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How to Set Up a Fishing Pole Like a Pro — A Guide

How to Set Up a Fishing Pole Like a Pro — A Guide
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How to set up a fishing pole
Image by Chad Ratigan from Pixabay

Regardless of your level of fishing expertise, whether you are a pro or you are just doing it to take some time off, having the right set of fishing equipment is always important. It is, however, just as important to know how to set this equipment up.

Setting up your fishing rod is not a very technical process. It can be completed in a few steps. But this doesn’t mean doing it for the first time can’t be very tricky.

In fact, the components and terms you’re just hearing for the first time may seem overwhelming. But, after you do it the first and second time, subsequent assemblies will be easier. You’ll also be able to help other fishing newbies to set up their fishing pole.

Regardless of the type of fish that you’re hoping to catch, there are important things to know when setting up a fishing pole.

Not to worry, this article on how to set up a fishing pole is well-loaded to guide you through the process of setting your fishing pole.

Let’s get into it!

What You Need to Set Up Your Fishing Pole


The fishing line isn’t something you can cut with your hands or teeth (*you really shouldn’t have to use your teeth, though). You need a pair of scissors to cut the fishing line. If you don’t have a pair of scissors (any type), pliers can also do the trick.

Fishing Line

You can use any type of fishing line you desire. But it is also important to look at the conditions where you plan to fish. Look at the type of water and the species you want to catch. For instance, if you want to catch fish in clear water, you need to use a fishing line that is not visible underwater.

Here’s a 30-yard monofilament fishing line that you may want to consider:

Berkley Trilene XL Smooth Casting Monofilament 330 Yd Spool(6-Pound,Fl. Clear) (Packaging may vary)

Click here to check out this fishing line on Amazon!

Spinning Rod

There is no universal spinning rod that suits every type of fish in the ocean. So, you should get a spinning rod suitable for the type of fish you plan to catch. How do you know which spinning rod will be the best?

Make a guesstimate of the size and weight of the fish you want to catch. Will the rod be able to handle it? So, you definitely want to put this in mind before you set up your fishing pole.

Meanwhile, if you are up for a DIY challenge you can learn how to make your own fishing rod here.

How to set up a fishing pole
Image by Gaertringen from Pixabay

Spinning Reel

The spinning rod and reel work together for catching fish. There are different types of spinning reels. The reel you plan to use when fishing must be very suitable for the conditions where you want to fish. Also, it must not be too light or heavy for the spinning rod. Both the rod and reel must be compatible.


Before you get your fish from the river, it has to be attracted to something on your fishing pole. There are artificial bait and lures that you can use with your spinning gear. Every type of fish reacts differently to different lures and baits. So, you have to know what exactly you’re hoping to find and also use the right lure. Also, what works for a type of fish today may not work the same tomorrow. So, it is wise to have different types of bait in your gear before you go fishing.

Image by Miranda Bleijenberg from Pixabay

How to Set Up a Fishing Pole

The steps to setting your fishing pole are divided into these main processes:

1.       Setting up your spinning rod

2.       Setting up your spinning reel

3.       Setting up your fishing line.

4.       Attaching your lure

Setting Up Your Spinning Rod

Step 1: Clean the rod

You can’t use a dirty rod to fish. More so, a clean rod allows better assemblage of the various parts (for those that don’t come in one-piece). So, get a clean cloth to wipe down on the rod, removing dust and sand particles that may have settled the last time you went fishing or when you left the rod unused.

If your rod comes in various parts, don’t ignore the ferrules and real seat. As mentioned above, if some dirt is trapped in these places, it becomes difficult for you to put the rod pieces together. Cleaning also helps to prevent scratches on your equipment during attachment.

Step 2: Join the parts together

If your fishing rod comes in more than one piece, the next thing you’ll do after cleaning the parts is to join them the parts together. Because each fishing rod is different, you have to read the owner’s manual or go online to see how to attach your fishing rod. When you’re done, you should have something similar to a one-piece rod. Usually, the ferrules on each part will make it easy for you to join the parts together.

