How Do I Rig an Ice Fishing Pole?

How Do I Rig an Ice Fishing Pole?
An ice fishing pole is much shorter in terms of size than a regular fishing pole. Most are no longer than 30 inches. Anglers will use these poles to "jig' for fish through the ice. This is done by slowly moving a lure or a live bait up and down by hand. Ice fishing poles are rigged similar to a normal fishing rod and reel.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Ice fishing rod and reel fluorocarbon line screwdriver magic marker gloves or dry cloth hooks lures or jigs
  • Ice fishing rod and reel
  • fluorocarbon line
  • screwdriver
  • magic marker
  • gloves or dry cloth
  • hooks
  • lures or jigs
Step 1
Buy an ice fishing pole with at least 4 rod guides and a cork handle. That many guides makes the pole bend more evenly under a fish's weight. Cork will stay warm in your hands.
Step 2
Invest in a spool of fluorocarbon line. Fluorocarbon can't be seen by fish and resists weathering. It costs more but it will last you much longer than typical monofilament line.
Step 3
Find the line capacity of your reel. This information is normally on the reel. It will be in terms of yardage and often is given for various line diameters.
Step 4
Run the end of the new line down through each individual rod guide. Open your reel's bail. This is the thin metal bar that when closed to its down position makes the line winds around the reel as the handle turns.
Step 5
Tie the line to your reel with a knot called an arbor knot (see animated knot site below). Flip down the bail and have a friend push the screwdriver through the center of your fluorocarbon spool and stand in front of you.
Step 6
Calculate exactly how many turns of your reel's handle winds one yard around your reel. Measure off one yard from the reel up the pole to a point on the fishing line and mark it off. Use a marker to mark the distance and count the number of turns to get that spot into your reel.
Step 7
Reel in the amount of line to fill your reel to capacity. Multiply the turns to get a single yard on the reel by the number of yards your reel can hold. Turn the handle that many times as your friend keeps tension on the line as it runs through her hand, which should be protected by gloves or a dry cloth.
Step 8
Cut the line from the new spool once you have filled your reel. Tie on the size hooks you use if you fish with live bait or your favorite ice fishing jig or lure. Employ the Palomar knot (see animated knot site below). This is one of the premier knots to use with fluorocarbon line.

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