I've unlocked the bait crafting recipe in Stardew Valley, but I'm completely failing at baiting my hook. How do I apply the bait to a fishing rod?
This puzzled me at first too, until I figured out how it worked on accident! There are (at least) three types of fishing poles:
- Bamboo pole: Just a pole with a hook
- Fiberglass rod: A pole that allows to you use bait
- Iridium rod: A pole that allows use of both bait and tackle
The bamboo pole doesn't allow you to use bait. For the latter two cases, you simply select the item (bait or tackle) in your inventory and, with it selected, right click the pole. You can right-click again to remove the item.
It should also be noted that you can place a stack of bait on a pole to avoid having to do it every time. The game will alert you when you use the last stacked piece, which is handy.
Another thing to note is that tackle doesn't last forever (it eventually wears out). So, if you find a piece of tackle from a treasure chest, quest, or something else, hang on to it!