Step 3: Loosen the reel seat

The reel seat is located close to the handle of your fishing rod. To loosen the seat, unscrew it carefully.  This is done to provide space for the reel foot to sit on it. The reel foot is on your spinning reel.

Step 4: Attach the reel to the rod

Gently place the reel foot on the reel seat. After doing this, tighten the seat to make sure that the reel foot doesn’t get out while you’re fishing so that you don’t lose a big catch. Watch closely as you tighten so that it is tight enough that it attaches firmly but not enough to destroy the fishing rod.

Step 5: Organize the reel and rod to suit your preference

This is one part that you will be excited to do. Do you know that you can place the reel wherever it will be most comfortable for you? Whether you are right or left-handed when fishing, I’m sure you would want to be as comfortable as possible. So, just switch the handle to your desired location before you continue assembling.

If you are a right-handed angler, you will use your right hand to cast your fishing pole into the water. Then, you are likely going to reel in with your left hand. Many left-handed anglers prefer their right hands to reel in while they cast with their left hands. Once this is done, your rod and reel will work perfectly.

In the market for a fishing rod kit? Check out this complete fishing kit below:

Telescopic Fishing Rod Set,FishOaky Spinning Fishing Gear Organizer Pole Sets with Full Kits Lure Case and Carry Bag  for Saltwater &Freshwater Kids&Adult

Click here to check out and buy this fishing kit on Amazon!

Setting Up Your Spinning Reel (Spool and Thread)

The most important thing to do here is to study the spool.

Don’t be too eager to spool the line that you totally ignore the direction of the spool. So, before you start working with your line, turn the handle of your spinning reel and look at the direction of your spool. If your reel spool and line spool are moving in the opposite direction, STOP!

Your reel and line spool should be moving in the same direction as you load the reel. So, as the line is coming off the spool, it is going onto the reel in the same direction.

For instance, if the reel is moving in a counter-clockwise direction, the line should also be going in the counter-clockwise direction while it leaves the filler spool in a clockwise direction.

Setting Up Your Fishing Line

Step 1: Attach your line to the reel

Now that you’ve checked and know the direction they move, and you’re also sure that they move in the same direction, it is time to attach the line. To do this, locate the wire bail arm. Then, flip this wire bail arm to the other side to open the bail.

After doing this, locate the first guide. It is very close (the closest) to the rod handle. Take your line and pass it through this first guide. The direction of the line as you pass it through should not be towards the rod tip but towards the reel.

Then tie a knot to attach the line to the reel spool. You can simply do a simple overhand knot (click here to learn how to tie different fishing knots).

After securing the line to the spool, close the bail and cut off any excess line at the end of your knot with a pair of scissors or pliers.

Image by Gaertringen from Pixabay

Step 2: Spool the reel

It may be a bit difficult for you to spool your reel for the first time, but a couple of videos should help you get it right. That is if you do not already know how to do it after reading this guide.

You’re to spool the reel while your bail arm remains closed. When you get your fishing line, you’ll notice that it comes with a small spool. You need to continue spooling your line in the same direction as this small spool. So, place it on a flat surface, so that as you turn the spool, the line will rotate in the same direction.

Hold the light tine with one hand and use the other to turn the reel handle to spool the line around the reel. Don’t stop turning the reel handle until there’s plenty line around the reel. But, don’t do it too much, else you may have problems when casting your fishing rod into the river. One such issue that could arise is the line twisting wrongly on itself. So, once you reach 1/8 inch from the spool top, stop spooling.

As mentioned earlier, it may not be easy to get it perfectly the first time. You can use thin objects like pens or pencils so that the line rotation can be even as you turn the reel handle. Also, it’s also good to have someone over to assist you as you do this.

Step 3: Set up the line

Now that your reel is placed properly in the reel seat at the handle of your fishing rod and your line is on the spool, you can set up the line. Flip the bail arm once again to unlock the bail.

