If you’re looking for a good way to get outdoors, fishing can be a relaxing way to get outside. Of course, if you get a new fishing pole and reel, you’ll need to string it with fishing line.
This guide will show you the steps you need to take to get your rod and reel ready for your first fishing trip.
1. Assemble Your Pole And Reel.
First you’ll want to put the reel on your pole. If you have a spinning reel, you’ll need to attach the reel under the rod.
The reel foot is the flat metal or graphite extension at the top of the reel.
The rod seat is the part of the rod where two ends can be brought together usually by tightening down the top of the reel seat.
To attach the reel to the seat, just place the reel foot into the seat and then tighten down the seat threads.
Make sure you get the seat nice and tight so that the reel doesn’t fall off.
2. Attach The Line To Your Reel
Run your line through the first guide on your rod (the one closest to the reel.)
Pull the line down towards the reel. Then, on a spinning reel, open the bail.
Tie the line to the spool using an arbor knot. If you need to learn how to tie an arbor knot, check out this article.
Once you’re done tying the line to the spool, you can close the bail.
3. Load the line onto your reel.
To load the line onto your reel, you can simply place the spool on the ground and then start reeling the line in.
If you’re using a spinning reel, look at the back of the reel as you reel in the line. Make sure that the rotation of the bail is going in the same direction as the line coming off the spool. This will prevent line twist.
Load the line until you see about 1/8 of an inch of space from the line to the edge of the spool.
4. String The Fishing Pole.
Once you’ve loaded the reel with line, you’ll want to run the line up through all the rod guides. To do this, simply cut the line that goes towards the spool. Then, take the loose end and run it through the guides of the rod.
Make sure you get the line through the center hole in each guide. Once you get to the tip guide, make sure you pull plenty of line out so that it does not fall back through the guides. You’re now ready to attach your hook or lure.
5. Attach The Hook And Bait Or Lure
If you’re going to be using live bait (like worms) and going for small freshwater fish, you can tie off a small panfish hook. To do this you’ll need to use some basic fishing knots. I recommend the uniknot. To tie the uniknot, pull the line through the hook eye so you have about 6 inches of doubled line. Bring the loose end back towards the eye and make a loop that passes just above the hook eye. Leave about 3 inches of line passing the doubled line.
Bring the loose end back through the loop you created 5 times. Pull on both ends until the knot is cinched tight. Finally, cut the loose end of the line leaving about a 16th of an inch behind.
6. Casting Your Bait Or Lure
If you’re using a spinning reel then casting will be pretty easy. To cast your lure of bait you’ll want to follow this multi-step process:
- With your index finger on the hand that is holding the rod, put the line under the first joint of the finger. Bend the finger slightly so the line doesn’t slip away.
- Open the reel bail.
- Pull the rod back in a quick motion to about the 12 o’clock position just over your head.
- When you feel the rod bending slightly behind you, start bringing it back forward.
- When it gets to about a 45 degree angle, release the line from your index finger.
- When you release your index finger the bait will start its flight. Continue swinging the rod forward and point it towards your target.
- Your lure should fly towards your target. Once it lands. Close the bail.
You’re now ready to reel in whenever you need to.
7. Reeling In A Fish
If your lure or bait gets bit you may need to set the hook. Normally, this will only be the case when you’re using single hooked lures or bait. Although with certain types of hooks (circle hooks for example) you don’t need to set the hook.
With these and with treble hooked lures, you normally just need to reel in.
With the steps outlined here, you should be able to get your fishing pole ready to go out on your first trip.