All Fishing Terms Explained


It is pretty normal for many folks who are new at fishing to get confused with the many different terms used in this particular activity. Thus, we have here a list of different fishing terms explained in the simplest means possible. Go over and be familiar with them so you won’t feel alienated the next time you hang out with the pros.


Simply put, angling is another word for fishing using a hook and a line.


As with the above, the term angler refers to the person who is fishing or angling.


The term casting about angling refers to the act of throwing the bait or lure using a fishing line that is attached to a fishing rod. Usually, an angler would flick the fishing rod from behind and towards the water.

Spin Fishing

Spin fishing is the most basic and popular method of fishing using a hook and line. This involves sinking or submerging a sinker, hook and bait underneath the water’s surface to catch the fish. Some spin fishermen also use a surface lure that floats on top of the water or intermittently dives and resurfaces.

Fly Fishing

Fly fishing is a form of angling where the angler uses an artificial ‘fly’ to catch fish. The angler casts this artificial fly using a fly rod, a reel, and a weighted line. The method of casting used in fly fishing is significantly different (in terms of technique) to that of other forms of fishing.


Still-fishing simply refers to casting your line into the water while staying in the same spot. That means that the angler may either be sitting on the bank or a stationary fishing kayak or boat.


Trolling is the complete opposite of still-fishing since this involves fishing from a moving vessel. Here, anglers drag their lures or baits behind a slow-moving boat. Anglers will often use one or several fishing rods attached to a rod holder on the boat while the motor is kept in forwarding gear at slow speed. This fishing method is used to cover a lot of water to find more fish.


Back-trolling is pretty much the same as trolling, but instead of slowly moving forward, the boat is slowly moving backward which is achieved by putting the gear in reverse. Anglers employ this technique to make a sharp turn or follow changes in the water’s structure. This technique also helps to prevent the lines from getting entangled.


Mooching is similar to trolling in the sense that anglers fish from a moving boat. However, in trolling the boat’s movement is mainly due to the motor running, whereas in mooching the boat’s movement is largely due to the water current. Thus, when mooching the boat generally drifts along with the current or tide.


Jigging refers to the act of dropping and moving a lure up and down in the water to attract fish.


This is a fishing technique where anglers throw or release a bait or scent into the water to attract fish.


Drag refers to a mechanism that creates resistance in the spool so that the line stays tight while giving the fish just enough tugging strength to move in the water. This allows the angler to effectively keep a fish hooked until it is near enough to pull out of the water. You’ll have to find the right amount of drag to use for every particular fishing scenario since too much drag can cause the leader to snap while too little can create slack and allow the fish to wriggle the hook out of its mouth.


This is the compartment in the boat that holds water. Anglers who want to keep their catch alive until they’re done fishing put the fish in this compartment.


The act of a fish pecking or ‘nibbling’ at your bait without getting hooked or caught.


Bait refers to organic material that is attached to the hook to attract fish. Bait can include anything from live or dead baitfish, worms, insects, crayfish, crabs, squids, and others.

Blade Bait


A weighted, fish-shaped blade made with a swinging hook that is designed for fishing in deep waters.

Crank Bait

Often made from plastic or wood, crankbait is a fish-like lure or plug designed to swim under the water’s surface.

Spinner Bait

Spinnerbaits have one or more spinner blades on the end of one wire, and a weighted body, skirt, and hook on the other. Spinnerbaits are commonly used when fishing around trees and stumps.


Lures refer to the artificial counterparts of baits. Lures come in an assortment of styles and designs including flies, hard plastic or wood lures (or plugs), soft plastic imitations, large offshore skirted baits lead-head lures (jigs), bladed lures, and others.


Jigs (also called ‘bucktails’ by some anglers) are weighted-body lures molded on special hooks and rigged with a hair tailor soft plastic skirt or worm.


A reel is a mechanical device that is used for holding and spooling a fishing line. Reels can have a line spool, a brake (to slow a swimming fish), a handle to retrieve the line, and a foot (which is clamped onto a fishing rod). There are different types of reels for fishing available like casting reels, spinning reels, spin-cast reels, and fly fishing reels.


A line refers to the string which is used for fishing. There are different types of fishing lines available like the monofilament line, braided line, and fluorocarbon line. There’s also a fly line that is tapered and whose core is coated with plastic.


A fishing rod refers to the ‘stick’ or ‘pole’ that is used for fishing. Traditionally, fishing poles were made from wood, but there most fishing rods nowadays are made using graphite or composite materials. There are various types of fishing rods available like spinning rods, spin-cast rods, and rods used for fly fishing, surf fishing, and others.

Tackle Box

Simply put, a tackle box is a box with compartments inside that is used to hold lines, reels, lures, baits, hooks, fishing pliers, and other fishing gear and equipment.

Globo Surf Overview

There are quite a lot of words and terms which are used in fishing, the total of which may require a whole book to be explained thoroughly. However, the above fishing terms explained above are the most commonly used words in fishing, so knowing them should be more than enough to help you carry out a decent fishing conversation with your fishing buddies and other enthusiasts of this sport.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!