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Lure Fishing Tackle

Bass Lure Fishing Tackle

Find bass lure fishing a minefield? In the first part of a new series, Rhys Hunt takes a look at the basic tackle you need to start your lure fishing journey.

In this blog, I’ll cover what I believe are the basic bass lure fishing tackle items needed to start lure fishing for bass, as well as a few items I absolutely could not be without.

Before you start buying gear, I would recommend doing some basic groundwork first. You need to establish the type of ground you will be fishing over in your area. This will help to avoid buying setups that are too powerful, unbalanced, or, under gunned.

You must run through the following questions at a minimum:

  • Will you be mainly fishing surf beaches?
  • Will you be fishing from rocks into deep water?
  • Will you be fishing over shallow reefs?
  • Will you be fishing a local estuary or river system?

I’ll refer to these later on in the blog and give you my advice on the type of gear you need around the factors above.

Bass Lure Fishing Tackle

Bass Lure Rods

The consensus, is, that if you buy a lure rod that is between 8ft 6in and 9ft 6in rated 10 to 30g or 5 to 35g, you’ll be well-equipped for most eventualities.

However, if you’re going to be stood in the surf a lot, or fishing into deeper water from rocky headlands, I’d recommend a beefier rod. A rod no shorter than 9ft with a higher casting rating of 45g would be the better option for this scenario.

A longer, beefier rod allows you to ping our metal lures behind a rolling surf at dawn or bump a weighted paddle tail along the bottom. You’ll have more control and power, as well as casting capability. If you’re an out-and-out beginner, then we’d recommend looking at the HTO Lure Game 9ft 10in, rated 20 to 60g. In the middle ground, the HTO Nebula 3m 12 to 42g is a good option. If you want to spend that bit extra and get something that will really turn some heads, then the HTO N70 Labrax Special 9ft 9in rated 8 to 44g will take some beating!

At the other end of the scale, if you think that you’ll be fishing estuaries, tidal rivers, flooding shallow reefs or mixed ground, then you can drop in rod length. Something around the 8ft mark with a casting weight up to 30g is a good option. This style of rod will lend itself well to topwater fishing, the HTO Nebula 2.7m rated 7-35g is a great all-rounder for this type of fishing.

It is important for this type of fishing that the rod can cast well, but also transmit back to your hands what the lure is doing at the business end. This is especially useful when fishing with a soft plastic lure, with no weight. It may seem alien if you’re new to lure fishing, but, it is one of the most effective ways to catch a bass. I’ll cover this technique in a subsequent blog.

Bass Lure Fishing Rods

Bass Fishing Reels

So with the rod options covered, the next thing you need is a good reel to put on it. For me, reel choice is simple, it will always be governed by budget (and you really can get silly on the amount you can spend on a reel). In simple terms, a 3000 sized reel is ideal for a rod of 9ft or under, a 4000 sized reel for anything above that. Depending on your budget, our HTO Nebula and HTO Lure Game reels cover these size options.

Nebula Reels

Bass Fishing Lines

You’re going nowhere without adding some line to your reel, and for this, you’ll need some braided line. To start with, a line with a breaking strain of 20 to 25lbs is a good choice. You may also see PE ratings on braided mainline, PE is a Japanese method of measuring the diameter of silk, which has been transferred to braided fishing lines. To keep it simple, a braided line with a diameter of 0.16mm (1.0PE) to 0.18mm (1.2PE) is a good starting point.

Heavier braid, like this, is ideal for the beginner or novice angler as it is more user-friendly and will help to protect against wind knots. As you start to up your lure fishing game and become more used to fishing with braid, you can progress to thinner diameter braids. Braids around 0.12mm to 0.14mm diameter (14/16lbs depending on manufacturer) will help you cast further, if only marginally. It is worth pointing out that you should always match the braid to the type of fishing you’re doing. If you need to bully fish around snags, go heavier, if you’re fishing clearer ground, you can afford to go lighter. Both Nebula X8 Braid and Lure Game X8 No Fade Braid are good choices.

