The expression “fishing tackle” (in use from 1398) is commonly used to refer to the physical equipment employed by anglers when fishing. Hooks, sinkers, rods, lines, floats, rods, baits, reels, lures, spears, nets, gaffs, traps, waders and tackle boxes are included in the definition.
Gears that are attached to the end of a fishing line are called terminal tackle. These includes hooks, leaders, swivels, sinkers, floats, split rings and wire, snaps, beads, spoons, blades, spinners and clevises to attach spinner blades to fishing lures.
Let’s analyze 3 types of “fishing tackle”, particularly relevant: hooks, lines and sinkers.
A fish hook is a tool for catching fishes by impaling them in the mouth. Rarely it can be used to snag the fishes’ body.
Early hooks were made from the upper bills of eagles and from bones, shells, horns and thorns of plant. They are normally attached to a line or a lure device.
The variety of hooks is wide, and they can change in sizes, designs, shapes, and materials, depending on the purpose they are used for (from general fishing to specialized applications).
Fish hooks can hold various types of artificial, dead or live baits or can be attached to or integrated into other devices that represent fish prey.
A fishing line is a cord used for fishing.
Early fishing lines were made from leaves or plant stalk, then they were constructed from horse hair or silk thread. Since the 19th century these lines were made from linen or silk, and more rarely cotton.
Nowadays lines are made from artificial materials as nylon, polyethylene, dacron and dyneema. The most common one is a monofilament made of a single strand. Very recently some lines have been made from copolymers or fluorocarbon, or a combination of the two. Finally we can find the so-called “superlines”, extremely small in diameter, very strength and without the stretch problem.
Choosing a line, it is important to considerate its length, material, and weight cause, for example, thicker and stronger lines are more visible to fish. Other relevant factors are breaking strength, knot strength, UV resistance, castability, limpness, stretch, abrasion resistance, and visibility.
A sinker (or plummet) is a weight used when angling, in order to force the lure or the bait to sink more quickly, or to increase the distance when casting. There are basically 3 types of sinkers.
The most common sinker is made of lead and it can be any shape, even if it is often shaped round, with a swelling in the middle. In order to attach the line, there are loops of brass wire on either end of the sinker. Their weights range from 7 grams (for trout fishing) up to almost a kilogram or more (for sea bass).
The swivel sinker is similar to the plain one but, instead of loops, there are swivels on each end to attach the line. This improvement has been made to prevent the line from twisting and tangling. This kind of sinker is indispensable in trolling.
The last kind of sinker is slide. It is indicated for bottom fishing and it consists in a leaden tube which allows the line to slip through it, when the fish bites. That way the angler can feel even the smallest fish’s bite.