First Time Fishing With Little Kids, What Do I Need?

On occasion, I receive emails from RoundValleyFishing readers inquiring on a topic I have not yet covered here on the site. These emails are a great reminder and opportunity for me to update the site with info people are searching. So if you have a question shoot me an email and I’ll do my best to give you an accurate response. Enjoy!


Taking your kids fishing can be an enjoyable experience if you keep it simple and stay patient.


I’m hoping you can help me. I would like to take my young kids fishing and I’m wondering if you would know where I can take them and they will supply us with fishing rods and baits etc.

I do not know of any local places that rent fishing rods (If readers do, please share in the comments section). It sounds like you’re just getting started or testing the waters with your question. With this in mind, my suggestion is to keep things simple and cheap in the beginning.

Step One, Basic Fishing Pole: In order to fish, you need a fishing pole (Rod), fishing reel (spinning reel), and fishing line (monofilament). Visit your nearest Walmart and buy two cheap rods for the kids. They sell ones already put together, ie. Rod, Reel, Fishing line for about $20. Look for ones that are about five to six feet long and are pre-spooled with 6 or 8 pound test monofilament fishing line. You can buy these on as well. If you and your kids wind up liking fishing and it turns into a regular activity I suggest supporting your local bait & tackle shop by purchasing some better gear there.

Step Two, Terminal Tackle: Terminal Tackle refers to everything that goes on your fishing line. You’ll need some size 6 or 8 hooks, 1/8 ounce splitshot, and some bobbers.

Step Three, Bait: For Bait use garden worms or baby nightcrawlers OR even little pieces of hotdog.

Your goal at this point should be just catching anything and getting acquainted with your gear. Practice casting and reeling in as well. With the information I’m providing in this post, you should be able to catch panfish like Sunfish and Bluegill as well as the occasional Bass.

Basic Fishing Setup and Technique:

  • Caution, hooks are sharp! Tie a hook on the end of your line.
  • Pinch a splitshot onto the fishing line about 12 inches above the hook.
  • Snap your bobber about 12 inches above the splitshot.
  • Bait your hook by running the hook through the worm two or three times. If you leave too much hanging off the hook, the fish will just steal the bait. If you’re using hotdog, use pieces about as big as the end of your little finger and run the hook through once.
  • Cast out and hand the rod to your kid. Tell them to watch bobber. It will bounce around as fish nibble at the bait. Just be patient and keep watching. When the bobber goes completely under the water it’s time to set the hook and start reeling in. To set the hook reel in any slack line with the rod tip pointed at the water, when the slack is out raise the rod tip quickly to the sky and keep reeling.
  • Bring the fish in, and remove the hook. it helps to have long, thin surgical pliers to do this. If you cannot get the hook out its best to just cut the line as close to the hook as possible. Use scissors or fingernail clippers.
  • Let your kids admire the fish, take some photos and then release back into the water to live another day.

Here are links to help you out:

Hope this helps. Email me if you’d like to ask any more questions or need clarification on something. Also, I don’t know how old your kids are but the above is appropriate for kids about ages 5 and up with close adult supervision.

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