how to set up a fishing rod for lake fishing

How to Set up a Fishing Rod for Lake Fishing

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Lake fishing is not only a hobby but also a sport to some professional anglers.

These people go out there to catch different types of fish and to find the best one that they can show their friends and fellow professionals.

Most anglers go for lake fishing because they want the thrill of catching amazing game fish like trout, bass, and more.

Before everything else, you should know how to set up a fishing rod for lake fishing.

You cannot simply bring a basic rod in the lake and start catching fish with it.

There are very specific setups that you need to do depending on the type of fish that you want to catch and the type of fishing technique that you are going to use.

Let’s take a closer look at how you can properly set up your fishing rod if you plan to go out for a day of lake fishing.

What You'll Need

Before you go fishing, you should first prepare all of the things that you will need to bring with you.

Fishing Rod and Reel

You need to have your own fishing rod and reel.

If you are still a beginner and you don’t have one, they are available in local fishing shops near you.


You also need to prepare varying sizes of hooks, depending on the type of fish that you want to catch.

If you are planning on catching trout, you can look for hooks with a size ranging from four to 12.

Fishing Line

The line usually comes along with the rod and the reel.

If your rod doesn’t have a fishing line, you can always get one in your local shops.

To set it up, you have to remove all the tangles and flaws from it.


You have to prepare the bait for your fishing rod.

There are different types that you can use, like insects, worms, and artificial baits.

Most people would choose their bait based on their preference, but you can try choosing the bait depending on the type of fish that you want to catch.


You need to get a floater that is strong enough to make sure that your hook and bait won’t sink deep underwater.


Lastly, you also have to bring weights.

These should be lightweight enough that it can hold the floaters without pulling it down.

It should prevent the floaters from sinking.

How to Set Up a Fishing Rod for Lake Fishing

Once you have successfully prepared all of the things that you will need for lake fishing, the next step is setting up the rod.

There are different setups that you can try, and it will depend on the type of fish that you want to catch and the current weather and season.

1. Suspended Float Setup

This kind of setup is extremely popular if you are aiming for the fish located at the mid or top sections of the lake.

If the fish that you want to catch are currently feeding at the top or middle sections, this setup will allow your bait to be sighted by your target fish.

Here is the simple setup that you need to do.

  • You need a floater or bobber that would keep the bait suspended in the mid or top section of the lake.

The floater will hold the bait to make sure that it won’t go deeper into the lake.

It will also serve as a way for you to know if a fish took the bait.

The floater will suddenly submerge underwater if the fish took a bite of the bait.

  • When it comes to hooks, make sure that you always follow the local legislation.
  • You should also use split shots on the fishing line.

They would serve as small weights for the line.

  • As for the bait, you can use shrimps or worms, or you can go for artificial items.

However, most expert anglers would suggest that you use live bait when lake fishing.

2. Cast and Retrieve Setup

The idea behind the cast and retrieve set up is to cast frequently and retrieve your lure while you are fishing.

how to set up a fishing rod for lake fishing

The target of this kind of setup would be the fish staying in the middle part of the lake.

  • A floater or bobber should also be used for the cast and retrieve setup.

Since you are only targeting the middle part of the lake, you don’t want the bait to drop at the bottom.

By using a floater, you can make sure that the bait would stay in the middle section.

  • The swivel should also be used and have a metal that would connect the mainline to the leader line.

It will help decrease line twists and stop the floater from sliding to the lure.

  • For the lure, you can use artificial bait that imitates the movement of live bait.

Choosing a lure should depend on the type of fish that you are going to catch because you have to find something that would mimic their food preference.

3. Bottom Fishing

As the name of the setup implies, this type of fishing technique is focused on the fish staying at the bottom of the lake.

Most fish would stay at the bottom of the lake when the air or the water is cooler.

During winter, the surface of the lake would be very cold, so the fish would swim down to the bottom since the water there is warmer.

If you want to catch the fish at the bottom, here is a simple setup that you can follow:

  • You will have to get a three-way swivel so that you can add additional weight or line.
  • For the weight, the size should only be sufficient to help you cast the fishing line effectively.

It should not be too heavy or too light. You can test it out to find a comfortable weight for you.

  • You need to have a leader line that would connect the swivel to the hook.

The length should be around 12 to 18 inches.

  • For the hook, you have to check the local laws in your areas; they dictate the type of hook that you should use.
  • As for the bait, you have to check the situation at the bottom of the lake.

If it is muddy, you need floating bait so that it won’t sink or hide from the mud.

Basic Safety Tips When Lake Fishing

When you are lake fishing, safety is very important.

Learning how to set up a fishing rod for lake fishing is great, but you cannot go there with only the fishing rod in hand.

Rather, you also need to bring a first-aid kit with you.

Always wear a life jacket no matter where you plan to fish.

Accidents can happen while you are fishing, so you need to be prepared for the worst.

You should also prepare the right clothing, especially when the temperature starts to go down.

Always bring extra clothes and gloves with you.

There are a lot of sharp things that might puncture your hands while fishing.

In fact, handling the actual fish might actually hurt your hand.

With that said, we recommend that you wear gloves that are puncture-resistant.

Fish have barbs and sharp scales that might cut your hand if you are not careful.


Since you already know how to set up your fishing rod properly, you can now head to the lake near you and start fishing.

Always check the type of fish that you want to catch, including all the varieties that can be found on the lake.

If you are prepared, you will have all the things that you need, no matter what kind of situation you will encounter.

Also, make sure that you comply with local fishing rules and regulations.

They are meant to help preserve the wildlife in the area and prevent anglers from abusing natural resources.

It is also meant to keep all anglers safe, so it is not too bad to adhere to these regulations.

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