Essential Fishing Gear To Bring On A Camping Trip

The best camping locations are often found right next to excellent fishing grounds, such as remote lakes, rivers, or streams.

Due to their remote location, you’ll have a much better chance at catching plenty of fish than on crowded urban fishing grounds, where dozens of anglers fish every day.

But if you’re planning to do some quality fishing on your next camping trip, the first thing you need to do is create a master list of all the fishing gear and tackle items you’ll need to bring along with you.

There’s nothing more annoying than discovering that some of your gear is missing when you try to assemble your fishing tackle on the banks of a beautiful lake far from home.

So let’s make sure that you bring all the essential items along with you. For this purpose, we’ve created a list of essential fishing gear to bring on your camping trip.

fishing on a camping trip

List of the Most Important Fishing Tackle

  1. Fishing rod
  2. Reel
  3. Line
  4. Hooks
  5. Lures
  6. Weights/split shots
  7. Bobbers
  8. Swivels
  9. Fish lip gripper
  10. Pliers
  11. Line cutter (or scissors)
  12. Knife
  13. Bait
  14. Underwater light

Above is a list of the fishing gear essentials you’ll need to take along. Some of them are not 100% essential, as you can replace them with something else.

For example, if you’re only going to be using artificial lures, you won’t need to bring any bait.

4 Must-Have Fishing Gear To Bring On A Camping Trip

If you want to take just the bare essentials of fishing gear on your camping trip, then go for the following four items:

  • Fishing Rod
  • Fishing Reel
  • Fishing Line
  • Lures

These four tackle items are enough to catch plenty of fish in most lakes, rivers, or streams.

Now let’s go over the details of the most important items.

Fishing Rod

The best type of fishing rod to take on a camping trip is a telescopic rod. The reason for this is that it’s much easier to transport a telescopic rod in a small space since the whole rod can be retracted into one short piece, which easily fits into a medium-sized fishing backpack.

While telescopic rods are usually not quite as good as traditional two-piece rods, they are absolutely fine for 99% of the fishing situations you’ll encounter on a camping trip.

But if you want to avoid telescopic rods at all cost, an alternative would be to choose a four-piece travel rod, which is similar to a two-piece rod but can be disassembled into four pieces, and so fits into a backpack.

Another advantage of telescopic rods is that you can rig them up in advance with a reel, line, and lure before starting out, and transport them like that in their retracted state. That will save you a lot of time rigging up when you reach your camping destination.

If you’re not sure what kind of fish you’re going to encounter, it’s best to choose a medium weight rod with a fast action tip. This will have you covered in most situations that you can reasonably expect to encounter.

Fishing Reel

While there are many fishing reel types to choose from, it’s best to keep things as simple as possible on a camping trip and stick to a basic spinning reel.

The reason for this is that spinning reels can be used for many different types of fishing, and are more versatile than other types of fishing reels.

So if you take along a medium-sized spinning reel, that will be good enough for almost any kind of fish you might catch on your camping trip.

You can use it to catch bluegill or bass, or even big fish like catfish, northern pike, or salmon. The best size to choose is either a 2500 or 3000, which is right in the middle between small and medium-sized spinning reels.

Fishing Line

While you can choose between the braided line, monofilament, or fluorocarbon, the specific line you choose is not that critical. In most cases, monofilament will have you covered.

This is also the cheapest option to go for. If you choose an 8-pound test monofilament, that works well for a wide variety of fish species and sizes.


Artificial lures are great because you don’t have to worry about getting fresh bait, which can be tricky to bring on a camping trip. So as long as you have a good selection of lures, including swimbaits, jigs, spoons, plastic worms, and crankbaits, that will enable you to catch fish almost anywhere.

It’s best to make sure you have a variety of sizes to choose from, in case you’re not sure if you’ll be fishing for small trout in a stream, or big walleye in a lake.

Line Cutter

If you’re going to be tying your lures or hooks to the fishing line, you’ll need to cut the line with something. Using a knife for this is awkward, so it’s better to have a fishing line cutter, which is specifically designed for this purpose. It’s also small and easy to transport.

If you can’t get a line cutter, the second-best choice would be a pair of scissors, which are great to have on a camping trip in any case.


The problem with bait is that it usually needs to be fresh. For example, if you want to use nightcrawlers, they should be alive. This is hard to achieve on a fishing trip, as nightcrawlers tend to die in a bait box after one or two days.

So keep in mind that some types of fishing baits are easier to transport. These include salmon eggs (which are great for trout), sweet corn, luncheon meat (great for catfish), and Berkley Powerbait.


This wraps up our discussion of the most important fishing gear to bring on a camping trip. Of course, you’ll also need to bring some other camping gear on your trip.

The exact list of things to bring depends on the type of trip you have in mind. Here is a handy guide covering the basic camping equipment to bring along.

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