How To Line A Fishing Pole: Lining a fishing pole is a fundamental skill that serves as the cornerstone of a successful angling experience. Like the strands of a well-tied knot, the process of properly threading and securing the fishing line through the guides and onto the reel spool is integral to casting accuracy, reeling efficiency, and the ability to control and land fish effectively. Whether you’re a novice angler embarking on your first fishing excursion or an experienced enthusiast fine-tuning your gear, understanding how to line a fishing pole is essential.

This guide delves into the intricacies of this crucial task, providing you with step-by-step instructions, insights, and considerations to ensure your fishing line is set up optimally. From selecting the right type and weight of line to threading it through the rod guides in the correct order, and from securing it to the reel spool with precision to avoiding common pitfalls, this guide equips you with the knowledge needed to confidently prepare your fishing pole for action.

As you embark on this journey to master the art of lining a fishing pole, you’ll discover that this foundational skill not only enhances your angling prowess but also deepens your connection to the world of fishing, allowing you to cast your hopes and aspirations upon the water’s surface and reel in the exhilaration of the catch.

How To Line A Fishing Pole

Which line is best for fishing?

The best multipurpose line is monofilament. It has been an all-around great bass fishing line for years and is affordable. Monofilament has more stretch than fluorocarbon or braid so it is ideal for running shallow-diving crankbaits through wood or rocks.

Selecting the best fishing line involves a careful consideration of various factors to match the fishing conditions and target species. Among the options available—monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braided lines—each offers distinct advantages.

Monofilament line, with its stretch and forgiving nature, is an excellent choice for beginners. It’s versatile and economical, providing decent knot strength and easy handling. For finesse fishing or situations where line visibility is a concern, monofilament is a reliable go-to.

Fluorocarbon line boasts exceptional invisibility underwater, making it ideal for clear water and finicky fish. Its abrasion resistance and lack of water absorption enhance its durability and performance. This line is often favored for techniques requiring sensitivity, like bottom bouncing or jigging.

Braided line, known for its strength-to-diameter ratio, suits heavy cover and heavy fish. Its minimal stretch offers instant hooksets, making it great for topwater lures or deepwater jigging. Combining braided line with a fluorocarbon or monofilament leader offers the best of both worlds—strength and stealth.

The choice of the best fishing line depends on the fishing style, target species, and the environment you’ll be angling in. Understanding the qualities of each line type can guide you in making an informed decision to optimize your angling success.

Does fishing line sink or float?

What many anglers do not know is whether the braided lines they are using sink or float. Most braided lines have a specific gravity less than one which causes them to float. The specific gravity of water is one, so any line with a specific gravity of less than one is going to float.

Fishing lines can exhibit both floating and sinking characteristics, depending on the type of line and its composition. Monofilament and fluorocarbon lines tend to have neutral buoyancy, meaning they neither fully sink nor float. Monofilament lines generally have a slight tendency to float, making them suitable for topwater lures and scenarios where a lure or bait needs to stay near the surface.

On the other hand, fluorocarbon lines have a higher density than water, which causes them to sink slowly. This attribute makes fluorocarbon lines a popular choice for techniques that require a more submerged presentation, such as deepwater fishing or finesse techniques. Their near-invisibility underwater adds to their appeal.

Braided lines, however, are typically buoyant and tend to float due to their composition of woven fibers. This buoyancy can have advantages in certain situations, such as topwater fishing or when fishing in vegetation, as the line remains on the surface and is less likely to get tangled.

Fishing lines can possess a range of buoyancy characteristics, from floating to sinking, depending on their composition and purpose. Understanding these properties is essential for selecting the appropriate line for specific fishing techniques and conditions to enhance your angling success.

How do you attract fish to your line?

Attractants: Salt, fish slime, fish guts, fish extracts, human saliva. Possible attractants: milk products like cheese, coffee, garlic. Repellents: human skin oils, nicotine, bug sprays, sun screens, scented and perfumed soaps, any petroleum distillates like gasoline, marine grease, oil, diesel.

Attracting fish to your fishing line involves a combination of techniques and strategies aimed at enticing the target species to bite. Successful anglers employ a variety of methods to increase their chances of a fruitful catch.

Choose the Right Bait: Selecting the appropriate bait for the specific fish species you’re targeting is crucial. Different fish are attracted to different types of bait, such as live bait (worms, minnows), artificial lures (jigs, spinners, crankbaits), or even flies for fly fishing.

Use Attractive Lure Colors: Lure color can play a significant role in attracting fish. Experiment with different colors based on water clarity, lighting conditions, and the fish’s natural prey.

Employ Proper Presentation: Mimic natural movements of prey by using techniques like jigging, twitching, or reeling at varying speeds. Matching the behavior of the fish’s preferred food source can trigger strikes.

Add Scent or Attractants: Apply scents or attractants to your bait or lure to enhance its appeal. These scents can mask human odors and make the bait more enticing.

