Essential Trout Fishing Equipment – A Complete Guide
This post will cover the essential trout fishing equipment. Like all hobbies, trout fishing requires some specialized gear and equipment. All of the items will be covered in detail.For the most part, equipment and tackle the main three trout species, brook trout, brown trout, and rainbow trout will be discussed.
The list of essential trout fishing equipment is:
Fishing rod and reel
Waders and staffs
Fly boxes and tackle boxes
Flies and lures
Forceps, pliers, and nippers
Hats and sunglasses
For the purposes of this article on trout fishing equipment, we will confine the discussion to wading and fishing from small boats. Most of the trout caught fishing this way are not huge, a few pounds or so. Most really large trout are caught by anglers trolling in large bodies of water. That is a bit of a specialized technique, best covered in a separate article.
Fishing rod and reel for trout
The fishing rod and reel are obviously very important pieces of trout fishing equipment. The two most often used types are spinning outfits and fly fishing outfits. Anglers can also use light baitcasting or spincasting rods and reels, but these are much less used to casting in streams and lakes.
While there is no one outfit that will cover every trout fishing situation, anglers can narrow it down depending on their situations. Most trout caught are a few pounds or less. Therefore, a 6′ light action spinning rod with a 1000 series reel spooled up with 4 pound test line will cover most trout fishing situations.
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A trout fishing rod and reel like this is very versatile. It is fine for casting light lures and baits in streams, ponds, and makes. It will let smaller fish put up a nice battle while still handling a decent fish. Anglers can also troll light lures with this, though bumping up to 6 or 8 pound test line might be in order. Obviously, in situations where large trout are present, the tackle should be a bit heavier.
Fly rod and reel
Many anglers associate fly fishing and trout. This type of fishing was basically created for fishing for trout. Fly rods and reels are definitely important parts of trout fishing equipment.
Fly rods, reels, and lines are designated by “weight”, expressed such as “4 wt”. This makes it very easy to match the components, which is very important. A 4 wt outfit is great for fishing creeks and small streams. A 5 wt combination is better for larger streams and rivers as well as fishing in lakes. In most cases, a floating line is the best option.
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Buying a fly rod and reel can be overwhelming, but it need not be. Many manufacturers offer kits that have everything needed at a modest price. Trout fishing really does not require long casts, it is more about technique and presentation. Also, vendors such as Riversmith offer specialized fly rod carriers on top of a vehicle to transport fly rods while keeping them rigged up and ready to go.
Waders and wading staffs
Waders are extremely important pieces of trout fishing equipment. Anglers who fish for trout will often find themselves in the water. Waders should be insulated, as the water that trout prefer is usually cold. There are a couple of different options for anglers to choose from. Waders can be purchased as one unit with the boot attached or separately, with the waders going on and then the boots going over the stocking foot waders.
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Wading staffs are excellent pieces of trout fishing equipment that will certainly add to the safety of the sport. At one point or another, every angler wading slips and falls on the slick rocks. A wading staff adds a third point of contact, making wading much safer. Most staffs have a lanyard of some type so that it stays out of the way while fishing.
Fly fishing vests are optional pieces of trout fishing equipment. This is mostly due to the fact that modern waders have clever little spaces to stow and keep tackle and other gear handy. However, vests are still quite handy. Anglers most often use them over waders. They are also an excellent option when “wet wading” without waders.
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A landing net is a crucial piece of trout fishing equipment. Trout are active and slippery and are often hooked on tiny hooks. A landing net will help ensure the catch while also making it easier to release the fish. Modern nets have rubber coatings that do not remove the important slime off of the trout. Most also resist being snagged. They come with a lanyard and are often placed over the angler’s shoulder.
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Tackle and fly boxes
No matter what type of fishing an angler engages in, he or she will need some type of tackle management system. Fly anglers have fly boxes to keep their flies organized as well as places to keep leaders. The same goes for anglers spin fishing, they will need to store lures and other terminal tackle.
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The type of tackle store required will depend on the type of fishing an angler prefers. Those who wade are are constantly on the move will want to pare down the gear and keep things simple. Anglers fishing from a boat or the shore of a lake can obviously make different choices. Small soft tackle boxes work well in this application.
Flies and lures
The list of flies used by anglers fishing for trout is extensive and will certainly not be tackled here. Suffice it to say that anglers will need a decent selection of fies to cover the current conditions. Local fly shops are the best source of both information and product in this regard.
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Anglers spin fishing for trout have it a bit easier. There are a handful of lures that will catch trout almost anywhere. A basic lure selection includes a 1/16 ounce Rooster tail spinners, small Kastmaster spoons, size 04 Rapala Floating Minnow plugs, and small jigs.
Anglers can read more about trout fishing lures in this article by Capt Jim
Forceps, pliers, and nippers
Pliers, forceps, and nippers to cut line are other pieces of trout fishing equipment that anglers will need. Fortunately, these are not expensive nor do they take up much room. Forceps are best for fly anglers to release trout. Anglers can clamp them in a handy spot. Spin fishers will usually fare better with small pliers. Simple nail clippers work great for trimming knots and cutting line.
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Hats and sunglasses
Hats and sunglasses may seem like an afterthought, but they are very important when fishing for trout and most other species. It is important to be able to see ledges and other underwater factors that may hold fish, as well as actually spotting fish themselves. Hats will help keep the sun and glare off of an angler’s face, and even neck, depending on the hat. Sunglasses will help anglers see as well as protecting the eye from an errant fly or hook.
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Creels are an older piece of trout fishing equipment that are not used as often as they used to be. They are designed for anglers walking streams to keep a fish or two cool and fresh. Many anglers practice catch and release these days. Also, coolers and ice have replaced creels and even stringers for those who want to keep a few fish to eat.
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In conclusion, this article on the essential trout fishing equipment will help anglers acquire the gear needed to enjoy this sport!