How to String a Fishing Pole: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Matt Johnson
Matt JohnsonPublished: May 4, 2023
How to String a Fishing Pole: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

You want to try your hand at fishing, but where do you start? Don't worry! This step-by-step guide will show you everything you need to know about how to string a fishing pole like a professional, from choosing the right line to attaching all the necessary tackle.

From choosing the right type of line for your rod and reel setup to properly tying knots and lures, this guide covers all the essential information for taking your first steps in the exciting world of fishing.

Choose the right fishing pole.

When it comes to fishing, the right pole can make all the difference. Choosing the right fishing pole will help you cast farther and increase your chances of catching the big one.

There are several types of fishing poles, such as spinning rods, baitcasting reels, and fly reels. Each of these types of rods and reels has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it's important to choose the one that best fits your needs.

When selecting a fishing pole, it's important to keep in mind the type of fishing you'll be doing. If you're going after small fish, like panfish, then a light spinning rod is a great choice. This type of rod is easy to use and will allow you to cast a light line and small lures.

If you're targeting large fish, such as bass, then a heavier spinning rod or baitcasting reel is a better option. These types of rods and reels can handle the heavier line and larger lures required to attract and catch bigger fish.

Fly fishing is a bit different when it comes to fishing poles. Here, you'll want to use a lightweight fly rod and a lightweight fly reel. This type of rod is designed to cast a light line, which allows you to target smaller fish and make longer casts. A fly reel is also necessary for fly fishing, as it'll help you reel in the line quickly and efficiently.

It's important to consider the size of the pole. When selecting a fishing pole, make sure to hold it in your hand and extend your index finger until it touches the end of the pole. This will ensure the pole is comfortable for you to use and the right size for your fishing needs.

For the most part, if you're new to fishing, we recommend a medium-weight spinning rod that is right around 6'6". That is a good all-around rod for beginners. We definitely wouldn't recommend you head out and shell out hundreds for a top-of-the-line rod and reel just yet.

Choosing the right fishing line.

With your rod and reel in your hand, now you have to choose which type of line you want.

When it comes to fishing lines, you've got three main options: monofilament, braided, and fluorocarbon. Each type of line has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the right type for your fishing needs. The Monofilament line is popular for its durability, while the braided line is great for its strength and reliability. The Fluorocarbon line is known for its abrasion resistance, making it a great choice for clear-water fishing.

The best fishing line for you depends on your type of fishing setup, the size of the fish you’re after, and the conditions you’ll be fishing in. For example, if you’re using a spinning reel, you’ll want to go with a 10-pound test monofilament. If you’re looking to catch bigger fish, you’ll want a line that’s 8-20 lbs test. And if you’re looking for a challenge and improved accuracy, then a bait-casting reel is the way to go.

No matter what type of fishing line you choose, make sure to test your setup before heading out on the water. This will help you avoid tangles and make sure that your line can handle the weight of the fish you’re trying to catch.

Monofilament Line

Monofilament Line

The monofilament line is one of the most popular types of fishing line and for good reason. It's incredibly stretchy, and it transfers the energy of your cast really well. It's also perfect for any fishing situation, so it's a great choice for anglers who want an easy and hassle-free fishing experience.

Monofilament line is also very affordable. It's much cheaper than other types of lines, making it the perfect choice for anglers on a budget. On top of that, it's also incredibly durable and can handle a lot of punishment without breaking.

When it comes to using monofilament lines, you'll want to pay attention to the knot you use. Monofilament lines are known to easily loop around themselves when not tied with the right knot, so make sure you use a reliable knot like the overhand knot or the clinch knot.

This line is a great option for anglers looking for a budget-friendly, reliable fishing line, but it is important to be aware of its drawbacks. For one, it can get stretched out and hold the shape of your reel. It's also prone to looping around itself, so make sure you tie your knots correctly.

Braided Line

Braided Line

Braided line is a great choice for anglers looking for a strong and reliable fishing line. It's created with multiple strands of fiber that are woven together, making it much stronger than monofilament or fluorocarbon lines. It's also thinner than other lines, meaning you can use smaller-diameter fishing poles and experience less drag.

