Stardew Valley Fishing Rods, Bait & Tackle Guide: Tips for Beginners

Hello, friends! A few days ago, I noticed some of you were interested in a tutorial about fishing gear in Stardew Valley. So, in this tutorial, I will share some knowledge about fishing rods, bait, and tackle to help beginners on their journey to becoming expert anglers. If you’re interested, let’s dive in!

Fishing Rods

First, let’s talk about fishing rods. There are four types of fishing rods in the game. The first is the Bamboo Pole, which you receive on the second day of Spring in Year 1 after getting a letter from Willy. Head to the beach to trigger a cutscene with Willy, and he will give you the Bamboo Pole, unlocking the Fish Shop.

Bamboo Pole
The Bamboo Pole is your first fishing rod.

The Bamboo Pole is your first fishing rod, but since your fishing level is zero at this point, it’s not very effective, and the fishing bar is quite short. This can be discouraging for beginners.

The second fishing rod is the Training Rod, which can be purchased for 25 gold after unlocking the Fish Shop. It can only catch basic fish, and although it has a slightly longer fishing bar than the Bamboo Pole, it’s generally not recommended. However, for players new to the fishing mini-game, it can be a good practice tool.

Training Rod
The Training Rod can only catch basic fish.

The third fishing rod is the Fiberglass Rod, which can be purchased for 1,800 gold once you reach fishing level 2. This rod allows you to use bait to increase your chances of catching fish. If you’re good at fishing and want to focus on it from the start, you can buy the Fiberglass Rod and Trout Soup to challenge the Catfish on the third day, which is a rainy day.

Fiberglass Rod
The Fiberglass Rod allows you to use bait.

The fourth fishing rod is the Iridium Rod, which can be purchased for 7,500 gold once you reach fishing level 6. This is the highest-level fishing rod and allows you to use both bait and tackle. At this point, your fishing level is higher, so your casting distance increases and the fishing bar becomes longer, making it easier to catch fish.

Iridium Rod
The Iridium Rod allows you to use both bait and tackle.

Bait

Next, let’s discuss bait. As mentioned before, only the Fiberglass Rod and Iridium Rod can use bait, while crab pots can use any type of bait. However, the type of bait used in crab pots does not affect their yield (e.g., it won’t produce two fish or a treasure chest at once). To use bait, click on it in your inventory, then right-click on your fishing rod to attach it. Right-click again to remove it. For crab pots, hold the bait and click on the pot to put it in.

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There are four types of bait in the game. The first is the Basic Bait, which is the most commonly used. It becomes available once you reach fishing level 2, either by crafting or purchasing it for 5 gold at the Fish Shop. You can also obtain it through Bug Meat and fishing treasure chests. The Basic Bait reduces the time it takes for fish to bite and decreases the chances of catching trash.

Basic Bait
Basic Bait reduces the time it takes for fish to bite and decreases the chances of catching trash.

The second type of bait is the Magnet, which is unlocked at fishing level 9. You can then craft it, buy it at the Fish Shop, or find it at other shops like the Traveling Cart, Sewer, and the Casino. It can also be a reward during the Festival of Ice and Feast of the Winter Star. The Magnet not only works like Basic Bait but also doubles your chances of catching a treasure chest to about 30%.

Magnet
The Magnet doubles your chances of catching a treasure chest to about 30%.

The third type of bait is the Wild Bait. You can obtain the recipe by completing Linus’s 4-heart event. Wild Bait can also be obtained from fishing treasure chests or by digging up worms on Ginger Island. Its performance is better than the standard bait, reducing fish bite waiting time by 62.5% and providing a chance to catch two fish at once. However, this double fish effect does not apply to the first-generation Legendary Fish but can work with Mr. Qi’s second-generation Legendary Fish during his quest.

Wild Bait
Wild Bait reduces fish bite waiting time by 62.5% and provides a chance to catch two fish at once.

The last bait is the Magic Bait, which is available only in the late game. After unlocking Mr. Qi’s Walnut Room on Ginger Island, you can purchase the recipe for 20 Qi Gems or buy 20 Magic Baits for 5 Qi Gems. Magic Bait allows you to catch fish regardless of the season, weather, or time in their corresponding water type. Night Market fish can be caught at the southwest corner of the beach, and Legendary Fish can also be caught using Magic Bait in their specific locations.

Magic Bait
Magic Bait allows you to catch fish regardless of the season, weather, or time in their corresponding water type.

Tackle

Finally, let’s talk about fishing tackle. Tackle can only be equipped on the Iridium Rod. The equipment method is the same as bait, and it has a durability bar that decreases with use. Unless your fishing rod has the Durable enchantment, the tackle will break and disappear after catching 20 fish. However, it does not wear down when catching trash items.

