93% of People Can't Identify All of This Fishing Gear. Can You?

Bambi Turner

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Is your ultimate idea of fun a day spent on a fishing boat, reeling in catch after catch? Would you prefer catching your own dinner over dining at the hottest restaurant? If so, this just might be the quiz for you!

Forget makeup and special effects -- the biggest media misconception of them all is the sport of fishing. There are countless examples of TV and movie characters relaxing on the river bank, tying a simple length of string to a convenient stick, adding an earthworm to a hook and casting a line. Shortly later, we see our on-screen hero strolling on home with his catch slung over his shoulder, whistling all the way. 

As any fisherman today will tell you ... yeah, right. Fishing is largely the art of patience, of sitting in silence as you hope and pray for a bite. And sure, it's possible a nice catfish might go for that earthworm, but the days of fishing with bare-bones gear are long gone.

Today's fishermen typically carry a tackle box full of supplies, with tricked-out rods and reels that can cost hundreds of dollars. Worms and other traditional bait have largely been replaced by artificial lures and plugs, which perfectly mimic a fish's favorite prey, and typically cost a pretty penny.

Think you know enough about the sport to reel in a big one? Take our fishing gear quiz to find out!


Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

A bobber, which is also known as a float, attaches directly to a fishing line and serves as a visual indicator of what's going on below the water. If it starts to sink below the surface, you know you've got a bite. The bobber can also be used to float a hook into a hard-to-reach spot, and also to ensure you have your bait suspended in the water at the desired depth.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Sinkers are chunks of metal -- usually molded lead -- that weigh down the bait and line to carry it under the water where fish are swimming. Most weigh less than an ounce, though heavier ones are available for serious anglers fishing in deeper water.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Forget worms! Who wants to pierce a wiggling earthworm when you can use a lure instead? These gizmos are a form of artificial bait specifically designed to attract fish based on their color, movement and the way they reflect light.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

While live baits can only be used once, artificial alternatives are designed to be used again and again. One of the simplest options is the plastic worm, which is cheap enough for any angler and versatile enough for many different types of fishing. They come in different colors, lengths and designs, with one of the most obvious differences being the presence of a curly "tail" versus the lack of a tail altogether.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Needlenose pliers may seem like an odd tool to bring fishing, but they can come in handy at sea. These narrow-tipped pliers are the perfect device for removing a hook from the mouth of a fish you plan to release.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

You can always spot the seasoned fisherman on a boat -- he's the one wearing sun protection. There's a reason bucket hats are so closely associated with fishing; the brim extends all the way around to protect not only the face, but also the neck and ears from the fierce sun exposure common in the sport.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

You really can't be too cautious when it comes to sun protection out on the water. Since that happens to be where the fish are, smart anglers carry sunscreen and reapply frequently to protect their skin from damage.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Not all fish can be caught from the comfort of a pier or fishing boat. Some require you to wade into the water and cast a line. To protect yourself and stay dry and warm when fishing in a stream, consider donning waders -- rubber or PVC overalls that go over your clothes.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Sunglasses are just as important as hats and sunscreen when you're out on the water. Choose polarized lenses to reduce glare and minimize eye strain that comes from squinting through bright sun.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Nature isn't always kind to fishing lines, and trash, marine plants and other obstacles can leave your line hopelessly entangled. When this happens, a line cutter makes quick work of cutting away the tangled line so you can get back to fishing. Thanks to the toughness of modern braided lines, a knife or scissors won't always do the trick the way a line cutter will.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

A good rod is one of the most important tools for any angler. Ranging from 2 to 20 feet in length, fishing rods are typically made from bamboo or fiberglass. Most recreational and competitive fishing is done using a rod, while commercial fishing operations often use nets where they are permitted by law.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Spinning reels are one of the most popular and versatile fishing reels available. Known as an open-face reel, the design makes it easy to add or change out lines as you work to reel in a big one.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Unlike spinning reels, spin-casting reels have a closed-face design. They are very popular with novice anglers because they are easy to control compared to other reels. The downside to this design is that it can be tricky to add extra line or change out a line when needed.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

For maximum accuracy in casting a line, choose a bait-casting reel. This piece of fishing gear is necessary for catching big fish, but does require some practice if you want to use it properly.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Fly-casting reels are designed to create the smoothest drag, or tension on the line. Many are complex and more advanced than other reels, incorporating disc drag systems for maximum control and handling.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Tackle boxes keep all your fishing gear organized and portable. They come in both hard and soft-sided versions, and while hard ones are more traditional and waterproof, soft ones are easy to store and carry.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Many fisherman share a common habit -- adding a few extra pounds to any catch when describing it to their friends. A fish scale lets you prove how much a fish actually weighs, and can also help you determine whether you can keep the fish or must throw it back depending on local regulations.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Pulled in a whopper of a fish last Sunday? Prove it by placing it up against your fish ruler to get a true measurement of its length. You can get small, portable rulers or models that adhere to the side of your boat. And remember to throw back the little guys after you measure.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Dealing with wildlife and sharp hooks is no joke, and the last thing you want to do is suffer an injury out on the water or high up on a mountain at your favorite fishing lake. Come prepared with a first aid kit fully stocked to address common ailments.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

