The Oregon Seal Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife  
 » ODFW Home   »  Fishing Resources   »  Easy Angling Oregon
About Us Fishing Hunting Viewing License/Regs Conservation Living With Wildlife Education
Fishing in Oregon

Easy Angling Oregon

green starNorthwest Zone yellow starSouthwest Zone orange starWillamette Zone brown starCentral Zone gold starSoutheast Zone blue star Northeast Zone
  Tips and Techniques Zone Map and Contacts  


Types of Gear


This is the simplest gear to master and is used frequently by beginners. It’s easily recognized by the closed reel face. When casting the angler needs to push down on a button with his or her thumb in order to release the line. These outfits minimize tangles. Spincast outfits are best suited to casting small and medium sized lures to smaller fish.



An angler can cast farther with this kind of outfit than with spincast gear, but the exposed fishing line makes it easier to get tangles while casting. Spinning outfits come in a variety of sizes and weights. Smaller outfits can cast small lures to trout, while larger outfits are excellent for casting large lures to salmon and steelhead.



These outfits excel at casting heavy lures a long way. However, they can be difficult to learn to cast. These outfits work well when fishing off-shore or in very deep waters, or when pursuing large fish like salmon or sturgeon.


Fly Fishing

This gear is very different because it’s designed to cast a virtually weightless lure (flies are often tied with little more than fur and feathers) unlike the heavy plastic or metal lures used in spinning or baitcasting fishing. This kind of fishing requires more highly specialized gear and techniques, but many anglers find mastering these techniques almost as rewarding as catching the fish.



Tackle for fishing

The list of necessary fishing gear and equipment can be very simple. A rod and reel, and a small selection of lures, bait hooks, bobbers and artificial bait is enough to go fishing just about anywhere you might find fish.

A good shopping list to get started might include:

  • A lightweight 5-6 foot spincasting or spinning rod with matching reel and 4-6 pound monofilament line
  • Package of size 8 bait hooks
  • Couple of small plastic bobbers
  • Jar of PowerBait or PowerEggs
  • A package of #5 non-lead split shot
  • Worms
  • A handful of 1/16 oz. spinners

Fly fishing is another popular way to fish. It requires more specialized equipment and tools, but a good starter outfit could include:

  • Graphite 5-weight fly rod, nine feet long
  • Matching fly reel
  • Weight forward, 5-weight fly line
  • Tapered monofilament leaders, 4X 7.5 feet long
  • Spools of 4X and 5X tippet
  • Assorted streamside tools


Knots you need to know

Fishing knots allow you to properly tie your line to your hook, lure, and other tackle. These knots are easy to tie and are especially good for nylon monofilament, the most commonly used line for all fishing. Remember to wet knots with saliva as you pull them tight. This prevents damage to the line and allows the knot to pull tight.

Palomar Knot The easiest to tie, a good choice to hold terminal tackle (hooks, swivels and lures).

Polomar Knot

Improved Clinch Knot A universally known knot also called the fisherman’s knot.

Improved Clinch Knot

Surgeon’s Knot Used to join two lines (one short) together.

Surgeon's Knot


About Us | Fishing | Hunting | Wildlife Viewing | License / Regs | Conservation | Living with Wildlife | ODFW Outdoors

ODFW Home | Driving Directions | Employee Directory | Social Media | | File Formats | Employee Webmail | ODFW License Agents

4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE   ::   Salem, OR 97302   ::    Main Phone (503) 947-6000 or (800) 720-ODFW [6339]

Do you have a question or comment for ODFW? Contact ODFW's Public Service Representative at:
Share your opinion or comments on a Fish and Wildlife Commission issue at

   © ODFW. All rights reserved. This page was last updated: 07/26/2013 11:18 AM