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Stump lake kokanee.jpg


school of fishing

There are many different ways to setup your kokanee rod. Find out more!

There are many different ways you can set up your fishing rod for kokanee fishing. Your setup will vary slightly for different methods of fishing, like trolling and jigging. 

Knot types

There are a number of different knots you can use to tie your hook to your line, depending on what type of action you are looking for. Here are some popular options.

Improved clinch knot

My preferred knot for most uses is the improved clinch knot. This is a good general purpose knot that could be used for everything. If you are going to learn to tie one knot and only one knot, this is the one it should be.

This improved version of the basic clinch knot makes the finished knot stronger and will not pull loose.

Snell knot

When I am tying my line to a hook, I tend to use a snell knot. This is a strong knot that keeps your hook straight and, when tying hooks in tandem, is the only way to ensure the hooks stay straight.

When tying tandem hooks, some fishers like their hooks facing in opposite directions, and some like them in line. Just make sure you're holding your hooks in your desired position as you are tying the second knot.

Non-slip loop knot

I learned about this knot and it's effectiveness when fly fishing with Brian Chan, BC's local fishing guru. When tying this knot, he said that this would give the fly more action and greatly increase your catch rate- and he was right!

This knot is most effective when used with flies and jigs.

Improved clinch knot

improved clinch knot.jpg
snell knot.jpg

Snell Knot

Non slip loop knot

Non slip loop knot.jpg

Swivels and snap rings

Barrel swivel.jpg

Barrel swivel

Snap swivel.jpg

Snap swivel

Snap Swivel.jpg

Split ring

If you are new to fishing, I can't stress enough the need for inline swivels to prevent your line from twisting up from the action of the lures. Twisted up lines can cause a frustrating day full of messy knots and tangles.


There are a few types of swivels but most common are the barrel swivel and the snap swivel. Both prevent twisted line, but a snap swivel has the added benefit of allowing you to quickly clip (instead of tie) to an item and allows quick gear changes. I will often use more than one swivel on one set up. 

You will sometimes need a split ring to attach a swivel to a flasher or a hook to a lure. The split ring is easy to use- it looks like a small key chain ring, and works in the same way.

Setting up your kokanee rod for trolling and jigging

The main difference between a trolling setup and a jigging setup is your leader lengths and the lure choice. The rest of the setup is similar.

A light, flexible rod is ideal for kokanee but is certainly not mandatory. I like to use 8 to 12 pound flourocarbon line for my main line, this is just my preference and most lines will do just fine. The main line is the line that comes off the reel and through the eyes of the fishing rod. 

First, I will tie a snap swivel to my main line with an improved clinch knot. Using a snap swivel allows for quick gear change if you want to change your setup.


Connect a flasher directly to the snap swivel to attract the kokanee. Attaching another swivel on the bottom of the flasher will help keep your leader line from getting twisted. Some flashers come equipped with swivels already but if it's not, you will want to add one. You can do this by threading a split ring onto your flasher and the attaching the swivel to the split ring.


Once you have your main line connected to a swivel-flasher-swivel, the next step is choosing the length of leader. The leader line is the line between your flasher and your lure. Depending on the lure and the day, you will use anywhere from 8 inches to 18 inches of leader line while trolling, and 6 inches to 12 inches while jigging. Tie your leader line to the swivel at the bottom of your flasher using the improved clinch knot.


Attach your kokanee lure to the end of your leader. The knot type you choose depends on the type of lure you are using. Many lures come with leader line already, but if yours doesn't, an improved clinch not will generally do the trick. 

For best results, tip your hook or hooks with a small amount of bait. Be sure not to use too much that it impedes the action of your lure. Popular kokanee baits include scented corn, maggots, synthetic gulp maggots (pink or chartreuse), krill, meal worms, and earth worms. 

Snap swivel on main line.jpg

Snap swivel on main line

Flasher with swivels.jpg

Flasher with swivels


Kokanee lure 


Kokanee trolling setup

For more information on a jigging setup, check out jigging for kokanee. For a trolling setup, check out trolling for kokanee. For more information on what flashers and lures to use, go to fishing lure product reviews.

Monte Lake kokanee

Kokanee jigging setup

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