How to Rig an Ice Fishing Pole

How to Rig an Ice Fishing Pole
Each winter the opportunity presents itself to for anglers in cold-climate portions of the United States to enjoy ice fishing. Many will choose to use an ice fishing rod and reel to pursue fish such as crappie, perch, bass and lake trout. Often their outings end in success because these anglers knew the best way to rig their ice fishing poles.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Ice fishing rod and reel Fishing line Work gloves Scissors Lure or hook
  • Ice fishing rod and reel
  • Fishing line
  • Work gloves
  • Scissors
  • Lure or hook
Step 1
Choose the right type of ice fishing rod and reel for the species you prefer to catch. An ultralight set-up does an excellent job for smaller panfish, detecting the slightest bite. Purchase a sturdier rod and larger reel for fish such as bass and pike. Those who want to catch walleyes should buy a medium action rod with a smaller reel.
Step 2
Ascertain how much line your reel can hold. Look on the reel or on the package it came in for a set of numbers. These numbers are the line capacity of the reel. Search on the reel for writing such as 6 lb/75yds. This means you should have 75 yards of 6 lb test fishing line on the reel. Many reels give you more than one set of pound test to yardage numbers. You may have a series across the reel that gives you the yardage for a variety of test strengths; typically, the lighter the line, the more you can spool onto your reel.
Step 3
Begin the process of spooling the new line on your ice fishing pole. Open the package of new line and place the spool on the ground in front of you. Take the tape holding down the loose end off the spool and pass the end of the line through the top rod guide on your pole. These poles normally have four to five rod guides, but some have as few as three. Carefully ease the line down through each one until it reaches the reel.
Step 4
Flip the bail of your reel to the open position and tie the line onto your reel. If you keep the bail closed, it will not gather up line around the reel when you turn the handle, since the line will be outside of it. Use an arbor knot--a knot specifically designed for this purpose--to attach the line to the reel.
Step 5
Close the bail and turn the handle of the reel a few times. Watch to see if the line starts to wrap around the reel as you turn. Wrap some around by hand if the line fails to "grab" on the reel.
Step 6
Calculate how many turns of the handle it takes to spool one yard of line onto your reel. Do this by marking the line with a magic marker exactly one yard from the reel. Count how many turns of the reel brings that point on the line into the reel. When you multiply this number by the line capacity of your reel you know exactly how many times you need to turn the handle to fill your reel.
Step 7
Put a work glove on the hand not used to turn the reel. Grab the line coming down the ice fishing pole with your gloved hand and grasp the rod with that same hand. The idea is to let the line come through your closed gloved hand as it comes off the new spool and to keep tension on the line as you spool it onto your reel. Slowly turn the handle of the reel and keep the line taut as it comes up from the new spool. Keep reeling and counting the number of turns of the handle until you fill the reel to its capacity.
Step 8
Cut the line from the new spool with scissors. Tie a lure or hook onto the line. Those who fish for panfish can tie on their favorite jigging spoon. Those who fish for bass and pike may decide to tie on a hook. Secure the hook or lure to one of the rod guides. You have rigged your ice fishing pole for action.

Tips & Warnings

Fluorocarbon line is difficult for the fish to see in the water and many anglers use this on their ice fishing pole.

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