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Thread: Introducing a 4 year old to fishing...

  1. #1
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    Question Introducing a 4 year old to fishing...

    My son is begging me to take him fishing.. Took a gander at the kids poles at the local stores (Anchorage) and am not to impressed. What's a good all around set up for a young kid? I was thinking something like a Halibut Rod (because its a real pole and its short???)with a push button reel, but was hoping other folks have experiemented and came up with better ideas.

    Any tips / info would be appreciated. Going to try him on the local lakes before hitting any thing with moving water....

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Get him a decent short ultralight spinning rod. He'll still use it later when bigger rods fit him, but in the meantime it's small enough and light enough for him to handle. Heck, we still have the two our daughters used 35 years ago. Kinda fun to dig them out and use them, even today.

    A couple of more important insights for starting kids:

    Leave your own rod home. First fishing trips should be all about them. Later when they're more competent, you can start to bring your own, but always put them first when it comes to success.

    Don't force them to fish. When they lose interest and want to do something else, go with it. Chase bugs, dig in the dirt, play tag. Doesn't matter. If they don't feel they HAVE TO fish, they'll love it lots more and forever.

  3. #3
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    For a 4yo I would go ahead and get one of the cheapo rods (mine has a Scooby Doo setup). Put some decent 10# line on it and teach him/her how to push the button. I put a 1/2oz pixie (minus the hook) on mine and let him practice casting in the driveway. It doesn't take long and they usually get the hang of it. I won't put a hook on it till next summer though.

    This technique has worked well with my three daughters so far and they have actually caught silvers on these little rods before! It just isn't worth it to buy an expensive set up when they often end up in the sand. Once they hit 6-7yo then get them a decent setup.
    AKmud
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  4. #4
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    I started my son out on a medium ugly stick combo from Freddie's ($35 or so), he was catching silvers when he was 3 (almost 4). At first we did the bobber and egg thing, but by the next summer he was casting lures just fine. I put 12 or 15 lb line on it and it was fine for trout in the lake too. I know the kiddie rods are cheaper, but he now has 3 years on the same rod and has caught many fish.

    I second the idea of leaving your rod at home when first teaching, let the kid be the focus and get a real sense of ability. There will be many days to fish together in the near future. Also, get them a pair of sunglasses with retainer as kids always end up behind someone's cast, no matter how supervised they are!!

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies. Spoke with a few others and was recomended to try ice fishing poles.. Sounds like a good project for this weekend.

  6. #6
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Take the earlier advice and get a small (5-6') light action rod with a push button Zebco 33 (or similar) reel. Buy some 1/4 ounce spinners and find a lake with some grayling. Something that will provide some fast action. A 4 year old won't care how big the fish are. Find a lake full of grayling or other easy to catch fish. Take some hot dogs and cook lunch on the shore. Take a little walk through the woods or along the lake shore. Add some non fishing activity to keep things fresh if the action slows. Make fishing an event. An event that only you and your child are invited to attend. Forget the salmon and river fishing for the first few trips. They will get bored of casting into a river and not getting any short term results. A $30 Walmart outfit, a half dozens spinners, and a pack of hot dogs is where I would start.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  7. #7
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I got back to AK with a 4 and 5 year old and took them fishing. I just used regular trout poles and they did great. I just helped them cast and didn't make a big deal about it when they got snagged up. On the second trip my 6 year old (At the time) beat me to the fishing hole and had a trout on by the time I got there. The 4 and 5 year olds tend to enjoy playing on the bank and in the water as much as anything else. My oldest is a die hard fisherman, and will easily outlast me when it comes to fishing hours in a day. By the time silver season rolled around in his first year of fishing (6) he was casting my wife's 9' silver pole and standing in the combat line at Jims. The 5 year old at the time filled his waders to the brim and spent the day sloshing around stomping on fish heads and loving every second of it. The ultralight pole seems like a good plan but really it just depends on the strength of the kid. I think the Halibut rods would be a PITA, no flex to help with casting and they are heavy. Might as well just give em a 2x4 with some line tied to the end.

  8. #8
    Member AKnook's Avatar
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    I have 16 month old twin boys and man I cannot wait until they are of fishing age. They have been with me to a few fishing trips and really get a kick when dad lands a fish and lets them look and touch it. I have often walked the isles of some store looking at the kids rods and yea I am not impressed as well. It did cross my mind to use a pike ice fishing pole. They look sturdy enough to fight a salmon other than a king. I still have a few years to test this out but it seems like a good choice.

  9. #9
    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    I started my son with the Spiderman rod and a pixie minus hook just like mud. He was around 20 months. He's now fairly proficient at it and has been my fishing buddy for the last two summers. Grayling was a great fish to start him on. Now, it's humpies and stockers. I gave him an older 7'6" flyrod a few months ago. There's a long road to travel in the skills department there but he's proficient with pixies and rooster tails.

    He's 3.

    He can cast a light spinner as far as I can

    It's definately a different kind of fishing. There's quite a bit of time getting the line off the eyelets after getting wrapped.

    All in all, fishing with my 3YO is the most fun fishing I've ever done. I don't catch many fish until nap time.


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