How to Fish with a Fishing Rod

by Alana Armstrong
A fishing rod increases the chances of catching fish in any habitat.

A fishing rod increases the chances of catching fish in any habitat.

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A fishing rod makes it possible to catch a variety of fish in various habitats, from shallow to deep ocean waters. The rod allows a fisherman to make the fish come to him, lured by the promise of food hanging off the end of the rod. The fisherman can stay quiet and at a safe enough distance that the fish is usually completely unaware of his presence until it is too late and the fish is hooked. By using even the most simple rod -- there are many high-tech versions available -- a fisherman can relax as he catches fish with little effort.

Items you will need

  • Fishing rod and reel
  • Fishing line
  • Clamp sinker
  • Bait
  • Bobber
  • Gloves
  • Pliers
  • Bucket
Step 1

Decide on where to fish and when. Fish in open waters, like oceans or lakes connected by rivers; fish migrate and will live in certain areas depending on the season.

Step 2

Consult with the local fishing authorities, such as a game and fishing department or a marina, to find out whether a permit or license is needed to fish in that area. They will also have information on which species can be caught and kept, and which ones must be thrown back because they are endangered.

Step 3

Select appropriate bait. Types of bait that can be used with a fishing rod include worms, insects, shrimp and synthetic lures. Ask the local bait shop about the type of bait appropriate for the type of fish being caught.

Step 4

Put a spool of fishing line on the reel of the rod and feed the line through the rings along the length of the pole.

Step 5

Attach clamp sinkers to the end of the line one foot up from where the hook or lure will sit.

Step 6

Tie a single hook or a lure onto the end of the line. Bait a single hook with live bait. The bait should completely cover and hide the hook.

Step 7

Attach a bobber to the line. The bobber floats on top of the water and is used to hold the bait or lure at the ideal depth to catch the desired fish. It will signal by bobbing when a fish is on the line.

Step 8

Create slack in the fishing line, draw back the pole and snap it forward to cast the lure into the water. As the hook propels forward, close the reel to stop it from releasing too much line.

Step 9

Be patient while waiting for a fish to nibble on the bait, which will cause the bobber to jerk down into the water. Pull the line taught to catch the hook in the fish's mouth. Tire the fish out by slowly reeling him in once he is safely on the hook.

Step 10

Firmly squeeze the sides of the fish's head to open his mouth. Unhook the him by using pliers to slip the hook out at its point of entry. Throw small or endangered fish back in the water, and place "keepers" in a bucket of cold water.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always check on your line before you begin fishing and after a catch. Some good catches have been lost because of a weak line. When fishing at a new location, ask for tips from local fisherman or those who manage the closest marina. Use gloves when unhooking the fish to improve traction on the slippery scales and to avoid being poked by spines or sharp fins. Keep fingers away from gills and eyes if the fish is being un-hooked and thrown back in the water. This will prevent any permanent damage to him.
  • Do not rip the hook out of the fish's mouth when un-hooking it.

About the Author

Alana Armstrong started her writing career in 2005, covering street art and graffiti. She currently works as a freelance writer, photographer and artist in Toronto. Armstrong has a diploma in photojournalism from Sheridan College and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photo media from the University of New South Wales.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images