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There are 9 types of fishing tackle in total. 7 of them can be unlocked by leveling up your fishing skill or purchased at the Fish Shop. The other two are the Quality Bobber and the Treasure Hunter. The Quality Bobber recipe can be obtained after completing a special quest for Willy on the quest board. The Treasure Hunter can be obtained by breaking barrels, crates, and chests in the Quarry, Mines, Skull Cavern, and Volcano Dungeon or by defeating Mummies and special monsters in the Skull Cavern.

Fishing Tackle
There are nine types of fishing tackle in total.

Among these fishing tackles, I believe the most cost-effective and useful one is the Trap Bobber. You can unlock the recipe after reaching Fishing Level 6, and it can be crafted with one Copper Bar and 10 Sap. The selling price is 500g. The Trap Bobber slows the escape of fish when they are not within the green fishing bar, reducing the right-side charge bar’s decrease rate by 33%. This gives you a better chance of recovering when the fish escapes the green bar, making it highly recommended for catching Legendary Fish and other difficult-to-catch fish.

Trap Bobber
The Trap Bobber reduces the right-side charge bar’s decrease rate by 33%.

Another recommended tackle is the Treasure Hunter. After reaching Fishing Level 7, you can unlock the recipe and craft it with two Gold Bars. The selling price is 750g. This tackle increases the chance of finding treasure chests while fishing to 20%, which is useful when collecting items for the museum. When combined with the Magnet bait and the Pirate profession, the chance of discovering treasure chests can reach up to 50%.

Treasure Hunter
The Treasure Hunter increases the chance of finding treasure chests while fishing to 20%.

The last recommended tackle is the Quality Bobber. Once you’ve unlocked the recipe, you can craft it using one Copper Bar, 20 Sap, and 5 Solar Essence. This tackle increases the quality of fish you catch by one level, providing another method to catch Iridium-quality fish besides perfect catches. Many players aim to collect Iridium-quality Legendary Fish, but keep in mind that you should be able to catch them without the Trap Bobber, otherwise, your blood pressure might skyrocket. Players without a collector’s mindset may not find this tackle necessary, as fishing for profit becomes less relevant in the late game.

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Other tackles may not have a significant impact, but I’ll introduce the Spinner and Dressed Spinner. These tackles can reduce the time it takes for fish to bite. The Spinner shortens the waiting time by 3.75 seconds, while the Dressed Spinner shortens it by 7.5 seconds. Their main purpose is to reduce waiting times, but I don’t find them necessary to craft specifically.

Spinner and Dressed Spinner
Spinner and Dressed Spinner

Next is the Cork Bobber, which can be unlocked when your fishing skill reaches level 7. Its function is to increase the size of the fishing bar by 13.6% to 25%. However, as the fishing bar size increases with your fishing skill, I don’t think it’s very useful.

Cork Bobber
The Cork Bobber increases the size of the fishing bar by 13.6% to 25%.

The Lead Bobber can be purchased at the Fish Shop once your fishing skill reaches level 6. Its main function is to increase the weight of the fishing bar, preventing it from bouncing off the bottom. However, in normal situations, you can prevent bouncing by slowing down your clicking speed, so I don’t find this tackle very useful either.

Lead Bobber
The Lead Bobber increases the weight of the fishing bar.

Next is the Barbed Hook, which makes the fishing bar follow the fish’s movement, making manual control more difficult. Keep in mind that this tackle is only suitable for slow-moving fish, as fast-moving fish will cause you to fail immediately. However, I think we can catch slow-moving fish without this tackle, so why use it?

Barbed Hook
The Barbed Hook makes the fishing bar follow the fish’s movement.

The last tackle is the Treasure Hunter, which increases the chance of catching rare fish such as Legendary Fish and Night Market fish. However, I believe that as long as the conditions for catching these fish are met, you’ll have several opportunities in a single day. Instead of increasing the chances of catching these fish, I recommend using the Trap Bobber to improve your success rate. Therefore, I don’t highly recommend using the Treasure Hunter when trying to catch Legendary Fish.

Treasure Hunter
The Treasure Hunter increases the chance of catching rare fish such as Legendary Fish and Night Market fish.

 

In conclusion, Stardew Valley offers a variety of fishing gear to suit different playstyles and challenges. Experiment with different rods, bait, and tackle to find the combination that works best for you. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t catch the rarest fish right away. Keep at it, and soon you’ll be a master angler in Stardew Valley. Good luck, and happy fishing!

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