How to Rig an Ice Fishing Rod

How to Rig an Ice Fishing Rod
Fishing with a small hand-held ice rod in the winter is a popular method to catch fish like crappies and bluegills. An ice fishing rod properly rigged with line can bring a hard fighting fish up through the hole drilled in the ice to a waiting angler. While these rods and reels are downsized in relation to the typical fishing pole they can be rigged much the same way.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Ice fishing rod reel fluorocarbon line work glove scissors
  • Ice fishing rod
  • reel
  • fluorocarbon line
  • work glove
  • scissors
Step 1
Open a spool of fluorocarbon line and run the loose end down through all of the rod guides. Start at the top and thread the line through carefully so none are missed. Lay the spool on the ground where it will be able to turn freely once you begin to add line to your reel.
Step 2
Flip the metal "U" shaped bail on your reel to the up position and tie the line to the reel. Close the bail when you have finished by turning the handle of your reel.
Step 3
Start to slowly turn the handle so that line is gathered from the spool of fluorocarbon and onto your reel. If the line continually slips at first you may have to wind a it around by hand 4 or 5 times to give it some traction.
Step 4
Put a work glove on the hand that isn't being used to turn the handle. Place the butt end of the ice fishing rod into your belly. Turn the handle to spool on line while keeping the line taut with the gloved hand. Position this hand about a foot from the reel and allow the line to pass through it with tension as you reel.
Step 5
Fill your reel with line to within 1/8 of an inch of its lip. Avoid overfilling the reel as this will precipitate line to spiral out of it when you open the bail to lower your bait down the hole in the ice.
Step 6
Cut the line at the spool when your reel is full of line. Tie the type of hook or lure you use when fishing to the end of the line and then secure it to one of the rod guides.

Tips & Warnings

 
Purchase a quality ice fishing rod. Remember that the more rod guides one of these rods has the more the weight of the fish will be spread out over the length of the rod. Take into account that a cork handle will retain warmth on a cold day. Fluorocarbon line is all but impossible for any fish to see underwater. Choose a pound test that is appropriate for the fish species that you are after.
 
Purchase a quality ice fishing rod. Remember that the more rod guides one of these rods has the more the weight of the fish will be spread out over the length of the rod. Take into account that a cork handle will retain warmth on a cold day.
 
Fluorocarbon line is all but impossible for any fish to see underwater. Choose a pound test that is appropriate for the fish species that you are after.

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