides, you’ll notice that they almost always wear something with the main purpose of sun protection. That’s because these guides are out on the water many days out of the year, and they’re aware of the dangers of going unprotected from the sun.
Wearing a hat that’s specially designed for sun protection is key and is among the most important beginner fishing tips you can get. You might wonder, why would an angler not simply wear the hat of their choice and apply sunscreen to any exposed skin on their head, face and neck?
Using sunscreen almost always involves having greasy lotion on your hands, which can make it hard to grip your rod and reel—especially when you’re in an intense fight with a trophy game fish.
But perhaps the most undesirable effect that sunscreen has is leaving unwanted scent on your lure or bait. Once you apply sunscreen to yourself, it’s very difficult to clean the lotion off your hands. If you then touch and handle your bait, you’ll contaminate it with strong chemical scents that will turn fish away in a hurry.
With that in mind, what are the best fishing hats for sun protection?
GearTOP Navigator Series Fishing Hat - This hat is ideal for anglers as it is both lightweight and carries the ability to adequately protect you from damaging sunlight. In addition to a stylish design, the Navigator Series Fishing Hat features a breathable mesh top panel which allows heat to escape and keep your head cool—even if your fish gets off the hook.
With an adjustable drawstring, you’ll be able to wear this hat on windy days, and even when you’re speeding across the lake en route to your favorite fishing spot.
Best of all, this hat’s fabric is actually rated UPF 50+, which blocks 98 percent of the sun’s dangerous rays and significantly lessens the amount of sunlight your head and neck area is exposed to.
GearTOP Discover Series Sun Protection Fishing Hat - Staying cool and protected from sunlight is often as simple as keeping your skin covered. This hat’s lightweight design offers plenty of protection without heavy fabric used by other brands that might instead trap heat.
This hat features a wide brim, as well as removable neck flaps and a breathable mesh face cover that combines to offer complete protection from the heat and damaging UV rays. With breathable mesh paneling, the Discover Series Fishing Hat is ideal for fishing, hiking, and virtually any outdoor activity where you’ll need to protect your head and neck.
Most of the gear which anglers carry with them on the water is intended to help them hook a fish, but it is also just as important to have the ability to carefully unhook the fish in a way that will not cause unnecessary pain or damage.
Having a pair of needle-nose pliers is recommended by the majority of fishing guides across the world. These will allow you to quickly and effortlessly dislodge hooks from the fish’s mouth and get them back into the water as quickly as possible.
The vast majority of hooks that have been used over the course of the last 50 years have been barbed hooks. Barbed hooks were designed to ensure that the hook remains in the fish’s mouth no matter what kind of acrobatic maneuvers the fish does on the end of the line.
—which do not feature a barb—are actually more effective at keeping fish hooked and cause much less damage to a fish’s mouth.
UPF 50+ Fishing Gloves
Believe it or not, an angler’s hands are perhaps the most exposed portion of their body when they’re spending hours and hours on the water, especially when fishing in direct sunlight with little or no shade.
Many beginners quickly find out the hard way that the backs of their hands can be sunburned just as easily as any other part of their body without adequate sun protection. As we’ve already noted, coating your hands with lots of oily sunscreen lotion will often lead to contaminating your lure or bait with chemicals and scents that will undoubtedly send fish in the other direction instead of attracting them to bite.
Fortunately, lots of popular fishing equipment and apparel brands are now producing fishing gloves that are rated as having UPF 50+ protection. This allows you to keep your hands protected from dangerous UV rays and also make sure you aren’t getting any unwanted substances on your bait.
Many of these fishing gloves, such as PFG’s Terminal Tackle Fishing Gloves, are crafted with quick-dry fabric technology that means you won’t have to wear soaking-wet gloves all day while fishing. In fact, these gloves will enhance your ability to grip your rod and reel, making it less likely that you’ll lose your grip during an intense fight with a giant fish.
Fishing is not necessarily a dangerous activity, but anglers should always take precaution and be prepared to respond to any injury with live-saving measures. Having a first-aid kit in your boat, kayak, or inside your tackle box is an essential beginner fishing tip that is often overlooked.
This is one of those “you take it with you on every trip, but hope to never need it” items that shouldn’t be overlooked. You can bet that nearly every fishing guide will have a first-aid kit that’s easy to find in case of an emergency. Many anglers might opt to leave their first aid kit in their truck or at home in order to free up space, but a well-stocked first-aid kit can truly mean the difference of life or death for anglers who experience accidents on the water.
You might be able to get by without a bottle of insect repellant on some fishing trips, but leaving it behind will eventually lead to a trip that’s thoroughly ruined. Nothing will turn a fishing trip sour faster than being mobbed by hungry mosquitos that see you as an easy target.
A solid beginner fishing tip is to research the area you plan to fish and the different bugs that might turn out to be a nuisance. There are different methods you can employ to make extra effort to avoid being bitten by insects, but packing some insect repellant should always be high on your fishing gear list.
Remember to pay attention when spraying insect repellent around your fishing gear as you want to avoid spraying it on any tackle, and especially on your bait. Fish will certainly pick up on the strong odor of most insect repellants and will avoid your bait like the plague.
Most of the time, fishing is best done early in the morning or late in the evening. Regardless of the time of day you plan to go fishing, it’s a smart idea to bring along a good LED headlamp.
For anglers fishing at night, this is undoubtedly a must-have item, but anglers who are day-tripping still need to have a good LED headlamp. It’s never enjoyable to have problems with your boat and be stuck on the water well after dark with no headlamp or other light source. You also don’t want to rely on your cellphone’s flashlight as it will quickly drain the battery, and you’ll risk dropping it in the water.
Many seasoned anglers would argue that the most important fishing tip for beginners related to gear is making sure you pack some rain gear. This can sometimes be hard, especially if you’re limited on the amount of gear you’re able to take with you, but failing to bring it along will definitely make your trip go south.
Paying attention to the weather is key to planning any fishing trip, but there are times when a rain-shower will pop up out of nowhere. You might not always need to bring large, bulky jackets and waders, either. Sometimes, throwing a small poncho in your tackle box will be the difference maker in staying dry or getting soaked with no shelter for miles.
Another bit of wisdom that most experts abide by is the fact that fish bite more aggressively just before or after a storm.
Being prepared for anything when you’re fishing is highly important, especially preparing for undesirable incidents. One of the most crucial gear items you can bring along on your fishing trip is a dry bag that’s able to store all of your valuable items that you can’t afford to get wet.
You’ll want a dry bag that’s capable of fitting your phone, wallet, matches and any other items that are truly essential should you find yourself in a survival situation. Most anglers will simply keep their phone in their pocket or sitting out on the boat, but this is a very risky move as you never know when you’ll take a tumble into the water.
If you do happen to fall into the water, you’ll be very thankful that you went the extra mile and placed all your crucial items in a dry bag. Also, be sure to tie your dry bag off to your own clothing or life vest, or somewhere else to ensure that it won’t sink to the bottom in the event that you do actually take a dip.
You’re probably wondering “Which gear item is most important?”
Whether you’re brand new to fishing, or even if you consider yourself a bonafide angling expert, we encourage you to purchase one of our GearTOP fishing hats . A quality fishing hat is a sound investment that can be worn on any fishing trip, or any other outdoor activity where you’ll need protection from the sun’s damaging rays.
The GearTOP Discover Series and the Navigator Series hats are both excellent choices that will provide you with more than enough sun protection for years to come at a relatively low price.