Fishing does not have to be expensive. Here is a very basic checklist of what you'll need to get started: rod, reel, line, rigs, hooks, weights, swivels, bobber, bait, needle nose pliers, cooler, ice, sunscreen, lunch. An easy start is to purchase a pre-spooled rod/reel combo from your local tackle shop. Make sure the combo can handle the size and type of fish you're targeting. A spincasting set-up is generally easier to use than a bait casting set-up for beginners. Don't forget, that you typically get what you pay for, so try to avoid getting the cheapest rod/reel combo.
Know the equipment for your type of fishing, in other words don't show up to an ice fishing hole with a surf rod. Learning to tie a basic yet easy palomar knot will prove to be invaluable.
You can also purchase an assorted pack of hooks, weights, swivels and bobbers to use for a variety of different types of fishing. When it comes to fishing rigs, we have a large selection of durable high quality rigs on this site but a cheap low quality rig can also catch a fish once in a while especially if patience is your virtue.
Fresh bait is very important, night crawler worms are a good start but ask around to see what others are using in your area. A good pair of needle nose pliers will help when removing hooks from the mouth of a fish or anything else that happens to get hooked. A cooler full of ice is a must and will go a long way to keep your bait cool and your catch fresh until you get home. Packing a good lunch will extend your fishing day. Don't forget to protect yourself from the sun, stay hydrated during the hot summer days and dress warmly on those cold winter days.