How to Set Up a Fishing Rod

How to Set Up a Fishing RodIf you're thinking about taking up fishing, you're going to need to know how to set up your fishing rod. The fishing rod is the number one tool you will use to catch fish, and it needs to be set up appropriately for the conditions you'll be fishing in. Many times you can purchase a fishing rod that's already been strung with line, and you'll only have to put the tackle on. If that's not the case, you're going to have to start from scratch. Read on to find some tips in getting your fishing rod set up and ready to land the big one.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fishing line
  • Hooks
  • Lure
  • Bobber
  • Split shot
  • Scissors or knife
Step 1
Purchase tackle that you will need to set up your fishing rod with. This includes hooks, line, lures, split shot or any other tackle item you'll need to get started with. You'll need to take into consideration what type of fishing and fish you plan on catching. For instance, are you going to be using live bait or lures? If you are unsure of what to buy, ask an employee working in the fishing department or someone at your local bait store for assistance. They should be able to help you pick out the appropriate tackle that's right for your fishing needs and for what's being caught locally.
Step 2
Put the line on the rod, if it doesn't already have some on it. Tie the loose end of the line around the center rod in the reel, making sure it leaves the reel in a clockwise direction. Pull the line through the rod's eyes, leaving approximately 6 feet hanging off the tip. Reel in the line, putting some tension on the spool, until your reel is approximately two-thirds full of fishing line. Cut the line at the 6-foot mark.
Step 3
Tie either a hook or artificial lure on the end of the line. If you plan on using live bait, you'll need a hook. If using artificial bait, tie the appropriate lure on the end of the line for the fish you're trying to catch. There's a vast array of hooks and artificial lures to choose from, so ask a professional if you're unsure. Personnel at your local bait store will usually rig your rod for you, but there's generally a small charge for doing so.
Step 4
Squeeze together with pliers a piece of split shot about 3 inches from your hook. Split shot is usually used when fishing with live bait. It adds a bit of extra weight to your line so the bait will remain under the water and won't swim on top. Split shot is generally not required if using artificial lures, since they are already weighted down and designed to either float or sink as they are reeled in.
Step 5
Snap a bobber on the line if you want to see when a fish is hitting your line. You usually place the bobber on the line around the depth of the water you're fishing in. For instance, if the water is 5 feet deep, place your bobber at around 4.5 feet. This way your hook will reach the fish lurking at the bottom, but won't drag on the ground and pick up unwanted grass and other natural debris.
Step 6
Tie an approximately 3-oz. weight on the end of the line where the hook would normally go, if you are surf fishing. The hooks are then tied onto the line about 6 inches above the weight. This process allows the weight to hold ground in the surf, letting your line remain in place instead of floating back to shore. The hooks are used to hold live bait such as shrimp, clams, squid, etc. If you plan on using artificial bait to surf fish, follow the same instructions for attaching a lure.

Tips & Warnings

Patience is always the key when fishing. Switch bait or lures if what you are using isn't working to catch fish. Have extra tackle in the event your lose what rigged on your pole.

Article Written By Joyce Starr

Joyce Starr is a professional writer from Florida and owns a landscaping company and garden center. She has published articles about camping in Florida, lawn care and gardening and writes for a local gardening newsletter. She shares her love and knowledge of the outdoors and nature through her writing.

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