Fishing is one of most relaxing and exciting things you can spend a day doing. Choosing the right tackle is a very important thing, you don't want to have fish stories of the one that got away.
The first thing you should take into consideration is what kind of fish you are looking to catch. You don't want to go out and catch a Musky with Bluegill tackle.
Fishing line is the starting point, if you don't have the right line you will have some problems. The most common line that is used for most fish is a 6 to 10 pound test line. This line gives you a wide range of fish to go after. For larger fish you will need a 20 pound test line and up, sometimes with a steel leader at the end for fish with teeth.
Hook size is important. You need to remember that the fish needs to be able to get the hook into its mouth. To big of a hook leads to alot of missed fish. To small of a hook can lead to fish swallowing the hook making retrieval difficult. Just remember the kind of fish you are looking to catch and pick a hook accordingly.
On to bait. If you choose to use live bait then 9 times out of 10 night crawlers work just fine. Minnows are also a good choice if Bass and Crappie are what you are looking to catch. Lures work well also for fish that are feeding more aggressively like Bass and Crappie. Also, Walleyes,Muskies,Northern pike, and fish of similar nature respond well to lures when used. When using live bait such as worms make sure the worm is hooked at least 2 times. Also, inserting the hook and threading up through the worm makes for a secure bait. Hooking minnows is much the same way, either hooking them through their lips or under the back bone. Be careful not to pierce the backbone, which will kill the minnow rendering it useless.
Always have back up tackle. Many times you will get snagged on the bottom, which can lead you to lose your tackle. You can never have to much tackle.
Fishing poles very in length and style. Use what is comfortable to you. Open or closed faced reels are a good choice and they can handle a variety of line and tackle. Most poles range in length from 4 feet to 8 feet. Six foot poles are a good choice, they offer great strength under loads and are easier to cast safely.
Remember, there are tons of fish out there waiting to be caught, so get out there and have some fun!