FishingFishing Tips

Trout Fishing Tips – Rainbow Trout Fishing Gear and Lures


Trout is a term used for several types of fish that are a part of one of three genera: oncorhyunchus, salmo or salvelinus. They live in freshwater, but some trout do spend time out in the ocean and return to freshwater to spawn, just like salmon, which trout are closely related to. Several common types of trout are brown trout, lake trout, rainbow trout and steelhead. A trout’s diet usually consist of other fish and aquatic invertebrates. When a trout reaches over 12 inches they’ll usually only feed on smaller fish. Trout are a very popular game fish and many state wildlife agencies stock lakes, ponds and streams with trout for anglers to catch.

You can locate trout in lakes and streams with cool water. The ideal temperature range is 50 to 60 degrees. Juvenile trout can also be known as fry, troutlet and troutling. They tend to mature around 2 to 3 years of age. The lifespan on trout depends on the species. For example, a rainbow trout can live up to 7 years while lake trout can live for several decades. The color variation of trout varies greatly and is dependent on the type of trout you’re looking to catch. Trout are not only popular with anglers, they are also popular on the dinner table. Trout, along with its close relatively salmon are a common staple in many American’s diets.


What To Use When Trout Fishing

Since rainbow trout grow to about 12 inches, you are safe even with ultralight tackle. A standard trout fishing rig would include a spinning reel, 4-8 lb test flurocarbon line and a light or ultralight action rod.

There are two big rules to remember when trout fishing: 1. Powerbait will only work on stocked trout (most likely), and 2. Most trout over a foot long cut flies and insects out of their diet. These won’t make or break the bite, but they will affect the type of trout you hook into.

Powerbait (or trout marshmallows, or any dough bait substitute to imitate pellets) is simply not a good choice for natives. Stocked trout grow up in hatcheries and on farms where they are fed pellets. Dough baits like Powerbait are created solely to imitate those pellets in sight, texture, and scent. If you are fishing for natives, they likely have no idea what that glob of dough floating in front of them is. While you may get a bite out of curiosity, it is unlikely that they are conditioned to eat those pellets and will lay off your line.

If you’re looking for BIG trout (steelhead or larger adults of the bows, browns, and brooks), avoid fly, mayfly and tiny haired imitators. While they may snack on zooplankton, flies or other tiny insects occasionally, they almost exclusively eat smaller fish, worms, shrimp, and larger insects when they are over 1 foot in length. To imitate those common trout meals when trout fishing, here’s what you should throw.


Counting Down

Another mistake I notice a lot of anglers make is that they begin to reel in the spinner as soon as it hits the water. If the trout are feeding near the surface, you’ll be fine; but this is not always the case. If the trout are holding deeper in the water column, chances are it will be a very slow day.

The solution? Count your lure down. Depending on the shape and size of the spinner, a good rule is that it will sink one foot per second. After you make your cast, wait and count. This will give you an idea of how deep your lure is. I will usually reel in one cast on the surface, then let the next one sink down for two counts, then 4, 6, 8 counts and so on. Eventually, you will know where the bottom is. This will help you focus on the entire water column.

All right, and now for some advice that might sound silly at first. I count out loud. I don’t scream it, but loud enough so I can hear myself. Why, might you ask? Well if you catch a fish on an “8” count, wouldn’t it make sense to count down to eight again the next time? Of course! Sometimes though, in the heat of the battle with the trout, I will forget what number I was at. I find counting out loud helps me keep track of where I was. Maybe this won’t be an issue for you. Just thought I’d throw it out there.

So there you have it, between fan casting and counting down, your lure you will be covering much more of the water in front of you, and reaching more trout. You’re already on your way to being a much more effective spinner fisherman!


Other Rainbow Trout Tips

If I am fishing in a lake with which I am unfamiliar, I usually start at an end of the lake that has a stream flowing in or other moving water.  It seems those spots always cause fish to congregate.  I usually set up one rod with a floating worm, cast that out, put a strike indicator of some sort, put it in a rod holder and then fish around that spot with a Kastmaster or other lure for a while.  If I get no hits on either the worm or the lure in about 1/2 hour I go to another promising looking spot.  That approach seems to work pretty well all the places I have fished.  Of course, I’m always on the lookout for fish activity such as trout rising for insects or chasing baitfish on the surface, birds diving to pick off baitfish, etc.  If the water is very clear and I can see the fish I switch to the plastic jig in a natural color.  I put it in front of the fish I can see and see how they react to different types of twitches.  If I see a trout become interested in a certain retrieve, I will try that in other spots, even if the trout I could see does not ultimately eat.  Many times it is harder to catch the fish that you can see, especially in still water, because they can see you.

When fishing in a river I like to concentrate on slower moving pools and spots of slower moving water behind large rocks.  Trout don’t sit in the fastest part of the current; that would tire them out.  They wait in ambush in spots outside the current and dart out to eat things that float by.  Try to make your bait or lure float by in the same way that a stray bug or worm or fish might.  They have to make a split second decision on whether to eat it or not and are generally easier to catch than trout in lakes as a result.

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Fishing Tips

Striper Fish – Fishing Gear and Techniques


From Virginia to Maine, striped bass (Morone ­saxatilis) are often the center of every hardcore angler’s universe. Strong, hard-striking and gorgeous, with fleeting hues of pink and purple, the extraordinary bass is revered by sportsmen along the coast.

Yet most fishermen who spend more than a few days on the water each season acknowledge that the dynamics of striped bass fishing have changed considerably. Anglers saw shifts in striper size and abundance for well over a decade, with the latest science — a stock assessment released in 2014 — pretty clear in its conclusions: Numbers have diminished gradually but significantly since 2006.

