Setting up a Fly Rod and Fly Reel can be extremely confusing. Especially, for those who are still on the amateur level. But, that is not a reason to be discouraged at all. You can still enjoy the wonders of fishing even if you are a beginner. This article will provide you with all the basic and easy to understand information that you need.

In today’s generation, finding answers for your problems is no longer any difficult. In the tips of your fingers you can access a wide variety of information regarding anything. You name it! Anything under the sun, the internet has it all. As simple as “How to cut my nails correctly” to “How to Set up a Fly Rod and Fly Reel”.

However, what is hard to find is something that can explain it to you in a clear manner. Well, you are in great luck today because you came to the right destination. By the end of this article, you will now be enjoying fishing in another level.


Fishing can be very beneficial in a wide scale of factors. It is actually a good recreational activity to have intimate bonding with family, friends and loved ones. Most importantly, is it is a good therapy to relive stress and even anxiety.

Before we proceed with the technical stuff, let us take in to consideration our audience from the beginners level. We do not want to leave anyone behind, right? So here are some basic terminologies that everyone should know that are used in this article. These are quite important if you are going to enter the world of fishing.


  1. The term “Action” in fish lingo is a term to describe the act of throwing the fly across the waters. Specifically, you are directing the fly to a particular drifting motion.
  2. An action is also an important characteristic of fly rods. Fly rods are designed to have either a slow or fast action. The difference between the Slow Action Rods and the Fast Action Rods is the ability of each rod to bend. Slow Action Rods have the capacity to execute a full length bent making the rod amenable to your commands. On the other hand, Fast Action Rods only bent at the tip which increases the speed and lengthens the casts.


  1. Affluent is a term to identify a presence of another river or stream inside a larger body of water.


  1. Angler is a term that describes anyone who fishes using either a pole, a rod and a reel.


  1. Angling has been used interchangeably with the term Fishing. Particularly, sport fishing and recreational fishing. However, there are certain tiny differences that sets them apart. Nevertheless, Angling is still a form of fishing. As a matter of fact, angling is a form of fishing that uses the “angle” to capture fishes.


  1. Angleworm is also known as “bait”. It is simply a live worm that is placed on a hook for fish to be lured.


  1. Arbor is the center part of the fly reel.

Arbor Knot

  1. The term Arbor Knot is used to define the type of knot prefered for tying backing to the arbor of the fly reel.

Fishing Line

  1. A fishing line is a one of a kind string that is used for fishing in general. The fishing line is the one that bridges the fly reel to the hook.

Fishing Pole

  1. A fishing equipment that carries the hook and line to catch the fish. Usually, it is made of wood, bamboo or other natural elements. The fishing pole is the one that holds and extends the fishing line.

Fly Reel

  1. The fly reel is a machine that is used in all forms of fishing. It is responsible for the deployment and retrieval of the fishing line. Fly reels can either be included with the Fly rod itself or mounted on the fishing boat. Reels come in all shapes and sizes.

Fly Rod

  1. The fly rod is often confused with the term Fishing pole. They are used interchangeably at most time, especially for beginners. The Fly Rod has the same purpose than that of the fishing pole. Which is to hold the fishing line and connects it to the fly reel. It is usually made up of steel, fiberglass and can even be wood too.
    • The difference between the fly rod and fishing pole is actually very minimal. Aside from the components that it is made out of. The fly rod consists of tiny holes/guides to where the fishing line is inserted to. As oppose to the fishing pole that the fishing line is only either attached at the tip of it or sometimes it can also contain one guide/hole.

Fishing Tackle

  1. This is used to describe all the equipment or gears used for fishing.

Now that we have the basic fishing terms that we need to know. Let us now move to the main point of this article. Finally? Yes. Let us get to it.


Let us try to do this one step at a time. This is to ensure a clearer grasp and understanding of the whole topic and scenario. We will start with the fly reel since it is a part of the fly rod’s set-up guide.

Fly Reel Set-up


It is vital to spool your line correctly to the fly reel. If not, you are to face consequences on the latter part. This includes unnecessary tangling of the fishing line that will leave you puzzled and confused as to how to free it.

All of us can agree that the best way to ensure a perfectly reeled in line is to let the tackle shop do the job. Yet, hey! It will not hurt to learn some tips then and there and along the way, right? Set up your fly reel like a boss with these easy steps.

