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Bass Fishing Gear for the Budget Minded

I do not get out as often as I did once, but one of my favorite things to do every summer is go bass fishing. When I lived in South Florida, I would rent a motor boat and fish the everglades. In Central Florida, it became canoeing on either the Withlacoochee River or the Hillsborough River and a few lakes in between. One thing is certain as I would never consider myself an avid fishing fool, is that I have a great tackle box set up for bass fishing and it didn't cost that much money to put it together. There's really not much needed to go bass fishing and here's five things that you should not be without whether fishing on a lake or river.

Fishing Pole - You do not need to spend a lot of money to get a decent enough pole for bass fishing as landing a bass is nothing like landing most saltwater fish. Yes, the size of the bass can be pretty big, but if you land anything over say fifteen pounds, that is a bass you want to mount. More often than not you're only looking at catching, on average, bass that only weigh a few pounds. For this reason I have bought all four of my poles at Wal-Mart and my choice has always been an Abu pole and reel. Even after sitting in my garage for over a year without being used, I can always count on these reels working just as the day I bought them. 

A couple of my poles are probably close to fifteen years old and have been used a lot. They still work great. The price is also very reasonable with most poles being around $35-$40. There are others that you can get for around $20, but if it's going to get a lot of use and you want it to last, than definitely go with the Abu Garcia brand. The particular pole I linked you to comes with a 17lb. line already on the spool so you're good to go. If fishing on a lake, I prefer to use a heavier test line, but when I'm fishing a river in a canoe, then I find it easier to use a lighter test weight line around 8-10lbs.

Fishing Line - I have always preferred Spiderwire which you can get in several varieties of weight. However, it is possible to spend almost as much for the line as you spend for your rod and reel. For the amateur weekend bass fishing, I would stick with around 10lb. test. Believe me, you can spend around $12 at Wal-Mart and get a decent line that will work just fine.

Bait - I rarely use live bait when bass fishing. However, if I'm fishing a large lake, I find live shiners to be a little easier at attracting the bass when you don't have too many obstructions to deal with. On rivers though where you have brackish water and lots of shade I've always found certain "worms" to be the best way to go. The plus side to using worms is that you don't have as many issues of getting snagged on something as you would other lures where hooks are exposed. 

You can also get a bag of worms relatively cheap anywhere you go. I personally always liked Culprit worms the best and especially the 10" Moccasin. Culprit stores have every possible worm available. The link is for 10" worms and will show you the variety of colors available. I've done the best with the Moccasin, however I have also tried several others. I usually change up during the day depending on the sunlight as several worms are available with red shimmering flakes in them and I like the ones with red tails and dark bodies. I would just get a small variety and see what works best for where you fish.

Hooks and Weights - You will need to get yourself some proper worm hooks and my preference has always been Tru-Turn. Check out so you can see exactly what it looks like as I have found these in Wal-Mart, K-Mart and several other retailers that carry fishing supplies. To me this is the best and easiest hook to use with plastic worms. The hook sets right alongside the worm and towards the top are a couple extra little baitholder slashes to help keep that bass once you hook it. The other thing you will need is weights and I've always gone with the bullet weights. I have found these in every local store with fishing supplies and they are relatively cheap. These are perfect to couple with worms.

These are the five items that are all you need to do some bass fishing this weekend. Just run out to Wal-Mart or whatever store is closest to you that carries fishing supplies and get these few things and you are ready to stop anywhere you like and drop a line.