Bait: In very simplistic terms - what you put on your hook - fishing bait varies greatly, from maggots to pepperami, there are some household staples that will catch fish, it's always worth trying something new.
Deadbait: Bait that was, at some point, living. Usually smaller, smellier fish species, such as mackerel, which attract predatory fish.
Float: Used to identify bites at the surface, the concept being that when the float disappears beneath the water, a fish is biting.
Hook: A sharp, pointed instrument at the business end of your rig, its purpose is to physically 'hook' the fish. It's important to keep your hooks sharp.
Keepnet: Used in match fishing, the keepnet is, literally, a net to keep fish in until your catch is weighed at the end of a match. Be careful not to overfill your keepnet.
Line: Available in various materials and strengths, fishing line is a thread of material which attaches to your reel at one end and a baited hook at the other.
Lure: Used mainly in the predator and sea disciplines, although there are a few cases of use in other niches, a lure is an imitation bait. Usually made of plastic or rubber a lure, 'lures' fish in as it looks exactly like a smaller fish that larger species would feed on. However, lures are armed with hooks, which catch the fish by surprise.
Net: Used to 'land' a fish, safely removing it from the water and onto the bank. Nets are perforated to allow water to flow through.
Pole: A newer, longer form of a rod. Poles are widely used in the match fishing discipline and offer the angler greater accessibility to the water they're fishing. For example, if the far bank is 11 meters away, the angler can attach sections of their pole until it reaches 11m in length, allowing them to fish the far bank with ease.
Rod: The traditional tool used to catch fish, a rod can be anywhere from 6ft - 13ft in length, a longer rod gives you great casting ability.
Reel: the mechanism used to 'reel' in your catch. As you turn the handle of the reel, line is retrieved and your catch is brought closer to the bank, ready to be landed in your net.
Spool: The part of your reel which houses line. Line is continuously wrapped and unwrapped, around the spool.
Tacklebox: A box in which to keep all your smaller tackle items.
Anglers target carp because of their size and willingness to put up a good fight. Even a carp of 5-10lb will give you a good fight on lighter tackle. Carp sessions can range from a day session on a runs water, right through to a week long session on a larger reservoir or commercial carp venue, of which there are plenty here in the UK.
As one of the most common styles of angling, coarse fishing involves targeting freshwaters such as lakes, canals and rivers, returning all fish caught safely after capture. There are many freshwater species coarse anglers target such as carp, rudd, bream, chub and roach, to name a few.
A competitive form of angling that can be held over a set time period of a couple of hours to a whole day session. Usually, species targeted in this more intensive form of fishing tends to be smaller fish in large quantities, held in a keepnet.
This is a method of angling that requires a lightweight artificial bait, often in the shape of a fly, bringing the fish to the water’s surface. A great deal of concentration is required for your technique, target fish and location
Usually picked up in the cooler months, predator angling includes targeting species that feed on small baitfish which is why anglers often bait for predator species with deadbaits or artificial lures that imitate a bait fish. Target species include pike, catfish, perch and zander.
Being an island, the UK has plenty of coastline to fish from the beach, or thousands of nautical miles of open sea to target in a boat. Sea species far outweigh freshwater species both in quantity and variability and can provide incredibly varied sport at different times of the year.
For those looking for a challenge, specialist angling requires targeting and battling specimen sized fish including Chub, Barbel, Bream and Tench. Due to the trophy sizes of the fish, stronger tackle and larger nets are required as well as lots of patience!
Before heading out for your very first fishing trip, make sure that you have read up on the local rules and regulations for fishing at your chosen venue and make sure that you sort yourself the correct rod licence for your age, time of use and style of angling.
The good news is that children under 13 do not need a licence and licences for children aged between 13 and 16 are free!
If you are over 16 you'll need to purchase a rod fishing licence to fish legally in England, Wales and the borders Esk region of Scotland.
The licence fees enable the Environment Agency to carry out projects such as stock surveys, improving fish stocks and waterways and promoting the sport to a wider range of people. It's also used to fund work to maintain, improve and develop fisheries, fish habitats and angling, all to ensure that fishing has a future and nature has a home.
When starting out on the bank, there is a choice to make; do you want to fish with a traditional rod setup, or a pole? Both require a little bit of thought, a rod obviously requires a reel and line, but in terms of setup it is very straight forward, almost self-explanatory.
Whereas a pole is a little bit more complex to setup, you will need to choose an elastic that you feel comfortable with, one of our Angling Direct colleagues in-store will be more than happy to help with this, some of our stores also offer an elastic service.