Step 1: Open the Bail Arm

The Bail Arm is the thin wire-like part of the reel that moves up and down. Up means open and down means closed.

Step 2: Use an Arbor Knot to tie the Fishing Line on the Arbor

  • Place the fishing line on the ground. Always use this position whenever you are about to spool the reel. The label should always face up.
  • There are different kinds of fishing knots that we can use. But, the Arbor Knot has been the go-to knot for every angler.
  • How to tie an Arbor Knot:
    • Position the fishing line around the arbor.
    • Use an overhand knot to tie the standing line. However, do it loosely first.
    • Tie another overhand knot to secure the tag end. Do it loosely too.
    • Ensure that the knots are moisten. You can use your saliva to do so or baby oil or any sort of lubricant will do. This is to prevent the line from exhausting due to the friction.
    • Next, hold both ends of the tag end and pull until the tag end tightens.
    • Snug the tag end’s knot down to the standing line’s knot until it tightens around the arbor.

Step 3: Fill in the Fly Reel with the Fishing Line

  • In continuation with the second step, keep the spool lying on the ground. A fly reel always require the fishing line to be loaded the same way it goes off from the spool.
  • At this part, one hand should be maneuvering the handle of the reel. The other one would be the free hand. Your free hand will be responsible for ensuring that the line is smoothly loaded on to the reel. In order to do so, as you turn the handle, use your thumb to apply a slight pressure to the line.
  • Fill up the reel at about a half and quarter full. Do not use all the space of the reel. Always leave an ample amount of room, maybe 25-30%. Ideally, to ensure perfect casting always 1/8 inch of space from the rim of the reel to the line.
  • If you begin to notice that the line is twisting as you turn the handle, flip the spool on its opposite side and try again.

Fly Rod Set-up

As mentioned above, the Fly Rod is the one that enables the angler to cast the fishing line in to the waters.

So, there are a handful of things that one needs to prepare before setting up ones fly rod. These are:

  • A fly rod
  • A fly reel
  • The fishing line
  • Lure and;
  • A pair of scissors

Once you have all the aforementioned materials needed, let us go about with the first step of this whole process.

Step 1:  Insert the Fishing Line on the Reel

As elaborated just right above this part, you will find a detailed step by step process on setting up the fly reel. That will be your main reference for this part.

Step 2: Position the Reel into its Place

For the following steps, the goal is to mount the fly reel on to the fly rod.

  • First, ensure that the fly reel is all set. Make sure that the fishing line has already been cut. Then, do not forget to double check that the fishing line should only be 70% full inside the fly reel.
  • Next, just beside the handle of the fly rod you should find the reel mount. The reel mount caves in horizontally on the fly rod.
  • The handle part of the fly reel should fit perfectly right in to the reel mount.
  • Lastly, screw the fly reel on to the mount to secure it from getting loose or wobbling.

Step 3: Insert the Fishing Line through the Line Guides

  • To start off, take off the clip and open up the bail arm to grab your fishing line.
  • Next, simply and slowly pull the fishing line and insert through each guide.
  • Then, close the bail arm of the fly reel. Take note that there is a limit as to how long you should pull the fishing line before closing the bail arm of the reel. As soon as there is already about a meter of fishing line hanging after the very last guide, or top line guide, that is the cue for you to close/clip the bail arm.

Step 4: It is time to Position you Lure or Hook your Bait

  • This is the most simplest step there is.
  • For the Lure:
    • There should be a small tiny hole found on your lure. Use the meter long fishing line that you inserted earlier on the guides.
    • Next, tie the lure securely to the fishing line and cut the extra line out.
    • You are done and all set to catch some fish.
  • For the Bait:
    • You need a piece of hook to tie on the end of the fishing line that you have pulled awhile ago when inserting it to the guides.
    • As you are finished with placing a hook at the end of the fishing line, simply grab your bait and hook it securely on to it.
    • You are ready to go capture some fish.

There you have it! Easy steps on how to set up your fly reel and fly rod like a boss!


  • October 13, 2017 at 7:26 am

    Fly Rod Set Up. Fly Fishing is a great stress release, it will take you to some far away remote scenic wonderlands that perhaps you would otherwise never.I think You have your new fly rod, reel and lines laid out on the dining room table. It looks really cool, and even though your credit card might need CPR.


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