OK you've caught a fish, now what? Sure, you could reach over the side of the boat and try to grab the slippery, fighting creature with your hands, but it's not necessarily the safest way to land your catch. Instead, use a net with a handle to avoid leaning too far over the side and reduce your risk of falling in or losing your catch.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Knives are endlessly useful for anglers. They can be used to cut some types of lines, fillet up a fresh catch or cut up bait.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

An ice chest or cooler is a must when you're out on a boat, or even if you're fishing from the land. Not only can a cooler preserve your catch until you can get it home and fry it up, but it can also store drinks to keep you healthy and hydrated on your fishing trip.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

A bite indicator, or strike indicator, is any device designed to let you know when you have a fish on your line. They can range from mechanical to electrical, and include things like simple floats, quiver tips for rods or even bite alarms that emit a noise when a fish is hooked.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Go truly old-school in your next angling adventure with some spear fishing. Spears are similar to harpoons, but are designed to be used while you're actually in the water, and most spears don't utilize any lines, while harpoons often do.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

A stringer is designed to keep multiple fish alive, but contained, after they've been caught. It generally consists of a heavy line or chain that can be threaded through the gills so the fish can be suspended in the water, but can't swim away.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Fish finders or sounders use sonar to spot fish below the surface of the water. Though they are largely accurate, things like deep water, debris or other underwater obstacles can lead anglers on a wild fish chase.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Sure, you can cast a line from the shore or the end of a pier, but if you want to catch a whopper, you need to get out into deeper water. Fishing boats generally have the controls under a canopy in the middle of the vessel, leaving plenty of room around the edges for eager anglers.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Jig is another name for the lures used to attract fish. Many consist of sinker and hook combos, and are typically covered with a soft "body" to appeal to a variety of fish species.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

A spinner bait is a very common lure which consists of metal blades that spin like a propeller in the water. They can be used to attract a variety of fish, but usually offer major appeal to predatory fish species.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Bass worms generally range from 2 to 4 inches in length. These plastic worms are scented with a fragrance that bass love, and come in different colors and sizes for use in different types of conditions.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Think of a boilie as a ball of bait. They generally consist of a hardened paste made from fish, milk eggs and a variety of other ingredients, and are a popular choice of bait for catching carp.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

A circle hook has a rounder shape than the traditional "J" hook. This means it's more likely to catch the fish around the lip than to end up in the creature's gut, making circle hooks a safer choice for catch-and-release fishing.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

A hair rig is a piece of tackle that offsets the bait from the hook. This type of gear can hook fish too smart to fall for a traditional baited hook, and can often catch them unaware as they go for a piece of seemingly safe bait.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

When you're out on the water, it's almost inevitable that some water will make its way onto your boat. You can cross your fingers and hope your bilge pump does its job, or invest in a cheap bailer -- or bailing bucket -- to get that water back into the sea and out of your vessel.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

A plug is any hard-bodied lure painted to resemble a fish. Also known as crankbait, these lures typically have at least two hooks, and come in many different designs to attract a variety of species.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Spoon lures get their name because they are metallic and concave like a dinner spoon. They have a hook on the end to lure a catch, and their concave surface reflects light to capture the eye of a fish.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

A popper is a type of fishing lure with a concave head and hollow body. When dragged through the water on the end of a line, it creates bubbles and splashes that help attract fish.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Minnow are a popular food source for many fish, so it's no surprise that bait manufacturers have created an entire category of lures designed to resemble the thin, silvery fish. Their narrow shape means they are easy to swallow, which makes it easier to firmly hook a fish so you can reel it in.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Along with a rod and reel, a good line is one of the most important pieces of fishing gear. Threaded through the rod and controlled by a reel, a line complete with a hook and bait is sure to help you land a fish.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Barbed hooks feature the traditional "J" shape, but have a sharp triangular shape at the pointed end of the hook. This barb helps hold a fish in place and prevent it from getting away, but does require a bit of extra care to avoid cutting your fingers.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Fishing is rife with threats to your hands -- from sharp hooks and knives to strong fishing line that can rub, cut or pinch fingers. Gloves cam protect your hands from these hazards and others lurking deep below the surface of the water.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Fishing provides an opportunity to get back to nature -- which often means bonding with every annoying insect in the area. A good quality insect spray can keep flies and mosquitoes away and let you focus on fishing.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Rod holders include both wearable versions, which keep your hands free while you fish, and non-wearable varieties -- which include storage, rack and trolling systems.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Barbless hooks have a traditional "J" shape, but lack the triangle of metal at the pointed end of the hook. This means they do less damage to the fish, making them perfect for catch-and-release outings.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Fish traps offer a hands-off approach to fishing. You simply set the trap and go back later to see if you've scored a catch. They range from primitive models made from sticks or chicken wire to more advanced designs like lobster traps and crab pots.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Like a spear, a harpoon is a long, pointed stick used to catch fish. Unlike a spear, it's typically used from a boat, and incorporates a line at the end to offer anglers from play when pulling in the fish.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Swivels are simple pieces of fishing hardware that connect a hook to a line. They feature a pivoting joint, which helps prevent the line from twisting or tangling.

Can you identify this must-have fishing item?

Worms are the ultimate in old-fashioned bait, and are still widely used by today's anglers. They're free, if you're willing to catch your own, and the way they wiggle in the water is sure to help you land a catch.

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