Kids first fishing rod and reel

Start kids with a decent rod and reel as soon as they are old enough to cast. The inexpensive blister packed, cartoon character outfits will only frustrate you and the child. Spend a little more and get a reel that will cast smooth and far without tangling.

Zebco 11T Combo
Zebco 11T- Kids first fishing rod and reel

Spincast Reel Recommendations:

Zebco: The Zebco spincast reels have been a first reel for many fisherman for decades. The design is proven. I recommend the “T” versions as they will get the kids on their way to the basic casting principles of their next reel. A true spinning reel. (Small children may need a traditional spincast reel with the reel on top of the rod and a push button to release the line)

  • Zebco 11, Zebco 11T – For small panfish
  • Zebco 33, Zebco 33T – Larger fish like bass and pickerel

Abu Garcia, Daiwa and Pfleuger also make excellent spincast reels but they are priced a little higher than the Zebco brand models and might be more than folks are willing to spend on the kids just starting off.

Rods:

Rod names and models change too often so I wont specify. I would suggest getting a combo reel and rod from some place like Cabelas or Bass Pro Shops. They will have the above mentioned reels on the correct rods at a better price than than buying them separately.

Line:

Please do not buy junk cheap stuff or select a line weight that’s too heavy. See my above comments about frustration. Purchase name brand line such as Suffix, Trilene, Stren and Berkely. Avoid South Bend anything

Line weight:

For the smaller reels use 4-6 pound test. The bigger reels use 6-8 pound test. By using the light line the kids will cast farther and more accurately without needing a 1/4 pound of lead on the line. The idea is to catch fish on a hook, not knock them unconscious with lead weights. Yes the line will break easily but trust me kids learn quick when equipment works properly.

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