How to Set up The Fishing Rod?

Setting up for a fishing trip can be a long process, but one that can be easily executed if you have the knowledge that will make for a smoother trip.

There are many variables that come with setting up for a fishing trip as a whole, but even more when it comes to setting up your fishing rod.

How To Set Up the Fishing Rod?

When it comes to setting up your fishing rod, you’ll need your rod, reel, a line spool, bait and/or a lure, and some scissors. In short, this process consists of attaching your reel, threading the line, and then baiting it before you get started fishing.

Different fishing rods call for different methods of set up, and it’s important to have the right know-how for each rod that you’ll be using on your trip.

In addition to the different types of rods that are available, there is a multitude of additional supplies that you will need for your trip.

Knowing how to set up your fishing rod before the trip begins will allow you get out onto the water faster, and will ensure that your fishing trip will have very little technical difficulties.

In order to know how to set up a fishing rod, you’ll first need to know a few things, like the types of fishing rods, the necessary materials, and how to set up the materials.

Let’s guide you through it.

Here’s How to Set up The Fishing Rod!

Now that you know about the different types of fishing rods, you can learn the basics involved in setting one up. Setting up your fishing rod is a whole beast on its own, and it’s important to be prepared for what you’re going to do.

Materials Needed

You’ll need some materials in order to set up your fishing rod. You may have some already, but you may need to purchase or obtain some. To set up your fishing rod, you’ll need:

  • Fishing Rod (of desired type)
  • Reel
  • Line Spool
  • Bait / Lure
  • Scissors

Instructions for Setting Up Your Rod

Once you’ve gotten all the proper materials, you’re ready to set up your rod!

We’ll walk through all the steps in depth, but here’s an overview of the steps to properly setting up your fishing rod:

  • Attach the top end of your rod to the bottom
  • Thread the line
  • Attach the reel to the rod
  • Decide between lure, bait, or both

Getting Started: Have the Proper Materials

Before getting started, you need to make sure that you have all of the proper materials. For this, you’ll need your rod, reel, a line spool, bait and/or a lure, and some scissors.

Step #1: Attaching the Top of the Rod to the Bottom

This step is pretty simple. Just attach the top end of your rod to the bottom, before beginning any other steps.

Step #2: Threading the Line

Threading the line can be difficult, but doable. At a glance, here are the steps to threading your line:

  • Thread the line through the hook
  • Pull back on the line (while holding the hook in place)
  • Loosen the reel seat and put the reel in place
  • Connect the reel to the rod by tightening it into place.
  • Wrap the line around your fingers
  • Make a knot and thread it through each eye/hole of the rod

You’ll want to thread the line through the hook, then pull back, holding the hook in place.

Step #3: Attaching the Reel to the Rod

Next, you want to loosen the reel seat, put the reel in place, then tighten it once again, in order to connect your reel to the rod. Threading the line comes after this step.

To execute this, pull out some line, then wrap it around your fingers. With this, you’ll want to make a knot in the line. You’ll want to thread your line through each of the eyes, once attached to the reel.

Step #4: Lure, Bait or Both? Time to Decide!

Finally, you’ll need to decide whether or not you’ll be using a lure or bait, or both. This determines what continuing setup you’ll use, and what other materials you might need.

Some rods have differences in set up, but they all follow these basic steps. It seems simple, you will find that it’s slightly more complicated than it sounds once you try it yourself. However, with the right tools and know-how, you’ll be on the right path to setting up your fishing rod correctly!

Different Types of Fishing Rods

As mentioned earlier, there are different types of fishing rods, which change based on what type of fish you’re trying to catch and sometimes the terrain that you’re fishing in.

Each environment calls for different techniques, and it’s important to know beforehand.

Ice Fishing Rods

If you’re fishing in the ice, it’s best to use an ice rod, instead of a rod such as the spinning rod. It’s crucial that you have the right tool for the job to get things done as efficiently as possible.

Ice rods are used for ice fishing, and the rod takes into consideration the lack of space available for ice fishing. They don’t have a reel and have fewer eyes than other rods.

Spinning Rods

Spinning rods are good for beginners, as it makes fishing easier than most other rods, due to it having its reel hang below the rod, instead of above, like on the casting rod.

Spinning rods work in both freshwater and saltwater location, giving a wide variety. It isn’t recommended to use it in deeper ocean waters, however, due to the fact that it wasn’t made for these more extreme conditions. However, if you’re fishing closer to shore, a spinning rod is an excellent choice.

Casting Rods

Casting rods are generally used to make your bait or lure stay in the place that you want more accurately than on something such as a spinning rod.