As with most other bass, stripers will tend to stay closer to the surface during the fall and spring and then go deep during the hotter summer months. For those spring and fall months, you can have some success with top water lures such as poppers and minnow lures that suspend just below the surface. For those summer months, some deep diving crank baits will produce some nice keepers. Also, working some jigs or flashy Roadrunner lures will get get you results.


Striper Gear

The first thing you need for striper fishing is the proper gear. I prefer the Yozuri Pencil. This bait is designed to dart back and forth across the top in what is commonly referred to as “walking the dog”. The action of this bait is really what separates it from other “dog walking” style baits because it will maintain that desired side to side action whether you are working it slowly, or trying to burn it as fast as you can. It has incredibly sharp hooks, great sound, and you can cast it a mile.

The next thing you need is a long, stiff, fast action rod. You can use a flipping stick if you’re not able to have a rod designated solely for topwater fishing, but I recommend getting one for topwater plugs and frogs because you’ll want that intended design when it comes to this particular style of striper fishing. For the reel you want high speed, at least 7.3.


Striped Bass Fishing Techniques for Fooling Finicky Bass

Every year I hear of instances where schools of bass refused to hit anything thrown at them. I’ve had my share of disappointing outings, however, over the years, I’ve honed a few techniques that often convert that frustration into success.

On most occasions, when stripers are being extremely finicky, their feeding activity is taking place right near the surface. In addition, the water is usually either very clear or very off-colored, and baitfish schools are nearby. Under these conditions, my observations suggest that the fish are either seeing too much of a lure, or not enough of it.


Have a Need for Speed

Have you ever had a striper smack your plug as you hurriedly reeled in the last ten yards of your retrieve to make another cast? Or has a bass continually boiled, bumped, or rolled behind your offering without grabbing it? Often times these things occur when the water is crystal clear and the surf is fairly calm. Under these conditions, a simple increase in retrieve speed may be all that is needed to trigger a solid strike. One outing, almost 25 years ago, gave me some insight into the effectiveness of speed. During that last week in September, false albacore consistently invaded the surf, and once a school of these speedsters were within casting range, all fishermen on the scene would start throwing metal or small Polaris-style poppers. The trick was to retrieve these lures as fast as possible. As a school pushed past me, I finally had an albie – or so I thought – explode on my popper.


Work the White Water

When stripers are being finicky about taking an artificial lure in clear water, and there is white-water created by breaking waves nearby, use it to your advantage. I’ve been lucky enough to catch fish, at times, along a crowded beach of empty-handed fisherman because I recognized that the bass would only take a plug in the limited white water available. Precisely timing my casts with the breaking waves and having the lure work on the back edge of the wash was the ticket.


Do Nothing

Many years ago, after a successful fishing trip to Canada, I was confronted with a very problematic school of bass back home. Acres of stripers were slurping baitfish off the surface all around me in the dark, yet my plug came through the school without so much as a bump. I had a similar encounter with finicky walleyes in Canada a few weeks earlier, and wondered if the technique that helped me connect with the north-of-the-border walleye would work on these hometown stripers.


Get Creative with Colors

Certain color patterns perform better under specific conditions when feeding stripers are reluctant to strike. In crystal-clear, calm-water conditions, I’ve had my best results using the most natural and subtle color patterns. Patterns and lures imitating the prevailing baitfish are the first to come out of my plug bag. With advances in modern manufacturing technology, some lures look almost life-like. Under cloudy-water conditions, I opt first for higher visibility patterns in yellow, yellow and black, red and yellow, or all black. Here, I want to choose an offering that will stand out the most in a murky environment.


Own the Night

Sometimes, when stripers are active toward late afternoon but are rejecting artificial offerings, a little patience can go a long way. Often, after most anglers have given up and gone home, the few that stick it out another hour into darkness are rewarded with the best bite of the day. The cover of darkness often turns nippers into strikers.


Get Down and Dirty

Although I am rather stubborn about abandoning artificial lures under most circumstances, the fact remains there will be times when quality stripers will only respond to the real thing. This is especially true when schools of bunker are being followed by big striped bass. At this time, a snagged bunker will often be the only offering that will take a good fish. The same can be true with clams, bloodworms, cut baitfish, and other live or fresh baits.

Be a Tease

When stripers are in their lure-rejection mode, there are a few reliable tactics that always seem to save the day for me during the season. One tactic that has worked for generations of fishermen is the use of a teaser in front of the main lure offering. These little wisps of feather, bucktail, flash and plastic, or a combination of all, account for thousands of finicky bass each year. Bass often crush these tiny morsels with reckless abandonment, while ignoring a more substantial target. Although I primarily fish without using a teaser during the season, because they cuts down on casting distance, I always carry a few in my bag for special situations. These are a few techniques that have worked for me and other fishermen over the years.

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Fishing Tips

Tiger Musky Fish – Fishing Tips and Equipment


Muskie (Esox masquinongy) are a large species of freshwater fish that are native to North America. Muskie is just a nickname for this species of fish, the true name is muskellunge. In the pike family muskie are the largest member and they are actually a very uncommon fish. They are only found in large rivers, mesotrphic lakes and oligotrophic lakes in North America. Muskie will hunt and feed on prey that is up to 30% of its body length and this can include fish crayfish, frogs, ducklings, muskrats, mice snakes and other small birds or mammals. In the spring months they will prey on generally small prey while in the fall they will hunt larger prey to prepare for the winter months.


