How To Put Line On A Spinning Reel Alone Or With A Friend

by Thavius | Last Updated:   October 8th, 2022
How To Put Line On A Spinning Reel Alone Or With A Friend

Spinning reels are a favorite of anglers thanks to their versatility and ease of use. This type of reel is considered to be much easier to use than a baitcasting reel.

However, there’s a slight issue involved in using a spinning reel. During the process of spooling a reel, there is a big risk of creating line twists. This could be a real hurdle if you don’t know how to solve it.

There are several reasons why you may want to put a line on a spinning reel. These reasons include a worn-out line, a wrong size line, or you may have just purchased a spinning reel.

In this article, we will be providing you with detailed information on how to put a line on a spinning reel. We believe you will be able to spool a spinning reel easily and also avoid line twists after reading this guide.

Useful Information on Fishing Line Selection

How To Put Line On A Spinning Reel

One factor you need to consider when spooling a reel is if you will be using mono or braid. A braided fishing line will be the right choice for you if you are spooling a fishing line of moderate size and your fishing style requires more than a 12-pound test.

But while braid has several benefits, it comes at a higher cost. That said, a braided line will enable you to cast over a longer distance and with more accuracy.

How to Use Braid with Mono

When using a braid, you should start by placing some mono on the reel. The importance of this process is to ensure that the braid remains on the spool.

With the backing secured, the mono can be joined to the braid with the aid of a uni knot. The spooling can then be done through the steps we will be explaining later on.

However, if you are hunting for lightning-quick fish like the kingfish, you will need as much line as possible. In such a situation, it will be better to spool with braided lines only.

Do You Have a Braid Ready Spool?

A braid-ready spool is a spool on which a braid can be tied directly. Hence, it doesn’t have to be backed with mono. Today, a higher percentage of spinning reels manufactured arrive with braid-ready spools.

However, if your spinning reel is a used one, you should still be able to spool it without fuss. You just have to properly wrap a little electrical tape around the spool. This will prevent your braid from slipping when the winding begins.

What Type of Equipment is required?

There are several tools that you will need to ensure that the task is completed effectively and efficiently.

  • The spinning reel
  • The rod
  • A pair of scissors
  • Screwdriver
  • A spool of line
  • A spool of monofilament
  • Electrical tape
  • A helping hand
  • Two chairs
  • A thick cloth

How To Spool A Spinning Reel

A spinning reel in close up

As a new angler, you should have an extra pair of hands to assist in the early stages. Later on, you should be able to do it alone once you start getting better at it.

What follows is a step-by-step guide on how to put a fishing line on a spinning reel. It will also help you carry out the task on your own once ready.

Step 1: Join the Reel and the Rod

When trying to spool a spinning reel, you should take the first step to connect these two components. This will make the installation of the fishing line much easier.

Step 2: Pass the Line via the First Guide

Pick the end of the line and pass it through the first guide. The first guide is the big guide located next to the reel sit.

Step 3: Open the Bail Arm

This is one step anglers should never forget. So, it is quite surprising that several anglers often forget this step.

As a result, the bail fails to pick up the line after the line has been joined to the spool. So, they have to go back to open the bail.

You should take your time to ensure that the bail is open before joining the line and the spool. This would save you a lot of time.

Step 4: Join the Line and the Spool

Tying a line to a reel is quite easy. Wrap the line around the spool twice and then keep it in place with an over-hand knot. Clip the working end.

If you have to restring your reel due to a worn-out line, it will be a good idea to not remove the old line completely. With a part of the old line serving as backing, it can be easily attached to the new line.

The right knot for that will be a uni knot. Following this procedure can help you lower your expenses as the spool will require a lesser quantity of line.

Step 5: Carefully Wind the Line Onto the Reel

This is the time to close the bail and carefully turn the handle. Cranking will make the rotating bail send the line onto the spool evenly. Only a few cranks will be necessary. After that, you have to make sure that the line spool is in the right position.

Step 6: Pay Attention to the Spool’s Orientation

Your line spool could have three different orientations. However, only one can be correct. The remaining orientations will lead to line twists.

To start with, the line shouldn’t run directly from the spool like in a baitcasting reel. Instead, it should come off with the spool pointing in your direction.

One thing amateur anglers find confusing is if the line should come off in the clockwise or anticlockwise direction. This isn’t just difficult to understand, but also difficult to remember.

So, here is a simple trick. The rod should be held in a parallel position to the ground with you standing. After that, you should lay the line spool on the floor before you. Also, the label should be looking in your direction or the floor.

Put some pressure on the line and begin to crank the reel. Once ten cranks have been completed, pay attention to the line close to the spool. The rod should then be lowered to give room for slack.

