How To Set Up A Fishing Pole

Sergio Smirnoff

Hello, my name is Sergio Smirnof, and my goal with FishReeler is to provide a valuable resource for anglers of all levels, from beginners to experienced veterans. I hope that my passion for fishing and dedication to the sport shines through in the content I create and inspires others to get out on the water and catch some fish!

How to Setup and Use a Spinning Rod and Reel


Man has been hunting fish and using a primitive fishing rod since ancient times. Back then, there was no solid line and no hook. At first, the fishing line was tied to a rod, then there were rings to guide the line. The next step was the invention of the reel so that the long line would not get tangled.

How to Start Fishing?

If you want to know how to assemble your fishing rod, you are in the right place! This is your first step toward fishing. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced fisherman, you can still learn something new here. In this article, we’ll discuss the basic tools you’ll need. Then we’ll take a detailed look at how to set up a fishing rod in simple ways.

You will need fishing equipment:

Fishing rod. It helps to throw your bait into the water, gives you the opportunity to hook the fish and pull your prey to shore. The type of fishing rod is chosen depending on the type of fish you are going to catch, as well as many other factors you will learn about later. If the catch is heavy enough, you will need a more reliable and sturdy rod. The rod can be either a single piece or made up of several pieces.

Fishing reel. Has a drum on which the fishing line is wound and stored, it allows you to pull the prey or bait, simplifies the process of fishing. The choice of reel depends on the type of fishing.

YUMOSHI XF4000 & XF1000 Spinning Reel

Fishing line & Braided line & Monoline & Fluorocarbon line. A fishing line is a fishing tackle that attaches a sinker, hook, swivels, beads, float, and bait. Anglers choose fishing lines based on their strength, weight, and material.

KastKing Baits & Lures

Baits & Lures. Baits can be artificial or natural (live) baits. In the case of artificial bait, a fishing line with a special knot secures the bait. Natural baits can be anything that fish like to eat in nature – worms, shrimp, small crabs, flies.

Rapala Fishing Baits & Lures

Choosing a Rod Type

Any fishing begins with the choice of rod type. Therefore, in this article, we will consider different options: fishing from the shore, float fishing, bottom fishing, spinning, and from a boat.

Float fishing – you need a long rod of medium power. Design – telescope, two or more pieces, or solid. Bait – bread, worms, peas, corn, etc. Types of float rods: fly rods, bologna rods, match rods, putter rods.

Float Fishing Methods

Surf fishing. A fishing rod for fishing from the shore. Used types of rods – telescope, multibody. Bait – worms, small crabs, shrimp, fish pieces, clams, mussel meat, sea worms (sandworms), and other bait. Marine bottom fishing rods differ: you can catch in strong winds, high waves, in considerable depth, and much farther from the shore. Weights for such rods have different shapes and designs: they can be flat, diamond-shaped, ground-tracked, etc.

Sougayilang Portable Telescopic Fishing Pole

Spinning is a fishing tackle used to catch predatory fish. The main difference between spinning and other types of fishing rods is the throwing of artificial bait in the water and its wiring. Classic spinning consists of several parts: a rod with skipping rings, a reel, and a fishing line. The most popular materials for spinning rods are carbon fiber, fiberglass, and metal. For spin fishing, a flexible rod of two elbows is ideal. The elbows are connected by the sleeve of the rod. Lures (lures) – wobbler, baitfish, silicon, poppers, rattlins, jerk baits, foam fish, mandalas, and spinnerbaits.

Goture Xceed 4 Sections Travel Rod

Fly fishing – special rods with a short handle, flexible, lightweight, elastic with characteristics. Fishing is conducted in shallow water or on the water surface, and the use of sinkers and floats is not provided. Fishing is possible both with current and standing water, from the shore or boat, and in any weather conditions. Casting is provided by a special technique combined with the original design of the tackle. A special fishing rod (rod, whip) is the main element of the tackle. By appearance, the fly rod resembles a light spinning rod. The standard length – 2.7 meters, mostly two-handed versions (providing for gripping the handle with both hands).

Sougayilang Fly Fishing Rod

Baitcasting fishing – equipped with a stop and a special reel is needed. The casting rod is similar to the classic spinning rod, but has an extra element on the holder – trigger (or trigger? gun handle, pistol grip), which helps to fix the rod in your hand while fishing. The grip occurs in such a way that in the fisherman’s hand there is not only a rod but also a reel. Casting rods have rings of smaller diameter and in a larger quantity than on a classic spinning rod, this is due to the peculiarities of casting with a multiplier reel.

Caperlan Baitcasting Fishing Trolling Reel

Fishing from a boat. Fishing from a boat is carried out with different tackles. The most popular is the onboard fishing rod. It is shorter than usual and most often solid with a characteristic roller tip. The bait – live fish, bobber, wobbler.

