Putting it all together to go fishing

Now that you are informed about rods, reels, lines and leaders, It’s time to learn how to put everything together so you can make that first cast to catch a fish.

Step one after taking your rod sections out of their rod tube holder is to join the sections in proper alignment. Let’s say you took my advice and bought a rod with 4 sections. Starting with the handle section that contains the reel seat join the next thickest section at the ferrule (where rod sections join together) making sure that the guides are in alignment. Do the same thing with the next two sections. Once the 4 sections are joined together and the guides line up, you are ready to attach the reel.

If you are right handed the reel handle should be on the left side of the reel. Most reels are set this way when you buy them. Also, most reels allow you to change the handle to the right side for lefties. Next place the reel seat into the slot either on the butt end or under the handle depending on your rod’s design. Here’s a sketch showing how various rod seats are designed to hold the reel:

Various reel seats

Once you have the reel locked tightly in place, start pulling the Fly line from the front of the reel facing the full rod. Here’s another sketch to show this:

Sketch showing how to thread fly line from reel



Now thread the fly line through each guide. Here is how Izaac says to do this.






Most fly lines come with a loop at the end and the same is true of most leaders. To join them insert the loop of the fly line into the loop of the leader then put the end of the leader into the fly line loop. Here’s a drawing showing this procedure:

It is important that you do this just the way the drawing shows,  otherwise, the resulting knot will not slide through the tip guide smoothly. You will experience this when bringing a fish to net. In nearly every instance in landing a fish you will need to spool fly line to shorten the leader from rod tip to fish requiring the knot to be retrieved through the tip guide.

On the page about flies I’ll also address basic knots that you need to learn to join the tippet to the leader and to tie on a fly.

Finally, here is one more tip regarding putting it all together. When you spend a long day or days fishing without breaking down your rod (term for taking the sections apart to put your rod away) sometimes the ferrules can be hard to separate.  If you can enlist the help of a friend, that may be all you’ll need. When you’re alone here’s what Izaac says to do.



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