How to Setup a Fishing Line

How to Setup a Fishing Line
A rod, reel and terminal tackle including a hook and weight can all be part of the setup process involved with a fishing line. Setting up a line, although relatively simple, is an extremely important part of the initial process involved prior to fishing. Knots play a large role in line setup as they are used to connect the line to the reel and to various terminal tackle. Choosing and properly tying the correct knot are essential.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fishing rod and matched reel
  • Fishing line (monofilament or fluorocarbon)
  • Terminal tackle (hook or lure)
  • Scissors
Step 1
Securely connect the sections of the rod together if necessary by sliding them together and twisting slightly to align the line guides. Place the reel on the reel seat of the rod and tighten the lock rings to hold the reel in place.
Step 2
Pull monofilament or fluorocarbon fishing line from the filler spool. Thread the line through the rod tip toward the length of the rod. Pull the fishing line along the length of the rod passing it through each line guide as you move down the rod.
Step 3
Open the bail of a spinning reel by pulling it back to the side until it locks in place. Remove the front cover from a spincast reel or locate the round line guide at the front of a baitcast reel. Feed the line through the line guide of the baitcast reel or through the hole in the cover of a spincast reel.
Step 4
Pull the line around the spool of the reel so that 6 to 7 inches of the free end of the line extend past the spool. Wrap the free end of the line around the main line three times, forming loose loops. Hold the loops in place and pull the free end of the line up and then feed it through all three loops. Moisten the knot and pull tight against the spool.
Step 5
Close the bail of a spinning reel or place the front cover on a spincast reel. Wind line onto the spool of the reel by turning the handle. Apply tension to the line with your hand in front of the reel if necessary to get the line to spool. Fill the line until it is just over three-quarters full. Measure 3 to 4 feet of line from the rod tip and cut the line free from the filler spool with scissors.
Step 6
Attach a hook or lure to the end of your line with a Uni knot. Pass the free end of the line through the eye of the lure or hook and pull it beside the main line forming a double line. Hold 1 1/2 to 2 inches of the double line in place with your fingers and turn the free end back toward the eye of the hook or lure.
Step 7
Continue tying the knot by wrapping the free end of the line around the main line and then through the loop. Repeat the wrapping process until you have four turns around the main line. Moisten the knot and pull tight. Trim excess line from the knot with scissors or snips.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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