How to String Your Fishing Pole

By Brenna Swanston

All you need to know for your ultimate fishing vacation guide

How to String Your Fishing Pole

First-time anglers should get a firm handle on fishing basics before hitting the road for a big fishing trip, and first things first: learn to string a fishing pole.

Here's how to get the job done well and efficiently.

1. Attach the fishing line

Beginners might first want to check in with their tackle shops to see if they can load the line for them – that's the easiest way to get it done. If you plan to do it yourself, take care to load the line correctly, as a sloppy job can result in a mess of twisted fishing line.

First, open the bail on the spinning reel by flipping up the reel's little wire arm. Then it's time to use an arbor knot to tie the new line on the arbor before flipping the wire arm down to close the bail.

2. Learn the arbor knot

Arbor knots are critical to fishing, and luckily, they're pretty simple to tie. Here's a step-by-step on how to do it:

  • Wrap the tag end of the line around the spool's arbor and tie a simple overhand knot around the line's standing end. 
  • Still using the tag end, tie a second standing knot a couple inches down from the first.
  • Pull on the line's standing end to jam both knots together against the spool.
  • Trim the tag end.

Use this knot to attach the new fishing line to the arbor, then close the bail and proceed.

3. Spool the spinning reel

Place the spool flat (not on its side) on the floor. Ensure the line is loading onto the reel in the same direction that it comes off the spool.

Use the thumb and index pressure to apply some pressure to the line, which should help to prevent twists. Turn the handle 15 to 20 times, and keep maintaining pressure on the line.

Stop and check the line for twists by giving it some slack. If it twists, flip over the spool and try again. Use whichever side twists less.

Keep loading the spool until it's full – about one-eighth of an inch from the rim.

4. Attach the line to the hook

There are a few different ways to tie a fishing line to a hook, but the most common knot is the clinch knot, otherwise known as the fisherman's knot.

Here are the steps involved for tying a fisherman's knot:

  • Thread the end of the line through the eye of the hook, then wrap the line's tag end five to seven times around its standing end.
  • Thread the tag end through the loop closest to the hook eye, then back through the large loop you just created.
  • Pull both ends of the line until the knot is tight.
  • Trim the tag end.