How To Set Up a Fishing Rod – Beginner Tips for Fishing in Australia

ARTICLE BY - December 13, 2023
How To Set Up a Fishing Rod – Beginner Tips for Fishing in Australia

If you are someone who enjoys fishing, whether as a professional or just as a hobby, you are at the right place. Fishing is a fun and relaxing activity that many Aussies enjoy as it connects us with nature. But, setting up a fishing rod can be confusing for beginners or someone who has never used one before. Let me tell you, you don’t have to be a pro to enjoy fishing. It’s just that you need the right equipment and must have the basic knowledge about fishing. We’ll discuss how to set up a fishing rod in a beginner-friendly way so that you can set it up all by yourself, along with choosing the appropriate fishing accessories for a successful angling experience.

What is a Fishing Rod?

Before discussing how to set up a fishing rod for beginners, it is essential to understand the tool. A fishing rod is an essential tool that is designed for you to catch fish easily in a relaxing way. It helps you cast your line into the water, feel the movement of a fish, and ultimately bring in your catch. Essentially, a fishing rod is a long and slender tool that can be held by the angler to cast their fishing line and control the movement of the fish. Its main purpose is to give you the proper flexibility and strength that you need to handle the challenges of fishing. Whether you are casting from the shore or a boat, a good fishing rod is your key to connecting with the underwater world and successfully reeling in your desired catch.

Different Parts of The Fishing Rod

Now that you have understood the basic concept of the fishing rod, let’s discuss the different parts of it to know the different features of the tool you are going to use. This will help you understand the process of fishing rod set up for beginners. Here’s a simple breakdown of the parts:

Fishing Pole

This is the main body of the fishing rod. It is also known as the rod blank. A fishing pole is usually made of materials like fibreglass or graphite. It determines the strength and flexibility of your rod. The length of the pole can impact your distance, control, and overall fishing experience. Therefore, you need to choose the right type of fishing pole so that you can handle different fishing situations with the right structure.

Fishing Line

This is the string that connects your rod to the fish. It’s a thin, strong string that you cast into the water to catch fish. This string is made from materials like monofilament, braided, or fluorocarbon. The fishing line is wrapped around the reel and extends from the rod. It allows you to cast your bait or lure into the water. Different fishing lines have different features, including stretch, visibility, and strength. So, you need to select the right fishing line for your specific needs, and it should fit your fishing rod perfectly.

Fishing Hook

The fishing hook is a sharp, curved, and hook-shaped device attached to the end of your fishing line. It’s designed to be pointy to catch the fish by piercing its mouth when the fish takes the bait or lure. These hooks are available in different sizes and shapes to address specific types of fishing and target species. Choose the right size and type according to the bait or fish you are targeting so that you can effectively hook and land your catch.

Fishing Handle

The fishing handle is also known as the grip. It is the part of the fishing rod that you hold onto while fishing. It’s usually made of comfortable materials like foam or cork and is located at the lower end of the rod. Choose a handle that gives you a secure grip so that you can control the rod during casting or retrieving.

Fishing Snap Swivel

This is a small and rotating device that connects the fishing line to different parts of the fishing rod, such as lures or leaders. It helps prevent your fishing line from twisting when you are retrieving and allows you to change the lures quickly without retying the knots. This means you can experience smooth casting and retrieval.


Ferrules are connecting joints in multi-piece fishing rods. They are usually found near the middle of the rod. It mainly helps the rod remain sturdy, and it functions as a single unit. You can easily assemble or disassemble ferrules whenever needed. This makes transportation and storage of your fishing rod convenient. Do not forget to give it proper care and attention for the longevity of your rod.

Fishing Reel Seat

The fishing reel seat is the part of the rod where the reel is attached. Typically, it consists of a pair of rings that secure the reel in place so that it stays connected when you cast or retrieve. You need a well-designed fishing reel seat for your fishing reel to function properly. It gives you stability and prevents the reel from wobbling or coming loose during use.

Rod Tip

The rod tip is the uppermost section of the fishing rod, which is located opposite the handle. It is often the most flexible part of the rod. With the rod tip, you can easily sense any subtle movements like bites from the fish. When you feel the underwater activity quickly, it increases your chances of success.

