Put it on properly
It is vital to put the fishing line on the rod and reel properly. Failure to do so could cause a number of problems, including line that becomes tangled and weak. Begin by guiding the line through the tip of the fishing rod, then threading it through each of the rod guides until the line is at the reel. Then wrap the line twice around the spool of the reel and tie a knot so the line is tight against the spool. Reel line onto the reel until it is one-eighth of an inch below the rim of the spool. Use scissors or another cutting implement to cut the line so that 12 inches hangs off the end of the fishing rod.
Live or artificial?
Decide whether you want to fish with a piece of live bait or with an artificial lure. Live bait is especially useful when the bite is tough or when you're targeting species such as sunfish, crappies and walleyes. Some anglers use artificial lures to target those fish, but anglers who rely on artificial lures mostly target larger species such as bass, northern pike and muskies.
If you decide you want to fish with live bait, you have a few options. For walleyes, the most effective live-bait rig consists of (in order) a walking sinker, swivel, leader and hook. The hook allows walleyes to swim off with the bait you are using without feeling any resistance. If you want to suspend your bait below a bobber, attach the bobber about three feet above the hook. You can move the bobber up and down your line, too, depending on how far below the surface you want your bait to hang.
Anglers have two options for attaching an artificial lure to their line: directly to the line, or to a snap swivel that's attached to the line. Experienced anglers often tie their lures directly to the fishing line because the lures perform more naturally. But novice anglers, or those who like to switch baits frequently but don't like to tie knots, often choose to tie their line to a snap swivel, then attach a lure to the snap. The snap allows anglers to change lures without having to cut their line.