I want to start fishing and don’t know where to begin?

I’m looking for advice on equipment and accersories that would be good to have. I live in Los Angeles so I have freshwater, pier and deep sea fishing all available to me. Are the reel and rods that work for all conditions or would I need different equipment for different locations?
Another question, what is the difference between spinning, trollling, casting, and spincast reels?

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13 thoughts on “I want to start fishing and don’t know where to begin?

  1. As far as deep sea fishing, you don’t need a thing other than money. Go down to one of the landings and buy a ticket on a half or three-quarter-day boat, a one-day license (if you’re over 16) or a full year license if you’re serious about it, and rent a rod for use that day.

    While you’re out on the boat, look at the gear the other people are using and ask questions.

    Right now, the fishing is mostly bottom fishing for rockfish and the like, so there’s no casting involved, it’s mainly fishing in 100-300 feet with heavy sinkers, with 20-30 pound line. In the summer, you fish near the surface or in shallow water for warmer water fish like bass, barracuda, etc.

    Current fish counts are at the link below (as well as contact info for the landings).

    You can fish off piers with just about any tackle, generally lighter stuff than you need for offshore (freshwater gear is usually fine), but really there’s not a whole lot to catch, especially this time of year.

    Freshwater tackle is generally lighter than saltwater, depending on what you’re fishing for (generally 2-14 pound line.)

  2. It depends on what type of fishing you want to get into usually people have a rough idea so i will try to give you some options, firstly you have go fly fishing (a favorite of mine although no so easy to start out with and can be expensive), next you have fresh water fishing using a standard rod of about 8ft and a fixed spool reel, fishing like this you can catch bass, i would recommend this for a beginner as its good fun and the basics are easy to master, then you have surf fishing once again this is good for a beginner but you will need a larger rod and often a multiplier type reel such as that made by abu Garcia then of course there is deep sea fishing which is also a favorite of mine this time you rod length is allot shorter and a large multiplier reel with 30lb test line needed give this a go because you can get onto a boat and hire the equipment easily and see if you actually intend to continue fishing all if the local skippers will give you advice as to baits etc. There are numerous websites to get info from so have a look at these

    knots you will need

    places to buy equipment

    One last thing and that is if you do buy equipment get the best you can offord however if your a little low on funds shakespere ugly stick rods are good for the price and you cant go wrong with a shimano reel. Other info on evert type of fishing try here
    The reels you are confused about are simply what their name says they are if you get what i mean, casting are designed to be fast running, spinning reels are often used for many applications of fishing such as bass fishing, they are also known as fixed spool reels, trolling reels are what you would use when trolling with a live bait or artificial bait, when you become more experienced you may wish to use these methods.

  3. You need to start with basics. For fresh water i recommend an Ugly Stick by Shakespeare.For pier fishing/surf casting stick with the best. St. Croix rods are hands down the most affordable
    “best”.A Penn reel is the way to go for both.Ask your sports/bait retailer to help you.Get your self a subscription to Bass Master magazine.If you happen to live close to a hatchery, they allow
    certain times of the year where people can fish.Best of luck to you as you embrace this hobby and sport.It’s my passion, as my name suggests.

  4. Common decency requires that I warn you. You are risking a life long addiction. Once you start fishing and acquiring tackle, there is no end. Sure, it starts innocently. You just buy a rod and reel, and a few lures. Then, it starts. You catch a fish. Then, a few more. Then some fiend recommends some lure, or piece of equipment you don’t have. So, you find yourself in a fishing department looking at rods, trying reels, and browsing the racks of lures. You find yourself watching fishing shows on TV, reading magazines about fishing, and talking about fishing. Before you know what’s happening, it’s too late. Now, if you aren’t going to forget the whole idea, I suggest that you go to where other fishermen fish. We, as a group, are always willing to offer advice. You can get recommendations for your area. I suggest you start with an ugly stick, with a shimano 4000 reel. That will cost only about $60. You can also get 4-5 decent lures for another $25. I strongly recommend one of the “super” lines, like spiderwire. But friend, I warn you- it never ends. I started 50 years ago with a stick, a piece of string, and a hook with a worm. Now, I have a tackle box as big as Rhode Island, boat, motor and trailer, and a dozen fishing rods. I’ve fished from the Florida Keys to the Arctic watershed in Northern Canada. All five of the Great Lakes. Buddy, it’s too late for me- I’ve spent thousands of hours with a rod in my hands. If I don’t fish for a few days, I start getting an itching feeling, an uncontrollable urge to see my rod tip twitch, that sick need to see if they’re biting. Sure I have wonderful memories. And yes, I’ve made great friends that share my addiction. But except for the wonderful times, and great meals and friends- fishing is a waste. BUT, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. LOL

  5. Honestly, anything worth doing is worth reading about.

    You should purchase a book on fishing. The “Dummy” series of books have one on fishing, (Fishing for Dummy’s). This will answer any basic question you have.

