Introduction: How to Set Up a Fishing Rod: Spinning Reel

Fishing is one of the most therapeutic and peaceful ways to spend your time outdoors, however if you do not assemble your rod properly, it can make for a very difficult and frustrating time. Make the most out of your fishing trip or evening on the dock, by following these ___ easy step on how to set up a fishing rod to ensure maximum fish and fun!

I will demonstrate on an St. Croix Avid Pearl- 6'6 medium light, fast action, spinning rod. These step can be replicated on any height, action and series of spinning reels.

They say diamonds are a girls best friend, but in my case it is pearls- the Avid Pearl by St. Croix.

Please let me know if you have any questions or special tricks you have learned over the years of putting together an award winning fishing rod!


You will need (but are not limited to):

1. A spinning fishing rod

2. A fishing spinning fishing reel

3. Your choice of braided or fluorocarbon fishing line

4. A pencil or pen

5. Pliers

6. Sinkers

7. Leaders

8. Hook or lure

9. Float (Only if you are using live bait)

10. A net

Step 1: Assemble Rod

Fishing rods come in varies pieces, some are one piece, most are two piece and others can be 4 pieces. Today we will be focusing on two piece fishing rods.

First you will need to take the bottom half of your rod and insert it into the top half opening, and make sure it is pushed in securely. At this point, your rod will be anywhere from 5FT - 7'7 FT tall, so be careful when transporting it around.

Next you will want to attach your reel. For this, you will look on the lower piece of your rod for where you will tighten in your reel. Take the reel arm and place it into the opening of the reel seat and turn the rotating piece counterclockwise until the real arm is firmly locked into the real seat. To ensure this, grab the reel and make sure it does not move out of place and there is no room for it to move.

Once that is completed, you are ready for the next step!

Step 2: Add Line

This part can be a little tricky, so you might want to grab a friend to help you! You can choose to get the line put on at the store you purchased your rod at, but if you feel like being more hands on, you can do it at home in just a few simple steps. First, you will need to wrap your line around the the groves of the spool, and tie an arbour knot to secure the line around the spool, then grab your handy helper!

One person will need to take a pencil or pen and put it horizontally through the holes of the fishing line container, this will act as a home-made spooler. Holding both ends of the pencil you will slowly let the line unravel as the second person reels in the rod, which wraps the line around the reel. Make sure there is no slack between the container and the reel, this will lower your chances of causing any knots. Keep reeling in until about 3/4 of your reel is filled with line.

Once this is done, take the end of the line and fish it (pun intended) thru each of the eyelets on the rod.

Step 3: Attach the Leader

Not having the proper equipment on your line could cause it to snap or malfunction, so it is essential that you understand what fish you are targeting and build your line off that. If you are fishing for species with aggressive teeth, such as pike, you will want to put a leader on at the end of your line. This will prevent the line from being chewed or compromised by any sharp teeth or objects, yet, will still allow for optimal movement of the line because of the swivel technology.

Make sure to change your leader if you have recently put up a fight with a fish with big chompers because this will weaken and deteriorate the leader

Step 4: Add Sinkers

There are many different types of sinkers you can purchase at the store, (I use split shot because the name sounds the coolest) but these are also the most popular and easy to assemble on your line. The purpose of using sinkers, is quite self explanatory, but they help to weigh down your line and extend the length of your cast by once again, weighing it down.

Time to grab your handy dandy pliers! You will begin by taking your line and inserting it in the crease of the split shot, then simply apply pressure to the two ends of the split shot sinker opening to bring them together and close it with the line nestled safely inside.

A few more steps and you are almost ready to catch dinner!

Step 5: Attach Lure or Bait

Depending on what type of fisher(wo)man you are, you will now attach your lure or live bait.

If you are looking to sit back and relax you will want to go for live bait, this way you do not have to constantly retrieve and cast your lure. For live bait such as, worms and minnows, you will open the tab on the end of the leader and attach the hoop on top of the hook, then close tab.

If you are looking for more action and technique, you will want to use a lure, this way you can target a direct species and move to different areas of the water faster. For this, you will once again, open the tab on the end of the leader, but you will attach the hoop of your lure to the tab, and then close it.

You will see that in both these steps I mention closing the tab back up, as if it was not obvious. However, many fisherman forget that simple step or do not secure it properly and end up losing their expensive lures and precious bait.

Step 6: Catch a Trophy Winning Fish

You are all set!! Now that your rod is equip with all accessories needed you are ready to cast out. In case this is your first time casting a line, no worries, here are a few tips and tricks to help you catch a monster.

How To Cast:

1. Use your right index finger to grab the line about 3 inches up from the real

2. Use your left hand to unlock the reel by flicking the semi circle piece of metal to open up the line

3. Use all your might to fling the line out while letting go of the line


Remember that fishing is supposed to be a fun and relaxing sport, so although you may spend hours casting and waiting you may not catch anything. But do not forget to take in the beauty of nature and fish are friends not food, so practice catch and release as much as possible!!