Where to Fish

New River

The lower New River in southwest Virginia and West Virginia is the best option for musky in the area. The state record musky was pulled out of these waters in 2007.


James River

The upper James River above Lynchburg is not quite a big a river as the New, but is rapidly gaining a reputation as a musky fishery of equal production.


Shenandoah River

The VDGIF stocks both forks and the main channel of the Shenandoah, adding an intimidating predator lurking just under the surface of one of the East’s most beautiful rivers.


Cave Run Lake

The “Musky Capital of the South” is located just east of Lexington, Ky. and is famous for its large fish and consistent feeding action. The 54-inch state record was caught here in 2008, but you can also fish the tailwaters.


Melton Hill Lake

Part of the Clinch River system in Tennessee, Melton Hill Lake is nearly 5,500 acres of prime predator habitat. The tailwaters are another great option, and a 50-inch limit is a testament to the behemoths that lurk there.



First-and-foremost, know that musky fishing is not a cheap hobby (or addiction). The high prices of baits, rods, reels, line, etc. may steer many new musky anglers to buy the cheaper musky gear. Take my advice from someone who has “been there, done that”. It will be much cheaper in the long run to make the initial investment to buy quality gear. Outlined below are my recommendations and necessities for musky fishing.

Release Tools – Catch and release of every musky is critical in order to keep this sport alive. Having the correct, quality release tools should be the first thing any musky angler buys. ALWAYS CATCH AND RELEASE.

  • High leverage bolt/ hook cutters
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Musky-sized jaw spreader
  • Mike Hulbert’s Musky Release gloves
  • Muskie Bumper – 60” Fatboy Muskie Bumper
  • Frabill 40” X 44” Power Catch “Big Kahunna” Net – A net of this size is used to as an “in-lake” live well. It’s important that you keep the musky in the net while unhooking it, taking it out of the water only briefly for a short picture.


Musky Fishing Baits

There are thousands of musky baits to choose from, ranging from small spoons to two pound soft plastic baits. If you are new to the musky fishing world, knowing where to start can be extremely difficult. This section of the article outlines what I consider “must-have baits” for the any musky angler. Every bait has a time and place for different times of the year and conditions.

The “Figure 8” – Quite possibly the most abstract concept to most new musky anglers, the “figure 8.” Muskies, being at the top of the food chain in most waters they inhabit, have little to nothing to fear. This makes them curious and meticulous by nature, which results in very abstract feeding habits. Muskies will often follow a potential meal before even considering actually eating it, your bait included. So, how do you coax a following musky into eating your bait? The figure 8. Think of a boat side figure 8 as an extension of your cast. As you’re reeling in your bait and it gets close to the boat, whether you see a fish behind it or not, start speeding up the retrieval speed. You never want to reel slower when going into the figure 8. Put your rod tip into the water and make wide sweeping “figure 8” motions with little (about 2 feet) line out. Wide turns are key to successful figure 8’s. It is very hard for a 48-inch musky to follow your bait if the arc lengths of your turns are only 30 inches. If a musky is following boat side and is right behind the bait, in-and-out of every turn and speed up your figure 8. Oppositely, if a following musky is very lethargic and seems uninterested, slow down your figure 8 in hopes that it will seem to be an easier target. Every cast, no matter what bait used, ends with a proper figure 8.

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FishingFishing Tips

Fishing Hook Sizes – Fishing Hook Knots – How to Tie A Fishing Hook


A novice fisherman will hit the water armed only with the knowledge of an overhand knot. A real angler wouldn’t dare venture out with such a limited arsenal.

Different situations call for different knots. The knots needed for tying fishing line to a hook are different from the knots needed to join two sections of line together.

To be prepared for anything, learn these knots before you hit the water.


Tying The Fisherman’s Knot

The real name of the Fisherman’s knot is the Improved Clinch knot. But way back when, many people called it the Fisherman’s knot because every angler knew how to tie it, and it was often the first knot they learned to attach a fishing line to a hook.

Knot-tying instructions use a few standard terms. These terms are pretty self-explanatory, but just to make sure the instructions are clear, here they are:

Tag end: The end of your line. This is the part that does the knot-tying.

Standing line: The rest of the line that runs up toward the reel.

Turn: Sometimes called a wrap. A turn occurs when you pass the tag end completely around the standing line.


To tie the Improved Clinch knot, a.k.a the Fisherman’s knot, follow these steps:

  1. Run the tag end of the line through the eye of the hook and pull 8–10 inches of line through the hook eye.
  2. Wrap the tag end around the standing end for five wraps or turns.
  3. Now pass the tag end through the loop next to the hook eye.
  4. You have formed another loop that includes your wraps.
  5. Pass the tag end through that loop.
  6. Wet the loops with some saliva to lubricate the knot.
  7. Hold the tag end and standing end in one hand and the bend of the hook in the other; then pull with steady pressure.
  8. If you are not sure about safely holding the hook, grip it firmly but not super firmly with needle-nose pliers.
  9. Tighten slowly.
  10. Clip the tag end so that only 1/8-inch is left.
  11. A standard fingernail clipper is a great tool for making a clean final cut on the tag end.

The Only 5 Fishing Knots You Will Ever Need To Know

Here are the top most-used fishing knots you should start out learning.

Every angler needs a few things to be successful: a good fishing rod and lure combination, a great location, and the ability to tie a few simple but pivotal fishing line knots.


The Palomar Knot

If you learn to tie a particular knot – especially if you fish with a braided line of any kind – make it the Palomar knot. Regarded by anglers as one of the strongest knots, the Palomar serves a similar function to the improved clinch knot, securing a hook or swivel to one end of your fishing line, or fastening a fly to a leader.