Consider Water Depth and Structure: Understanding the fish’s habitat is crucial. Fish are often found near underwater structures like rocks, vegetation, or drop-offs. Cast near these areas for a higher chance of attracting fish.

Vary Retrieval Speeds: Experiment with different retrieval speeds to mimic injured or fleeing prey. This can trigger the fish’s predatory instincts.

Practice Patience: Patience is key in fishing. Sometimes, allowing the bait or lure to sit still for a moment can attract curious fish.

Observe Weather and Water Conditions: Fish tend to be more active during certain weather conditions. Overcast days or times near dawn and dusk are often more productive.

Remember that different fish species and fishing environments may require unique approaches. A combination of research, experience, and adaptability will help you effectively attract fish to your line and increase your chances of a successful catch.

How To Line A Fishing Pole

What type of fishing is best for beginners?

In general, lakes are a great option when you’re just starting out—they usually have a bank or dock to fish from and often have a larger volume of hungry fish than you would find in a river.

For beginners, certain types of fishing provide a more approachable and enjoyable introduction to the world of angling. Here are a few options that are often considered best for those new to fishing:

Spincasting: Spincasting is one of the easiest and most user-friendly methods for beginners. The reel and line are enclosed in a cover, reducing the chances of tangles or backlashes. It’s great for learning casting techniques and can be used for a variety of freshwater fish.

Baitcasting: While slightly more advanced than spincasting, baitcasting offers greater control and accuracy in casting. It’s suitable for targeting larger freshwater species and can be a stepping stone to more advanced techniques.

Freshwater Fishing: Fishing in freshwater environments, such as ponds, lakes, and rivers, provides a comfortable starting point for beginners. These locations often have a variety of fish species, and the techniques are generally simpler compared to more specialized saltwater fishing.

Bank Fishing: Fishing from the shore or bank of a water body is convenient for beginners. It eliminates the need for a boat and allows for easy access to fishing spots. Casting from the bank provides an opportunity to practice casting techniques and observe fish behavior.

Panfishing: Pursuing panfish like bluegill, crappie, and sunfish is a great way to introduce beginners to fishing. Panfish are typically abundant, easy to catch, and offer a sense of accomplishment for new anglers.

Catch and Release Fishing: Engaging in catch and release fishing allows beginners to practice their skills while also contributing to conservation efforts. It helps instill an appreciation for fish and their habitats.

The best type of fishing for beginners depends on personal preferences and the fishing opportunities available in your area. Starting with simpler techniques and gradually progressing to more advanced methods can help build confidence and skills over time.

How much fishing line is enough?

The amount of line needed when inshore fishing

Inshore fishing doesn’t require a lot of line on your reel. You can get through with about 100 yards of line on your reel. It gives enough line to fish the bottom while giving space for tangles on top of that.

Determining the right amount of fishing line involves considering various factors, such as the fishing technique, target species, and fishing environment. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, there are guidelines to help you choose an appropriate amount of fishing line for your needs.

First, check the reel’s specifications. Reels typically have a line capacity recommendation printed on them. It’s a good starting point, but you don’t necessarily need to fill the reel to its maximum capacity.

Consider the fishing technique you’ll be using. Different techniques require varying amounts of line. For example, if you’re casting long distances, you might want to spool more line to prevent running out during a fight. For finesse fishing or when targeting smaller fish, you may use less line.

Factor in the fishing environment. Fishing in open water might require less line compared to fishing around heavy cover or structures where fish can easily tangle the line.

Use the appropriate line weight for your target species. Heavier fish may require more line to withstand their runs and fights.

As a general rule of thumb, spool your reel with about 75-80% of its maximum capacity. This allows room for effective casting while still providing sufficient line for battling fish. Additionally, periodically inspect your line for wear, damage, or fraying, and replace it if needed.

What steps are involved in properly lining a fishing pole?

Properly lining a fishing pole involves a systematic process to ensure your reel is spooled with fishing line effectively and efficiently. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Select the Right Line: Choose a fishing line suitable for your fishing technique, target species, and fishing environment. Consider factors like line type (monofilament, fluorocarbon, braided), line weight, and line capacity of your reel.

Attach Backing (Optional): If using a large-capacity reel, consider adding backing first. This helps fill the spool and prevents slippage. Tie the backing securely to the spool using an arbor knot.

Thread the Line through Guides: Begin by threading the fishing line through the rod guides from the tip down to the reel seat. Make sure the line follows the guide path smoothly to minimize tangles.

Secure the Line to the Reel: Attach the fishing line to the reel spool using an arbor knot, ensuring it’s snug and won’t slip. Close the bail (for spinning reels) or engage the spool (for baitcasting reels) to hold the line in place.

How To Line A Fishing Pole

What is the purpose of adding backing to a fishing reel before spooling the main line?

