Is there in fact a meaningful difference between "Matériel de pêche" and "Attirail de pêche", or are they more or less synonymous, like "fishing gear" and "fishing equipment"? Which would a rod-and-line angler be more likely to carry?

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    The image in this article captures pretty well (though probably unintentionally) the slightly pejorative/‘poking fun at’ notion that's often present when “attirail” is used in French. This image (& “attirail”) make me think of a ”city slicker” who’s bought all the latest expensive fishing gadgets/paraphernalia on the market (to impress fishing buddies rather than to catch fish?) when the only tackle/gear/equipment (matériel/équipement de pêche) really needed is shown here.
    – Papa Poule
    Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 15:57
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    Attirail is like unneeded stuff. :) As show in the image in the article.
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 16:31
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    Your picture is worth a thousand words, Papa Poule! Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 16:59
  • correction: as shown in the article. The Brits say kit for gear. Unwieldy kit?
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 17:40

2 Answers 2


Un attirail is usually really cumbersome. Most of the French will actually use it in a pejorative way.

When you show up with a ton of unecessary stuff, you will be welcomed with a :

Mais qu'est ce que c'est que tout cet attirail !

  • Yes, exactly. cumbersome gear.
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 15:35

In attirail, there is the idea that it is a lot of stuff, and that it is not so practical. It is mostly ironic. Matériel is more factual.

  • Thanks, Distic. So would Attirail refer more to the gear that a fishing trawler might use? Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 11:12
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    Not at all. I think it would not be used for professional fishing.
    – Distic
    Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 11:14

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