According to the US Fish And Wildlife Service, over 38 million people went fishing for freshwater fish, including trout, in 2018 alone. Trout fishing is still considered an elite sport, with only 10% of all anglers being able to catch trout.
These seasoned trout fishermen (and women) have a deep understanding of fish and stream. And according to them, having the right gear is very important when it comes to catching trout.
With so many different varieties of trout fishing equipment available in the market, it can get overwhelming to pick the right gear. In this comprehensive article, we have compiled a list of the 7 most important things you need for successfully luring and catching trout.
What do You Need to Start Trout Fishing?
Here are seven essential items and gear you’ll need before going fishing for trout.
The Perfect Reel And Rod
Having an ideal rod and reel is crucial because trout is one of the hardest fish to catch. You will need a rod that has been specifically made for trout fishing and will suit the stream or river you are going to fish at.
If you are going to fish in a small stream, consider choosing an ultra-light rod. A 4 or 5 feet rod that comes with an ultra-light spinning rig will be a great choice. It will give you the perfect flexibility to catch trout in small streams. For the reel, consider choosing a 4-6 pound monofilament line. It is strong enough for a tough fish like trout.
However, if you are going to fish in a river or large stream, choose something heavier and larger. A heavy action rod that’s about 6-8 feet long will be perfect. Pick a strong 6-15 pound monofilament reel to go with it.
The Right Lure and Bait
There are many options for trout lures and baits, including crawfish. Trout are known to love crawfish and other similar insects like dragonflies and locust. You can also pick artificial lures like spoons and spinners for better results.
If you are considering buying a spinner, choose something with a bucktail, feathers, or metal blades. It will help you attract the attention of trout effectively.
For the bait, you can choose from power bait, salmon eggs, dough bait, corn (fresh or artificial), and even small dead fish. As long as you choose the right size of bait (depending on the specific trout you want to catch), almost anything will work.
The Landing Net
Since trout tend to be a hard-fighting fish, you will need to be prepared to catch them as fast and effectively as possible. That’s where a good-quality landing net can help you.
Choosing the right landing net depends on a lot of factors, such as the depth of the net, the strength of the handle, and the distance from the handle to the bow or hoop.
Make sure you choose the right mesh and material to prevent damaging the trout once you catch it. At the same time, it should be something sturdy and durable that will stand the toughness of the trout.
Consider picking an aluminum frame net that comes with a wide-enough diameter and a long handle. If you’re looking for something smaller, you can get a maple wood net with at least an 8-inch diameter handle with a polyester or nylon mesh.
Keep in mind that even though trout are a tough variety of fish, they have relatively fragile skin and can get damaged easily. If your goal is to release them back into the water, choose a delicate net (like a rubber mesh or thermoplastic mesh) that will prevent them from getting hurt.
You will also need a creel to carry the fish home once. We recommend buying a split-willow or canvas creel; both of them are strong enough to carry trout safely.
Most new anglers forget that fishing sometimes requires exploring through rivers, streams, swamps, and mud to find the ideal fishing spot. You may find the right place within a few minutes but sometimes it may take you much longer.
That’s why it is important to pick a pair of solid boots that will keep your feet dry and clean. They will keep your feet safe and free of any dirt or mud. Also, they will keep your body warm.
We recommend choosing vulcanized rubber boots that are cover your entire legs. Make sure you choose a pair that’s made of rubber or artificial leather. That will ensure that moisture won’t get inside while giving you ultimate protection.
Trout are a cold-water species that prefer frigid temperatures. Standing in cold water for extended periods of time is extremely difficult and can even put you at the risk of getting hypothermia. So, if you are going to be fishing for trout, a good pair of chest waders are a must, unless you live in a tropical area.
Also, keep in mind that everyone has their own level of tolerances for temperature, so what may seem like a warmer temperature to someone else, may seem really cold to you.
Even on a warm day with 90-degree temperature, it’s nearly impossible to stand in the cold waters for a long period of time without the added insulation of wader pants.
When it comes to chest waders, you can choose from canvas, neoprene, rubber, or something more breathable like GORE-TEX.
Some pro anglers like to get rid of the fish hooks as soon as they have caught the trout with their hands. If you are experienced enough, one hard pull in the hook will take it out effectively. But be careful as it can be dangerous because most trout have a wide bony mouth and sharp teeth. That’s why you need forceps to take the hook off from trout.
Forceps will help you unhook the fish in the most hassle-free way possible. They will not also prevent the fish from slipping off your hands. Stainless steel forceps are considered the best since they are light yet very sturdy. But if you want an even stronger grip, a pair of iron forceps will work as well.
A Fishing Vest
Many new anglers tend to overlook the importance of wearing a good fishing vest. They’d rather load up on high-end sunglasses and a fancy fishing rod than wearing a rather boring piece of garment. But experienced trout anglers know how crucial a fishing vest is.
You need to understand that while wading, you can only bring what you can carry on your back. A vest will give you a lot of space to carry all the essential tools you will need to catch trout. Instead of buying the cheapest fishing vest on the market, buy something that will stand the test of time.
There is a reason why some vests are so cheap. You’ll find they are not comfortable, their threads are starting to unravel, and they break down quickly (sometimes within a matter of weeks).
First of all, make sure the vest you choose has a sufficient amount of pockets. A good trout vest should be able to hold all the little things you’d need while fishing. The size of the pockets should be large enough to hold essential items like your wallet, phone, and car keys.
Choose a vest that has 4-6 medium-sized pockets and 6-8 small pockets. If you will be fishing in a spot that is miles away from your vehicle, pick a more spacious vest.
As for the material, you can either choose a standard fabric vest or a mesh vest. A mesh vest is made up of stretch mesh with pieces of fabric over the pockets. If you’ll be fishing on hot days, a mesh vest will keep your body cool. Mesh also allows you to be much more flexible in movements than a regular fabric vest.
Finally, a good fishing vest is always comfortable. Don’t hesitate to spend money on a quality fishing vest since it will last you many years.
A Fabulous Activity
Trout fishing remains an in-demand and popular sport fish because people from all walks of life get something out of it. Whether you want to fish for trout for the thrill of the catch, for making a meal out of it, or simply a serene pastime – trout fishing has something for everyone.
The information contained in this detailed guide will help you get a solid foothold and the right equipment necessary to catch trout. You can go to the tackle and fishing stores near you or surf the online stores to see what suits you best. The items listed in this article are all the basics you’ll ever need to get ready to fish.
Once you are geared up, make sure you know where are the best spots for trout fishing in your area.
If you are not sure, you can visit or call your local wildlife and fish management office to get the needed information. In most cases, a fishing shop can also give you the directions for the best trout fishing locations.
Now that you know everything required for the perfect trout fishing gear and tools, it’s time to go shopping. Make sure you buy quality items so your trout fishing experience is effortless and fun.
There is nothing worse than buying cheap stuff that will break down in the middle of your adventure, leaving you uncomfortable and trout-less.
Remember, trout fish is not easy to catch but with the right equipment and a lot of patience, you will be successful in no time.
Source: US Fish And Wildlife Service