How to set up your fishing rod

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Learn how to line your fishing rod and tie quick and simple knots to get started fishing today!

Get your fishing gear ready

You purchased your fishing license, the weather is beautiful, and now you’re gearing up for an adventure. But before you can get out on the water, you need to string your fishing rod and attach your hook. These instructional videos will help you get started in no time.

How to string a fishing pole:

Most modern fishing rod and reel combinations come with a matching line that is rated for the rod and reel. However, spooling your line is a skill you will eventually need to know as monofilament fishing line has a limited shelf life depending on use and storage. 

Watch this video for step-by-step instructions on how to add line to your fishing rod. Make sure to select fishing line that matches the suggested line rating for your fishing rod and generally within the size range of fish you expect to catch. For example, if your rod has a line rating of 6–10 pounds and you plan to fish for freshwater species like bass, use a 6–10 pound test line. 

How to tie an arbor knot:

The video above uses an arbor knot to attach the fishing line to the arbor or spool center of the fishing reel. This video shows a close-up of how to tie an arbor knot. 

How to tie a clinch knot:

Once your rod is ready, you need to choose from the dozens of knots that can help ensure your catch doesn’t get away. When learning fishing knots, there is no better knot to start with than the clinch knot. This knot is easy to learn and is one of the strongest fishing knots to use when tying your line to your hook.

How to tie a Palomar knot:

Another strong and easy knot to learn is the Palomar knot. It’s a good idea to practice tying these knots as much as possible, that way you can quickly use them as needed.

With a freshly lined rod and new knots learned, you are ready to hit the water! If you’re new to fishing, check out mass.gov/get-started-fishing for more tips on what to bring and where to go fishing in Massachusetts. 

All videos courtesy of TakeMeFishing. For more instructional videos on all things fishing, visit TakeMeFishing.org