How To Spool A Spinning Reel?


A spinning reel is one of the most popular fishing reels used by many anglers. They are versatile and easy to use compared to spincast reel. Nonetheless, it is not free of problems. It is prone to tangling and line twisting. Using it can be frustrating, making it crucial to learn to spool a spinning reel.

Your fishing line will become useless without proper spooling. Worse, it will twist and tangle. The line can also easily break when a fish is hooked if it isn’t spooled properly. Lucky for you, spooling is a straightforward task, but one thing that should be done with utmost care to prevent problems.

If you want to learn how to spool a spinning reel the right way, read on! We’ll let you know how to do it step by step!

Find the Right Line

The first thing you have to do, which is also one of the most important, is to select the right fishing line to use. It connects the hook to the fishing rod and reel. Choosing the right type of line is important to ensure it’s the right fit for the fish you intend to catch and the baits you are using.

When choosing a line for a spinning reel, lightweight is better. One of the most popular choices is a monofilament line. These are single-strand lines that are often made of nylon. They are usually expensive, but the price will be worth it. They stretch, which makes them flexible, increasing the likelihood that the hook stays on the mouth of the fish. It is great for floating live baits and jigs.

Fluorocarbon lines are also a popular choice for a spinning reel. One of the best things about this type of fishing line is that it is hard for the fish to see under the water. It is not prone to abrasion. It is great for shallow and calm waters.

You can also use braided fishing lines in spooling a fishing reel. Specifically, this works best for bottom fishing. It is made of several materials that are braided to become a single line. Casting can be difficult because the line is heavy. The good thing is that it is heavy-duty and does not stretch.

Aside from choosing the type of fishing line, another important consideration is the diameter, which is indicative of its strength. Thicker lines are stronger. The lines, however, are not labeled based on their diameter. Rather, they are named based on the weight they can support. For instance, a 20-pound-test means that it can support 20 pounds of weight. Consider the type of fish that you intend to catch in a specific location to find the line that works best.

Choose a Lure

Your fishing trip checklist is not complete without picking the right lure when spooling a spinning reel. The choice of lure depends on the fishing line that you are using. For lightweight lines, choose soft plastic lures and jerk baits.

For average-line diameters, swimbaits, crankbaits, and spinnerbaits are some of the best choices worth taking into account.

If you are using heavier fishing lines, it is best to use a topwater lure.

Load the Reel

Now that you have chosen the line and the lure, the next thing you have to learn when it comes to how to spool a spinning reel is to load it. To do this, the first thing you need to do is to check the rotation of the reel. Assume the position similar to what you will do when you are fishing. Turn the reel to determine whether the turning direction is clockwise or counterclockwise.

Flip the small handle from the reel to open its bail. Flipping the bail up will open it and flipping the wire down will close it. If your spool has an existing fishing line, you need to completely remove it at this point.

The next part on how to spool a spinning reel is to string the line straight through a series of small circles on the fishing rod, technically called guides. To attach the line to the spool, you have to make an arbor knot. It has two overhead knots that make it more secure compared to a single overhand knot. Start by wrapping the fishing line and tie an arbor knot from the standing line. At the end of the tag, do another overhand knot just about an inch away from the first knot you made. Pull the line for the first knot to slide down the spool and do the same to the second knot.

If there is an extra line, get rid of it using a wire cutter. However, you need to leave at least half an inch of the line after the knot.

Spool the Reel

After loading, the next thing to do is to spool the reel. To do this, start by closing the bail. Place the spool on the floor or any flat surface, which will make it easier to allow the line to make its way through the reel properly. Knowing how to put a line on a reel is important to make sure that it exits the same way it enters the reel. Flip the line if it twists or if it is not properly aligned. This is important to prevent the line from twisting once you are already fishing.

Now that the line is ready, give it a pinch at about 12 inches from the reel and crank the reel gradually. You have to crank the reel about 20 times. While you do this, make sure to let the line slide through your fingers. Check the line and look for signs of twisting.

Keep on cranking the line until it is fully loaded in the reel. Keep on cranking as long as there are no twists. After at least 20 to 30 cranks, stop and inspect for any twisting. Continue filling the spool until there is only 1/8 inch remaining to the rim. This is a good practice to have more than enough line that you will need. No need to worry even if you keep on cutting the line to load lures and baits.

