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Last Updated on December 14, 2022 by

Are you making the same common mistake that many anglers make while fishing? Are you one of those anglers who plan everything right before a fishing trip but lack the most important fishing step? i.e., how to set up a fishing pole properly?

The most common issue many novice anglers face is that their fishing line breaks most of the time while reeling the target fish back to the boat. Why? Because they usually don’t focus too much on knowing how to rig a fishing line perfectly. No matter how much they try and ask around if your fishing line isn’t solid, your target fish will most likely be floating again in the water.

There are many factors to take care of before departing for a trip and while fishing. Setting up the fishing line accurately is one of them. Before you learn how to set up a fishing pole for the first time, it is important to know the types of fish you’re interested in catching, the targeted fishing waters, and the weather.


4 Factors to Consider While Learning How to Set Up a Fishing Line

1-Do Research About Your Target Fish

If you plan to catch bigger fishes like Walleye, Northern Pike, and Catfish, it is better to have a strong steel reel for fishing. However, if you are going to fish smaller fishes, then a usual tied-up fishing reel is also good to go.

2-How Many Times do You go Fishing in a month?

One of the most important factors to take care of before knowing how to set up a fishing pole is to observe how many times you go Fishing. If you love Fishing and go at least thrice or more in a month, then having a strong reel is important. Your ultimate need assures you of an uninterrupted and memorable fishing experience.

3- Choose the Best Fishing Bait or Lure

Another important factor to consider when you think about how to rig a fishing line is to know what baits and lures you will use. Soft plastic, spoon lure, fly lure, and spinner bait are a few of the most common lures. You can easily set up the fishing line depending on which lure you use. For instance, if you are using soft plastic, opting for a steel reel is better.

4- Choose the Best Fishing Bait or Lure

It is one of the most important factors to consider because fish act differently in different water types. Moreover, the nature of the water also plays a crucial role in hooking you with a prize catch.

Freshwater does not cause much harm to your fishing reel and bait. However, saltwater can build up salt on your fishing reel. Therefore, it is better to opt for a plastic reel for saltwater. Whereas for Fishing in freshwater, both plastic and steel reels are good to go.

Once you have figured out the factors that can impact your fishing reel, it is time to jump into how to set up a fishing line.

How to set up a fishing line
How to set up a fishing line

How to Rig a Fishing Pole – Step-By-Step Method

Once you are done analyzing your fishing location and other factors mentioned, it is time to set up your fishing line like a professional.

It may seem hard initially, but once you’ve learned some of the best fishing knots, you can even master the toughest of the knot within days. You can easily balance and set up the line in less than a minute. Moreover, you can easily decide which fishing line setup works best for a certain fishing experience.

What are you waiting for, Fellow Angler? Let’s dive in! Not in water but in how to set up a fishing pole.

1-Connect Reel to Rod

The first step in correctly setting up a fishing line is to connect the reel to the rod. On the rod, open the reel seat. Ensure that it is big enough for the reel to fit in easily without breaking or tinting the rod. Now place the reel foot into the reel seat and tighten it. Ensure the reel foot is perfectly fit and sturdy, as a wobbly reel can cause your rod to break when pressure is applied.

2-Put the Line on By Spooling the Reel

The next important step is to put a line or, in fishing terms, “spool the reel.” To spool the reel, open the bait and place the fishing line around the reel for once. Now you will have two pieces of line that are connected through the reel. Make a knot on the end of the line using two lines. You can make the standard overhand knot. With the remaining line, tie another knot. Now close the bail by cutting the line at 1/4th from the reel.

It is essential to hold the line at least a foot away from the reel as it precludes the line from getting tangled. Keep on turning the reel to get your desired length for fishing. Most of the reels have line marks that help you to know the reel limit.

3-String the Rod

Once you are done with spooling, it’s time to grab the line in one hand and bail in the other hand. Moving from bottom to top, pass the fishing line through rod guides.

4-Time for Knotting

It’s time to make the knot and attach the bail. A basic fish knot is enough for catching the fish. However, there are many other types, including but not limited to clinch knot, Palomar knot, uni knot, etc. The type of knot you make depends on the bait, line, and fish you plan to catch.

5-Set Drag Knob

To set the drag to the required length:

  1. Tighten the drag knob.
  2. Move clockwise to tighten and anti-clockwise to loosen it.
  3. Ensure that you don’t make it too tight, as it can cause the time to break.

Tightening and loosing the line a few times can help you maintain consistency.


Fishing is one of the most fun sports and hobbies. I have been fishing since I was 5 years old, and I know how much that time I cherish. I still go fishing, but not much frequently because I’m a workaholic nowadays. If you have any other queries regarding fishing, comment on them, and I’ll be happy to answer them.

Setting up the fishing line right is crucial. If you don’t get this step right, you probably won’t get any fish at all, even if you’re using the best fish finder or you’re using the best fishing knot on your trip. Also, it’s not hard to set up the line. How to rig a fishing pole now must be the least of your worries.

Jim Daniels

Alfred Jenkins is a professional fisherman for the last five years. He’s been fishing in many locations worldwide, including Alaska, Chile, and Spain. He has successfully caught over 100 different fish species, including Blue Marlins, Bonefish, Permits, and many other names to mention on the list. He is a true fisherman who spends most of his spare days on the water and loves every second of it.

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