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Fishing equipment for loan

Fishing Wisconsin

No fishing rod? No problem! We have fishing equipment you can borrow at several DNR offices and state parks and facilities. There is no charge to borrow the equipment -- just enjoy your day of fishing in Wisconsin and return the equipment in the condition you found it in so the next person can enjoy it.

Check out the fishing equipment contacts page for information on who to contact to find out exactly what kind of gear is available near you. If you have general questions about the tackle loaner program contact Theresa Stabo, 608-577-6332.

Available gear

While special lures and fresh bait are not provided, we generally have the following basic equipment at most sites:

  • Spincasting rods and reels - these reels are push-button style with a closed face, are a good choice for young beginners and are the most common type of gear available.
  • Spinning rods and reels - these reels have an open bail and allow for greater casting distance.
  • Casting plugs.
  • Bobbers.
  • Hooks, lines and sinkers.

In addition to fishing equipment, some sites (but not all) have fish printing materials, knot-tying practice equipment, Backyard Bass (a casting game) and other educational resources like Fish Packs. Fish Packs are stocked with games, stories and activities that help youngsters learn about Wisconsin fish. Check one out or download the link for ideas to create your own! Inquire when you contact or visit a loaner site to see exactly what they have to offer.

Fishing for trout

The DNR has gear you can borrow
to get children hooked on fishing.

Keep in mind

Before you plan a fishing trip around loaner equipment, know that:

  • Equipment is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • You may borrow equipment for up to one week unless demand is low in your area. Ask the contact in your area if an extension is possible.

Follow the Golden Rule

Please return loaner equipment in the condition you would like it to be when you borrow it.

  • Make proper handling and care of equipment part of your angler or fishing education program.
  • If the equipment was damaged, return all the parts with a note explaining what happened.
  • Instructions to fix a tangled reel [PDF].

The most popular time for borrowing the equipment is also the busiest time for our field staff - spring and early summer. Please help them out by returning the equipment clean and in good working order. If something breaks -- which sometimes happens -- fix it if you can, or bring the problem to our staff's attention so the next group will have functional equipment. Your help with maintenance frees up our field staff for stocking fish and working on habitat projects.

Adopt a fishing tackle loaner site

Many tackle loaner sites would welcome help with equipment maintenance. This would be a great volunteer service project for scouts, students, fishing clubs or anyone who'd like to pitch in and ensure that our gear is in shape for beginner anglers. Materials will be provided for re-spooling and general clean-up. Loaner sites that want help are marked with a VM. Locate the site nearest you on the fishing equipment contacts page and give 'em a call to find out how you can help! Thank you!