Bass Fishing Tackle
The early days of bass fishing involved a very simple setup; a cane
pole, a hook and line and some kind of live bait, anything from live
bugs to minnows. But, it’s a little more sophisticated today, and a lot
more productive. Modern bass fishing tackle usually includes closed-face
spincasters, open face spinning rods and reels, and baitcasters, but may
can fly fishing gear.
The spincaster is by far the easiest to learn and use. It rarely ever
allows the line to get tangled up on the cast, but it doesn’t have the
casting distance the others have, or the power to haul in a large
Australian bass. It has a ‘closed’ face, which keeps the line on the
reel. This reduces ‘bird’s nests’, a term used for the big wad of
tangled line you get in front of your reel when you make a bad cast or
the wind gets it. Most of these reels use 10 to 20 pound weight lines
and are great for beginners.
Open Face Spinning Reels
The open face spinning reel is probably the next easiest to learn and
is used primarily for lighter types of fishing, a form called finesse
fishing. This is the art of using lighter tackle and smaller baits in an
attempt to entice stubborn bass to bite.
The line ‘free-spools’ off the reel in a clockwise manner and because
there is no resistance, you can cast your bait a great distance.
Additionally, you would typically use a fairly, or even very light line
on a spinning reel. For bass, you would use anywhere from 6 to 12 pound
test monofilament line.
The cast is usually controlled by the index finger which is used to
release the line and as a brake to end the cast. These setups are easier
to cast in the wind than baitcasters are. Smaller Australian bass are
easily handled with this rig.
The baitcaster is definitely the most difficult to learn, but many
veteran bass fishermen swear by it, and for good reason. With a good
name brand reel, like Shamano, you can cast a country mile and you have
plenty of fighting power to muscle a determined bass into your boat.
The fishing line spools off of the baitcaster straight out from the
angler. The better baitcasters have a very ‘free’ spool, meaning that it
is loose enough to allow the line to flow freely for a good distance.
The cast is controlled by the thumb, which acts as a brake to make the
bait land where you want it; hopefully causing a soft landing in the
One of the main tricks to them is to learn how to adjust the
settings; the brakes and the amount of free rotation of the spool. You
can use a much heavier line with baitcasters than you can with spinning
reels. Normally with a baitcaster you would use fishing line in the 10
to 20 pound range. Some anglers like monofilament, others prefer a good
braided line, which is useful for resisting nicks and breaks-offs around
a lot of cover.
Braids allow you to use a much heavier strength line but keep a much
thinner diameter. For example, a 50 pound test braid may have a diameter
which is smaller than a monofilament 10 pound test. This allows for
greater casting distance and less line for the bass to see.
Bass Fishing Rods
Bass fishing rods are mostly made fiberglass or graphite. It’s a
matter of preference, and each one can serve a different purpose.
However, the consensus of most angers for most situations is graphite.
It allows you to feel the bait and the strike much better.
For lighter fishing you might want a more flexible rod. For heavier
fishing you might want a stiffer rod with more backbone and maybe a
faster tip. Again, preferences are as varied as the fishermen that use