Fishing Tackle Fit for the Family - Somewhere To

Fishing Tackle Fit for the Family

Quality Family Fishing Trips Start by Choosing the Right Tackle

Berkely and Shimano Series rod and reels make a perfect match for the entire family. Choosing the right setup for the family is key to fishing success, says Paul Martin from

The selection of a child’s rod and reel is important. It isn’t that fish are literate or conscious of what type of reel setup is being used, but bad equipment spells a bad experience for the child and possibly a bad experience for the fish. Avoid purchasing the infamous “Snoopy Pole.”

Species and Rod Flexibility

The recommended species for beginner anglers would be something moderate in size like smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, or crappie. Bluegills are easy to find and fun to catch, but if sparking interest is the goal, larger is better. Carp may be caught with regularity, but it requires patience, which children lack. Therefore, the species should be abundant and moderate in size.

The equipped rod and reel should be geared towards catching moderately sized fish –1-6 pounds. Rod flexibility is dependent on which species is being pursued. Crappie may require a more flexible lightweight action rod, as well as trout. In contrast, largemouth and smallmouth bass would require something a little heavier such as medium or medium-heavy action depending on the targeted weight of the fish being sought.

Age considerations

Even at the ages of 3-4 years, children shouldn’t be using novel rod/reel setups. Gear failure resulting in serious fish injury (i.e., broken lines resulting in the fish carrying twenty feet of line and a hook in its mouth) or death is not fair to the fish. Novel reels lack the proper drag mechanisms and gear ratios for retrieving the fish once it is hooked, and short poles make casting accuracy more difficult for your child.

Rod selection for children ages 3-5, fishing for medium/moderate size fish, should consider weight and manoeuvrability. The Berkley Tactic 5’-6″ ultra-light rod is generally small enough for a child but quality enough to manage most fish. Equipped with a reel like the Shimano Saros F model SAR1000F, or any type of micro spinning combo that holds 110 yards of 6–8-pound test line would be suitable. Some may consider a trigger-type reel to make casting easier. In any regard, practicing casting will be necessary for any novice child. Micro rod/reel setups are fun for all ages so don’t worry about the children outgrowing them. A quality rod and reel are an investment of a lifetime, as is the art of angling.

Setups for 7-year-olds and up should be the same as an adult setup. Most rod/reel manufacturers offer several options in the 6′ to 7′ spinning rod range. Shimano offers rod/reel combos such as the Sedona Front Drag/Scimitar Paramount in a wide variety of options. There are plenty of quality rod/reel manufacturers, and choosing a setup requires much research. This is merely a guide for sizes and an emphasis on quality. Some key features to consider for children aren’t necessarily what one would consider while buying the best setup for themselves. One must consider flexibility; children will evaluate the limits of the equipment. Length is another important quality. The longer the rod is, the better the casting accuracy. But the longer the rod, the harder it will be for the novice child to manoeuvre while fishing.

Parental Input

The more serious the parent takes the first fishing experiences (i.e., purchasing quality gear, pre-fishing, etc.), the more interested the child. If the child is equipped with a toy-style rod/reel, which results in equipment failure and a negative fishing experience, you will lose an opportunity to capture the child’s interest in nature and fishing.