There are two different types, bait casting and spin casting, and each is made slightly different from the other. However, they both have eyes at the very end or top of the rod.

Casting rods are similar to spinning rods in that they can be used worldwide. It’s best to have some space around your boat when using it, as with any fishing experience, but you can use this rod in both freshwater and saltwater.

Fly Rods

Fly rods are the rods you use for fly fishing and have a wide range of sizes. They’re lighter, due to the nature of the fishing being done.

Fly rods can also be used in both fresh and saltwater, but it’s recommended that, if you’re fly fishing, to look at the different environmental factors before choosing a technique.

Sea Fishing Rods

Sea fishing rods are perfect for fishing on the ocean and, because of how vastly different certain areas around and in the ocean are, the sizes vary greatly.

There are some sea rods that are specialized for bigger ocean fish, as well. Surf rods are a popular type of sea rod and are long and heavy.

Sea fishing rods are used for, as its name implies, fishing in deep, ocean waters. It’s great for bigger fish that are found in deeper ocean waters, but it’s recommended that you pick your rod based on the type of fish you’re fishing for.

The heavier the rod, the bigger fish that you can catch with it. Keeping this in mind, you’ll be able to pick the perfect rod for you!

Trolling Rods

Trolling rods are used to entrance a fish into following it, as the line with a lure is placed in the water and dragged behind the boat. They’re long and used for bigger fish.

It’s generally best to use a trolling rod when you are in shallower waters, as it deals with dragging the line across the water’s floor. This can be done in both freshwater and saltwater, but keep in mind that you should be in shallow water, beforehand.

Telescopic Rods

Telescopic rods are an expandable rod, which is perfect for the fisherman on the go. Some are eyeless, but most still have eyes on them.

Telescopic rods can be used in both fresh and saltwater and is actually popular amongst surf fishers. Its portability makes it attractive to many fishermen who are packing more extensively than most for their fishing trip.

Ultra-Light Rods

Ultra-light rods are great for fishermen after smaller fish. As the name suggests, they’re light rods that are shorter than other ones.

Surf Rods

Surf rods are perfect for two-handed casting techniques and are popular amongst the sea fishing community.

They’re more common than sea rods, as they’re longer and, therefore, have a bigger reach than most rods. It’s important to keep in mind your location before picking out this rod.

How to Set up a Fishing Rod For Lure Fishing

Lure fishing is, essentially, when you fish with a lure instead of bait. There’s a debate amongst fishermen as to whether lure fishing or bait fishing is better, but, for today, we’ll talk about setting up for lure fishing, rather than what type of bait to use.

You can use a variety of different lures when going lure fishing, and there are many options in your local fishing shop.

Materials Needed

You’ll also need some materials to set up a fishing rod for lure fishing. They’re pretty simple, and like mentioned before, you may have some already. In order to set up a fishing rod for lure fishing, you’ll need:

  • A rod
  • A reel
  • Lure
  • Fishing Line
  • Scissors

How to Set Up Your Rod for Lure Fishing

Like before, we’ll discuss how to set up your rod for lure fishing in depth. First, here’s a glance at the steps for setting up your rod for lure fishing:

  • Gather all of your materials
  • Attach the two rods together
  • Attach the reel
  • Thread the line together
  • Bring the line through the line guides or eyes.
  • Attach your lure.

Step One: Gather Your Materials

To begin, you’ll need to assemble the necessary materials for setup: the rod, reel, lure, line, and some scissors.

Steps Two through Four: Attaching the Rods Together, Attaching the Reel, Threading the Line

The first part of setting up for lure fishing is the same as setting up your rod normally. First, You’ll want to attach the two rods together. Following this step, you will need to attach the reel and thread the line together.

Steps Five and Six: Bringing the Line Through the Guides and Attach Your Lure

Finally, bring the line through the line guides or eyes. Then, you’ll want to attach your lure.

Tie it on the end of the line using a knot of your choosing. There is a multitude of knots that can be used, so you can decide for yourself which one you’d prefer to use. Once securely tied on, you’ll cut the excess line off of it, and you’re all set to go.

Beginner Tips For Setting up a Fishing Rod

The best thing to know when you’re starting out with setting up a fishing rod is different types of knots that you can use.

There is a variety, and it’s hard to pick out which one would be best. It’s also important to know how to cast, and we’ll discuss why.

Executing Different Types of Knots

Ultimately, practice with different knots will help you decide what is the best method for you, but there are always tips to be had for different types of knots that could be used.

