How to Properly Rig a Fishing Line

How to Properly Rig a Fishing Line
Whether you're fishing in a local stream for small catfish or out of a gulf port in search of large game fish, it's important to properly rig a fishing reel with fishing line, hooks, bait and weights. A properly rigged fishing reel can deliver a lifelike presentation and lure more fish to your fishing hole or fishing spot. While you can add additional bells and whistles, you must start with the basics to properly rig a saltwater or freshwater fishing reel.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Mainline
  • Fishing hook
  • Lead, metal or brass sinker
  • Live, prepared or artificial bait
Step 1
Tie a mainline on the fishing reel. Pass the free end of the mainline, which must be rated for the fish species you want to catch, through the rod guides that run up and down the length of the rod.
Step 2
Release about a foot of drag from the reel spool. Pull the free end extending from the top rod guide until a foot of drag drapes below. Engage the drag mechanism, which is a knob that releases line from the reel spool.
Step 3
Attach the mainline to the reel spool using a simple fishing knot. Turn the reel handle and watch as the line rotates around the reel spool. Look for tangles and adjust as needed.
Step 4
Rig a fishing hook sized according to bait and fish species. Tie the hook to your mainline using an improved clinch knot. Pass the free end of the mainline through the eye of the hook and pull it back to create a small loop. Wrap the mainline around the standing line five or six times. Double back and pass the mainline through the small loop. Slip the mainline under the last coil. Cut the mainline to 1/8 inch.
Step 5
Loop live, prepared or artificial bait to your hook, based on fish species. Pass the bait onto the hook point and then drive it along the hook shaft until the hook point cleanly exits the bait.
Step 6
Add weight to your line to sink it to the bottom. Attach lead, brass or metal sinkers. As a rule of thumb, tie on, clamp or slide the sinker into place about a foot from the hooked bait. Rig a properly sized egg sinker to your line for a variety of fishing applications.

Tips & Warnings

Store and organize fishing tackle inside a tackle box.
Fishing bait and lures are available at fish and tackle stores.
Fishing hooks are very sharp and can cause serious injury if mishandled.

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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