Caperlan Fishing Boat

Important! A general requirement for types of fishing rods – to assemble the rod so that the rings are in one line along the rod evenly without tilting. Tightly fasten the knees between each other or pull out all the links of the telescopic rod to the stop.

Assembling a Fishing Rod

It is important to choose a type of fishing that matches the behavior of the fish you are looking for. It would be ideal to know the biology, peculiarities of the body of water, and the habits of each fish species. There are some fish that feed on the bottom and others that feed only in shallow water. Some fish feed on other fish, while others prefer insects or only eat at night.

How to Set the Rod

SHIMANO Sienna 4000FE Spinning Reel

Step 1: Prepare the Rod

Before how to set up your rod, you need to clean it. Wipe off dirt, sand, and bad smells with a cloth. You need to know the main parts of the rod:

Fishing Line Sections. A fishing line can consist of 2 or more fishing lines. The joint where they fit together is called the sleeve.

Sougayilang 4-Piece Graphite Fly Rod

Rod Tip. The tip is the most flexible part of the rod and is at the top of the rod. It is the last 4 inches of the rod and the thinnest part of the rod to help you feel when the fish are biting.

Rod Tip Goture Xceed 1004 M-S Travel Fishing Rod

Spool. The spool is what the fishing line is wound around.

Caperlan Baitcasting Spool

Guides. Guides are the circles through which the line itself passes and serve to keep the line close to the rod.

Caperlan Double Leg Reinforced Guides

Reel Seat. This is the device into which the reel legs are inserted and which secures the reel to the rod.

Caperlan Reel Seat

Bail. The bail is a metal arm that can stop the line from coming out of the spool.

Sougayilang Bail of the Spool

Reel Foot. The reel foot is like a puzzle piece that firmly connects the rod to the reel.

Sougayilang Reel Foot

Line Roller. The line roller accurately guides the line from the spool to the rod.

Caperlan Pulley at the Tip

Handle. The handle is often made of a soft material. This is what you will be holding on to the whole time you are fishing.

Sougayilang Lightweight Ultra-Portable

Caperlan Foam EVA Handle

Step 2: Assemble the Rod According to Type and Construction

Set up the rod, if it has different parts, according to the assembly guide. Each part will have a tip to help you screw the part into the correct section. On the assembled rod, attach the reel.

Attachment Plug Connector

Step 3: Attach the Spool to the Rod

Which spool is right for you? In addition to the rod, you need to choose the right reel for long life. For more useful information, read reviews on well-known informative sites such as Bass Pro Shops, Cabelas, or Fishreeler. The bottom of the rod has a place to attach the reel. Take the reel, slide it into the seat and tighten it tightly. Do this process slowly. Do not overtighten the reel or you may break it.

Attachment of the Reel to the Rod

Step 4: Tying and Laying the Line

How do properly tie a monofilament line or braided cord onto the spool of a spool? First, you need to find the knot that will hold the first loop on the bobbin stationary – the self-tightening loop. Lift up the locking lever with the ribbon stacker. Thread the line through the lowest ring on the rod, then tie the line in a secure knot around the reel. Use a special knot to securely fasten the string or line to the reel. Tighten the knot until the line stops moving.

Stacker Locking Lever

The easiest option:

Wrap the fishing line around the spool. The end of the fishing line should be enough to knot comfortably. Next, on the end of the fishing line should be tied a knot, pre-wrapping the fishing line going to the reel. Tying the knot should be so that the end of the line with the knotted angle slides on the main part of the line going to the bobbin. At the end of the line after the knot make another knot. This knot will be a stopper. After wetting and tightening the knots, trim the remaining end of the line so it does not interfere with the winding.

Next, reel the line on the reel.

Guide Rings

Last. Thread the end of the line from the spool to the end of the rod through each ring (the guides are the rings along the rod that guides the line). Close the bale lever. Here are some helpful material – reviews and customer reviews of the major types of fishing line:

Step 5: How to Tie the Hook

The next operation is to set the hook. The choice of hook and how to attach it to the line must be decided in advance. A hook is a metal fishing accessory, which is one of the elements of the equipment of various types of tackle, carrying the bait, making the hook of prey, holding the prey, and delivering it into the hands of the fisherman.

Fish Hook Device - Know Your Hook

It is important to know the basic elements:

  • Head. In this case, it refers to the point of attachment to the fishing line. The head can be made in the form of a loop, and in the form of a flat spatula.
  • Barb. A long straight section running down from the head. For animal nozzles usually use variants with a long fore-end.
  • Underbite. The curved section is after the fore-end. It can have a rounded, semi-circular, or angular shape. Doppelgangers and tees with a common forend have two or three underparts, respectively.
  • Stinger. The stinger consists of the tip itself, designed to pierce the lips of fish, as well as the bit holding the bait and preventing the departure of prey. The stinger may be bent sideways, toward the forehead, or outward.