Check to see if your line is placed on the reel correctly. If they are not moving in the same direction, you may have to start over. But if it is done right, grab the end of your line which should be hanging around the end of your spool. Pass your line through the first guide which is close to the rod handle. After the first guide, continue passing the thread through the other guides until you finally reach the tip of the fishing rod.

Step 4: Flip the bail arm shut

After you pass your line through all the guides, close the bail. This is done by flipping it in the opposite direction as you opened it earlier. Closing the bail prevents the line from moving any further. So, no more lines can be added or pulled off. Closing the bail also allows your line to stay tight, and helps to avoid any loose line when fishing.

Here’s a video to guide you on how to set up a fishing line:

Attaching Your Lure

Step 1: Pick the best lure

You may decide to try different lures depending on the weather. On days when the sun is out, you can use a silver lure. When the sun hits the silver color, it reflects right and draws the attention of the fishes to it. On a gloomy day when it seems like a heavy rain will fall, try a gold lure. The gold lure will still reflect light when it is cloudy.

The type of lure you pick could also vary based on the type of fish you want to catch. A jig that has metal and feathers attracts fish in freshwater. Fish that prey on small fish will swim to the eye of the hook if you use a spoon lure. The spoon lure looks like a small fish trying to escape. So, this attracts bigger fishes hoping to prey on it.

A spinner is usually referred to as an all-purpose lure. People use it in locations where it is difficult to catch fish. As the spinner moves in the water, it spins, attracting different fishes.

You could also use the clarity of water to determine what type of lure to use. A mobile lure is best in cloudy or muddy water. The fish follow the vibrations made by this type of lure. In clearer waters, a more stable lure is preferable because a lot of vibrations may scare away other fishes looking to feed.

PLUSINNO Fishing Lures Baits Tackle including Crankbaits, Spinnerbaits, Plastic worms, Jigs, Topwater Lures , Tackle Box and More Fishing Gear Lures Kit Set, 102Pcs Fishing Lure Tackle

Click here to check out fishing lure kits like this 102-pieces set on Amazon!

Step 2: Pass your line through the lure

After you’ve picked the best lure for the type of fish you hope to catch, take the end of your line and pass it through the eyelet on top of the lure (for artificial lures). If your lure is natural, find a way to thread it through the top of the lure. Make sure you leave about ten inches on the other side of the lure.

Step 3: Turn the line back around itself

Place your line and lure on the floor. Then, grab the free end of the line back up and pull it to meet the rest of the line. Wrap the end of the line with the line. But make sure it isn’t done tightly. When you’ve wrapped the lines around each other about five times, stop.

Step 4: Take the line back

The end of your line which you took backward is still hanging out. Take that free end towards the lure and pass it through the first loop which is already holding the line. Then, tuck it again so that it is situated under the line.

Step 5: Tie the knot

After tucking the free end of the line back through, hold your fishing line and the free end of the line. Pull them together slowly. The part where you wrapped both lines together should coil tightly. This would create a tight knot at the lure. To help the knotting process, you can use your fingernails to make twists around the lure. Cut off the excess line once your knot is tightly wrapped.

There are other types of knots you can make to secure your lure properly to the fishing line. They include the clinch knot, Palomar knot, and Rapala knot. The Palomar knot works well if you’re using a hook and live bait. The clinch knot has a simple tie and stronghold. It secures the fishing line to the lure. Also, it can be used to secure a swivel or clip.

You can also click here to learn more about fishing knots and when to use them.


Knowing how to set up your fishing equipment differentiates a great fishing trip from a terrible one. Whether you are a starter or a pro, once you can set up your fishing pole the right way, there’s nothing stopping you from finding what you’re looking for.

Setting up a fishing pole might be technical for beginners. But when you follow the procedures above, it becomes easier after the first or second trial. To set up a fishing pole, you only need a few pieces of equipment which include the spinning rod and reel, fishing line, scissors, and a lure.

Now that you know how to set up your fishing pole, you can go ahead and have yourself an exciting fishing experience.

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