However, once setup, a pole is probably easier to use – there isn’t a lot in it, both are relatively straightforward, but you need to make a choice either way, this will likely depend on what species you are targeting, if its bigger carp you’re after, opt for a rod and reel, if you’re happy catching silvers and F1s on a match venue, opt for a pole.
Whether you have decided to try pole fishing or a rod and reel, we have put together some great beginner's kits to get you fishing as well as listing some of our top fishing rods, reels and pole suggestions for beginner anglers available to view below. For those that struggle to pair together rod and reels, we have that sorted too in our Rod & Reel Combo section.
From fishing baits to line choices, this section of our Angling Beginner’s Page will explain some of the must-have fishing equipment choices available that are well-suited to beginners. As well as offering some guidance as to when would be the best time to use them, so you can get off to a great start with fishing.
Terminal tackle is the business end of your set up and is it the first bit of kit that will come into direct contact with your fish. It is also the thing that will start the landing process.
In our collection of terminal tackle, we have items to help with spreading your bait such as PVA products, spods and feeders as well as weights that improve the sink rate of your rig, commonly referred to as leads. Additionally, we have a whole sub-category for ready-made rigs that have been pre-tied to the specifications of some of the industry’s top anglers as well as extra rig bits to help tie your own, personalised rig.
When browsing our terminal tackle selection, you may also see items such as Leaders, Tubing, Swivels, and Links. These are all items you use to either attach your rig to your choice of mainline, improve the rigs durability or to create your very own style of rig. For more terminal tackle guidance, you can also view our Top 10 Terminal Tackle best sellers and read below for more terminal tackle explanations.
Insert waggler floats are best for beginners as they are suitable for a range of weather conditions, offering better visibility in choppy water, also when fishing at range or into shaded areas. These floats won't drag under too easily, especially when fishing over-depth.
Split shot are essential to set your float correctly so that you can see when you have a bite. Too little and the float won't stand in the water, too much and your float will disappear under water. All floats will have a guide printed on them to help you with the amount of shot and weight of shot required.
Hooks come in two forms, on their own and already tied to nylon - which is perfect for the beginner. It cuts out the need to know how to tie multiple knots. All you need to do is attach the hook to nylon to your mainline. Sharp hooks are important to ensure you don't lose your catch!
Plummets help to gauge the depth of water that you'll be fishing in. Correct use will allow you to present your bait perfectly, whether it be on the bottom or mid-way up the water column.
Your bait is important, without it you’re going to struggle to get a take.
There are lots of different types of bait available for the beginner angler, each of which is designed to attract a different species, be used in a different manner, or be perfect for different water conditions.
To keep it simple and catch your first fish, bait like pellets, maggots, sweetcorn & luncheon meat will guarantee you a bite.
Our website sells all bait except fresh maggots which are available in-store only, so why not pop in on your way? Our staff are also more than happy to give you any last minute tips or advice you may need.
There are many different types of line that you could purchase to load your reel with including braid, monofilament and fluorocarbon.
As a beginner it's important you match the line or braid that you're using to the species and size of fish you are targeting, for the beginner we’d recommend the use of monofilament on your spool as it covers numerous fishing situations.
Generally, if you are targeting small species like roach, rudd and perch then you’d be best to use a line with breaking strain of up to 4lb, giving you the strength to land small fish but also the odd bigger one if they come along.
As a responsible angler, you need to invest in some equipment to help remove fishing hooks, assess the fish and for easing their returning to the water. Luckily, we have gathered some of the basics below for you to tick off your angling checklist.
An important piece of fish care tackle, the disgorger. If you haven't hooked the fish buy the lip, chances are you'll need one! Used to safely remove hooks that have ingested your bait, these ensure the hook is removed safely and quickly to minimise any stress to the fish.
Land those fish safely and easily with a landing net and extendable handle. Most fisheries require the use of landing nets. It saves the fish and you any unnecessary stress, imagine having your new PB sitting next to the bank with no way to land it, then having it get loose and swim off!
Unhooking a fish isn't always as simple as it sounds, and it is important to have a safe surface on which to rest your fish whilst you negotiate the hook from its mouth. Instead of your catch flapping around on gravel, mud or foliage, give them the care they deserve.
As much as we'd like to think we'll be on our feet all day at the bank, reeling in catch after catch, unfortunately this isn't the case – for any of us.
Sure, the bank side might be pleasant enough to sit on for a one off summer afternoon, but the rest of the time we think you'll probably be after something a little more comfortable.
Do your body a favour and invest in a chair or seatbox, you'll enjoy your fishing sessions more, and the nature that comes with. The bonus of a seatbox is it's also the luggage for your other tackle.
Whatever the question, whatever the focus we're here to help you navigate the world of angling.
If you're looking for some tips & tricks or inspiration, check out our ADTV channel