The Blood Knot

Unlike the improved clinch knot and the Palomar knot, a blood knot is not used to fasten fishing line to hooks or lures, but is instead utilized for tying two pieces of fishing line together. Used often fly fishing or for making use of broken or odd length fishing lines, the blood knot is an easy-to-learn and valuable skill to have on any fishing boat.


The Improved Clinch Knot

Chances are, if you’ve been fishing for more than about a week, you know how to tie an improved clinch knot. It’s one of the most important knots in all of fishing, used by most anglers to secure their hooks, lures, or swivels to the fishing line.


The Surgeon’s Knot

Like the blood knot, the surgeon’s knot comes in handy when you need to attach two different pieces of fishing line. Unlike the blood knot, the surgeon’s knot is optimal for fastening together two fishing lines of different diameters.


The Spider Hitch Knot

Used to boost the strength of a fisherman’s line, the spider hitch knot is a lesser-known, but no less useful knot to have in your arsenal. By forming a double line, the spider knot is able to take on heavier hooks or leaders.

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FishingFishing Tips

Crappie Fishing Tips – How to Catch Crappie


The Crappie (Pomoxis) is believed to be native to the eastern United States and Canada. Due to wide transplantation, populations of Crappie exist in all of the 48 contiguous states today, making them a very popular North American game fish. American Expedition is proud to present information, interesting facts, and photos of the Crappie.

The name crappie can refer to either the white crappie, which is lighter in color with vertical black stripes, or the black crappie, which is and darker with a pattern of black spots. Both species are similar in size, shape, and habits. The average crappie weighs between 1/2 and 1 pound and measures 5-12 inches, though they are capable of growing much larger. Crappie are very social fish and form schools to live in.

When to Find Crappie

Fortunately for us freshwater enthusiasts, you can find freshwater fish any time of the year. Unlike their saltwater cousins, these fish are trapped in the lakes and rivers, and you simply have to know where to find them during each season, which we describe below. In general however, “crappie season” is essentially the winter season when the fish come close to shore, making them easy to find and catch on any type of gear.


Where to Catch Crappie

During the winter season, crappie come close to shore to spawn. Similar to all of the other sunfish, they spawn in the shallows and make beds – shallow depressions in the sand – where they lay the eggs. This is where most of the crappie are caught during this season, right near the vegetation, in 3-to-5 feet of water. Throughout all other seasons, crappie will be offshore, which makes finding them a lot more difficult. The best way to find them during this time is by using several rods to test the depth profiles, as the fish may be anywhere. Usually, they will be somewhat near structures offshore.

The Different Types of Rod Choices for Catching Crappie

You don’t need fancy or expensive gear to catch crappie. Since crappie aren’t the largest or toughest fighting fish you’ll encounter, just about any fishing rod setup will work.  You’ll want to avoid fly fishing rods and stick to Carbon Fiber or bamboo, and usually keep the weight on the lighter side.  Here’s an overview of the rods best suited for crappie fishing.

Telescopic Crappie Poles:  If you like the idea of the classic cane pole, but want the advantage of modern materials, a graphite or fiberglass telescopic crappie pole may be just what you need.

For many crappie fishing techniques, very long rods are required to fish effectively. The idea is that the further you get your bait or lure away from the boat, the better your chances are of hooking a fish before scaring the entire school away. Modern crappie poles come in lengths from 8 feet all the way up to 20 feet. Telescopic crappie poles, like the B’n’M Black Widow, collapse to a relatively small size, making them easy to transport and store when not in use.

Telescopic crappie poles are a good option if you plan on doing a lot of bank fishing, especially in heavy brush. They can also be used effectively from a boat for spider rigging, which we’ll cover later. One of the main advantages of a long crappie pole is that they often have a very sensitive tip that helps you detect the most subtle crappie bites.

The PLUSINNO Spinning rod and Reel Combo is a great choice for beginning crappie fishermen just starting out.  If you already have a reel you can save a few bucks and check out the Shimano FXS 2 Piece Spinning Rod. This is also a great choice if you are looking for an ultralight option that comes in a variety of different lengths.

Ultralight Spinning Rods:  Of all the rod types for crappie fishing, you’ll have the most options in terms of selection and configuration when you go with an ultralight spinning rod.

Ultralight spinning rods for crappie come in a wide range of lengths from less than 5 feet to over 16 feet. The length of the rod should be determined based on the fishing tactics and methods you plan on using.

Shorter rods in the 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 foot range are best suited for vertical jigging from a boat. Vertical jigging is usually done with the aid of a fish finder, with the fish you see on the screen located within a small circumference under and around your boat. Using a shorter rod allows you to keep your lure where the fish are without question.

Mid-length rods in the 6 to 7 1/2 foot range are perfect for cast and retrieve fishing with jigs and other lures. The longer rod length helps you make longer, more accurate casts.  This is helpful when you want to skip your bait under a dock or an overhanging tree.

Longer spinning rods in the 10 to 16-foot range are the go-to choice for trolling baits and lures when spider rigging. The long length keeps the bait and lures away from the boat and propellers, and helps you cover a broader sweep of water when trolling. Long rods can also pull double duty for fishing slip-float rigs and dipping jigs into places with tight cover.

Most crappie anglers prefer rods with highly sensitive, soft action tips and sturdy butt sections. The soft tip helps you detect the delicate bites crappie are known for, and the sturdy butt section gives you adequate power if you need to horse a crappie out of heavy cover.

Some crappie anglers prefer rods with faster action tips, especially when vertically jigging in deep water. The faster (stiffer) tip helps you impart action to your jig when it’s down 20 feet or more.



