How to Rig a Fishing Reel

How to Rig a Fishing Reel
Before casting his line, a well-prepared angler will speak with other anglers about the level of activity on the water and ask which baits have delivered the most strikes. In addition to taking local tips into consideration, decide which reel setup is best for the day based on the season and fish species you hope to catch. If a fishing reel setup does not trigger strikes, add additional sinkers, for example, or change the bait as needed. Retrieve the line as necessary to make quick changes to the setup.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fishing line
  • Fishing hook
  • Lead, metal or brass sinker(s)
  • Live, prepared or artificial bait
Step 1
Pass a braided, fluorocarbon or monofilament test line of appropriate strength through the rod guides located along the length of the rod. Release 10 to 12 inches of drag off the line, which may require engaging the drag mechanism--the knob located on the bottom or top of the reel. Tie the free end of the test line to the reel spool using a fishing knot. Reel the test line on the reel spool; adjust as necessary to ensure the line is free of tangles.
Step 2
Tie a fishing hook to the line. As a general rule of thumb, rig large hooks for large game fish and smaller hooks for small- to medium-size fish. Thread the free end of the line through the eye of the hook and pull it back to form a loop. Wrap the test line around the standing line five or six times. Double back and thread the test line back through the loop. Slip the line under the last coil. Slice excess line.
Step 3
Hook the preferred bait of the game fish you are fishing for. Choose from live, prepared or artificial bait. Thread the bait through one end of the hook point, drive it along the hook shaft and then pull it out the other end of the hook. Rig dough balls, worms, or minnows to attract a variety of large game fish; choose one of the three per hook.
Step 4
Attach a lead, brass or metal sinker to the bottom of your line; the setup will determine the placement of the sinker(s). Work a bank sinker when bottom fishing and a split-shot sinker when top-water fishing. Tie on the bank sinker using a fishing knot and clamp on the split-shot sinker. An egg sinker is also a popular choice among anglers and can be used for a variety of fishing applications.

Tips & Warnings

When you arrive at the lake or river you are fishing, ask the other anglers which fish are biting and which bait has received the most action.

Article Written By Charlie Gaston

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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