Adding backing to a fishing reel before spooling the main line serves multiple practical purposes that contribute to a smooth and effective fishing experience. Backing is a length of thin, usually less expensive line that is wound onto the reel spool before attaching the main fishing line. Here’s why backing is used:

Filling the Spool: Many fishing reels, especially those with large spools, require a significant amount of line to be effective. Backing helps fill the spool’s volume without the need for excessive amounts of expensive main line.

Preventing Line Slippage: Backing provides friction against the reel spool, reducing the likelihood of the main line slipping or rotating around the spool during casting, retrieving, or when battling a fish.

Optimal Casting Performance: A properly filled spool with backing ensures that the main line is positioned at the right level, promoting smoother and more accurate casting. This helps prevent line tangles and backlash.

Absorbing Shock: Backing can serve as a shock absorber when a powerful fish makes a sudden, strong run. It helps prevent the main line from breaking by offering a buffer against the fish’s initial burst of energy.

Extending Line Life: Backing enables anglers to change their main line without removing the entire backing. This helps save time and money by extending the life of the backing, which is often less expensive than premium main lines.

Why is it important to thread the line through the guides of the fishing rod?

Threading the fishing line through the guides of the fishing rod is a critical step that directly impacts the functionality and performance of your fishing setup. These guides, also known as rod eyes, serve several crucial purposes that make proper threading essential.

Casting Efficiency: The guides help control the line’s movement during casting. Threaded through the guides, the line follows a specific path, reducing friction and tangling, which can impede casting distance and accuracy.

Line Control: As you reel in or let out line while retrieving or casting, the guides guide the line smoothly and evenly across the rod. This prevents snags, twists, and knots that can hinder your ability to manage the line effectively.

Optimal Rod Flexibility: Each guide is strategically positioned to allow the rod to flex smoothly and evenly throughout its length. Proper threading ensures that the rod can bend and distribute force appropriately, making it easier to handle larger or more powerful fish.

Casting Accuracy and Range: Guides facilitate smoother line flow during casting, which translates to increased accuracy and casting distance. This is crucial for reaching the desired fishing spot and presenting lures effectively.

How do you secure the fishing line to the reel spool to prevent slipping?

Securing the fishing line to the reel spool is a pivotal step in ensuring a successful and trouble-free fishing experience. Preventing line slippage is crucial for casting accuracy, retrieving efficiency, and effectively battling fish. Here’s how to secure the line to the reel spool:

Arbor Knot: Begin by tying an arbor knot. Pass the tag end of the line around the spool, then tie an overhand knot with the tag end and the standing line. Slide the knot tight against the spool and pull the main line to secure it. Trim any excess tag end.

Avoid Overfilling: Be cautious not to overfill the spool. Leave a small gap between the line and the spool’s rim to prevent overloading and tangling.

Inspect Regularly: Periodically check the line while spooling to ensure it’s winding evenly and securely. Watch for any signs of slippage or tangles.

Test Cast: After spooling, test cast the line to ensure it flows smoothly without tangling. Adjust the tension or re-spool if necessary.

What considerations should you keep in mind when selecting the appropriate fishing line for your fishing pole?

Selecting the appropriate fishing line for your fishing pole involves thoughtful consideration of various factors to optimize your angling success. Here are essential considerations to keep in mind:

Fishing Technique: Different fishing techniques require specific line characteristics. For example, finesse fishing might demand a thin and sensitive line, while heavy cover fishing could call for a more abrasion-resistant and robust line.

Target Species: The species you’re targeting plays a vital role in line selection. Smaller fish might necessitate lighter lines, while larger and more powerful species may require heavier lines to withstand their strength.

Line Type: Choose between monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braided lines. Monofilament offers stretch and versatility, fluorocarbon provides invisibility and sinking properties, and braided lines offer strength and minimal stretch.

Line Strength: Choose a line with adequate strength to handle the fish you’re pursuing. Consider both the fish’s weight and potential resistance when hooked.

How To Line A Fishing Pole


Properly lining a fishing pole is a fundamental skill that lays the foundation for a successful and rewarding fishing venture. Threading the line through the guides ensures efficient casting, retrieving, and fish battling, while securing the line to the reel spool prevents slippage and tangling, optimizing overall performance.

The process begins with the careful selection of the right fishing line, considering factors like fishing technique, target species, and water conditions. Adding backing, if necessary, aids in filling the spool and providing a buffer against line slippage during intense fights. 

Securing the line to the reel spool with an arbor knot and maintaining tension during the spooling process are essential steps to prevent slipping and ensure even line distribution. Avoiding overfilling the spool maintains casting accuracy and prevents tangles.

By following these steps and considering the specific characteristics of your fishing pole, you’ll set the stage for a productive and enjoyable fishing experience. Properly lined fishing gear enhances your ability to cast with accuracy, feel the subtlest of bites, and confidently engage in battles with fish, making your time on the water truly fulfilling.