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How to Set Up a Line for Trout Fishing

Trout fishing is a favorite pastime for many. A day of trout fishing is relaxing and rewarding, with the possibility of catching multiple fish. One way to ensure there are more hooked fish is to make sure you have your line set up correctly.

Below, we will go over how to attach the hook to the fishing line, looping back, tighten, remove excess line, and preparing the line.

Attaching Hook to Fishing Line

In order to tie the hook to the fishing line for trout fishing, touch the end of the fishing line with the hook and wrap it around the eye of the hook.

Wrap it around 10 times to ensure a strong connection.

Looping Back on Fishing Line

Once you have wrapped your line 10 times, loop back over itself. This will create a small spot that can be connected to another part of your rod or reel. This is usually done by threading the line through an aluminum tube that comes on most new reels and rod sections.

If you do not have this metal tubing, simply leave about 3/4 inches between where your circle ended and where you need to tie off and cut your line at that point so there’s no excess.


Once the fishing line has been looped back on itself, tighten the line in a downward motion. This will create a tight connection between your hook and your fishing rod.

Removing Excess Line

You do not want too much excess line on your reel or in your collection of tools when trout fishing.

Try to avoid cutting off the looping back section of the line if you can, but make sure there’s no way for it to get tangled with anything else, otherwise, you may end up losing a fish because of slack in the line.

Preparing Your Line for Fishing

Before you go out and catch some trout, make sure you’ve prepared your line correctly by checking that all loose ends have been cut off and that they’re not going to get caught anywhere before casting them.

This will ensure that you’re not losing any fish because of slack in the line.

Once you’ve done all of these steps, your hook should be firmly attached to the fishing line and ready for casting out into the water.

Equipment Needed for Trout Rig Setup

There are several types of equipment needed for trout rig set up and they are outlined in this guide when needed.


The hook is what you attach the fishing line to in order to catch a fish, so this is very important. It’s important that you buy hooks specifically for trout because they come in different sizes and are made of lightweight metal so they can withstand the force of struggling fish without bending.

There are several types of hooks with specific names depending on their size and shape, but an average trout rig would work best with a curved shank hook 2-6 #1 1/0 .


When setting up the rig, you want to make sure it’s strong enough to take on a trout but not too heavy or your bait will get snagged at the bottom instead of stay afloat like it’s supposed to.

So you’ll want a fishing line that’s about 2-6 lb test which is generally made up of a nylon filament. the more you pay the better quality, durable and sensitive it will be so expect to spend at least $7 for 100 yards of good line on average.


 A leader is an extra piece of monofilament line with a swivel tied on each end used as a connection between your fishing rod and the main fishing line.

Monofilament lines have a little stretch so they transmit vibrations from fish bites quickly back to your hands allowing you to set the hook immediately instead of waiting seconds later like you would with a fluorocarbon leader.

Swivels are important they prevent twisting and help keep your main line from getting tangled.


There are different types of bait to use when trout fishing and they’re outlined in this article. The most common type is a worm, but you can also use flies, lures, and other live or synthetic baits.

We typically purchase nightcrawlers as our bait. Trolling nightcrawlers is a great way to catch trout.


The rod you use for trout fishing is important too. You want it to have enough power to pull the fish out of any snags, but not so much that it will break on a big fish.

Our experience has taught us to purchase a telescopic rod that comes in different lengths depending on the size of stream or lake you’ll be fishing.


We prefer a gear ratio between 5:1 and 6:1 for trout.

The reason being it allows you to “feel” what’s going on at the hook better and it has the right balance between power and finesse.


Also known as weight, these are used for making your bait sink down to the bottom of a lake or stream where trout typically feed. Sinkers come in different sizes and weights so be sure to use one that will hold your line securely to the bottom but not be too heavy because it could cause snags.

We typically use split shot sinkers which also work great for drift fishing when you need to adjust your bait’s depth.


Bobbers or floats are used to keep your bait afloat and away from the bottom. Bobbers come in different sizes, colors, and styles so you should experiment with a few different types until you find one that works well for you.

We typically use 2” slip bobbers because it allows us to adjust the depth of our bait quickly and easily by sliding them up and down the line.


You’ll also need a wire cutter to cut off any excess line after trimming your loose ends, needle nose pliers for removing hooks from fish and some extra fishing line just in case something happens to your main roll.

Setting Up Fishing Line for Beginners

If you’re new to setting up a line in general, here’s a great video that will teach you.

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