TIP 1: Here’s a litle trick you can use when crappie get “lock-jaw”.

You’ll need 2 fishing rods. Rig one of the rods with a jig (or a minnow) under a bobber. The other rod need to be rigged with a large crankbait (or a spinner).

STEP 1: cast out your bobber rig.

STEP 2: cast the lure setup beyond the bobber.

STEP 3: reel it as quickly as you can, towards the bobber rig.

STEP 4: repeat step 2 and 3 above.

You’ll find you get a lot of strikes on the bobber setup because crappie think another fish is coming for the bait. This stimulates a natural instinct to attack the bait first. A survival mechanism.


TIP #2: Another trick, for when you’re night fishing…

Throw a few extra minnows in a glass jar and seal it with the lid. (Makre sure to poke some holes in the lid first.)

Next, tie a rope to the jar and drop it a 1-2 feet below the surface.

Make you’re using a light on board, and even shine it into the water, in the area of the jar.

Finally, drop your bait down by the jar. Crappie will be attracted to the small “school” of minnows in the jar, and will attack your bait in the process.


TIP #3: If you’re desperate, and nothing else is working, use a double jig rig. Put a chartruese jig on the top, and a yellow or white jig underneath.

Put these under a slip bobber, and give ’em a twitch periodically.

You’ll get your fair share of “double hook-ups” with this setup.


Tip #4: Give fly fishing a shot… yes. For crappie.

Use any streamer fly pattern… but the best are the small Clouser minnows, and Crappie candy.

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FishingFishing Equipment

Best Spinning Reel – Best Saltwater Spinning Reel – Spinning Reel Combo


Saltwater spinning reels were once primarily the domain of small- and medium-game fishing, but recent innovations in metallurgy and design have made them a player in big-game fishing as well. Advances in drag systems, gearing and line capacities mean your spinner can win encounters with wahoo, amberjack, grouper, sailfish and other big game while still shining during the surf fishing and jigging they’re best known for.

Spinning reels are designed for ease of use and also practicality. With the ability to hold plenty of line, get a good casting distance and also to have a quick retrieve ratio for high speed spinning. Not only are they great for casting and retrieving lures but they can also be used for trolling, bottom fishing and also surf fishing. With a massive range of sizes to choose from there is sure to be one that will suit your fishing style and budget.

Our spinning reels are made from quality metals such as aluminum, stainless steel and brass, with precision-machined single-piece frames. Choose from low speed reels for bass and redfish, high speed reels for game fish, and even two speed reels to rapidly recover slack line if a big fish makes a quick turn. Spinning reels can be found for using monofilament line, braided line or both, with varying length and test strength capacities. As a longtime family-operated business, we have the personal fishing tackle knowledge to help you select the saltwater spinning reel right for your unique needs and budget.

The Best-Selling Fishing Reels on the Market – Spinning reels are the best-selling category because they are simple to use and give you remarkable diversity – it’s not complicated.

Superior Quality at Affordable Prices – Affordability is another reason why you need to get a spinning reel. Here at the Fishing Tackle Shop, we stock a massive range of sizes and brands of spin fishing reels at astonishing prices.

A World-Class Selection of Fishing Reels – We take great pride in the range of spinning reel models we stock at Fishing Tackle Shop. The list of brands we offer is a who’s who of the finest producers of fishing gear in the world.

Meet the Producers – Shimano spinning reels are among the most highly regarded on the market, not to mention the excellent Daiwa spinning reels. We also stock Penn spinning reels as well as models from Fin-Nor, Okuma, Pflueger, Quantum, Rovex and Van Staal which ties up most of the major fishing brands. You’ll only find the best fishing reels here at

Making the Right Choice is Easy -In-depth descriptions and specifications are available for all of our fishing products. With so many spinning reels available on the market, we want to help guide you toward the most suitable choice of spinning reel for you to make fishing a breeze.

Browse our wide selection of top brand name spinning reel seats including Fuji, Pacific Bay, American Tackle, Mud Hole for all your custom rod building projects. Whether you are looking for a comfortable aero grip, throwing live bait, or looking to hurl huge weights past the surf, we are confident we have a reel seat for your specific fishing application.


How to Cast a Spinning Reel

Beginners new to the art of attempting to catch fish will likely have their first experience with a standard spinning reel and rod. It’s an ideal set-up to go after the type of fish typically found in freshwater lakes and rivers, and it offers a lot of versatility when considering what types of tackle you’d like to put at the end of your line. But even if you do your homework to get the right bait or lure on your line, it won’t do you any good if you can’t cast it properly. Learn the fundamentals of properly casting a spinning reel and you’ll find that migrating to other styles of fishing, like fly fishing, is far easier.

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Fishing Equipment

Using and Selecting the Best Spinnerbait


Spinnerbaits attract and catch bass in a more unique style than any other bass lure. At first glance they don’t appear like they would be an effective lure because theres really nothing natural looking about them. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Spinnerbaits have been catching bass for decades using blades that flash and leverage the sensitivity of a basses lateral line through vibration.

They’re one of the most popular lures used in bass fishing, from weekend anglers to tournament fishermen. One reason for their popularity is how versatile these lures are. A single spinnerbait can effectively cover just about any area in a body of water. They’re semi-weedless too so they can be fished in and around cover in deep or shallow water.


Using Spinnerbait

Spinnerbait fishing lures have metal blades that spin like a propeller when the lure is in motion, creating varying degrees of flash and vibration in the water. Spinnerbaits are used principally for catching predatory fish such as perch, pike and bass, and are particularly helpful in attracting fish as you begin your day out on the lake.

