Terminology of Fishing

Check back often as I compile the ultimate fishing terminology.

  • Action- describes the bending ability of the rod when pressure is applied. Rods have fast, medium and slow action. Fast action will bend in the top third or less of the rod, medium action will bend in the top half, and slow action rod will bend starting in the lower third of the rod and into the handle.
  • Angle-to fish with a hook and line.
  • Angler- is a person who fishes.
  • Angling- is another word for fishing.
  • Anti-reverse-on a spinning reel is a feature that prevents the reel from turning backward and engages the drag.
  • Arbor- the center of a centrepin reel’s spool.
  • Arbor knot- knot used for tying backing to the arbor of the fly reel.
  • Artificial Baits-lures or flies made of wood, plastic, metal, feathers, or similar inert material.
  • Backing line- is a line used for filling the spool, before putting on the new line.
  • Backlash- is when the lure slows down after a cast, but the spool continues to spin, causing a “birds nest” or a very nasty tangled-up line.
  • Bag limit- is a restriction in the amount an angler is allowed to keep per person per day or per season.
  • Bail- the wire part of a fixed-spool reel that guides the line on the spool.
  • Bail arm- On a spinning reel, the lever determines the direction of the spool.
  • Bait- can be live such as shrimp, nightcrawlers, minnows, or crickets. Or artificial such as lures.
  • Baitcaster- type of rod and reel. The reel and guides are affixed on the above the rod, you will thumb the spool as the line flows off.
  • Baitfish- a prey fish used to catch their preditors.
  • Barb- a sharp projection at the end of a hook, angles away from the main point to make extraction difficult.
  • Barbless hooks- a safer fishing hook without the barb. Used with smaller children to prevent injuries.
  • Bite or biting- when the fish is teasing you by taking a nibble or taste of the bait.
  • Blank- a rod with no eyelets/guides or reel. Used to build fishing outfits.
  • Blood knot- a type of knot used by anglers to tye two lines together.
  • Bobbers- a float that holds the lure or bait for a preferred depth.
  • Bobbin- used to hold a spool of thread, tying a fly.
  • Brackish- a mixture of salt and freshwater.
  • Braided line- a low stretch line made of several strands of man-made fibers braided together
  • Butt- the end of the handle of the rod.
  • Butt pad- is a cup-type pad worn around the waist, used to protect the angler from the butt end while battling the fish.
  • Buzz bait- a large bait with propeller-type blades that spin when retrieved on top of the water.

 

  • Cast- to propel a line with bait or lure to a body of water with the use of a rod and reel.
  • Casting Spoon- an oblong metal, shiny concaved to attract fish by imitating a fleeing or injured baitfish.
  • Catch & release- a sport of catching fish and letting it go back into the water.
  • Centrepin Reel- is a reel that is a verticle drum set up on a central pin to hold the line. The reel free flows by the pull of the lure and the current.
  • Chumming- a mixture of chopped fish, beef chopped fish, etc used by sea anglers fishing from a boat – thrown over the side of the boat to attract fish such as when shark fishing.
  • Crankbait- plastic or wooden lure with a diving bill that dives downwards when you’re reeling it in.

 

  • Drifting- when your lure, bobber, and the line just floats downstream.

 

  • Ferrule- where the 2 pieces of the rod are connected. There is a male and female ferrule that the male end goes into the female end.
  • Fiberglass- material used to make rods. Glass makes the rods less sensitive and more flexible and reduces the chance of pulling a bait from a fish’s mouth.
  • Fishfinder- a GPS system sonar used to locate where fish are congregating.
  • Fishing- the act of trying to catch fish. Catch fish for sport or for food.
  • Fishing Gear- a term to describe anything needed to catch fish; rods, reels, lines, lures, bobbers, swivels, and tackle box.
  • Flies- a type of artificial lure resembling insects and bugs. Specifically for use on a fly rod and reel.
  • Fluorocarbon- a type of fishing line that is invisible below the water.
  • Fly box- a small box where fly lures are kept to keep them dry and protected.
  • Flyfishing- is a technique using the weight of the line to cast a very lightweight artificial fly lure.
  • Fly Line- a weighted line used to cast a weightless fly out to the water.
  • Fry- a young fish.

 

  • Gear ratio- is a measurement of how many times a spool spins in one revolution of the reel’s handle.
  • Guides- the wire loops on a rod in which the line passes through, directing the line to the tip of the rod.

