Now this may seem like the most rudimentary question EVER to an experienced angler, but it is something that nonetheless bears explaining. If you’ve never had to do it, chances are it may be a bit trickier than it seems. Here’s a quick rundown.
The Set Up
So you’ve picked out a fishing rod, whether it be a baitcaster or spinning reel setup. You’ll also need some compatible line, (6-12 lb. monofilament is great for beginners), and you’re ready to spool up. If you need to know more about fishing line, fear not, and visit our blog on that very subject. And now we move on.
If your rod has come in two sections, connect them and make sure the eyes are lined up all the way down the rod. Next, take the fishing line from the spool and start threading through the eyes from the rod tip down to the reel. You can also simply run it through the final big loop nearest the reel and then thread it up through the rod when finished.
Tie It On
Now you’re ready to attach it to the reel spool. Make sure you open the bail to begin, or you won’t be reeling up anything.
You should be able to find a small tab designed to catch the line on the base of the reel. This will allow you to attach the tag end of the line. If not, you can also simply use the knot shown below to create a loop that simply slips over the reel spool and cinches up tight.
There are several different knots one can use to tie onto the reel. The Improved Clinch (Aka The Fisherman’s Knot) is a good one as it is easy and allows a slipknot effect for tightening the loop. Use a scissors or nail clipper to trim off the extra tag end, and close the bail on the reel.
Reel It In
Ok so now it’s time to fill that reel with fishing line. IMPORTANT NOTE: It matters which way you spool up the line. You’ll typically want it to come off the spool in a counterclockwise direction. Why? Memory.
The line has memory of how it was spooled up, and believe it or not, would like to be spooled that way again. Or else? Or else you may have some unruly line that bunches up and is apt to create a birdnest if you’re not careful. If you’re unsure, test it by reeling in some and then seeing if it coils up as it comes off the reel again or if it comes off more smoothly.
How Much Line?
Many reels will actually let you know how many yards of certain line weights it will hold. If not, here’s a good baseline approach. You want to fill the reel spool until it is about ⅛” from filling up the spool. Any more and it may start literally falling off the reel.
Once you’ve got the reel filled simply cut the line 3 or 4 feet from the end of the rod and attach your favorite tackle, which usually begins with a snap with or without a swivel that allows you to attach hooks and lures. You may also attach a leader, which is like a heavy duty extension of your fishing line. This is necessary if you’re going for bigger fish.
From there, you’ll find a universe of choices for baits and techniques on how to use them, like the soft plastics and spinnerbaits shown above. If you still need to learn more about the gear needed for fishing, we have a blog for that too.
So now that you’ve got your fishing rod and tackle ready, go ahead and get out there. After all, it’s all about having fun, making memories and enjoying the water. Fish On!!! -WR