Quick Guide to Setting Up Your New Fly Reel

Quick Guide to Setting Up Your New Fly Reel

A new fly-fishing rod is a wonderful buy, but they generally require some setup before your first fishing trip. That’s why you should use this quick guide to setting up your new fly reel.

Pick the Right Reel

The first step is buying the right fly reel made in the USA for your rod. You can do this by matching the size of the rod to the size label on the reel.

Assemble the Rod

The next step is assembling the rod itself, as they often come in pieces. Carefully line up the pieces and twist them together gently but with force so you don’t break them. Make sure the parts line up for proper performance.

Reel To Rod

Now it’s time to attach the fly reel to the rod. Start by locating the fly rod reel seat and attaching it there. Be careful, as the reel should be opposite the side you use to cast the rod.


Typically, you’ll need a secondary line that fortifies your fishing reel and line, which is the “backing.” Feed the backing in first. This may take a few tries, as the fly line needs to fit but should be separate from the reel body. Then, attach the backing to the fly line using a strong knot.

Line Through the Rod

Next, take the fly line and string it through the wire rings along the rod, called guides. It’s important that you string the fly line through each guide or else you may break the rod while fishing.

Leader Onto Line

Now, it’s time to tie the leader onto the line. This won’t be too difficult if you bought a lead and line with loops in the lines. Otherwise, you need to knot the line and the leader together using strong knots so they don’t come undone when fishing.

Tippet to the leader

Like the leader and line, you should attach a tippet to the other side of the leader to protect your leader. Without a tippet, you can still fish, but you will slowly wear down your leader and will need a replacement.

Fly Onto Tippet

Once you’ve secured the tippet, it’s time to attach the fly. There are several types of knots you can use when attaching the fly. Choose the strongest knot when doing this step to avoid losing fish.

And that’s it! If you’ve done everything correctly when following this quick guide to setting up your new fly reel, you should have a rod you can be proud of.

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