Selecting a Spinnerbait

The two most important factors you need to consider first when selecting a spinnerbait is the speed and depth you’re looking to fish it. The speed of retrieval is heavily based on the style and number of blades you choose. Naturally the heavier the weighted head is the faster it is going to sink down in the water column, but the blade style and/or combination of blades on the bait is going to play a major role in the running depth as well.



Spinnerbaits are available in a range of sizes from micro to maxi models. The largest ones, from 1 to 2 ounces, are used for northern pike and muskie fishing, and sport two large blades, a big skirt, and often a large soft-plastic trailer on the hook. One-quarter- to ⅝-ounce models are typical for bass, pickerel, ​and small pike, in varying blade and skirt-trailer combinations.

The lightest spinnerbaits, in 1/16- to 3/16-ounce sizes, are used with light or thin-diameter line and light spinning tackle, primarily for bluegills and crappie, but also for smaller specimens of largemouth and smallmouth bass, plus white bass.

Small spinnerbaits usually feature a single blade on the overhead shaft and a soft grub-shaped body rather than a multi-tentacled skirt. For the most part, these are fished in shallow areas and near the surface.



In large part, the weight of a spinnerbait is determined by the size of the head on the lower shaft.

This is essentially a lead jig head and is usually forward-tapered to facilitate passage through the water and around obstructions. On small spinnerbaits, that head may be rounded, like a ball-head jig, but for most bass models, it is shaped more like a cone or bullet. Some heads may be turned up slightly to resist diving and enhance upward or shallow movement, especially on a fast retrieve.


Blade Styles and Function

Spinnerbaits principally feature Colorado, Indiana, and willowleaf design blades, or hybrid versions of these basic styles. The Colorado is between round and pear shaped and is generally believed to produce the most vibration, although this is a function of how much it is cupped. The more cupping there is to the blade, the greater the vibration. The common size is No. 4, which is roughly the size of a quarter, but the range is from No. 2 to the magnum No. 8. Colorado blades are often found on single-blade spinnerbaits. They are good for slow retrieves, murky water, and dark conditions. A small Colorado may precede a larger willowleaf blade on a tandem spinnerbait.

Indiana blades are teardrop-shaped and produce good vibration, too, though they spin faster, and work well on tandem-blade lures.

They, too, are used in combination with other blade types, either in front of a willowleaf or behind a Colorado. Willowleaf blades are shaped as the name implies and come to a sharply tapered tail point. These long blades are mainly used on a tandem rig with a big No. 4 or 5 willowleaf, usually in silver or copper, behind a smaller Indiana blade; however, willowleaf blades can be used in tandem, or as a single, and are preferred in the magnum sizes (up to No. 8) for big fish. The willowleaf doesn’t offer as much vibration as other blade styles, but it revolves freely and produces a lot of flash. It is an attention getter, especially when hammered or fluted or spiced with light-bouncing colors.

The style or combination of blades to use may be a reflection of where and how you fish. Tandem-blade spinnerbaits are generally meant for speedy retrieval.

A twin willowleaf combination is the best for quick retrieving, and a willowleaf-Colorado combination is for more intermediate retrieval. To get a slow retrieve, especially in shallow water, you need a blade that grabs a lot of water and spins well. This might be a Colorado combination, or more likely a single Colorado blade, perhaps of large size.

Although some anglers use tandem blades for deep fishing, this lure’s effectiveness there is primarily when being retrieved rather than when falling, because the blades usually get tangled on the drop and don’t rotate. Try spinnerbaits that produce more vibration when the water is turbid or when it is cold, and spinnerbaits that produce more flash when the water is clear or when it is warm.


The Ultimate Spinnerbait

Built using Freedom’s revolutionary hybrid head design, the Freedom Live Action Spinnerbait grabs fishes’ attention with a lethal combination of free-swinging action and vivid flash. For maximum movement, the hook on the Freedom Live Action Spinnerbait is attached using their advanced interchangeable hook design which gives trailers a natural swimming presentation.

In addition, this hook release system allows for quick and easy replacement, so anglers can pre-rig a variety of trailers and switch them out without ever having to retie. Also, the revolutionary design keeps fish from using the lure as leverage to spit the hook, resulting in more landed fish.

From end-to-end, the Freedom Live Action Spinnerbait features premium components, including a super bright Willow/Colorado blade combo, top-of-the-line swivel, and a spring lock trailer keeper. Finished with a hardened epoxy finish for long-lasting durability, the Freedom Live Action Spinnerbait delivers a bright, highly attractive presentation that will help trigger strikes from otherwise uninspired fish.

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Fishing Equipment

How to Find the Right Fishing Waders for You


Wading is where fishing gets serious! Today’s breathable chest waders offer comfort and the best performance for the modern fly fisher. Most prefer the stocking foot style with separate lightweight wading boots, but we also sell many boot foot waders.

Sometimes you need fishing waders just so you can cast your fly to a fish, which makes waders an indispensable tool for fly fishing, especially for fly fishing beginners who don’t cast well yet. Some rivers are lined with brushy banks and the only way to cast is to wade out into the river. Some lakes have shallow bottoms and you need to wade out to get where the fish are. Some streams are just more fun when you scramble around in them or even just cross over to the far bank where fewer people go. Fly fishing waders make you more effective and can make fishing more fun, plain and simple.