When it comes to casting, a braided line is a great help. It's much thinner than other lines, so you'll be able to cast farther and with more accuracy. It's also great for fishing in tough conditions like heavy cover and thick weed mats.

You'll want to use a big loop knot like the arbor knot or the double uni knot. These knots are designed to provide maximum strength and reliability, so you won’t have to worry about your line breaking mid-cast.

Braided line is incredibly tough and reliable. It's designed to take a real beating without snapping, making it a great choice for anglers who want a line that can stand up to tough conditions.

We don't generally recommend this type of line for beginners as it's a bit more expensive and can be a little trickier to work with.

Fluorocarbon Line

Fluorocarbon Line

Fluorocarbon line is a great option for anglers looking for a fishing line that's denser and less stretchy than monofilament. It's also known for its abrasion resistance, so it's a great choice for clear-water fishing. Fluorocarbon has the advantage of being virtually invisible underwater. This makes it the preferred line for fly fishing and baitcasting. It's also heavier than monofilament, so it's great for deep-water fishing.

When winding fluorocarbon lines onto a reel, it's important to use the right amount of tension. This will help to ensure that your line doesn't tangle up when you cast. You should also make sure that your line guide is lined up with the line tight before you start winding. If you're using an old line, make sure to replace it with a fresh one.

Be aware that flourocarbon lines are super tough, so they can be prone to tangling when you're spooling them onto your reel. Make sure to pay attention to the way the line is winding on the spool and stop periodically to check for any tangles or kinks.

Prepare the line for the reel.

Alright, at this point, you have your line and your tackle. It's time to put it all together.

Before you get started, make sure your fishing rod is ready and all put together. Ensure the different components of the rod are in place and your reel is snugly in the reel seat.

Once you've verified everything is correctly put together, the first thing you'll want to do is run your fishing line through the last eyelet on your rod in reverse.

Unspool around 10' of line from the new line packaging. This should be enough to weave down your rod and tie it to the reel.

Take the end of that line and start at the tip of your rod and string the line through each eyelet going towards the fishing reel.

Fishing Line Through Eyelets

This may sound counterintuitive, but trust us, it'll make sense later. You want to ensure your line goes in the same direction that it will come off of the reel.

Once you've run the line through all the eyelets, it's time to attach it to your reel.

If you're using a spinning reel, ensure the wire arm is in the up position. Then wrap your line around the reel spool one time.

Use an arbor knot or a double uni knot to secure the line onto your reel. Make sure that you pull on both ends of the line as tight as possible to make sure it's secure.

Arbor Knot on the Reel

Now you should have a fishing rod with your line on it and the rest of the string still on the spool.

Start reeling in the line.

Now it's time to load in your fishing reel.

Sometimes this works better if you have an extra set of hands to help you.

Take the loose end of the line and start winding it onto the reel slowly. As your reeling, keep a close eye on the spool to make sure that there are no tangles or kinks in the line.

Continue to reel in the line spool like you're reeling in a fish. You don't want to go too fast and aggressive, just a nice smooth pace. After all, you want your line to go on nicely. The fishing reel will wind it as you reel it in.

The extra set of hands is for someone to hold the line spool. We like to put a pen or pencil through the center of it like a wheel. Then with their thumb, apply just a bit of pressure to create some resistance on the line spool. This will prevent tangles and kinks on the spool itself.

Cut the line and throw on some tackle.

Most new line spools will have enough line included to string your fishing rods multiple times. Once you have an appropriate amount of line on your reel, you can cut the rest off and start throwing some tackle on.

Tackle like swivels, floats, weights, fish hooks, and lures are all important to getting a successful catch. Depending on what type of fishing you're doing, you'll want to adjust your tackle accordingly.

Even if you're simply stringing up your reel spool and not planning on going fishing just yet, you'll want some sort of tackle on your line. This will allow you to hook up the line onto the rod so you can store it and not tangle your line.

When adding tackle, we like to pull out around 6' of line from the end of the rod. This gives us plenty of line to add some tackle.

