How to Line a Fishing Pole for Dummies-Complete

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Fishing rods come at different sizes and prices. Some can cost as few as 20 dollars, while some can cost you hundreds of dollars. However, rods are not independent, and a rod alone will not help you catch any fish.

A rod without a line is pretty much like a car without gas. It may look beautiful, but it won’t be of any use if it does not have gas. That’s why it is of great importance to always purchase a fishing line once you buy a rod. 

Fishing lines also come in various sizes, and the right one for you will mostly depend on your reel and rod. In most cases, the company for the reel you use will suggest the perfect line for the job.

Now, fishing is fun and everything, but it can get complicated, especially for beginners. You need to learn how to set-up the fishing line and cast with to enjoy. In today’s blog, I will discuss how to line a fishing line for beginners. 

No matter the type of fish you plan to catch, these techniques will do you a world of good. Following these steps will ensure that your rod is sturdy enough, and the lure will land the fish you plan to catch. Without further ado, let us get into it:

Things You Will Need 

Before you start lining up your fishing rod, it is essential to ensure that you have everything needed. You don’t want to keep moving up and down while you are in the middle of practice. Therefore, here are the things you will need:

  • A fishing rod. (Here you can find The Most Affordable Spinning Rods)
  • Reel (can be a baitcaster or spinning reel). I usually recommend a spinning reel for beginners since it is easier to assemble and use for beginners.
  • A line: The reel’s company will most probably recommend the right fishing line for your reel and rod.
  • A fishing hook (the J-shaped piece attached to the line used to catch fish)

Caution: Please be a little bit more careful when handling the hook. It is usually very sharp, and you may end up hurting yourself if you are not careful. Leave it on the package until it is time to tie it to the line. Also, make sure you are not near children while tying it to the line.

Now that you have all the equipment required, it is time to put them together and catch some fish. The steps I will provide are easy to follow, and by the time you are done, you should be able to line up your fishing pole. If you miss something, you can always get back to the previous step and try again. Let’s get into it:

Assemble Your Rod and Reel 

The rod looks like just a piece of stick, but it can get tricky for beginners who don’t understand the terms used. Therefore, it is wise to learn some terminology for both rods and reels to make your understanding easier. If your fishing rod has two or more joints, the joints are known as ferrules. The male ferrule is usually inserted into the female one. Other parts of the rod include the following:

  • The handle: The handle is the part you will be holding while fishing. It is usually made of comfortable material to make your fishing experience as comfortable as possible. The handle is also called the grip.
  • Guides: These are the rings going along the rod. Their purpose is to guide the fishing line not to go out of the way while casting. 
  • The butt: It is the closest part to the handle, usually thicker than most parts. 
  • Rod tip: It is the most flexible and sensitive part of the rod, usually located at the very top. 
  • Reel seat: This is the female opening at the rod’s bottom where the reel should be inserted.

Before you begin bringing the parts together, it is always wise to clean the rod. That way, you will get rid of any debris or dirt that could scratch the rod and line while using. Use a clean piece of cloth and wipe down the fishing rod. If necessary, you can use a cotton swab to clean the ferrules. Keeping your rod clean enhances its lifetime. It is necessary to clean even a new rod. 

Now it’s time to bring the pieces together. 

  • Align the male and female pieces together on a flat surface. Hold the female ferrule securely and then anchor the male around it. If there are any guides, ensure they are properly aligned. 
  • If the rod doesn’t seem to come around properly, stop, and refer to the instructions given. Make sure that there is no locking mechanism of any kind you might be missing. Don’t ever try to force the rod together; you might end up breaking it. 
  • Rotate the pieces of the rod together. To do this, hold the female ferrule and rotate the male while both are adjoined. By doing so, you will lock in the rod as it should be. 

Attach the Reel 

While looking at the bottom of the rod, you should be able to see the reel seat. Insert the reel into the seat over the “butt” of the fishing reel. Now, rotate until it feels secure enough. 

  • You should be careful not to over tighten your reel, though. If you force the threading to pass its limit, it will most probably crack and ruin the fishing rod. 
  • Keep it in mind that moving to the right tightens the reel while moving to the left loosens it. In other words, you should rotate clockwise if you want to tighten the thread and move anticlockwise if you want to loosen it. 

Thread the Pole: how to set up a fishing pole line

  • Lift the bail arm and thread in the line. The bale arm is simply the silver overhead piece of the reel. Apply a slight amount of pressure and flip the bail arm to the other side. When you lift it, it will be easy to pull the edge of the line. Pulling the edge of the line should unravel it. 
  • You should be cautious while doing this, not to make any mistakes. If the bail arm won’t easily lift, there is a possibility you are looking at the wrong thing. The bale arm is always easy to lift.
  • Make sure that the spool unwinds in the same direction as your reel. If they are not unwinding in the same direction, the possibility of line twists and tangles increases drastically. If the two are not unwinding in the same direction, flip the spool to the right direction. 

Thread the Fishing Line through the Guides 

In most cases, your fishing rod will have four or more guides attached to the rod. Start threading the line through the guides from the one closest to the reel to the furthest one. Work your way to the top, and don’t miss an eyelet (another name for guides).

Close the Bail Arm 

Closing the bail arm is pretty easy as all you need to do is flip it to the opposite direction of how you initially moved it. When the bail is closed, no more fishing line should be released from the spool. To test if it is well-closed, gently try to pull some line from the spool. If the spool releases more line, then there is some kind of problem.  

  • After closing the bail arm, try the direction of the spool once more. If the reel rotates in the opposite direction, start over and fix the direction until they rotate in the same direction.

Choose a Lure 

The lure you will need to use will probably be determined by the weather. If it is cloudy, for example, a gold color lure is perfect for the weather. If it is sunny, you can use a silver-colored lure. Silver will reflect the sun, and this will attract the attention of the fish. Gold is always reflective, whether during sunny or cloudy days, making it a perfect color for any weather.

