When introducing your kid to fishing, you want a cheap and functional rod-and-reel combo that they can use. Remember that your primary focus for getting your child into the sport is to have them enjoy it. Your child doesn’t have to fish every minute just to enjoy it. The objective is not even to catch fish every time. Let your child get enjoyment from using the equipment, as well as the excitement involved in the preparation and the hunt. You might even be surprised at how quickly children learn to think like fish. Pushbutton lightweight reels are good choices for this purpose.
A good setup for kids would be a spincast reel combined with a medium-power short rod. This is a good setup to start with. This type is great for fishing generally smaller fish such as small trout, perch, crappie and bluegill, so you can use a 6-pound monofilament. For bigger fish such as walleye, bass, carp and catfish, go for a high quality 8-pound mono.
A spinning reel with a medium-power short rod, the reel sometimes being called an ‘open face’ combo, is excellent at casting baits with light to moderate weight of 1/16 to ½ ounce. A spinning reel provides a good second-level choice once your child steps up on their fishing technique with a good release point for getting a long cast with their spincast reel. A spinning reel costs more but you can also enjoy smoother casts and retrieves as well as tougher gears, which all contribute to greater precision and improved feel. For most situations, 6- to 8-pound mono works fine. You can always upgrade to a 2-pound braided line if you think your young angler is ready for big fish.
A baitcasting reel combined with a medium power short rod enables your child to get to the big leagues. This type of combo may prove to be the toughest but it also pays the largest rewards. The thumb has to be constantly pressed on the spool to prevent excessively fast spinning and the generation of a frustrating tangle of line called a ‘backlash’. Skilled anglers maintain precise and constant control of the line with the use of their thumb, stopping the lure at the exact moment, and presenting the bait meticulously into the water with hardly any noise or splash, mere inches from the fish. A baitcasting reel also gives the angler fantastic cranking power so larger lures can be employed and big fish on big line can be hauled in.