    Most everyone I’ve ever met started fishing with a bobber and a live worm for Bluegills or catfish. Or a piece of dead shrimp/squid under a cork/bobber for pinfish.

    Fishing easiest-hardest:

    1. Bluegill/Shellcracker/Crappie- Use live worms/crickets/meal worms/minnows under a bobber. Upgrade to small jigs and beetle-spins.

    2. Inshore saltwater fishing- Pier/Jetty fishing for various species of fish. This would include “Flats/inshore creek” fishing.

    3.Largemouth/Smallmouth Bass/Walleye/Northerns-Use live Shiners/crawdad/live worms/minnows. Upgrade to lures.

    4. Offshore fishing-Unless you go on “charter’s” you would have to spend some serious cash to pursue offshore fishing in earnest. Offshore fishing is probably the most “dangerous” form of fishing.You can lose a finger easily if your not careful; and sometimes MORE than a finger!

    5. Trout/Salmon Flyfishing- Probably the “toughest” form of fishing.You have to know how to tie some decent knots, & “read moving water” & “hatches” of bugs, Etc. If you really want to learn about flyfishing, take a seminar.

    Fishing is a “hands-on” hobby. The only thing you REALLY NEED to learn “right off the bat” is how to tie knots. The rest you can pick-up as you go. And of course, if you ever need a question answered the people on YAnswers will help. (Listen to Peter_AZ & Bob. They are from your State.)

    And “YES” you will need special gear for each type of fishing.

    Most people start on a Spincast reel, (the push-button type)-Graduate to a Spinning reel-Move to a Baitcaster-learn a Trolling reel, (offshore).

    Spincast Reels are easy to cast but lack accuracy-Spinning Reels are a little “tougher” to cast but you get improved accuracy & distance-Baitcaster Reels are the “hardest” reel to learn, but once learned are VERY accurate. Most Trolling Reels you can figure out in an afternoon.

    Hope this helps somehow? Good luck & welcome to “the addiction”!

  6. step one, find a friend that fishes. This is very important if you plan on doing it right and saving money. For your first rig, go to walmart and ask the dude that works there whats good for a newb that you can use at the lake/pier for under 30 bux. After you learn the basics here’s a good setup thats durable and of good quality. Get a shakespeare ugly stik with a length of between 6 and 7 feet, medium – heavy action $30-40. Try to get a one piece rod as opposed to a two piece but its not a big deal. Then get a Shimano Sonora 2500FA reel, for $50. You can use this at the lake and the pier. Don’t go offshore fishing yet, but when you decide your ready, you can either rent gear from the landing or buy your own for about $40 bux at walmart.Well good luck and if you come down to San diego just let me know.

  7. I will make it as easy as it really is. First figure out yourself what fish you would like to fish for first. Go to your local bait shop, ask them what is biting and let them show you what you will need to catch that species. They will help you out because it brings them repeat business and a good name. Hope that helps, and to get better you can read , but nothing will help you more than experience, practice and hands on. good fishing.

  8. Go to Big Fish Bait and Tackle in Seal Beach. Talk to Bobby, the owner. He will be honest with you and wont just try to take your money. He taught me tons when I lived there, and I trust him.

  9. Spinning – for lighter lines
    Baitcast – less twist

    You can find some equipments that could work in all conditions…. Something in between……….

  10. I would choose to start with what is most interesting to you, keep it simple and build up gradually. There is no good all purpose rod/reel combination, so this is why I say focus on your main interest. Since you live in the LA area, which is where I am located, there are variety of choices of where to begin. Fresh water and pier fishing would be the easiest and best way to start.

    I would not try a sport fishing boat as a starting point. Most likely you will not have a good experience, and not want to try again. The best start would be to go with friends who fish and learn from them. If not, go to a full service tackle store, and ask some questions, but do some reading and research first. Be able to ask questions with some basic knowledge, without this some shops will try to take advantage of you. The book that was already recommended “Fishing for Dummies” is an excellent starting point, easy fun read and full of good information.

    Get a copy of Western Outdoor News. It comes out every Tuesday all over So Cal. There are fishing clubs listed that sometimes have events and seminars for beginners. Call them, as most of the people involved are interested in helping promoting fishing. May be another place to start

    Please feel free to Email me direct with any further questions. As I said earlier I also am in the LA area and would be happy to help you.

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