Is Fishing Expensive to Get Started in?


As I’ve been getting ready to take my little sister fishing for the first time, I’ve noticed that fishing isn’t always the cheapest activity. I started to wonder how much fishing actually costs as a hobby. I’ve looked it up and want to share my findings with you!

So is fishing expensive to get started in? Fishing can become an expensive activity. However, to start off you really only need a good rod, reel, license, and some bait, all of which are relatively cheap. Basic equipment is going to average around $100 to $150, whereas heavier duty equipment is going to cost $150 to upwards of about $300.

As I started to think about the cost, I realized that while the very basics don’t have to be very expensive, there is a lot of other gear that can make your trips much easier. So, how much does it come cost with each kind of equipment and what are some ways I can be sure to get the best fishing trip possible?

How Much Does a Rod and Reel Cost?

There are five main purchases you will want to make when going fishing. These include a rod, reel, tackle, bait, and a license.

The rod doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. It really depends on how long you want the pole to last and what type of fish you are trying to catch.

For example, if you only want to go fishing once or twice a year, you can probably buy the cheapest rod you can find and some worms. These are the most basic tools and will still attract lots of fish. However, if you want to use the fishing pole for a while, you will want to invest more money.

You can get a pretty good quality pole for $20-$40. If you want a more heavy duty one, or a model that is built to outlast cheaper poles, it will cost anywhere from $60 up. There’s really not a cap on how much you can spend on poles. It’s really just how much are you willing to spend.

Next, you’ll want to pick the type of fish that you want to catch. If you want to only catch trout, you are going to want a lightweight pole because biting trout don’t typically pull very hard on the line. Because of this, if you have a lighter pole, it will allow them to be more influenced by that bounce and you’ll really see it start to wiggle.

However, if you are going fishing for bass or catfish you will definitely want to stick with a heavier more stable pole. This is because when bass and catfish are caught they are going to tug extremely aggressive on the pole. These also are not the lightest of fish so if you buy a light pole it will most likely snap when you bring your line up.

The next thing that you will need to purchase will be the reel. The reel is probably one of the most important parts of a pole. It is what sends your line out into the water but also brings it back in when you catch a fish or are done fishing for the day.

Typically the reel will come with the rod but you can also buy a separate one if you are wanting to specialize the type of fish that you are catching.

Keep in mind that in the activity of fishing typically more money spent does mean better quality. This could mean that you feel the bite better or you even have a better more smooth cast.

There are specialized reels that come in lighter and heavier builds. I will once again use the example of the trout vs the catfish or bass. For the lighter reels that you want to go with your light pole for trout, the reel can cost $50 and up. However, with the heavier reels made to be used with catfish or bass, it can cost an average of $200.

How Much Does a Tackle Box Cost?

The next thing you are going to want to buy is the tackle for you trip. There are four basic needs to keep in your tackle box at all times, these include: hooks, sinkers, line, and bobbers.

The hook is obviously one of the pain purchases that need to be made to catch fish. This is what the fish will bite down on causing it to most likely get caught in the fish lip. However, there are a lot of different types of hooks. You can get weighted hooks, thick hooks, thin hooks, all for a range of prices.

Typically I purchase the package of about 24 hooks by Eagle Claw for around $5. This gives you multiple hooks you can lose on different poles or if you lose one you’ll always have a backup in the tackle box.

Sinkers are required for fishing. They are what causes your line to fly into the water and then sink to the bottom where all the fish are. Without the sinker, all we would have is a line with a hook on which on a windy day could cause a disaster.

Sinkers can come in a variety of size varying on the type of weight that is used. For the lighter pole, you’ll want to buy the round balls that don’t take much to get your line to the bottom of the water. However, if you are fishing in really deep water and you have a heavier pole feel free to use more sinkers and even use the two-pound ones.

The line is one of the most frustrating parts of fishing but obviously one of the most crucial. Without the line, there would also be no way of getting the hook into the water. It serves a tremendous process. It is super thin which can cause it to get easily tangled when a poor cast is being made.