Fishing Spool

The fishing spool is a cylindrical component on a fishing reel that holds the fishing line. It rotates during casting and retrieval and allows the line to unwind and wind back into the reel. In simple terms, it’s where you store and release the fishing line. Different reels may have different types of spools. Choose the one that lets you easily control the fishing line when you are angling.

Different Types of Rods & Reels

Fishing offers a diverse range of experiences, and to make the most of your fishing experience, you’ll need the right rod and reel combination. Here are some different types of rods and reels you can explore according to your specific needs and preferences.

Spinning Rods

Spinning rods are the go-to choice for beginners and even professional anglers because of their usability for various fishing scenarios. They have an open-faced spinning reel attached, and it hangs below the rod, which makes them easy to use. These rods are available in different lengths to suit different needs. Spinning rods are perfect for casting light lures and bait. They are ideal for those who are just starting because they are easy to handle and less prone to backlash.

Conventional Rods

These rods are also known as baitcasting rods and are most popular among more experienced anglers. They pair with baitcasting reels, which sit on top of the rod. These rods are perfect if you are targeting larger species or fishing in a heavier cover.

Trolling Rods

Trolling rods are built specifically for trolling, it’s a technique where you drag bait or lures through the water behind a moving boat. They are often made of durable materials so that they can survive during boat fishing. These rods are perfect for anglers who are planning to cover large bodies of water or target fish that swim at different depths.

Threadline Reel

A threadline or spinning reel is the most common reel paired with spinning rods. It has a bail that can be flipped open, which makes it easy for line release during casting. These reels are beginner-friendly as they have a simple design and are easy to use. If you are new to fishing or just looking for a hassle-free experience, a threadline reel is the perfect choice.

Baitcaster Reel

Baitcaster reels are a common reel paired with conventional baitcasting rods. It sits on the top of the rod and requires a bit more skill to operate compared to spinning reels. These reels are mostly preferred by professional anglers because of their advanced control feature over casting accuracy.

Side-cast Reel

The said-cast reel or overhead reel is also mounted on the top of the rod. These reels are commonly used in saltwater fishing or to catch large and powerful fish. Side-cast reels are favoured for their durability and ability to handle heavy lines.

Game Reel

Game reels are heavy-duty reels designed for tackling large and powerful fish species, as they have strong drags and solid construction. They are perfect for offshore and deep-sea fishing enthusiasts who are targeting large species.

What is Fishing Rigs & Its Types

Fishing rigs are the combinations of knots, lines, and setups that increase your chance of a good catch. Using fishing rigs strategically, you can entice and catch fish easily. They can also be arranged to target different fish species or according to different fishing conditions. Remember, different fishing rigs and boat accessories have distinct purposes. So, you need to choose the right one for your needs.

Basic Bobber Rig

The basic bobber rig is a popular choice for many beginners. It consists of a bobber (also known as a float), a hook, and a sinker. The bobber keeps your bait swinging at a desired depth so that it can be visible to the fish. All you have to do is attach the bobber to your fishing line and add a sinker to help your bait sink to a desired level. Then, tie your hook a bit below the sinker. When a fish bites, the bobber will dip below the water’s surface, signalling it’s time to reel in your catch.

Sliding Sinker Rig

This rig is designed for bottom fishing. It has a sliding sinker that moves freely on the fishing line, a swivel, a leader line, and a hook. The sinker slides along the line and allows your bait to move naturally. The swivel prevents the sinker from reaching your hook. When a fish bites, you’ll feel the movement directly, and by setting the hook, you can reel in your catch.

3-way Fishing Rig

This rig can be used for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. It has a three-way swivel, a sinker and two leader lines with hooks. The swivel connects your mainline, a shorter leader with a sinker and a longer leader with a hook. It helps you fish at different depths simultaneously, which increases your chances of attracting fish.

Two-hook Bottom Rigs

This one is ideal for targeting bottom-dwelling species as it has two hooks attached to the mainline with dropper loops and a sinker to keep your bait on the ocean floor. The sinker helps your bait reach the bottom, where fish like flounder or catfish dwell. It increases your chances of hooking a fish.

