At the most basic level all one needs to go fishing is a long stick of some sort (pole), a longer piece of string (line), and a bit of bent metal or bone (hook) on which to stick something a fish might want to eat (bait) and a great flashlight. Tie the string to the stick, dunk the string with the hook and bait tied onto it into the water and, wallah, you’re fishing.
At least that is how fishing was done in the beginning. Today the business of designing, manufacturing, testing, and using fishing equipment is a multi-billion dollar industry. The rods are made out of high tension synthetic materials, the line is made from monofilament nylon, and the hooks and bait are about as varied as the types of fish in the sea.
Serious anglers can spend thousands of dollars on their tackle, even more on boats and exotic items such as sonar equipment. Still anyone wanting to get out to the lake or pond for a vacation with the kids can do so without having to take out a second mortgage. Very serviceable rod, reel, and tackle packages (one billed as “everything but the fish”) can be purchased for as little of $10 to $20.
To head out to the lake, a prospective angler can get by quite well with a combination package available from several manufacturers (such as Zebco and Shakespeare) that include just about everything needed. This probably will include a closed-faced spinning reel with the fishing line already spun. These packages also include some very basic tackle – say a few hooks, bobbers, and maybe a couple of simple lures.
Moving up the ladder, anglers can find separate quality spinning reels and rods with higher quality fishing line for around $50. Lots of these rods break down into two pieces so they can be fit into the car for the vacation trip. Terminal tackle, such as hooks, bobbers, weights, will run maybe another $10. Buy a tackle box to put it all in and for less than $75, vacationers are ready to take on a variety of fishing venues, from small ponds to mountain streams or even saltwater.
On the high end, a week of bass fishing, with anglers serious about the sport, could mean laying down $20,000 to $40,000 for an aluminum bass boat. On the boat there probably will be sonar fish locators, a pumped up outboard motor, and maybe a global positioning satellite locator so the party can find (and mark) the best fishing spots.
For those headed out with a guide or chartering a boat for deep sea fishing, all that is needed is a credit card. For these package trips, most of the essentials are provided, including a couple of old salts to captain the boat and strap anglers into the chair when that marlin strikes.