How To Set Up A Fishing Pole In 10 Easy Steps To Begin Catching Fish Right Now

fishing rod

You’ll need to know how to set up a fishing pole to catch fish easily. A fishing pole, or more precisely, a fishing rod, consists of two pieces that need to be connected, plus a line and lure. A fishing pole, technically, is a cane or stick with a line informally attached. 

You can’t catch all the fish you want without using a quality, carefully assembled fishing pole. The workmanship is up to the manufacturer, but you’ll need to know how to attach the different parts of your fishing pole and use the pole properly.

Purchase Tackle

green tackle

Image by TheDigitalWay from Pixabay

You’ll need to purchases bait or tackle before assembling your fishing pole. Tackle includes lures, hooks, lines, split shots and other supplies you’ll need to attract and catch fish. A split shot is a sinker (live-bait fishing tackle) that is the size of a raisin or BB with a groove in the middle. A split shot is used with worms or other bait. 

Consider what type of fish you want to catch, and where you’ll be fishing.  

Learn About The Parts Of A Rod And Reel

three fishing pole

Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay

The parts of the fishing rod include: 

The handle, which is sometimes also called a grip. You hold the rod by the handle, and it may be made of cork or foam.

You attach the rod to the reel via the reel seat. Some rods have rings that have a hood mechanism that screws up or down to secure the reel foot. Other rods feature a ring that fits over the reel foot.  

The butt is the thickest part of the rod and located near the handle. The butt cap is made of rubber or cork and is situated at the handle bottom. The butt cap may press against your belly if you're struggling with a tough fish.   

The hook keeper, or keeper ring, provides a place for you to place your hook and avoid accidents. 

The ferrule is the joint where two parts of a compact rod meet. 

Guides are the rings that run down the rod. The guides provide different types of numbers, spacing, and sizes depending on the brand of rod you use. A high-quality rod contains more guides than a cheaper one. The rod should ideally have one guide for each foot of length. 

Windings help the guides remain attached to the rod. The winding consists of a string wound around the foot of the guide. The winding has a protective glossy enamel over them.    

The butt guide rests close to the handle rod end. You’ll find it on the thickest part of the rod- the butt.

Consider Reel Types  

You'll need to familiarize yourself with the reel types and how they work. Most people use spinning reels, and fly reels are used for fly fishing. There are three kinds of spinning reels. 

  • Spin cast
  • Baitcaster
  • Spinning Reel

A spin cast reel features a closed face. All the parts are hidden underneath the nose cone. Children and beginners often use the spin cast reel. Press the button to release the reel, and take your finger off the button to stop the line. A spin cast reel offers minimum distance and accuracy. 

A baitcasting spool is the hardest to use. The spindle turns when you cast, so you need to control it manually. This type of reel is difficult to handle, but it provides accuracy for heavy lures and lines. Baitcasters work for advanced anglers.

Spinning reels are the most popular reels. These reels are open-faced, easy to use, and accurate. You can put lots of line on it, and you can even buy a spinning reel with a second spool to swap lines while fishing.

You should learn about drag in regards to reels. Drag refers to the resistance the potential catch feels when it pulls on your line. Ensure that the resistance is tight, so it wears out the fish. Avoid too much drag, however, as it will break the line.

Clean The Equipment Before Using.

man holding bait

Image by Calvin Tatum from Pixabay

Clean the rod before putting the rod and reel together. Wipe down all pieces and remove and dirt. Use a cotton swab for the ferrules. Dirt may make it hard to connect the pieces or interfere with its accuracy. 

Connect The Pieces

Place the two pieces (ferrules) flat on a surface. The ferrules are commonly referred to as male and female. Hold the female ferrule and wrap the male ferrule around it. Check the guides to ensure the pieces are aligned correctly. 

You may damage the rod if you try to force the pieces together. Read the instructions or place the rods back on the flat surface and reconfigure how to set up a fishing pole. Most fishing rods require that you rotate the pieces until the rod locks.

Attach The Reel

fishing rod on table

Image by Cristian Bustos from Pixabay

Look at the bottom of the rod as you hold it. Insert the reel into the reel seat. Place the handle-like reel seat over the rear end of the reel. The reel seat then threads onto the reel. Now rotate the rod until all components on the reel feel tight and secure. Avoid making the reel too tough as it may crack and damage the rod.  

Threading right from the back of the rod tightens it, and threading left loosens the reel. Tighten the thread by rotating clockwise. Loosen the thread by turning it counter-clockwise.  

Thread The Pole

fishing rod on river

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Pull the fishing line from the reel to feed it through the eye of the rod, like you would thread a sewing needle. Some line will extend from the end of the rod. You’ll thread the fishing pole the same way, regardless of the type of line you use.

You can unspool after you’ve released the winding reel mechanism. Open the bail wire if you have a spinning reel to unspool the line. Thread a spin cast or bait cast reel by depressing and then release the big button on the back of the reel. 

Take the free end of the line or tag and feed it through the line guide. Apply light pressure on the reel spool to stop the line from overshooting and getting tangled. Pass the line through the eyes. Hold the pole with one hand to stop the line from catapulting back through the pole’s eye. 

Leave three to four feet hanging from the end of the rod after you pull the line through the guide at the rod’s end. The extra space will let you tie on hooks and lures. Prevent more of the line from unwinding by engaging the twisting mechanism. Turn the handle forward to engage the device.

Find The Right Lure

lure hanging

Image by harassevarg from Pixabay

Pick your lure based on the type of fish you’re trying to catch and the weather. Use a silver lure on sunny days and a gold one on overcast days. Gold reflects light on a cloudy day, and silver reflects light on a sunny day to attract fish.  

Choose a jig as a lure for freshwater fish, and employ feathers and a metal hook. Use a spoon lure for large fish that chase after small fish. The spoon imitates a small fish waving back and forth – it will attract large fish. 

Use a spinner if you're not sure what type of fish you'll catch. A metal spinner attracts fish by spinning around in the water. You can use a spinner anywhere, but it's particularly useful with hard-to-find fish.  

Attach The Lure

Take your line and thread it through the lure, and leave ten inches of line hanging on the other side of the piece. Practice tying knots with shoelaces if you’ve never tied lures onto lines. 

Twist the line around itself and place the lure and line on the ground. Pull the free end around the other side; it has wound lines around each other five times. Then tuck the untied end of the line back through the lure. Loop the line through the big loop, then tuck it inside itself, so it cons underneath the line.   

Fasten the knot and hold the line and line's end. Pull the line and end of the line, so the line coils tightly where it's wrapped. Make a knot at the lure. Use your fingernails to drive the twists towards the lure. Clip any excess off the end once the knot is securely wrapped.

Moisten the line to wind down the knot by wetting your fingers and running the line over your fingertips.

Put On A Bobber On The Line

fishing floater

Image by Gaertringen from Pixabay

Put a bobber on the line to see fish grabbing onto the line. Snap the bobber at 4 feet in if the water is 4.5 feet deep; place it at 5 feet if the water is 5.5 feet deep, etc. The hook will get to the fish at the bottom of the lake or pond, but won't pick up debris.  

Now that you know how to set up a fishing pole, you can experiment with different ways to catch fish or relax, dip the line in the water, and wait for the fish to swim up to the lure.


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