What is Angling Fishing

What is Angling Fishing? Definition, Types, and Tackles Included

By Sophia the SeaMonster on Dec 31, 2022

Have you ever seen someone sitting on the water bank, grabbing a line coming out from inside the water, and staring at the water with anticipating eyes? If I were asked this question, I would surely have answered ‘yes.’ And if you too say ‘yes’ you’re too close to what you’ve just asked, “what is angling fishing.” But, as I got a bit tedious about the idea, I discovered that there’s more to do with just sitting down and waiting for the fish when it comes to modern-day fishing, especially ‘angling fishing.’

During the course of the entire article, I’m going to help you learn what angling fishing is, its tackles, and its major worldwide popular types/techniques.

What is Angling Fishing in Simpler Terms?

Angling fishing is a fishing technique that uses a fishing ‘angle’ or hooks to tether individual fish in the mouth. The hook is attached to the fishing line, usually handled by a fishing rod, though rodless techniques like handlining and longlining exist. Some modern-day rods also contain a reel used to store, retrieve, and release out the line and manipulate its movement.

Is There Any Difference Between Angling and Fishing?

Fishing, in general, is an act of capturing fish, usually on a commercial level. Angling is fishing for fun or a sport using a rod, line, and hook. The term “fisherman” refers to a professional and a person who ‘captures’ fish. An angler is more commonly referred to as a hobbyist.

Equipment Used in Angling Fishing

A heavy setup isn’t the point of an angler’s journey; just a few tackles and they are good. First, let me give you a brief description of the kits in angling because you’ll be learning more about each one when going through the types of angling.


This is something that the fish is believed to like, usually a worm.

  • Groundbait - Groundbait is thrown separately into the water, which serves as an appetizer to get the distant fish closer to the hook point.
  • Hookbait - This is the bait attached to the fishing hook/angle, which is thrown into the water to entice the fish to swallow the hook.
  • Natural baits - The baits that are already part of fish’s raw diet. The angler uses a prey species of a targeted fish as an attractant. They may use live bait, a dead one, or portions of a deadbait known as cut bait.
  • Artificial baits - These are edible fish food either commercially purchased or prepared at home.

Fishing Hook/Angle

Perhaps the smallest tackle of the angler's setup, the hook is also the most important one in many ways. Even if you’ve got the fish closer using ground bait, you’re still dependent on the hookbait to capture one unless you’re into bowfishing or spearfishing.

The small hook may seem simple to describe, but it also has various parts to help anglers identify what makes a hook special and what to use it for. Each hook is designed for a specific purpose. For example, having a narrow and long shank is useful when working with thin baits like worms. Likewise, a wider ‘gap’ is helpful when you have a bigger target in mind.

Fishing Line

Resembling a long, ultra-thin rope, a fishing line is a flexible, high-tensile cord used to throw and keep the hook underwater and to tether and pull in fish. Their special attributes, such as length, material, thickness, UV resistance, and weight, differentiate fishing lines from ordinary threads.

Fishing Rod

What allows you to rope the fish even more and take it out of water by manipulating the fishing line is the fishing rod. It’s a long, thin, straight, and rigid stick/pole with the fishing line attached to one end, and the other end is in the angler’s hand(s).

Fishing Reel

Most modern rods have a reel mounted at the rod handle. The revolution is hand-cranked to store, retrieve, and release the fishing line. A rod with a reel would also contain numerous line-restricting rings, aka line guides, that distribute bending stress along the rod and help prevent line whipping and entanglement caused by reel wrapping.

Bite Indicator

These mechanical or electronic devices signal the angler that something’s happening with the hook inside the water. Mechanical indicators include fishing floats, amongst which the popular one is hollow ball.

Fishing Sinker

This helps the hook stay underwater and to help the angler cast the line to a farther distance.

Different Techniques of Angling Fishing

Angling fishing techniques, more specifically, are divided into two main categories, each of which has further sub techniques. These are as follows:

1. Rod Fishing

Pretty clear is that this technique involves a fishing rod, but it may come with variants such as:

Float Fishing

This technique involves a ‘fishing float’ (bite indicator) as a must-have item in the list of other tackles. The float is attached to the line at a specific distance from the hook, and due to buoyancy the float remains on the water's surface, restricting the fishing hook at a predetermined depth. When a fish bites the hook, any movements inside will be signaled by the float to the angler.

Bottom Fishing

Bottom fishing uses a heavy ‘fishing sinker’ tied to the end of the line and goes down the water along with the hook. The main point of bottom fishing is to cast the fishing line further and keep the hook close to the bottom of the water to target groundfish.

Lure Fishing

Lure fishing involves artificial, inedible baits to attract fish, thereby letting them mistakenly strike. Since these baits don’t emit scents, they use prey-like sounds, vibrations, appearances, bright reflections, and flashy colors. The angler themselves is getting the lure to imitate a small prey by creating beats, turbulent splashes and a popping action inside the water.

2. Line Fishing

Line fishing specifically refers to angling techniques that don’t use fishing rods, though hook and line are still part of line fishing. This fishing type includes the following methods:


Simply put, handlining is when the anglers don’t use a fishing rod; instead, they merely use a handheld fishing line to capture fish. And all other tackles like fishing sinker and float are part of handlining. Handlining is the oldest fishing technique done on both boats and land.


Deadlining is the practice of leaving the baited handline into the water with the other end of the line fastened on the bank. This is the same as if you set a ‘deadline’ for any of your tasks - the angler will leave the line for a specific period (usually overnight) and return to check if there’s anything tethered.


In longlining, hundreds, even thousands of baited hooks are connected with a long heavy line. These hooks are hanging from the main line via branch lines called snoods. Though longlining is a commercial fishing technique and is usually operated from specialized boats, fun-seeking anglers too practice it but with a small number of snoods.


Like longlining explained above, drop lining too contains a series of baited hooks connected with snoods. But unlike longlining, the line is set ‘vertically’ down into the water rather than being hung ‘horizontally.’ The fishing line is weighted at the bottom using a heavy fishing sinker and has a float at the top to prevent the line from sinking.


In slabbing, the angler repetitively lifts and drops the artificial bait into the water. This is often a flat bait, usually ranging from 1 to 2.5 oz in weight, and resembles a baitfish. When the fish gets closer to the so-called prey, the angler dabs it using a spear or with some other sharp-pointed tool.

In Conclusion

It was pretty much a brief idea of ‘angling fishing.’ I’m now pretty confident that you’re ready to roll up your sleeves for your first fishing venture, or to just explain the concept faster and clearly whenever you’re asked about it.

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