Fishing 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Ready-to-Go Fishing Kits

Are you new to the world of fishing and unsure where to begin? Looking to try a new fishing technique but don’t have the proper gear? With the vast array of gear and tackle available, it can be really hard to select just the right rod, reel, and rig. Preassembled fishing kits, that seem to include everything you need to catch a fish, seem like a great option – but are they?  In this installment of our “Fishing 101” series, we’ll cover everything you need to know about ready fishing kits.

What are Ready Fishing Kits?

Ready-to-go fishing kits, also commonly referred to as starter kits, combo sets, or all-in-one fishing packages, are designed to provide new anglers with all the essential gear they need to start fishing. These kits typically include a rod, reel, line, hooks, weights, lures or flies, floats, and other basic tackle. The goal is to save beginners the hassle of researching, purchasing, and assembling individual components, making it easy to hit the water and start fishing.

What’s Included in an All-in-One Fishing Kit?

While the contents of a ready fishing kit will vary depending on the type and brand, most sets will include:

  • Rod: A fishing rod appropriate for the chosen technique, usually made of graphite, fiberglass, or a composite material.
  • Reel: A spinning, baitcasting, or fly reel that is pre-spooled with the appropriate line.
  • Line: Fishing line suited for the targeted fish species and environment.
  • Hooks: A selection of hooks in various sizes for different types of bait and fish species.
  • Weights: Assorted weights, such as split shots, egg sinkers, or bullet weights, for adjusting your bait’s depth.
  • Lures or Flies: An assortment of artificial baits or flies designed to mimic the natural prey of your target fish species.
  • Floats: Floats or bobbers for suspending your bait at a specific depth.
  • Swivels and leaders: Components for connecting your line, bait, and other tackle.
  • Tackle box: A storage container for organizing and transporting your gear.
More on Fishing 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Fishing Lures

What Fishing Types and Techniques Are Ready Kits Good for?

There’s no such thing as an abstract “starter’s kit” or “all-in-one fishing set”. All preassembled kits have a special kind of fishing in mind, and that determines the components and their characteristics. Here are the most common types: 

  • Spinning

Ready fishing kits for spinning typically include a medium-action spinning rod, a spinning reel, monofilament or braided line, a variety of lures (such as spinners, spoons, and soft plastics), hooks, and weights. Spinning rods usually have lengths ranging from 6 to 8 feet, and the reels often come pre-spooled with line.

  • Baitcasting

Baitcasting kits generally consist of a medium to heavy-action baitcasting rod, a baitcasting reel, monofilament or braided line, various lures (like crankbaits, jigs, and topwater plugs), hooks, and weights. Baitcasting rods are typically between 6 and 7.5 feet long, and the reels are designed for increased casting accuracy and control.

  • Fly Fishing

Fly fishing kits often include a medium to fast-action fly rod, a fly reel, fly line, backing, leader, tippet, a selection of flies, and sometimes additional accessories like fly boxes, line nippers, and forceps. Fly rods usually range from 8 to 10 feet in length, and the reels are designed to hold the specialized fly line and backing.

  • Surf Fishing

Surf fishing kits typically come with a long, heavy-action surf rod, a large spinning or conventional reel, monofilament or braided line, various sinkers, hooks, and bait rigs or lures designed for surf fishing. Surf rods are generally 9 to 14 feet long to allow for long casting distances, and the reels are built to withstand the harsh saltwater environment.

  • Ice Fishing

Ice fishing kits usually include a short, medium to heavy-action ice fishing rod, an ice fishing reel or inline reel, ice fishing line, a selection of ice fishing jigs or lures, hooks, and sometimes additional accessories like ice scoops or tip-ups. Ice fishing rods are typically 24 to 36 inches long and designed for use in the confined space of an ice fishing shelter.

  • Trolling

Trolling kits often consist of a medium to heavy-action trolling rod, a conventional or line-counter reel, monofilament or braided line, a variety of trolling lures (such as diving crankbaits, spoons, or flashers), and sometimes additional trolling accessories like planer boards or downriggers. Trolling rods are usually 7 to 10 feet long and have a strong backbone for handling large, hard-fighting fish.

For each of these techniques, the specific gear included in a ready fishing kit can vary according to the target species – or the whims of the seller. It’s essential to choose a kit that aligns with your preferred fishing technique and offers a suitable combination of quality and value for your needs.

