When choosing fishing gear, use the expertise of a knowledgeable friend or experienced salesperson to guide your selection. There are many types of fishing rod and reel combinations, so spend time to find a rod that suits your purpose and is reasonably durable. Rod length and casting weight depend on the type of fishing you are planning to do. Fishing line needs to be suitable for your chosen rod with a breaking weight recommended for your target fish. A spinning reel is a good choice for a beginner and should also match the size and weight of the rod.
Assemble the two pieces of the rod if you did not buy a one-piece rod. Screw the upper piece into the lower piece – it will only go in one way. Attach the reel to the top of the handle. Most rods have a reel mount that you slide the reel into and then screw or clip it into place. Ensure the reel is firmly attached.
Take the end of the fishing line and pass it through the guide holes of the rod. These are the small circles that run the length of the rod. Begin at the tip of the rod and work towards the handle, being careful not to miss any guides. When you reach the reel, wrap the fishing line around the reel spool twice and tie a knot to hold it in place. Use scissors to remove excess line past the knot.
Turn the reel handle clockwise to wind the fishing line onto it. Fill the spool until there is about one-eighth of an inch gap between the line and the outer edge of the spool. Cut the line about 18 inches beyond the tip of the fishing rod.
Tie on a lure or tie on a hook and live bait. You are ready to start fishing.