How to Rig Your Line for Freshwater Fishing

How to Rig Your Line for Freshwater Fishing
Ponds, lakes and rivers are home to large game fish such as salmon, trout and pike. When fishing in freshwater, opt for freshwater tackle, which is designed specifically for freshwater applications.

Bait, hooks, sinkers and other freshwater tackle are available at tackle stores and large fisherman superstores. While fish species and water depth will determine which rig you use, you must know how to complete a basic freshwater rig set-up to get started.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Freshwater reel and rod
  • Freshwater fishing line
  • Freshwater hook
  • Freshwater sinker
  • Freshwater bait
Step 1
Select a freshwater spinning or bait casting reel and rod combination. Opt for a medium- to heavy-action reel and rod combination when angling for freshwater large game fish. Freshwater bait casting reels are capable of long casting distances, which is an ideal choice when fishing large freshwater sources.
Step 2
Pass the free end of your freshwater fishing line through the rod guides. These are located along the length of your freshwater spinning or bait casting rod. Spool the fishing line on your reel spool until the fishing line is within 1/8 inch of the reel spool's capacity. Fishing line choices include braided, mono and fluorocarbon.
Step 3
Pass your fishing line through the eye of a freshwater hook. Size will vary depending on the fish species you want to catch. For example, choose a size 10 long-shank hook when fishing for freshwater panfish.
Step 4
Slide or tie a freshwater sinker on your fishing line depending on how far down you wish to drop your line. You can tie on as many sinkers as you require; however, each sinker should be 1/2 inch apart and 8 inches above your freshwater hook.
Step 5
Hook freshwater bait to your fishing line. Basic freshwater baits include worms, crayfish, baitfish and minnows. Put the bait on your freshwater hook by starting at the top and piercing the hook through the bait wall. Push the top of the bait wall up the hook shank and continue feeding the bait on by inserting the hook point through the tail end of the bait.

Tips & Warnings

Be careful when handling your freshwater hook.

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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