Somebody said fishing was fun and a great way to enjoy the outdoors, so you took their advice.

The first step is to purchase an Arizona fishing license, then, selecting the right rod and reel combination for that first trip to the Rim Country.

Having the easiest time casting and hopefully landing a fish, is what the adventure is all about.

For the first time angler, a closed faced push button reel is perfect. Backlashes are minimal and casting is easy, provided one practices the timing of releasing the push button on the top of the reel.

The Zebco 33 has probably caught more fish than any other rod and reel combination on the market today and is the right way to start for under $30.

A few years ago I was invited to fish Crescent Lake in the spring for big brookies and was told that all the equipment was in the boat. The equipment was in rod lockers, and my friend pulled out a Zebco 33 for me to use, much to my surprise.

I hadn’t fished with that combination for decades, but we were in the middle of the lake in his boat. That rod and reel combination brought back many memories of long ago, and performed remarkably well that day catching brook trout ranging from 15-18 inches.

When purchasing the Zebco 33, a six-foot bait casting rod is part of the package which also includes the reel spooled with 10-pound test line.

I would recommend to add a three-foot leader of 4-pound test because the diameter of the line is much smaller and this will produce more strikes or bites depending on your bait.

Some first time trout anglers want to immediately use an open face spinning reel which will take practice to accurately cast and target specific areas. Again, 4-pound test is sufficient and can be spooled to make long casts when needed.

The rule of thumb is that lighter line will produce more bites or strikes so setting a light drag may be necessary to keep from breaking the line when a good fish makes a long run. It is surprising how a 14-inch trout can make many long runs and possibly snap the line.

The length of the rod is often determined by the waters fished. When there are overhanging brush, trees, and other obstacles, a shorter spinning rod is a must.

My preference when fishing these waters is an ultra-light five and half foot rod with the smallest spinning reel possible. Most casts are very short so a small spool with 20 to 25 yards of four-pound test is sufficient.

Always take extra line ready to be spooled because the trees and brush sometimes will get in the way of the perfect cast.

Lake fishing is very different with longer casts being made so you can use a six-foot or longer rod.

A medium lightweight rod is just right for trout fishing the Rim and White Mountain lakes. The spinning reel should be larger and the spool should be able to hold approximately 50 yards of 4- to 6-pound test line.

Adjusting the drag is important. I have lost the battle with several large rainbows and cutthroats because I failed to adjust the drag when the fish makes a long hard run.

Getting started fishing is easy and it can become a favorite pastime or recreation that everyone in the family can enjoy. One rod and reel combination is sufficient, but as the fishing interest expands, there always seems to be a need for a different rod or better reel.

I have often used the quote of Zane Grey when I hope to add another rod to the wall locker in the garage. “If you can count the number of fishing rods you have, you don’t have enough.”

I guess that might be justification for that new 3-weight fly rod I have been eyeing.

The stock trucks are running and the fish are biting, so take a friend and enjoy the Rim Country lakes and streams, God’s creation.

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