Take note, however, that under or over-filling the line can result in tangles and may make it more difficult to cast. If the reel has too much line than what it needs, it increases water absorption and makes the line more brittle. On the other hand, if the reel is too little, it creates friction and makes it difficult to cast from a distance. Read this short guide on surfcasting techniques to learn one of the best ways to cast your spinning reel and rod.

Once you are done, cut the line. It is also good to wrap the tape at the end of the line that you have just cut, which will prevent the ends from unraveling. After this, secure the fishing line for a spinning reel using a clip or lure. If it is not secured, it will continuously slip through the guides, which will make all your efforts useless.

When spooling a spinning reel, one more thing you need to learn is how to keep the tension. If the fishing line is loose, there can be angling problems. Keeping it under tension is a good practice to avoid a situation known as backlash wherein the spool spins faster than what it is supposed to do. So, make sure to keep just the right tension for a less frustrating fishing experience.

Spooling a Braided Fishing Line


With a stretch-free and durable construction, the braided line offers plenty of benefits that make it a great choice for a spinning reel. However, because of its unique qualities, it requires a slightly different approach when it comes to its spooling. It is slippery, which might make it difficult to have a strong grip on the spool.

If you are spooling a braided line, below are the steps you should follow:

  1. Fill the spool and reel with a monofilament fishing line until it is filled about halfway.
  2. Thread the braided line all the way to the first guide. Use a double-uni knot for tying. Learn the basics of fishing knots for braided lines to do this the right way.
  3. After connecting the monofilament and braided lines, apply a bit of tension and continue spooling until the lip of the spool is only 1/8 inch away.
  4. Thread until you have covered all the eyelets of your spinning rod.
  5. Before you cut the end of the fishing line, make sure that you leave about 1/8 inch. Like with the steps mentioned earlier, wrap the end of the line with tape.

When spooling a spinning reel, one of the most important is the backing. In the case of the steps mentioned above, the backing used is the monofilament fishing line. It is a cheap line that you can change as frequently as you wish. It also prevents the line from slipping, which is a common problem in the case of braided lines.

Spooling a Spinning Reel: Tips and Tricks

Before we end this post, allow us to leave you some valuable tips that will come in handy as you learn how to spool a spinning reel:

  • Like in the case of spooling a baitcasting reel, you need to keep your hand close to the line of the reel. Use your fingers to add pressure to the line, which will be useful in keeping the right tension.
  • See to it that you leave at least 1/8-inch space from the spool mount. This will help to make sure the free rotation of the line. Earlier, we have already highlighted the importance of not under or overfilling the spool with the fishing line as it can cause significant problems when casting.
  • Avoid using a pen or a pencil when reeling in the spool. This might seem like a good way to make things easier, but in reality, it just creates more problems. This increases the likelihood that the line will end up tangling and twisting.
  • We have also earlier suggested that you have to pinch the line as you spool. In some cases, this can be uncomfortable and can even burn your skin. To prevent this from happening, an easy solution is to keep a small cloth between your fingers to protect the skin from the line.
  • To prevent the twisting of the fishing line in a spinning reel, a bowl of warm water is one trick you might want to try. Set the spool in a bowl that is filled with warm water instead of laying it flat on the floor. You have to follow the same methods of spooling a spinning reel mentioned earlier. The warm water helps to make the line limp and easy to spool, preventing it from tangling in the process. Using a line conditioner also helps.
  • At the end of the day, you don’t have to do it on your own if you find it complicated or if you just hate doing things on your own. No need to worry about spooling a spinning reel as it can be handled by the shop where you will purchase your supplies. However, because the process is fairly easy, many people won’t mind doing it on their own.

Globo Surf Overview

Learning how to spool a spinning reel is one thing that most anglers need to learn. As mentioned in this post, the process is fairly easy, but this does not mean that you can proceed in haste. Do this with caution and pay attention to the steps we have discussed above to minimize frustration and increase the likelihood that you will be able to reel in a catch.

Without proper spooling, your gear’s performance is compromised. You won’t be able to cast properly, and worst, you will be frustrated as you go home with an empty fishing cooler. Take the time to do it properly to keep the proper alignment of the fishing line and to avoid it from tangling.

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Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!