Wade into the quiet of the stream in a pair of high-quality, durable fishing waders. Adjustable suspenders help ensure a snug fit to help keep you dry while out in the water. Choose between stocking-foot waders that can fit into wading boots or waders with boots built-in for maximum security against cold water & terrain. Whatever style you prefer, you can find an excellent pair of fly-fishing waders or chest waders in this selection. Look through our entire selection of waders and accessories for other options and items that can help you get the most out of your fishing trip.



Keep your fishing gear safe and away from the water until it’s needed with the storage pockets found on these fishing waders. Many of these fishing waders are made with chest pockets to keep fishing essentials easily accessible. Some are even waterproof and can be removed for easy filling or passing off to a fellow fisherman or fisherwoman. With a good accessory pocket on a pair of waders, you can have the equipment you need just a zipper-pull or button-click away. See what’s available in this diverse selection and find the right fishing apparel for your next outing.


A pair of quality waders can help you take on the great outdoors.

Anglers, bird hunters and outdoor adventurers of all types can trek through watery terrain in quality chest waders, hip waders and waist waders. The latest waders are crafted of quality material to provide lightweight warmth and complete water protection, while never hindering your movement in the field.

Anglers can find chest waders, with built-in boots that provide total traction on slick rocks beneath the water’s surface. Easily carry lures, tackle and more with you in a chest wader built with a lightweight but stable fold-out table.

For less coverage, turn to waist waders or hip waders that are built with an articulated leg for total mobility. Safely stash away gear in a fishing vest designed with convenient pockets and ample ventilation to keep you cool and dry as you fish.

Grip rocks in the water and slippery terrain with ease in fishing wading shoes built with durable full-grain uppers and reinforced stitching. Expect quality from top brands like Pro Line®, Field & Stream®, Korkers®, Patagonia® and many more.

Waders should provide warmth and weather protection, but still be lightweight enough to enable you to move without restriction. To combat water seepage, look for waders with fully stitched or taped seams.

You can choose between chest waders that come with built-in boots or with stocking-feet bottoms that are paired with your favorite fishing or hunting boots.

Your wading boots should be amphibious—traction-ready for walking in streams but comfortable for trekking distances on land. Choose wader boots designed with cleated outsoles or deep lugs. Lightweight cushioning in the midsole of your shoe provides extra comfort for long days in the great outdoors. A reinforced toe box in your wader shoes gives you the protection you need.

Pockets and compartments give you a spot to stash small essentials. Look for features such as detachable bottoms that convert into short fly vests. Ensure that pockets and compartments are secure for holding extra hooks, lines and lures. Choose a vest with ventilation panels for maximizing airflow and a lightweight construction, so you move easily on the water.

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Fishing Equipment

A Guide for Selecting the Best Fishing Reel Types


Find new and replacement fishing reels for all types of rods and fishing trips here. All of our equipment has been designed and manufactured by top brands to ensure that you have the very best fishing reels for the job wherever you choose to fish. If you’re looking to find something lighter than your current reel or with the capacity for a longer line then you’re in the right place. We’ve got a choice of fishing reels for anglers of all abilities and levels of experience, with budget-friendly and high quality options available to buy today. Browse the collection in our online store now to find the perfect reel for you to help you land a whopper!

There are countless categories of fishermen in this world, all with their own intensity and skill level. Whether young or old, amateur or pro, freshwater or saltwater, or casual or serious, every angler has one thing in common: using a reel to cast bait out on a line.

There are many different reel styles that cater to different fishing practices. This article will review the best fishing reels available for ice fishing, fly fishing, salt and freshwater fishing, and more.

Bring in Your Catch: Learn More about Fishing Reels

Make the most of your day by the water. Shop fishing reels and bring home your next trophy catch.

From freshwater fishing to a day on an iced-over pond, finding the right fishing reel is critical for your outing. Select from a variety of different constructions, materials and features for the reel that matches you. Explore the collection:

  • Freshwater Reels
  • Saltwater Reels
  • Fly Fishing Reels
  • Ice Fishing Reels

Shop top-rated brands like Shimano, PENN or Shakespeare.

Line capacity: Is vital for selecting a reel. Reels can handle as little as 15 yards to as much as 900 yards. The amount of fishing line you’ll need depends on your fishing. For example, fishing in a pond or stream will require only minimal line capacity. If you plan on fishing in a lake, you may need more line capacity to handle the water’s depth and the type of fish that may run with your line.


Gear ratio

With a fishing reel, turning the handle on the reel engages gears that turn a shaft on the spool. The faster the handle is turned, the faster the spool rotates. Lower ratios provide more power for bringing fish from deeper depths, while higher gear ratios benefit when pulling fish from closer to the surface.


Ball bearings

Ball bearings are used to help reels work more smoothly by supporting the moving parts; the more ball bearings, the smoother the reel works, especially under pressure.

Shop fishing reels or waders for your next day on the water. Learn more about how to buy a fishing reel from PRO TIPS.

What type of environment will you be fishing in? Whether you’re after a scrappy trout or largemouth bass, finding the right reel improves your chances of making that catch.

Baitcasting and conventional reels work with the weight of a bait or lure as it pulls on a line, and turns the spool to release more line. These are typically preferred by more experienced anglers, especially when using heavier lures and lines designed for bigger fish—like a salmon or steelhead.

Most baitcasting reels now incorporate a drag system designed to adjust the resistance or drag on the spool to control how much resistance is needed to pull the right amount of line off the spool.

Many fishermen prefer baitcasting for fighting bigger, stronger fish over an extended period, especially big game fish in saltwater. Baitcasting reels are offered in one-piece designs, which lessen the corrosive effects of saltwater.