For all of the methods of knots, if hard to follow directions word by word, there are a wide variety of YouTube videos that have great demonstrations of how to make different types of knots. Let’s take a look at how to execute some of the different kinds of knots.

How To Execute the Clinch Knot

The most simple knot is a clinch knot. The clinch knot is popular amongst beginners to veterans. It isn’t difficult to achieve, and you can do it yourself following the steps down below.

  • Thread through the eye of the hook with the line
  • Wrap the line five to six times around the line
  • Pull the end of the line through the hole above the eye of the loop
  • Pull on the standing line
  • Make sure that the knot is nice and tight

How To Make a Uni Knot

The next knot is the uni knot. This one is perfect for any fishing situation and is stronger than most. Here’s how to make it:

  • Put the line through the eye of the hook
  • Make a loop
  • Bring the end of the line through the loop and wind it around the loop four to five times
  • Once your knot is where you want it to be (or how big you want your loop to be), tighten the knot until it won’t move using the end of the line.

How To Create a Blood Knot

The final knot we will discuss is the blood knot. This knot is used by adding two different lines together, which you will see in the outline down below.

  • Make an X with the two lines, having one line over another
  • Wrap one line four to five times around the other
  • Put the end through the X once more
  • Pinch
  • Using the other side of the X with the two lines, wrap the other line around line four to five times
  • Pull through the loop, so both tag ends are sticking out
  • Pull tight
  • Cut off each tag end

Having the proper knot on your fishing rod is essential to making your fishing trip go smoothly. With everything, practice will help make your knots better and, with time, your knots will look as good as anything. With the best knots, the easier your fishing trip will be.

Casting is Important Too!

Knots definitely are important, but knowing how to cast is also important. Casting your line out would seem, at first, simple. It might seem like there’s one way to do it, and that it’s easy.

However, due to the difference in rods and various other supplies, casting can be more difficult than one might think. Knowing good techniques for casting is important to know before going out onto your fishing trip.

There are similar basics for casting lines throughout the fishing rods, as well, which you will find down below.

How To Cast Lines Throughout Fishing Rods:

For each different rod, there are different techniques, but this is the basic technique for your everyday rod. Casting is something to be perfected, and practice definitely makes perfect. Here’s a crash course in casting:

  • You’re going to want to wrap the line coming off of the reel onto your index finger
  • Open the bail
  • Bring the rod over your shoulder
  • Swing the rod over your shoulder quickly, and release your finger from the line as you do so

Before going on your fishing trip, if you’re a beginner, you might want to practice this at home or in your backyard without a hook on it, so that you can get it down before going out onto the water.

Keep In Mind

Ultimately, fishing is like anything else: the more you do it, the better you’ll get. These tips are just to get you started in the world of fishing so that you can improve faster. Once you get your foot in the water, you will be able to improve more and more, the longer you fish.

These are just a few bits of tips, though, and there are sure tips from other fishermen out there.

With each different fisherman, there are different stories that they have, that affect how they fish and the way they set up their rods. It’s good to get all different opinions on rod setup, as it will make sure that you have the best setup that works for you.

Additional Equipment/Supplies For Setting up Your Fishing Rod

As mentioned earlier, there are a variety of different equipment and supplies for a fishing setup. It’s easy to lose track of everything, but it can be easy to keep a handy checklist of everything needed for your fishing trip and for your rod.

Rigs and Sinkers

Some things to have and consider are your rig and sinker. There are a variety of options for them, and it’s important to pick the right one, depending on where you’re fishing.

The most important thing to consider when picking a rod, rig, and sinker is the location and waters you’ll be fishing in, as different locations call for different types of rods, rigs, and sinkers.

Types of Rigs

Choosing what type of rig you use depends on your location. Different locations will call for different rigs and setups, as your fishing conditions and the type of fish you’re looking for will change. You’ll need to keep this in mind when you’re choosing what rig you’re going to use.

For rigs, there are three main, popular ones that people like to choose between. They are:

  • Running sinker rigs
  • Quill float and Bob rigs
  • Paternoster rigs

The running sinker rig is used in both fresh and saltwater fishing scenarios and is generally the most popular rig.

To make it, you place a sinker on the main line, and the sinker needs to be on the smaller side. A swivel also needs to be placed on it, to keep the sinker from sliding down.

The quill float and bob rig are used for shallow water fishing, rather than deep water. It’s generally used when you’re fishing from a shoreline.

Due to the fact that the water is so shallow, a floater is necessary to keep the line from sinking too deep. Small split shot sinkers are best for this type of rig.