A set of fishing gear
There is an obvious connection between quality and price.

How Much Does it Cost? 

The price range for ready fishing kits varies depending on the type, quality, and brand of the gear included. Budget-friendly options can start as low as $30, while more premium sets can go upwards of $600. Keep in mind that the cheapest options might not provide the best quality or durability, so it’s essential to balance affordability with performance. 

Is a Ready Fishing Kit a Good Value for a Recreational Angler?

Ready fishing kits can offer excellent value for money, particularly for those new to the sport. They can save time and effort by providing a well-rounded selection of gear tailored to a specific technique or target species. Moreover, purchasing a kit can often be more cost-effective than buying each component individually, especially when considering the added convenience.

However, the value of a ready fishing kit can vary depending on the quality and price point. Lower-priced kits may include low-quality components that are prone to wear or breakage, leading to additional costs for replacements. On the other hand, more expensive kits typically offer better-quality gear that will last longer and perform more effectively.

It’s essential to consider each component’s value within the kit. In some cases, certain elements, such as the rod and reel, may be of excellent quality, while other parts, like the included lures or hooks, might be less impressive. In these situations, it may still be worthwhile to purchase the kit for the core components and supplement it with higher-quality tackle as needed.

How to Choose your Ready Fishing Kit:

1.     Identify your target species and fishing technique: 

Start with the type of fish you want to catch and the fishing technique you plan to use. Some stores even offer ready-to-go sets designed specifically for a certain species of fish, such as bass or pike. This will help you choose a kit that is specifically designed for your needs, ensuring you have the appropriate gear for the task.

2.     Consider the quality of components: 

While ready fishing kits offer convenience, the quality of the components can vary significantly. Look for kits that include well-known, reputable brands for rods, reels, and other essential gear. A high-quality kit may cost more upfront, but it will likely last longer and provide better performance.

3.     Check for completeness: 

A term “kit”, “bundle”, or “combo” may be misleading. A typical spinning combo means simply a rod plus a reel, while some fly fishing sets don’t include flies; by contrast, many surf fishing kits come only as a set of rigs. Make sure the kit you choose includes all the necessary components for a successful fishing trip: a rod, reel, line, hooks, weights, lures or flies, floats, and any other essentials specific to your chosen fishing technique. It’s also helpful if the kit includes extras like a tackle box, line cutter, and pliers.

4.     Determine your budget: 

Ready fishing kits come in a wide range of prices, depending on the quality and comprehensiveness of the gear included. Determine your budget and compare the kits available in that price range. Keep in mind that investing in a higher-quality kit may save you money in the long run, as you won’t need to replace components as frequently.

5.     Read reviews and seek recommendations: 

Before making a final decision, read customer reviews and seek recommendations from experienced anglers or trusted friends. This will give you insight into the performance, durability, and overall value of the ready fishing kits you’re considering. It can also help you discover any potential issues or limitations with a particular kit, ensuring you make an informed choice.

A set of fly fishing gear
A fishing net is not always included in ready-to-go sets, but is an essential piece of gear for many fishing types nonetheless. So are forceps for safe removal of hooks for catch-and-release.


Ready fishing kits can be a convenient and cost-effective option for beginners and experienced anglers who plan to try a new to them fishing technique. These kits offer convenience and affordability, without the stress of assembling a collection of gear from scratch and provide a solid foundation of gear that can be upgraded or customized over time, as you gain your angling experience. Additionally, a ready-to-go combo eliminates the need to research and purchase individual components, making it an ideal choice for those who may be unsure about their specific needs or preferences.

However, more experienced anglers may find that ready fishing kits do not offer the same level of customization or quality as purchasing each component separately. In these cases, investing in individual pieces of gear tailored to their specific needs and preferences may be a better option. It’s also essential to choose a kit that balances quality and price to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money, according to your experience level, preferred fishing techniques, and budget. Ultimately, the choice comes down to personal preference and the value you place on convenience and customization.

We hope this guide has provided you with a comprehensive overview of ready fishing kits and the factors to consider when choosing the right one for your needs. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the fantastic world of recreational fishing. And the guided fishing trips and chartered boat experience that you can book on our online marketplace directly from the most trusted operators will help you with that. Tight lines and happy angling!

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