Step 6: Choosing and Tying the Bait

Before you cast the rod, attach the selected bait to the special knot. Each fish species requires different types of bait and live bait. All types of bait can be divided into 3 types: animal, plant, and artificial. The type of bait depends on the desired fish, the actual weather and type of body of water, as well as the fisherman’s personal experience and local conditions. Choosing the right bait is the most important condition for successful fishing. Depending on the weather, you can choose a specific color bait – for example, summer weather calls for silver or light bait. You can also choose a specific type of bait.

Tip! Take more than one type of bait with you when you go fishing.

Lures used for different types of fishing rods:

Step 7: Add Sinkers and Spinners

Before we begin mounting the tackle, it’s worth thinking about what kind of weights are best for this particular option. We choose a convenient knot and attach our weight in place, depending on the type of tackle in which it is needed.

The sinker – this is the oldest device used in the process of fishing, has the form of a small piece of lead, steel, brass, etc. In almost any form of fishing (with a few exceptions such as fly fishing) when mounting tackle we use sinkers. There are many varieties, depending on their purpose, type, shape, and method of attachment. To assemble the right fishing tackle you need to use a variety of rigs.

More often sinker is used when hunting for fish in order to level the float, as well as to achieve the hook with the bait at a particular depth and was properly configured. Also, the sinker is needed to throw the hook with the bait away from the shore.

Where to use:

  • On a float fishing rod.
  • Surf fishing to pull the line over the entire length.
  • When fishing with spinning weights are needed for weighting the bait and for long throwing.
  • From a boat to select the desired depth for bait (bottom edge, 0 to 2 meters off the bottom, or full-depth from 1 to 500 meters).
  • When fishing on the Trolling additional weights adjust the depth of the bait or lure.

Hooray! My fishing rod is complete!

In the video you can see step by step in practice everything said:

The Final Verdict

Don’t forget the cardinal rule: fish have to be where you’re fishing. It must be there to live, feed or breed. It is important to be able to communicate with local, experienced fishermen who will provide helpful tips for the area.

Getting your fishing rod ready is pretty easy, and now that you’ve done it and practiced it, you won’t feel lost on your first day on the river or lake. We hope that our guide to setting up your fishing rod will help you catch your trophy and most importantly enjoy the hobby. Practice more often! Have a great time!

Proper Rod Assembly

Sergio Smirnoff
Sergio Smirnoff
Professional fisherman with 40+ years of experience.
Fishing and the ocean is a passion of my life. I am passionate about all kinds of sea fishing: fishing from the shore (spinning, float, baitcasting), from a boat, and spearfishing day and night.

I live in Tenerife (Canary Islands) for the last 10+ years and share my daily fishing experiences on my website. Many years of personal experience as a fisherman and the vast experience of my friends allow me to write professionally on any fishing topics (from choosing a flashlight and equipment to deep-sea fishing).

All of my advice is based on practical real-world experience and will be useful to both novice anglers and professionals. Read more about the author.

Affiliate Disclosure: sometimes gets paid for listings, through sponsors or affiliate programs like Amazon, Ebay, Cabelas, Bass Pro Shop, Shimano, Daiwa, Rapala, Renn, Okuma, KastKing, etс. Clicking a link helps keep free, at no extra cost to you!

About the author: Each article is verified by the fishing expert Sergio Smirnoff. The articles are written by professional and amateur fishermen with 20+ years of fishing experience.

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency. The articles are for informational purposes only, share your opinions in the comments and join the fishing discussions, let's share our fishing experiences together!

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Rax Claythorpe
Rax Claythorpe
3 months ago

Thank you for providing this comprehensive guide, I am excited to try setting up my fishing pole now! Starting with a starter rod and reel combo and targeting large and smallmouth bass is a great way to begin fishing. These fish are easy to catch and provide a lot of fun. However, there are also other species to target, such as perch, chinook, walleye, catfish, and trout.

When it comes to lures, rooster tails, spoons, and topwater lures can be used. The technique for casting and reeling in these lures varies based on how you are reeling them in and flicking the rod tip to add more motion to the lure.

When it comes to bait, the author is not an expert as they only do saltwater fishing. However, they do emphasize the importance of knots. Learning how to tie the right knot for the right setup is crucial to avoiding losing tackle due to faulty lines. The author always carries clippers, a bait knife, a tape measure, and pliers in their tackle box. The pliers are especially helpful in removing hooks from fish with sharp teeth and preventing bites.