Popping Cork Fishing Rigs

These are popular in saltwater fishing, especially for species like redfish and speckled trout. These rigs have a popping cork, a leader line, and a baited hook. The cork makes a popping sound when jerked, which mimics the sound of feeding fish. This attracts the nearby fish and gives you the opportunity to entice them with your bait.

Choosing the Correct Fishing Rod

When it comes to fishing, having the right rod is crucial to have a better fishing experience. There are different types of fishing rods available which serve different purposes. Here are a few simple tips to keep in mind when choosing the right rod:

  • If you are a beginner, start with a spinning rod, as they are ideal for casting light lures or bait. Once you gain some experience, you can explore more specialised options.
  • Different rods are better suited for different types of fish. Research the species you want to catch and choose a rod that matches those needs.
  • Check the rod’s power and action. Power indicates the rod’s strength, while action refers to its flexibility. Match these features to the type of fishing you are planning to do.
  • Hold a few rods to see which grip feels most comfortable in your hands. This will help you be comfortable even during long fishing sessions.

Choosing the Right Fishing Rig

Now that you have got the right rod, let’s talk about the fishing rig. These simple tips below will help you choose the right fishing rig:

  • If you are fishing in clear water, fluorocarbon might be a good choice. For general use, monofilament is often a safe bet.
  • Havier, more aggressive fish might require a stronger line. Adjust the line strength accordingly.
  • Pay attention to the line diameter as well. Thinner lines are less visible to fish but may sacrifice some strength. Choose a diameter that balances visibility and strength based on your needs.

How To Set Up A Rod: Step-by-Step Guide

Setting up a fishing rod may seem like a daunting task, especially if you are just staring. But fear not! We’ve compiled a list of simple steps to help you get your rod ready.

Step 1: Gather Your Equipment

Before starting with the setup process, make sure you have all the gear you need ready with you. This includes your fishing rod, reel, fishing line, and any additional tackle you plan to use.

Step 2: Understand the Important Parts of the Equipment

Take a moment to get to know your fishing rod. Understand the fishing pole, line, hook, handle, reel seat, etc.. Knowing these parts will make the setup process much easier.

Step 3: Connect the Reel to the Rod

Attach the rod’s reel seat.

  • For spinning rods, open the bail (the wire hoop) on the spinning reel and attach it to the reel seat. Close the bait afterwards.
  • If you are using a baitcasting rod, place the reel on the reel seat and tighten the locking mechanism until it’s secure.
  • Trolling rods usually have a reel seat with sliding rings. Insert the reel foot and tighten the rings to secure the reel.

Step 4: Spool the Reel

Carefully add the fishing line to the reel:

  • Place the reel on a flat surface and open the bail (for spinning reels) or engage the line release (for baitcasting reels).
  • Thread the line through the guides on the rod.

Step 5: String the Rod

Run the line through all the guides on the rod, starting from the tip. Ensure it sits within the grooves of each guide to prevent tangling. This helps guide the line during casting and retrieving.

Step 6: Tie the Knot

Secure the line to the reel with a reliable knot, like the improved clinch knot or Palomar knot. A strong knot ensures your line stays connected during the excitement of a catch.

Step 7: Set the Drag Knob

Locate the drag knob on the reel and adjust it to your desired setting. The drag controls the amount of resistance the fish feels when pulling on the line. Set it based on the type of fish you are targeting.

Step 8: Cast the Bait

Hold the rod at a comfortable angle and release the line with your free hand. Practice casting in an open area before hitting the water. For baitcasting, mastering the thumb-release technique is key.

Step 9: Reel in the Line

After casting, close the bail (for sinning reels) or engage the line release (for baitcasting reels). Wait for a fish to bite. Once you feel a nibble or see the line move, it’s time to reel in the line. Turn the reel handle steadily to bring the fish closer.

Step 10: Catch Some Fish!!!

Now that your fishing rod is all set up and your skills are sharpened enough, it’s time for some good catch. Be patient, stay focused and enjoy catching some fish. Happy fishing!

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