Before you go
Before you hit the river or lake, think about what rigs you will be using and put them on your winders ahead of time. I typically prepare 3-4 extra rigs comprised of back-ups and 1 or 2 new things I want to try. It’s better to spend your time finding good spots and fishing than it is rigging.
Prep all your foam winders by cutting slits at 90 degree angles.
Take a Moment. Breathe. Observe.
Get into the right mindset. You finally got to your fishing destination and you can’t wait to get fishing. Perhaps you are running late and you want to make up time. DON’T RUSH. This is worst thing you can do, it will lead to mistakes and frustration. Take a few MINUTES, observe the water and the trees surrounding you (make sure to look behind and above where you stand before your first cast). Walk around a bit and find good casting spots. Get relaxed, calm and situated, then fish.
Line to Lillian
The lillian and the tip of the rod on which it is connected represent the most delicate part of the rod. Always use great care when interacting with the lillian.
Step 1: Carefully tie a simple overhand knot at end of lillian.
TIP: Open and lay the last rod section (with lillian) on a table or flat surface with tip hanging off table. Gently lift the end of the lillian and tie a knot. Extreme care can be taken, if so desired, by using a piece of scotch tape and lightly taping down the rod tip and a tiny bit of the lillian onto the table and then tying a knot.
Step 2: Attach line to lillian using either a girth hitch knot or slip knot (see illustrations below).
TIP: When attaching line to lillian, expose the lillian, then use your index finger to press the lillian against rod, so that lillian points upward (be careful not to expose rod tip or press it against the rod). Add line, and hold lillian at spot where it makes contact with lillian and pull line to secure it tightly to lillian.
Girth Hitch Method:
Slip Knot Method:
Extend & Unwind Rig
Remove the rod plug and store it someplace safe (deep pocket, zippered pocket).
Place rod under armpit and support it with your arm.
Point the rod down to let the lillian work itself out (a slight tap on rod might be required).
Attach line to lillian using methods above.
Extend each section of rod, allowing the line to unwind off the winder (make sure to apply firm but not excessive pressure as you extend each section).
Extending the rod fully before attaching a line can be done if there is sufficient space to do so (this also works to change lines without collapsing rod). Steps:
Extend rod fully.
While holding rod walk into open area, kneeling down and placing end of rod on your knee.
The lillian should be in front of you and very easy to manipulate.
Attach line and walk back to handle of rod, unwinding line as you go, and lifting rod vertically.
Removing Line from Lillian
Grasp the end of the Lillian with one hand and end of the line with the other, then pull apart.
When collapsing the rod, ALWAYS start with the bottom section (near the handle).
NEVER collapse the tip sections first, this can lead to a rod jam.