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Equipment Tips


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Learn to use your equipment properly and efficiently!



You can produce an incredible range of actions which can trigger fish to bite, by varying the following, in whatever combination you choose:

a) The speed of your retrieve.

b) The weight of the line you are using.

c) The tension of the line

d) The action of your rod

e) The way the bait is hooked

f) Fishing the bait with or without weight. 

g) The rhythm of the retrieve.

a) Speed of Retrieve

You can fish anywhere from tortoise slow to Jackrabbit fast; you cannot reel any quicker, without losing any of these great fish-catching actions. You might want to try several options and let the fish tell you how they want to see it. You can even try all of the options in a single retrieve. For example, if you find that most fish hit the bait when it is moving quickly, then you need to fish it quickly, a lot!

b) Line weight

As a rule of thumb guide, the lighter the line you use, the wider and wilder the action. Make sure that you match the line weight with the type of fishing you are doing and the weight of fish you expect to catch.
If you are fishing in heavy cover, you'll probably want 14 to 20lb test line. If you are fishing in open water, line weights from 6 to 15lbs will usually get the job done.

If you're fishing for big toothy critters 20 to 30lb line plus a seven strand steel leader of the same pound test should cover most eventualities.

We strongly recommend the use of a braided line such as "PowerPro". This way, you can get the best of all worlds. 20lb PowerPro is about the same diameter as 8lb test monofilament line. However, you have the added benefits of the extra strength plus it doesn't stretch. Your bait will cast a long way and if you get a bite 25 yards away, you will be in direct contact with the bait and the fish. If you move the rod tip an inch, the bait moves an inch. This is most important when you come to set the hook. With monofilament, you have to do a huge, sweeping hookset to get the bait to move at all.

c) Line Tension Options

By varying the tension on the line, you can dramatically change the way the bait runs in the water. By jerking the rod tip on a slack line, the bait will tend to run in a wide side to side action, which is an action preferred by Largemouth Bass. If you keep the line tighter, the bait will run in a much narrower path. Which is an action preferred by Smallmouth, Pike and Muskie.

d) Rod Actions

A stiffer rod will make the bait run straighter and give you a better hookset. A whippier rod will give the most erratic action but will not be quite as good for setting the hook. It has been established that the best compromise is a medium-heavy action rod in the 6' to 7' 6" range.

Jerking the rod tip down will cause the bait to run on or near the surface. Holding the rod tip up will cause the bait to 'walk the dog' about a foot under the surface.


If you hook a fish and it gets caught around the cover, just release the tension on the line completely by opening the bale arm of your reel. Even though the fish is hooked it will not be hurt. Because they frequently eat fish like catfish and perch which have sharp fins, they have few pain receptors in their mouths. They went bananas when you set the hook because they were scared and they panicked! If you give them a few minutes to calm down, they will often swim right out of their hiding place.
You can then resume hauling them in.







How to Spool Line On Spinning Reels
How do I put line on my new open cast reel

Put line on spinning reels right and the line will not be twisted

1. Pull old line off reel thru line guides until you have enough room on spool for new line

2. Always leave some line from spool through rod guides and past end of rod to tie new line to

3. Tie new line to end of old line with a blood knot or two clinch knots

4. Lay spool of new line on the floor so line comes off spool just like it goes on your reel spool

5. Hold line tight with left hand just above reel 

6. Reel line onto reel slowly, making sure it is spooled tightly 

7. Fill spool to within 1/8 inch of spool lip 

Don't fill whole spool
you usually need only about 50 yards of line for most fishing.
Save money.

for some reson you continue to have line twists
Once you have followed the above procedures
don't tie a bait on right yet, wait till you get to the lake and as you idle out of a no wake zone let all of the line off the reel and "troll" it behind the boat for a minute.
Now reel it in and your all set.



The biggest mistake made by anglers is to have their drag set improperly. Most manufacturers recommend that your drag be set at one-third of your line's test weight. This means that a reel holding 15 pound test line should have the drag set to let out line at 5 pounds of pull.
To set your drag, run the line out through your rod's guides, tie a loop in the end, then use the hook on a fish scale (the tool, not the fish body part) to pull on the line. When the weight shown on the scale is one-third of your rated line weight, the drag should be letting out line.
If not, adjust the drag until it does.