Finally, the paternoster rig is best for saltwater fishing. This isn’t to say that you can’t use it for freshwater, but it’s recommended for saltwater, instead. You’ll want to keep the bait higher than the sinker, and a heavy sinker gives a wider cast range.


Sinkers are necessary for all fishermen, but the question remains of what is the best one? Like anything else, it depends on what you’re fishing and where you’re fishing.

There are many, many different types of sinkers, and it’s crucial to do research into all sinkers to know what will work best for you.

The most important thing about sinkers is the shape, as that changes how they behave. For example, a pyramid sinker sinks to the bottom quickly, due to its shape.

Some more types of sinkers include:

  • Egg and diamond sinkers (bounce across rocks more easily)
  • Split shot sinkers (adds on the line faster with more weight)
  • Walking sinkers (drags the bait across the water’s floor)
  • Rubber core sinkers (easier to change)
  • Sliding sinkers (move along the line)

Making all of these decisions might seem like a daunting task at first, but, with the right tips and know-how, you’ll be able to do it in no time.

All of these come down to personal preference, and it is best to make these decisions far before going on your fishing trip, as you can test them before the trip begins. Knowing what you like most is crucial in making your trip as fun and easy as possible.


Another important item to have on your fishing trip is a bobber. A bobber helps keep your bait higher in the water and will make it easier to tell if a fish is on the line. You’ll definitely want one of these, and you’ll need to set it up on your rod before casting your line out.

There are a lot of different bobbers out there, so it’s important to note the location. For example, there are some bobbers that will keep your line a little deeper than others, which is good for deeper fishing locations. However, don’t buy a bobber that’s too large, as it won’t have the effect that you want.


Swivels are also important when it comes to fishing. While fishing, you might find that your line gets a little tangled, but swivels will help rectify this. Swivels make sure that your line stays in place, moving only a little and more naturally.

Line Cutters

Line cutters, as opposed to scissors, might be something that you’re interested in.

Some lines are thicker than others and are, therefore, harder to cut with just scissors. Line cutters keep this in mind and are able to cut through the thickest lines, making it easier to go through the rod setup process.

As you can see, all of these are important to keep in mind when picking your setup. Knowing your surroundings well is the most essential part of deciding what tools you need because you can’t do the job right without the right tools.

Keeping all of this in mind, you’ll be out on the water in no time, relaxing your mind with some low-key fishing.

Setting up a Fishing Rod: Factors to Consider

As you can probably tell by now, there are a multitude of different factors that come with a fishing trip and with setting up a fishing rod, like anything else.

Being prepared for your fishing trip and handling technical difficulties before your trip begins is important, and will allow you to relax during your trip. Life is unpredictable and setting up for a fishing trip is no different.


The first factor you need to consider is location, location, location. It’s like buying a house: location is one of the most important factors.

Wherever you are going on this trip will decide what kinds of fish are there, and different weather conditions, water conditions, and fish make your type of fishing rod vary. You’ll need to do research on your location and then decide which rod would be best for the situation.

For example, if you’re in colder weather or ice fishing, an ice fishing rod would be best. This rod is best for this location because you’ll be able to work with the small amount of space given when it comes to ice fishing and your rod will be able to withstand the given weather conditions.

Types of Fish You Want to Fish For

Another factor to take in is what types of fish you’ll be fishing for. There is a lot of different fish in the sea and with each one comes different types of rods and rig setups.

For example, if you’re planning on sea fishing and are bringing a sea fishing rod, you’ll need to keep in mind that, with this rod, you’ll be attracting larger fish in deeper ocean waters. So, it’s very important that you know what type of fish you’ll want to catch before going out onto the water.

One More Thing…

Keeping these different factors in mind, your process for picking a fishing rod and rig will change depending on environmental factors.

The environment affects what type of fish you’re fishing, and both affect what type of rod you’ll be using.

So, it’s important to keep all of this in mind while picking your rod and choosing what rig you’ll use.

In conclusion, there are many factors and decisions to make when picking a fishing rod. There are also different ways of setting up your rod and many, many different materials that you’ll need to set up other than your basic rod and bait.

With all of this in mind, however, you’re on the right path to picking the right rod for you.

The most important thing to know while you’re out on the water is to have fun, kick back, and relax. Your trip, because of all of the research you do, will go smoothly, and you’ll be able to enjoy every moment of your trip.

With all of the tips that were given in this article, you will now be able to go out there, pick your setup, and get fishing!

Bob Hoffmann

The author of this post is Bob Hoffmann. Bob has spend most of his childhood fishing with his father and now share all his knowledge with other anglers. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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