Fishing doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. All you really need are the basics

Fishing doesn't have to be complicated, especially if you're trying to get kids to catch something. Here are some tips for getting started:

* Rod and reel: Get a medium-weight spinning rod. Use it to catch everything from crappie to pan-size trout. A combo package will cost about $40. You can get a kid's combination set-up even cheaper.

* Reel and line: If you don't get a rod/reel combination, ask for a medium-weight spinning reel, which is good for all-around fishing. Don't buy the cheapest line. Spend a few dollars more for decent 4-pound to 8-pound test line.

* Tackle: Buy some hooks, split shots and bobbers so you can fish either on top or bottom of a lake, reservoir or pond.

* Bait: Bait fishing is the easiest for beginners. Use worms, salmon eggs, corn or PowerBait. If you're fishing on the bottom, use a small marshmallow to float your worm just off the bottom.

* Fishing license: One is needed for 14 years or older. If you're a parent helping your child cast or reel in a fish, you need one. An adult fishing license costs $25.75, a junior license for ages 14-17 is $13.75. Licenses are available at Department of Fish and Game offices and most sporting goods stores.