When tying the tackle to the line, be sure to use either a snell knot or an improved clinch knot. We'll talk more about these various knots in a later post.

Test your setup.

Now that your fishing pole is set up, it's time to test it out and make sure everything is working properly. By testing your setup, you can double-check that all of the basic steps have been completed correctly and that your fishing line is ready to go. Testing your setup is a simple process that can be done in a few minutes.

Start by tying a weight to your fishing line. Then cast your line into the water and tug on it gently. If the line is properly set up, the weight should stay attached to the line, and the line should not be too tight or too loose. It's also important to make sure the knot at the end of the line is secure. If you are happy with the performance of the line, you're good to go. Throw a lure on and start bringing in the fish.

You can even test your setup at home. There have been countless times when we've got our fishing reels strung up and tossed weights into the driveway before we headed out. Sometimes, it's just easier to do it at home than at the lake.

By testing your setup, you can be sure that you are ready to go out and catch some fish! Make sure to double-check that everything is working properly, as it can make all the difference when it comes to a successful fishing trip. Once you are confident that everything is in working order, you can head out and start fishing.

FAQs for stringing a fishing pole.

From spinning reels to fly line and everything in between, we get asked a lot of questions about stringing up fishing poles. Here are some of the most common questions we get asked:

What type of line should I use on my reel?

It really depends on your preference and what type of fishing you're doing. For spinning reels or casting rods, a monofilament line is a great choice as it is strong and reliable. For fly reels, you'll want to use some type of braided line or fluorocarbon line for added strength and accuracy.

How long should my fishing line be?

Generally speaking, the length of your line should be determined by the size of your reel. We like to string our reel until the spool of string is around 1/8" from the edge of the reel spool. Of course, the total amount of line depends on the size of the reel. For example, those large off-shore spinning reels can take upwards of 1000' yards of fishing line. But then again, they're also huge.

How tight should my fishing line be?

When stringing the line onto the reel spool, you don't want it too loose or too tight. If it's too loose, your line will get tangled. If it's too tight, the line may have trouble unspooling when you're casting. So we like a natural tension on it as if you were reeling in a small lure through the water. Have someone place their thumb on the spool as you reel in the line. This places just the right amount of tension, and you should be just right.

What knots should I use when tying the tackle to the line?

We recommend using either a snell knot or an improved clinch knot. These are two of the most reliable knots for attaching tackle to fishing lines, and they will ensure that your tackle stays securely fastened. There are a few others, but these two are fairly simple and great for all levels of anglers. Plus, they hold up well in any type of water.

When should I replace my line?

It's often recommended to replace your line at least once a season. Of course, this will depend on how much you're fishing and the type of water you're in. The more wear and tear your line endures, the more likely it is to break or suffer from abrasions that can weaken its strength. So, be sure to keep an eye on your line throughout the season and replace it if necessary. However, from our experience, you'll end up cutting more line from snags and eventually need to replace your line well before it's worn out.

How do you put fishing line on a fishing pole?

The simplest way to put fishing line on a fishing pole is by spooling it onto the reel. First, attach one end of your line to the spool and thread it through the guides of your rod. Then, start winding the line onto the reel, and make sure you keep an even tension as you do this. Once the desired length has been reached, tie your choice of tackle on the end of the line and hit the water.

Hit the lake and bring in the fish!

That's it - you now have a perfectly strung fishing pole.

Stringing a fishing pole is easy to do with a bit of patience and the right equipment. The key is picking the right setup for a successful fishing expedition. Whether you choose monofilament, braided line, or fluorocarbon, keep in mind the type of fishing you plan on doing and the size of the fish you’re after.

And don’t forget to test the setup before you go out on the water so that you know everything is set up properly. With the right setup and a few simple steps, you can be confident about your next fishing trip.

Matt Johnson

Matt Johnson

Master Outdoorsman

Matt is a seasoned outdoorsman with expertise in fishing, hunting, and wildlife. With a Master's degree in Wildlife Science, he combines his passion for nature with conservation efforts, sharing his knowledge through his writing for Fish and Game Report.

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