Spinning reels mount on the underside of a spinning rod. The spool on a spinning reel is parallel to the rod and does not rotate when you cast, reducing the chances of tangles to almost zero. Beginners and less experienced fishermen appreciate the lack of complexity that spinning reels offer.

Spincasting reels are well-suited for beginners fishing in freshwater environments. These devices feature a closed-face, button-operated reel, which sits on top of a casting rod. Spincasting reels feature a line that comes off the top of the spool when casting. The spool remains stationary until you use a thumb button to cast. When you release the button, your bait or lure propel your line.


Freshwater & Saltwater Fishing Reels

We carry a wide variety of fishing reels to choose from, including reels for Spinning, Baitcasting (Low-Profile & Round), Fly, Lever & Star Drag, and Line Counter reels. Whether you are fly fishing for Brookies, running spoons deep for Lake Trout, or chunking for Sharks, we have a fishing reel that will perfectly match any freshwater or saltwater fishing application.

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FishingFishing Equipment

A Guide for Choosing the Best Fishing Pole & Rods


In determining a fishing rod and reel one must consider the species you are fishing for along with the type of fishing lure or live bait to be used. For instance your rod and reel set-up should match the fishing presentation. If you’re pursuing panfish using light lures or small minnows your outfit should be lightweight for casting and detecting bites, not a heavy baitcaster for pike or bass.

There are five main basic categories of fishing rod and reel combinations, and within each there are multiple sub-categories of specialty types of outfits used for specific fishing applications, for example Walleye fisherman use rod and reel set-ups for slip bobber, slip sinker, jigging and trolling. Bass fisherman carry pitchin’, flippin’, crank baiting, and soft plastics combo’s.

Muskie anglers have bucktail, jerk bait and top water outfits. In short, fishing rods and reels have come a long way over time, with new space age materials having been developed for rod construction making them longer and much lighter as well as reels with multiple ball bearings and one piece alloy and graphite frames.

Keep in mind rod materials when making your selection. The construction of your rod impacts its action and should be designed for your skill level:

Fiberglass Rods: This brand of rod is geared towards beginners. These rods need little maintenance, have an average weight and solid rod strength. Keep in mind, if you are fishing larger game, you’ll need a heavy, durable rod.

Graphite Rods: These are typically preferred by advanced anglers due to their superior strength and lightness. Graphite provides a blend of optimal sensitivity and fighting power.

Bamboo Rods: This material produces a smooth, fluid backcast and offers excellent flex and feel.

Shop top fishing poles & fishing rods from St. Croix, PENN, Shakespeare and more.

You should consider your level of fishing experience, game fish and environment when choosing your new fishing rod. Learn more about the different models at DICK’S Sporting Goods:

Casting/Conventional Rods: Designed to have the reel and guides on the top, casting rods are most effective for anglers looking to cast several hundred times during a fishing trip.

Generally match up best with baitcasting reels.

Most casting rods can handle heavy line and fish in dense cover and water vegetation.

Spinning Rods: Ranging in length from 5 to 8 feet, this model positions the reel and guides on the bottom of the pole to provide smooth, accurate casts.

Longer spinning rods with elongated grip handles for two-handed casting are frequently used for saltwater or steelhead and salmon fishing.

Spinning rods are also widely used for trolling and still fishing with live bait.

The handle length is balanced against the rod’s length.

Saltwater Casting/Conventional Rods: The reel and line are located on top of the rod, and the trigger grip lets you securely clutch the rod while releasing the thumb bar.

Designed with a quick taper at the rod tip for accuracy and a large backbone at the lower portion of the rod for stability.

Saltwater bait-casting rods can be made from fiberglass or graphite.

Fiberglass is more durable and has greater lifting power than graphite, which makes it a preference for larger fish such as tuna and yellowtail.

Graphite rods are more bait sensitive and work well for surf fishing and open water, where bait may be cast over a greater distance.

Power and action are two essential functions of your new fishing rod:

Power: A rod’s resistance to flexing is known as its power. This ranges from ultra-light to ultra-heavy or other similar classifications. If you’re after larger game fish, you may need a rod with more power.

Action: This impacts your casting distance and accuracy. The smaller the fish, the lighter the action that you’ll need, while the heavier the fish, the heavier the action.


Fishing Rods Construction And Features

Fishing poles have only become more specialized over time. There are many different fishing rods to choose from, made from different kinds of materials, such as fiberglass, graphite, carbon and various composites. In order to select the best possible fishing rod and reel system for the type of angling you plan to do, you’ll need to do a bit of research. For instance, pay attention to how much flex and action you’ll require. Most anglers opt for moderate fishing rods, which will bend starting at the halfway point, but you should choose a fast rod if it’s important for you to be able to feel any light bite or nibble on the line. A fishing pole’s backbone depends on its construction and thickness, as the rod’s strength makes a difference in the fish you attempt to catch and the lines you’ll need to purchase. Whatever you need, we’ve got you covered at


Different Fishing Poles For Different Types Of Angling

Our assortment includes standard casting rods and others specially made for baitcasting. A spinning rod is perfect for those fishing with lighter weights, looking to snag perch, crappies and walleyes. Fly fishing can be an intensive endeavor, so finding the proper fly rod is important. Make sure you have a fishing pole that will allow you to false cast, haul cast, curve cast, tuck cast and roll cast with precision every time. With fishing poles made by top brands like Abu Garcia, Shakespeare, All Star Rods and H2O Express, we’re sure to have one that meets your needs, whether that means angling the afternoon away on a pier with a boat and surf rod or relaxing on a boat fishing for bluegill with a panfish rod. Explore for all of the essential fishing gear to meet your demands.

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