The type of line you use is also important. The line should be rated at the right pound test for the fish you are targeting. Heavier pound test lines are stronger and thicker. The drag on your reel is also important. If it is too tight, the line can snap when a fish comes by due to the force of the tug, or if the fish is big enough, it can pull your rod overboard. If the drag is too loose, you will have a hard time reeling in the fish because there is no resistance against it.

Finally, the author suggests visiting a local tackle shop to ask about what colors or baits are working at the moment. They can also advise you on where the fishing is hot right now. It is also important to check your state’s fishing laws, as a freshwater fishing permit may be required, and there may be size limits on the fish. The author recommends catch and release.

Piaster Brigbuck
Piaster Brigbuck
3 months ago

I appreciate the tips on choosing the right fishing line and bait, it’s a valuable addition to the guide. If you want to become proficient in fishing, it will take time and effort, including reading books and going fishing with experienced fishermen. To start, you must have a basic understanding of the equipment needed, which can vary depending on the type of fish you are targeting and the location of your fishing trip.

Next, you will need to learn how to wind a reel, as well as various knots that are essential in fishing. After that, you will have to make a decision on whether to use live or artificial bait and learn how to use it effectively, taking into consideration the type of fish you are fishing for and the location.

Finally, you will need to gain an understanding of fish behavior, which will help you determine where to find them. A local tackle shop can be a valuable resource for advice and tips, and it is recommended to visit one if possible.

It is important to note that before you start fishing, you should check your country, province, or state’s laws to see if a license is required.

Purteon Springlade
Purteon Springlade
3 months ago

The illustrations accompanying each step help to make the process even clearer. There are several types of fishing rods that one can choose from. To me, the best type of rod to start learning is the spinning rod. It has a curved bar of round metal, known as the bail, which can be flipped up to allow the line to come off the spool.

When casting, you simply pinch the line against the rod using your trigger finger, flip up the bail, release the line while casting, and then shut the bail. The spinning rod is considered to be very forgiving, and you can start by practicing short and lighter casts until you master the technique.

Spinning reels are very versatile and are the most commonly used type of reel. They can be used for various fishing applications, and most bass professionals tend to use bait casters, but even then, many of them use spinning reels for finesse applications.

Another type of fishing reel is the bait caster. To use it, you need to place your thumb on the spool, hit a button on the reel to unlock it, and then release the line while casting. You need to stop the spool from spinning as the lure gets close to the water, or else you may end up with a tangled line. Baitcasters are considered to cast more accurately in many cases and are popular for bass fishing with smaller low-profile reels and deeper sea fishing with big round reels.

Fly reels are another option and are cast by stripping the line off the reel with one hand, while your other hand keeps the line moving in the air using the rod until you cast it. A much larger and generally lighter floating line is used for this type of fishing.

Laburnium Cottonfield
Laburnium Cottonfield
3 months ago

Great article, very informative and easy to follow. If you are looking for fishing equipment, there are numerous online sources where you can find what you need at a reasonable price. For example, you can check websites like eBay, where you can find new reels for less than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. Shopping online is a convenient option, as it saves you the trouble of physically visiting a store.

When it comes to spinning reels and rods, you can find a variety of options available on the market. A good choice for a spinning outfit would be a Penn Fierce II size 3000 reel, which is durable and efficient. This reel usually costs around $50, and you can find discounts on it during sales. To pair with the reel, you can consider an Ugly Stik Elite Spinning rod, 7′ M power, which is available for the same price. You can spool the reel with either a 20-pound braided line or an 8-pound monofilament line.

If you are considering purchasing another fishing setup, you can opt for a different size depending on what kind of fish you are aiming to catch. If you are mostly targeting smaller fish such as 3 pounds or less, you can go with a 2000 or 2500 reel and a medium light power rod, and spool it with a 6-pound monofilament line or 12-15-pound braided line. On the other hand, if you are targeting larger fish such as bass or catfish, you can go with a 4000 reel and a medium-heavy power rod, and spool it with a 30-pound braided line or a 10-12-pound monofilament line.

Regarding push-button reels, it is advised to avoid them as they do not perform well. Instead, you can consider going with the above-mentioned spinning setups for yourself and your girlfriend, as they are relatively easier to learn and use. With practice, you will both be able to cast the spinning reel accurately.

Rhays Havensquire
Rhays Havensquire
3 months ago

The step-by-step instructions are a lifesaver for beginners like me. To effectively learn how to tie a fishing knot, it is recommended to have a piece of rope and a large loop, such as a handle of a mug. One knot that can be used in a variety of situations is the Palomar knot. 

This knot is useful for tying hooks, swivels, jig heads, and small lures because it avoids the difficulty of trying to pass a large lure through the loop. 

However, for other applications, the improved clinch knot or the Rapala knot can be used. These knots are both easy to tie and have proven to be reliable. Although there are several other knots and differing opinions on their strength, these knots have served the individual well and can even be tied in low light conditions.