 

  • Hook-a curved U- shaped wire sharpened at one end and tied to fishing line the other. It can be either a barbed or barbless for catching fish.

 

  • Inshore fishing- fishing from a boat close to the shoreline.

 

  • Jerk bait- is a floating lure that underwater water when you jerk it towards you.
  • Jigs- is a fishing lure that is used to attract fish.
  • Jigging- sporadic up and down movement when jerking your rod to imitate baitfish.

 

  • Leader- is a length of wire or strong line attached to the business end of the main fishing line, some leaders make it difficult for the fish to see.
  • Line- comes in different forms and strengths and can be made of monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braid. And come in 6#, 8#, etc.
  • Line Guides- are the metal loops on a rod that guides the fishing line to the end of the rod.
  • Live bait- is bait that is alive such as shrimp, nightcrawlers, crabs, etc.
  • Live wells- a compartment on a boat used to hold water and keep fish alive.
  • Lures- are used to catch fish. It can be either artificial or live.

 

  • Monofilament- a man-made nylon line.

 

  • Offshore fishing- fishing from a boat out to sea away from the shoreline.
  • Outriggers -are poles that extend out from a boat to prevent lines from getting tangled.

 

  • Pole- similar to a rod but without the reel seat, and guides. Typically a cane pole with an attached line and hook.
  • Plugs-Type of lure made of wood, plastic or rubber and designed to imitate small minnows, fish, frogs, bugs, etc. It can be either floating or sinking.

 

  • Reel- an instrument to hold the fishing line attached to a rod to cast and retrieve the fishing line.
  • Reel seat- for attaching the reel to the rod.
  • Rig- terminal tackle, or the end gear.
  • Rod- a long, tapering rod to which a fishing line is attached, typically on a reel.

 

  • Sinker- a term used for leads and sinking baits.
  • Snap.snap swivel/swivel- A snap is a hook-shaped piece of wire with a clasp that is tied to a fishing line. A lure is attached to the snap. Snap swivels are the same concept but also help prevent line twisting.
  • Soft Plastic Lures- is plastic baits to replicate live bait. Are available in a variety of colors, sizes, and shapes.
  • Spinnerbait- is a shiny metallic lure shaped like an oblong concaved metal or plastic piece, used to attract fish.
  • Spinning rods- a light flexible fishing rod used with a spinning reel.
  • Split-shot sinker- are round balls of metal with a cut in the center to clamp down onto a fishing line. Used to balance the float in the water or to stop the leger from sliding down the line to the hook.
  • Spool- the part of the reel that the line is spun around and stored.
  • Spoon- shaped like a spoon and spins in the water to attract fish by reflecting light and moving randomly.
  • Sportfisherman- an angler who fishes from a motorboat equipt for fishing.
  • Sportfishing- fishing for sports.
  • Standing end- the part of the line coming from your fishing reel.
  • Sunglasses- preferably using polarized lenses, will help protect your eyes from the ultra-violet rays and help you see the fish better.
  • Surfcaster- someone who fishes from the shoreline and casts their line into the surf.
  • Swivel- a small metal devise used to attach the sinker and fishing line without the chance of getting tangled up.
  • Tackle- is any fishing equipment.

 

  • Tackle Box- used to keep and store your fishing equipment.
  • Tag End- may be called the working end, its the end of the line that ties the knot.
  • Terminal Tackle- gear that is attached to the end of the fishing line.
  • Tight lines- is what one angler says to another to wish them luck when fishing.
  • Topwater Lure- is a floating lure to entice the fish to strike.
  • Treble hook- three hooks and one eye welded together. They can be barbed or barbless. Take pliers and crush the barbs to prevent fish from being damaged during the removal.
  • Troll- to tow a lure or bait behind a moving boat.
  • Trolling- towing a lure or bait behind a moving boat.
  • Trotting- allowing a float to travel with the speed of the current of a river, to travel downstream.
  • Tube Bait- is a hollow tube-shaped as bait, as the water flows through the tube it makes the tail end move to entice the fish.

 

  • Watercraft- its a term for how anglers read the water and the conditions for fishing places.
  • Wet fly- used by fly fishermen, its a pattern used to imitate the insects below the surface of the water.

 

If you have any questions or comments, please leave one below. Thank you.

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