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How to Spool a Spinning Reel

Fishing is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable activities. However, controlling the line twists and tangles can be a frustrating ordeal that can sometimes cause you to miss your day’s catch.

fishing with a spinning reel

The good news is, spooning a spinning reel is a very straightforward process that you can use whether you are fixing a line or performing routine maintenance.

All you need to do is choose your line, ensure the reel is loaded, spool the reel, and before you know it, you will be fishing. 

Choose Your Line

Choosing the type of line depends majorly on the type of fishing you are carrying out. If you are fishing with floating baits, choose a monofilament line. These are single-strand lines that tend to have good stretch. Usually, when you are using live bait or a jig, mono line tends to perform well. 

different colors of fishing line

If you are fishing in calm shallow waters, fluorocarbon lines may be the right choice. Many anglers prefer fluorocarbon lines because it is challenging for the fish to see them underwater. Fluorocarbon lines react more to slight bites.

If you are going bottom fishing, then braided lines are for you. They consist of different lengths of braided synthetic material, carefully placed to form one line. These lines provide an enhanced breaking strength. 

Do some research on the best kind of line for your style of fishing, target species, environment, and more to make the most of your day on the water.

Load the Reel

The first thing you need to do is to confirm if the reel is turning clockwise or counter-clockwise. This is done by holding the reel the same way you would hold it if you were fishing, and then turn the wheel a few times to determine its direction.

fishing line spool

Spinning reels hang down the rod, unlike spin casting and baitcasting reels designed to rest above the reel. To ensure the reel is adequately held when mounted on the rod, wrap your casting hands’ fingers on the mounting bar while letting the reel hang from your other hand. 

At this stage, open the bail. This is done by flipping the handle up. The bail is subsequently closed by flipping the handle down. Please note that if you see any old or unused fishing line on the spool, get rid of it at this stage. The next step is to string your line and secure it through the guides. The guides are small circles that keep the line in its specified space. 

Check for Twists

After closing the bail, place the spool on the floor, and ensure the label is facing up; this will ensure that the line correctly enters the reel.

different types of fishing line

Your spool must line up, as this ensures that the lines come off the exact way it will be entering the reel.

If you notice that your line is twisted, or it fails to line up after placing the label facing up, flip it over to avoid encountering any challenges that usually occur when the line is twisted. 

Crank the Reel

The next step is to pinch the line and gently crank the reel. Continue cranking slowly about 20 times. After this, let the line then slide through your fingers. Inspect your line in case it contains any twists.

braided fishing line

Should you notice any twists, strip some lines off your reel, then re-align your spool. The best way to avoid making the lines lose and tangled is to apply firm pressure on the lines while loading them. 

Note: The trick to ensure that your line carefully enters the spool is to have a friend provide a helping hand. Typically, most lines are designed in a wheel-shaped package, having a hole usually in the middle. Having a friend will help you apply slight tension on the line, as you crank the line, making the process much faster.

Once you have confirmed that the lines are not twisting, you can continue cranking the reel as you load it. Stop at every 20-30 cranks to re-inspect for line twists. If you find a line twist, you should restart the process. However, if after the first inspection you flipped your spool, straighten the line twists and carry on slowly.

Fill the Spool

Fill the spool; Do this continually until the spool is an eighth (1/8) inch from the rim. The reason for doing this is because it will offer you plenty of line to use without overloading the reel.

braided line for fishing

Even if you were to decide to cut off some larger line pieces while clearing snags, you should still have plenty of fishing line left.

The problem with under-filling or overloading the reel is that it will cause tangles on the lines, making casting harder and less precise. 

Cut the Line

Cut the lines, use line cutters or scissors, and ensure that the lines are cut next to the supply spool. It is important to remember to secure the lines’ free end with a lure by leaving some excess line.

fishing line on a rod

Further, to prevent the spool from coming unraveled, you can also place a piece of tape over its free end. 

Secure Your Line

Finally, secure your line on the spool. Prevent the line from slipping via the guides’ spaces, and use a swivel, lure, or a clip to secure the free end of the line properly. 

Final Word

As illustrated above, spooling a spinning reel is a pretty straightforward process that is easy to master with just a little practice.

For the process to be successful and to avoid unnecessary restarts, it is important to ensure you pick the right line, load the reel adequately, and, more importantly, avoid having the lines twisted by applying firm pressure on the lines as you load them. 

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