HTO Lure Game No Fade Braid

To the end of the braided line, a leader is a good idea. Using a fluorocarbon leader such as HTO Nebula FC does a couple of things. Firstly, fluorocarbon is tougher than braid, having this highly abrasion resistant piece of line between your braid and lure adds a sense of security. Secondly, fluorocarbon refracts light similar to water, making it hard to see in water, giving you an almost invisible link between the line and the lure. When the water is clear, this can be a major advantage. Some anglers are happy to fish without a leader, and maybe they are right, but, for me, I won’t fish without one, it’s a confidence thing.

HTO Nebula FC

Other Items

With rods, reels, and lines covered, you’ll need a few more items to complete your bass lure fishing kit. Firstly, waders. There are many options available, but I like breathable waders in the summer, they keep you cool, especially if you’re walking distances to and between marks. I’m not a wader snob, and you can spend a small fortune on waders if you want, Hart produces some great quality waders that don’t break the bank.

A note on wading, please remember to stay safe! Use a wading staff or a net handle to check gullies, and don’t wade out to rocks on a flooding tide and risk being cut off. If you’re wading anywhere there is surf or swell, then a lifejacket should be considered. Always remember to tell somebody where you are going and what time you expect to be back – don’t become a statistic! You can also check in with your local coastguard in this way. A PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) could be another item that may save your life one day, especially if you fish marks alone with little or no phone reception.

Some other items you’ll need are scissors, there are some great braid scissors on the market now, with the Tronixpro Scissors or the HTO Lure Fishing Multi Tool my go-to options. You’ll also need to some lure clips, you can tie your lure directly to the leader if you want, but if you want to quick change lures – clips are a must. I use the HTO Lure Link.

HTO Lure Links

To carry everything, you’ll need a bag and a lure box. I like the HTO Sling Bag, it is just the right size to carry my lures and other bits and bobs for a session. Sling bags are great as they have a good carrying capacity, and you can push them around your body, so they don’t get in the way when you’re casting. Lure boxes come in all shapes and sizes. HTO Double Sided Boxes give you a bit more organisation, you can put one type of lure in one side and another in the other side, they also have a great carrying capacity. However, many anglers are opting for Waterproof Lure Boxes now, it’s a security thing.

HTO Sling Bags
Lure Boxes
Lure Boxes

I’ll cover lures in a further blog, but, don’t get bogged down in carrying loads of lures. Pick a selection and learn to fish them well before expanding your collection. As anglers, we love nothing more than a new shiny thing, but, remember, the lure is secondary. Watercraft and location are the keys to catching fish, something I’ll cover later in this series.

To get you started, all you need are a couple of topwater surface lures, a shallow diver, some weighted and weightless soft plastic lures and a couple of metals for when you want to cast to range. That will cover all your bases to start with.

Finally, are two items at the opposite ends of the spectrum. Firstly, sunglasses! These are an absolute must and can be a game changer in your angling. A good, polarising set of glasses will help you no end when it comes to your watercraft and location. Polarising sunglasses reduce the glare on the water, allowing you to see under the surface better. They can be used to see what you’re fishing over and, in some conditions, even spot fish. Furthermore, you only get one set of eyes and sunglasses help to protect your eyes from the damaging effects of UV light, as well as the odd flying treble/single too! You don’t have to spend a fortune on glasses and in most cases, it’s hard to tell the difference between a £20 pair and ones costing over £100. The Big Dog glasses are great and come in a variety of different styles. Styles are down to personal choice, wrap arounds block out sidelight and are practical, however, in reality, any polarising pair of sunnies will do!


Secondly, a head torch. If you’re fishing at dawn or at dusk, chances are you’ll be travelling to the mark in the dark, so a head torch is a must. Furthermore, don’t discount lure fishing at night, but that’s a topic for another day.

I hope you enjoyed my first blog on the kit you need for bass fishing. I’ll be back shortly with my follow-up blog, where I’ll take an in-depth look at bass lures.


About the author

Rhys Hunt



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