Your rod and reel are your connection to the fish, they give you a feel for what’s happening at the end of your line. You'll feel bites and how the fish are feeding with the reel when it spins and the line whizzes out. With your rod, once you've "hooked up" to a fish you'll feel the weight and strength of the fish with the rod. The bigger the bend – the bigger the fish!
Rods and reels are match together in "combinations", "outfits" or "setups". To give this fishing thing a really good nudge you can improve your chances by matching your setup with the style or technique of fishing you'll doing.
Two popular types of combinations are the "overhead" rod and reel setup and "spin" rod and reel outfit.
For these tutorials we'll be looking at the technique of BAIT FISHING. Getting out there on a boat, or casting off the wharf or rocks, fishing with bait is the most popular fishing technique in Aotearoa.
In this tutorial we'll teach you a little bit about the type of fishing rod and reel to look out for. The gear you use can make a difference to the end result so choose wisely and don't worry, there's something out there for everyone's budget.
What to look out for:
medium (bend through the rod)
sensitive (to feel the bites)
strong (so it has plenty of power)
between 6 – 15kgs (line strength/rating)
1.8 - 2.5m (boat fishing)
2.5 - 4.0m (rock/wharf fishing)
An overhead reel sits on top of the rod and the line runs through the eyes along the top.
One of the main benefits of an overhead reel is that you get a really good feel for the line and what’s happening at the end of it. You feel the bites easier and have better control when the fish is running away with your bait.
Learning to cast an overhead reel can take a bit of time (and a few tangles) to master.
With a spin rod and reel setup the reel hangs underneath the rod and the line runs through the guides on the underside of the rod.
One of the cool things about a spinning reel is that it’s so easy to cast. It’s a great reel to use when fishing from a boat, or on land where you cast from a wharf or rocks. If your budget allows a spin reel with a bait runner or bait feeder function is well worth the investment for strayline fishing.
For general bait fishing you can use line between 6–15kg (line strength), depending on the conditions you’re fishing in. A good place to begin is with a 10kg line, and adjust it later depending on the type of terrain and conditions you most often fish in.
Choose the strength of your mainline based on:
And that’s the basics to get you started with your bait fishing setup! Using the right, good quality gear can make all the difference to your fishing success. It doesn’t have to cost heaps either, shop around for a good brand in the medium price range.
So gear up and get out there!