BlogOctober 2020

Fishing Pole Setup for Beginners

Fishing Pole Setup for Beginners

By Alycia Downs

Oct 05, 2020

Fishing pole setup beginners need to get started. Learn the basic anatomy of a spinning rod and reel before you commit to buying.

When you’re first getting started in the wide world of fishing, the key is to keep it simple. The most basic fishing pole setup beginners need is called a “rod and reel combo.” This means that the rod, reel, and sometimes fishing line, come pre-assembled for convenience and are already properly paired together. While combos aren’t considered the highest performance option, that’s okay since your goal is learning first, then performance later.

To help prepare you for what to expect when shopping fishing pole setup beginners need, this article will break down the basic anatomy of a spinning rod and reel, two primary components of beginner fishing gear.


The long stick-like component that feeds the fishing line from the reel, along the rod, and through the tip. You’ll leverage the rod for casting and retrieving techniques. A basic fishing rod setup includes:

  • Tip - the top of the rod
  • Guides - the rings attached along the length of the rod to guide the line
  • Reel seat - the section where the reel attaches to the rod
  • Handle or grip - the lowest part, where you hold the rod
  • Hook keeper - a small metal part to secure your hook when not fishing


The brains of the operation. The main function of this cylindrical device is to wind and stow the fishing line, but many also have features that aid in casting and retrieving techniques such as:

  • Body - the main brain of the reel that houses all the inner-workings
  • Spool - the part that freely rotates and holds the fishing line
  • Handle - the part you crank to reel in line (and hopefully fish!)
  • Bail - the c-shaped metal part, flip up to release the line for casting then flip down to lock and reel
  • Drag knob - typically on top of the spool, twist to adjust the desired amount of friction, or drag

Now that you know the basics of a fishing rod setup beginners need, take a moment to learn a few tips on buying a rod or must-have beginner fishing gear. Tight lines and happy fishing!

Alycia Downs
Alycia Downs
Alycia Downs is a freelance content creator and avid sportsman who contributes to numerous publications promoting tourism, fishing, and outdoors. Alycia is a member of the Florida Outdoor Writers Association and is actively involved with conservation and fishing non-profit organizations. Visit her personal blog at or on Instagram @tideandtale.