After establishing the color, you should choose the right type of lure. The right type will be determined by the fish you aim to catch. For example, if you plan to fish in freshwater, you can try a jig. A jig works perfectly in freshwater since it uses feathers and metal to attract the fish’s attention. 

You can use a spoon lure if you want to catch fish that prey on smaller fish. A spoon lure mimics a fleeing fish’s movement, which attracts the attention of fish that prey on smaller fish.  

If you want to use an all-purpose lure, then you should try a spinner. A spinner will spin in the water as it moves, attracting the attention of most fish. You can use a spinner in fish located in “difficult-to-catch” locations. 

Consider the Clarity of the Water 

While choosing the right type of lure to use, you should also consider the water’s clarity. For example, if you will be fishing in dirty or muddy water, you will need a lure that attracts a lot of attention.

For example, you can use a spoon lure or a spinner. These lures make vibrations, so even if the fish won’t see them, it will hear the vibrations. If the water is stellar clear, using a vibrating lure may scare the fish away.

Attach the Lure 

Attaching the lure should not be hard as long as you follow these steps:

  • Thread in the fishing line through the lure and leave around 20 cm of the line on the other side of the lure.  
  • While the lure and line are lying on the ground, pull the line’s end towards the rest of the line. Wrap the end of the line (free end of the line) around the line on the other side of the fishing lure. Make sure it looks like how candy cane looks like when it has two colors wrapped around each other. When you wound the line together about five times, you can stop. 
  • Take the end of the free line and pull it to the lure. Then, loop it through and tuck it in again to come underneath the rest of the line.
  • Hold the line and the end of the line and pull them together. Pulling them together will create a tight knot at the lure. You can further help the process if you use your fingernails to shuffle the twists down to the lure. Clip the excess end of the line once you feel the knot is wrapped up tightly. 

Additional Tip: To make the knot even tighter, you may want to moisten your fishing line. You can do this by moistening your fingertips with saliva and running the line over them. 

And that’s it, that’s how to line a Shakespeare fishing pole or any other pole. If you face any difficulties, this video can be of help.

I know I May not have addressed everything you want to know about how to set up a fishing pole line. That’s why I will address the most asked questions about lining up a fishing line and provide some helpful tips for new anglers. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Lining Up A Fishing Line 

Here are the answers to the most common questions about lining up a fishing line. Hopefully, the answers will make your work even easier. 

What Should I Do If My Rod is Not Collapsing All the Way?

This is a common problem, especially if you are using a telescoping fishing rod. With time, dirt and grimes may build-up, causing the rod to fail to collapse all through. To fix the problem, clean the rod and apply some lubricant. 

Adding some lubricant should work, but if it doesn’t, you should consult a professional. If the fishing pole is new and the warranty is still active, you can send it back to get a replacement.

My Reel Does Not Have a Line, What Should I Do?

Generally, most quality reels come with fishing lines on the spool. However, that’s not always the case. If you buy a reel and it does not come with a line, you will need to purchase a quality line from the nearest store. 

In most cases, the company will have suggested the right line for the reel. Find it in the store and add it to the reel. Adding a line to the spool should not be hard, and you should be able to do it with little guidance. Follow this Video to learn more about how to put new line on a fishing pole.

Which Sinker Should I Use? 

Sinkers come in different sizes and shapes. You should consider both while choosing a sinker. The shape determines how it will behave, in most cases, though. Types of sinker fishing.

  • A pyramid sinker will sink fast and dig into the mud or sand in the water. 
  • A diamond or egg sinker is designed to bounce over rocks better than other sinkers perfectly. It should be your choice if you plan to fish in rocky areas.
  • Walking sinkers are designed to walk live bait along the sand or floor. 
  • Split shot sinkers are mostly used when a little more weight is required since they are easier to add on the line. 
  • Sliding sinkers move along the line and are often used for drift fishing. 
  • Rubber core sinkers are the most common, and they don’t damage the line. You can swap them easily when you don’t need them. 

Ideally, you should always try to use the lightest sinker available. Only add more weight if there is more current in the river, lake, pond, or sea.  

What Can I Use To Simply Snap the Lure on Line Instead of Tying Knots Each Time I Want to Change Lures?

You can use a swivel. Swivels are readily available in the fish stores, and they are usually very cheap. You can learn more about swivels in this article

Tips for New Anglers 

  • Always research more about the fish you want to catch. This is because lures are more effective than others, dependent on the fish one wants to catch.
  • Ensure to choose the right strength and size of the rod and line. Compatibility is usually crucial when fishing. For example, if you use a lightweight rod to catch larger fish, it can break with the first attempt. If you use a too heavy rod to catch smaller fish, you might not even notice when a fish takes the bait.
  • Always carry a pair of nail clippers as they can be of help where a knife or scissors won’t help. 
  • While threading, always makes sure that the line passes through all the guides (eyelets). If you accidentally miss one or more, you will be putting your rod at risk.
  • Always be careful while resolving messes on your fishing rod. For example, if you have a tangle, it is better to snip the tangle and then rethread. You may pull your rod incorrectly while trying to untangle the line, leading to breakage. 

Wrapping Up 

Lining up a fishing rod should not be difficult, and you should be able to do it with little guidance. In summary, here is what you should do.

  • Attach the pieces of the rod together by joining them through the ferrules. 
  • Slide the reel into the reel seat (on the rod) and tighten it. 
  • Flip the bail arm and pull the edge of the fishing line to unravel it. 
  • Ensure the line has passed through all the eyelets and close the bail arm. 
  • After threading the line, you can attach the lure.

Thank you for reading through this guide! Stay tuned for more informative articles. 


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