A Comprehensive Guide to Set up a Fishing Rod for Lake Fishing

How to Set up a Fishing Rod for Lake Fishing

Lake fishing may not seem as adventurous as fishing in the ocean, but the experience you get is more intimate and personal. You get to track and save your favorite fishing hot spots and re-visit them irrespective of the weather conditions.

Also, a lake or a stream offers a variety of habitat for fish. Hence you can catch more than one species of fish in a single sitting. This post is all about setting up a fishing rod for lake fishing.

Equipment You Will Need to Setup a Fishing Rod at a Lake


1. Fishing Rod

Fishing Rod

A fishing rod is the most important tool for an angler. In earlier days, fishing rods used to be constructed with bamboo or other organic materials.

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The modern version works with a similar principle, but it is built with a lightweight and durable material such as iridium, fiberglass, or graphite. Based on several parameters like power, action, and line weight, the rod can range from 2-20 feet.

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2. Fishing Line

Fishing Reel

The fishing line is a thread or the string used for angling. A line is identified with several parameters, such as weight, material, length, etc. Generally, thicker lines are used for bigger game fish and vice versa.

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The breaking strength of the material determines the quality of a fishing line. Anglers prefer to have thinner lines with high knot strength, high resistance to abrasion, and less visibility.

3. Hooks

A fish hook is a tiny metal device used to trap the fish in it. Fish hooks have been around for centuries, and just like fishing rods, they have evolved too. Modern fish hooks can hold artificial lure and make it appear like a real creature underwater.

As you can see in the image above, a typical fish hook has a slot called “eye.” The fishing line is attached to the hook via the eye. Further, the point and barb are essential parts of the hook as they stay hidden beneath the bait.

The gap between the point and shank can be adjusted by stretching the device with your hands. This is done to attach the live bait, such as rotten meat or a small fish fittingly.

4. Bait

Fishing bait is a natural or artificial substance that is attached to the end of a hook. The bait has varying characteristics, such as smell, appearance, and size. An angler chooses the boat based on the type of the target fish and the size of the fishing hook.

Some fishers also pick the live bait at the fishing venue itself. For catching crappie or catfish, live insects, nightcrawlers and worms make good bait.

On the other hand, artificial lures work best for catching predatory fish. Artificial lures are generally made from silicone, iron, bronze, or copper.

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If you don’t know the proper way of adding bait to fishing rod, then read our guide on how to add bait to fishing rod.

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5. Three-Way Swivel

It is common for anglers to spend hours trying to untangle the twisted fishing line. A three-way swivel can solve this problem. Anglers using a monofilament test line can connect one end of this pivot to one end of the line and the other to the line from the reel.

A three-way swivel is suitable for catching small and medium-sized fish. This device is made of metal. It is available in a variety of shapes and sizes.

6. Fishing Float/Bobber

Fishing Float

A fishing float is another essential angling equipment needed for setting up a fishing rod for lake fishing. It serves several purposes. By determining the depth of the water with a fish finder, the angler can use the float or the bobber to suspend the bait at a specific height.

Moreover, the float can also work as a visual bite indicator. Instead of holding the rod, the angler can rest in his/her boat, keeping eyes on the float.

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How to Set up a Fishing Rod for Lake Fishing

A fishing rod is generally set up in a lake to catch fish located in the bottom portion. Fish hidden within the bedrocks are shy by nature.

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They are not tempted by baits positioned a few meters away from the water surface. It would help if you placed the bait as close to them as possible.

Follow these steps to set up a fishing rod in a lake:


Fishing Rod for Lake Fishing Step 1:

Assuming you already have chosen the right fishing rod-reel mechanism to go with it, you should begin the fishing rod set up process by loading up the reel. Tie the fishing line to the spool with an overhand knot.

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Fishing Rod for Lake Fishing Step 2:

Next, begin loading the fishing line by rotating the crank handle. Check the back of the reel for two parameters: line capacity and gear ratio. The line capacity lets you know how much line the spool can accommodate.

Gear ratio indicated the number of rotations of the reel in relation to the number of rotations of the crank handle. This report by GameNFish explains the gear ratio in a fishing reel.

Fishing Rod for Lake Fishing Step 3:

Next, take the loose end of the string and attach it to one “eye” or a slot of a three-way swivel. Tie it up with a bowline knot.

Make sure the line passes through a float or a bobber. The other two ends can be used to attach secondary and tertiary lines.

Fishing Rod for Lake Fishing Step 4:

Tie the hook to the secondary and tertiary lines with two overhand knots. Lastly, attract the bait or a lure to the hook. Now you are free to fish in a lake.

Also Read: Our Guide on Fishing for Beginners

How To Setup a Fishing Rod for Lake Fishing Summary

The step-by-step instructions mentioned above can be applied to both open water and shoreline fishing.

For fishing in open waters in your kayak or a canoe, you can set up the fishing rod on the rod holder present on deck. On the other hand, shoreline fishing requires you to handle the rod yourself — you need to move around periodically.

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