 There are 2 primary methods for adjusting the cast controls on casting reels. Try them both and stick with the method that works best for you and your reel.

First method is to adjust the control so that it just barely stops the reel from falling when you push the casting button. To do this, loosen the cast control a little and push the button. The lure should start falling. Quickly adjust the cast control until the lure stops falling. Remember to make small adjustments.

The second method is to set the control so that there is no overrun when the lure strikes the deck. To do this, push the casting button and let the lure fall to the deck. If the spool keeps turning and lets the line overrun, adjust the cast control and try again. Make small adjustments until the spool stops the instant the lure hits the deck.

With either method, you will need to re-adjust the cast control when you change lures, especially if the lure is a different weight.


 Some people are afraid to try using a conventional casting reel with no cast controls because they fear that they will end up with bad line tangles. However, anyone can learn to cast a conventional reel with a little practice. Conventional reels are typically very rugged, simply made and have a lot of line capacity, so anglers targeting large, strong fish often use them.

To cast a conventional reel, push the casting button or lever drag, place your thumb against the line on the spool, swing the rod from behind you to about a 45-degree angle in front, let go with your thumb for a split second, immediately touch the thumb gently against the spool to keep the line from overrunning and tangling, and apply more pressure as the lure touches the water. The extensive use of the thumb has led many instructors to describe experienced conventional reel anglers as having an "educated thumb." Anglers who take the time to practice and educate their thumbs will broaden their skills and may find that they enjoy the strength, simplicity and line capacity of a conventional reel.



 Spinning reels often get bird's nests and tangles, which are usually caused by one of few mistakes.

1. The line is twisted (nothing a swivel tied to the end of your line can't fix)

2. The line is not tight against the spool

3. Putting the line on the reel improperly. The line should go onto the reel the same way it comes off the spool, taking advantage of the curve the line has memorized from being stored on the spool. Lay the spool FLAT on the ground (do NOT hold it vertically) and start winding the reel. If tangles begin, turn the spool over. The tangling should stop and your reel should be tangle free for the future, as long as you don't make the other two mistakes.

4. Mistakenly overfilling the spool. Spinning reels should never be filled past the front spool lip, or too much line will come out during casting and -POOF!- you'll have a big mess of tangles.

5.  The most common mistake is to crank the reel while a fish is taking out line. While it's OK to crank a baitcaster while a fish makes a run, a spinning reel is not designed for such a mistake. During the fish's run, cranking a spinning reel literally twirls the line around and around, twisting it up like a rubber band and resulting in lots of kinks and tangles.

Here are the steps to tighten the line onto the spool:

Go to a large field such as a school

Tie the end of your line to something stationary such as a light pole or small tree etc.

Open the bail and walk away. The line will come off the spool as you walk. Be sure to walk off all the line.

Once all the line is off the spool start cranking the line back on while keeping tension on the line. Make sure the rod has a small bend as you crank in the line.


 Improper filling of casting and conventional reels can lead to tangles, just like on a spinning reel. Again, it is important to put the line on the reel the same way it comes off the spool. This time, the spool of line should be vertical, with the hole horizontal and perhaps with a pencil through it. The line should be coming off the top of the spool, NOT the bottom. Fill the spool to the fill line, which is a painted or etched line on the spool, and you're done.




All anglers will surpass protection to their eyes and be able to see fish underwater extremely well with good quality polarized sunglasses. Polarization cuts surface glare due to the alignment of particles in or on the lens, which can actually help an angler see underwater. Since polarization makes sunglasses special, glasses that are polarized usually bear a special label when they're on the rack. However, not all polarized sunglasses are created equal. The better polarized sunglasses have a ground-in polarization that results in a top-notch, optical quality lens with no distortions. Cheaper polarized sunglasses only have a sprayed-on polarized finish that results in lens distortions that will cause eyestrain and can even damage the eyes. Like polarization, optical quality lenses are special, so if they're optical quality there will usually be a special label or information in the accompanying tag or pamphlet that says so.


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It is important that people who fish follow all fishing rules and regulations.
These rules help conserve fish populations and also help anglers be successful.
Regulations may limit the size of, number of, and season that a type of fish may be caught, and may require a license to fish. In some cases, only “catch and release” fishing is allowed, which means the fish must be let go. Some bait is illegal in certain areas.
Contact your state wildlife agency by visiting Our Rules and Regulations Page.

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