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How to Reel a Fishing Rod

Reeling a fishing rod has small quirks that can be easily overcome with technique.


  • Step 1: Hold the pole Hold the fishing rod tightly in your non-dominant hand, with your dominant hand even with the reel.
  • Step 2: Wind it up Turn the crank clockwise with your dominant hand to bring the line in.
  • TIP: The small bar that loops around the reel locks it and prevents it from spinning counterclockwise.
  • Step 3: Don’t flip the bar Avoid opening the locking mechanism. It will allow the fish on the other end of the line to swim farther away.
  • Step 4: Reel it in Continue turning the crank to wind the line around the spool. This will be increasingly difficult the bigger your fish is.
  • Step 5: Let out line Manually pull extra line from the reel when you’re reeling in a big one. This will give the fish more room to thrash about, tiring itself out before it breaks your line.
  • TIP: Use a lighter line with certain lures and baits that cause twists. A ball-bearing swivel will minimize twists.
  • Step 6: Play it Slowly raise your rod until it is at the eleven o’clock position. The rod will bow. Lower the rod again and repeat the process.
  • Step 7: Drop your rod to waist height, grab your net with the other hand and lead the fish into the net.
  • FACT: The heaviest fish recorded by the International Game Fish Association was caught in 1959 off the coast of Australia and weighed 2,664 pounds.

You Will Need

  • A fishing rod
  • A reel
  • A net

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