Fishing line can come in a variety of weights and thickness. This is also where you must know the type of fish you are trying to catch. They come in everything from big game line to just an extremely thin line.

The last thing that you should have in your tackle box is a bobber. This is a lightweight round ball that people place on their lines. It’s probably one of the most genius inventions when it comes to fishing. It is not mandatory to have but it is definitely nice to keep on hand.

Bobbers are attached to a line just like a sinker, however; it stays on top of the water. Its purpose is to let the fishermen know when there is a fish on their line. When the bobber goes underwater unless there was just an extremely strong current or wave chances are you have a fish on the line.

How Much Does Bait Cost?

The next thing you will want to purchase is some bait. You can also store this in your tackle box. The bait’s purpose is to attract the fish to the hook. This is what you will cover the hook with so that the fish thinks there is just a piece of food floating in the water instead of a hook there to catch them.

There are a few basic baits I would recommend always having on hand. The baits I suggest you purchase are power bait, lures, and worms. If you are fishing for salmon you can also purchase salmon eggs.

Power is a type of almost thick paste. It has a smell, color and occasionally a sparkle that helps to attract fish. To use this you just scoop some out of the container and carefully apply it to the hook to get it covered. Be sure to make sure it is tightly wrapped or else your bait will go flying off before it even enters the water.

Lures are what my parents would always put on my pole as a child. It’s really great for little kids to use because they don’t have the patience to just sit there and watch as their pole does nothing.

The purpose of a lure is for the fish to see something constantly moving in the water. The fisherman will cast the lure into the water and then let it sit for about five seconds then reel some more let it sit for a few more seconds and then continue this process until the pole is out of the water and ready to cast again.

The bait that you pick needs to be tailored to the fish that you want to catch. Sure, you can buy generic bait such as worms to catch the fish but these are not always guaranteed to catch the fish because fish like food more tailored to their wants.

The last thing that is a staple for your bait is worms. There are many types of worms one can purchase. I personally believe that there isn’t a difference between the type of worm they all serve the same purpose. I grew up just running down to the gas station before we left and buying a container there.

If you are new to fishing, you may not know this but the worms you buy are live so when you go to put them on the hook they will be wiggling around trying to get out of your grasp. If you drop the worm it will most likely shoot back into the ground as fast as it can.

You also don’t have to purchase your own worms. If you live anywhere near a patch of dirt that is wet, chances are you can find them. As a child when it began to rain right after it finished we would go into our backyard and go “warm hunting” so that we always had some worms on hand when we wanted to go fishing.

Will I Need a License to Fish?

The last thing that you will need to purchase if you are over the state age required for a license is a fishing license. These are similar to a hunting license. In fact, in some states, you can purchase a hunting and fishing license combined.

These, however, are not cheap. They are typically just as much as the pole alone costs (about $40). You are required to have one in every state with certain stipulations.

Most states require you to get a license to fish when you turn 14 or 16. If you are under that age you do get to fish for free. A drawback to fishing licenses is that even if you have an Idaho fishing license and you want to go fish in Oregon you would need to turn around and buy a fishing license in Oregon as well.

There are some days that are not required to have a fishing license. A lot of states will do a free fishing day throughout the state. If you are a beginner you can always wait for one of these days and go try it out before getting the actual license. For more information be sure to visit your local fish and game website.

Related Questions:

How long does it take to catch a fish? It depends on how well the fish are biting in the area. On a good day when you know the best spots of the water, it could only take 10-20 minutes. However, on a bad day or where you don’t know the water as well, it could take hours. In fact, you may even leave your trip sometimes empty-handed.

Is fishing relaxing? One may not realize that when they are on the water fishing it is actually a great workout. It also increases the vitamin D that they get from the sun. However, it also extremely relaxing to be out on the water. It will be easy to let go of all the worries.

How do you attract fish while fishing? When you go fishing be sure to use bait that is designed to attract the fish that you want. Plan accordingly so that you don’t use bait for catfish when you are actually trying to catch a bass. A worm and a hook will typically suffice.

Tim Butala

My name is Tim and I have been a fisherman my whole life. My favorite fish to go after is a Stripped Bass.

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