This is a critical stage in which you should have one of two results. It’s either the loose line has formed relaxed loops or the loops have twisted into coils that aren’t relaxed in any way. The former will be the right result, but flip the spool and carry out the process again if it isn’t achieved.

If the coils become loose and relaxed after about ten cranks, it means you have achieved the goal. Even if there is any twist, you won’t have to unspool the line. This is because any line twist will be too deep to have an impact.

Step 7: Crank to Fill the Spool

The next task is to load the line on the reel until it is filled up. On your feet, focus on the spool that is on the ground. Keeping the line parallel, add some pressure to the line holding it in the middle of the guide and the reel.

Now, begin to crank carefully. Increase the pace and continue until the distance between the line and the spool’s lip is between 1/8 and 3/16 of an inch.

Once this is done, you can trim the line and run it through the remaining guides. Attach it to a lure when you finish.

How To Spool A Spinning Reel With A Friend

How To Put Line On A Spinning Reel

Step 1

The first step will be to organize the rod and the eyes. After that, put the reel into the reel seat. Keep the reel tight to ensure that it stays in place.

During cranking, the reel should wind in a clockwise direction. The two spools should have the same orientation.

To avoid twists, the line should be spooled onto the reel evenly. You should also make sure that the line and the reel have the same orientation.

Step 2

It is time to tie the line. Carefully detach the braid but to prevent tangles, you should only detach about 6 inches.

Run the line across the rod’s eye. This should be done from top to bottom. As you tie the knot, ensure that the bail is open.

Just as we mentioned earlier, forgetting to open the bail means you will have to restart the process and cut the line. Now, attach the braided line to the spool.

To secure the knot, ensure that it is very tight. Remember to roll an electrical tape around your reel spool if it isn’t braided ready.

Step 3

This is where your friend will have to assist you. You will need two chairs, let them be 20 feet apart. Let your friend have the line spool.

You will find a spool at the center of the spool, insert a screwdriver into it. The spool should start to spin.

The screwdriver should be in one of your friend’s hands while the other hand holds the spool using a cloth. This should be done to apply pressure to the spool and keep the line tight.

During this process, the cloth’s temperature. You should take a break if it becomes unbearable. Maintain the same level of pressure all through.

Step 4

The next step is to wind the fishing line and it is a crucial part of the task. Join the line and the spool with a little pressure. Also, do your best to avoid overwinds and line bites.

Have your seat while holding the reel and rod. Your friend should still have the screwdriver and the spool.

Tighten the drag to ensure that the reel remains in place. During winding, raise the rod a bit. You should also enable it to bend slightly.

Winding should be done at moderate speed and the majority of the work should be nice and tight. Your friend may loosen or tighten the reel depending on the situation. There may be a need for breaks so that you can press on the reel.

Step 5

It is time for you to load the reel. To prevent unspooling, you should ensure that the quantity of line used isn’t excessive. Therefore, you should stop winding before the lip in between the top of the spool and the reel line becomes covered.

Step 6

To check if the line has become hard, press it. If it is loose, you will have to restart the procedure from step 4.

You should note that winding the line back will take a lot of time. So, you should be very careful if you are a beginner.

Follow all steps from start to finish so that you won’t have to start all over again. Once you are satisfied with your work, tie your leader. Fluorocarbon is a good material for the leader. The perfect knot for tying your leader to the braided line would then be an FG knot.

The following tutorial shows you how to tie the FG knot.

How Much Line Is Required by a Fishing Reel

Firstly, you should understand that insufficient or excess fishing lines will result in a twist. The universal rule for putting a fresh line on a reel is to ensure that there is a 0.11 inch/ 0.3cm gap between the line and the rim.

Each type of reel comes with information on the right quantity of line for it. The majority of lines can be purchased in 150 to 300-yard spools. The recommendation from several makers is 200 yards.

If you use excess lines, it could result in tangled knots and wind knots. If you make use of the information you have just read, you have nothing to worry about.

How Long Do Fishing Lines Last?

How To Put Line On A Spinning Reel

The lifespan of your fishing line will depend on three factors. These factors include usage, storage, and stress.

Normally, monofilaments can remain in good condition for between 2 to 3 years. Fluorocarbon may remain in good condition for between 7 to 10 years while braided fishing lines may last for up to a decade.

However, those numbers are only relevant in ideal situations which are rare. For anglers who fish averagely, the fishing should be changed once or twice yearly.

Fishing lines are easily damaged by sunlight, this is particularly true for a monofilament. The shelf life of these lines is also less than 3 years.

Fluorocarbon isn’t susceptible to damage caused by sunlight. Average users should change fluorocarbon fishing lines once or twice annually.

Braided fishing lines are similar to fluorocarbon. However, they have a longer shelf life.

When fishing lines are not put into use for several years, it results in the deformation of the material. You should immediately add a new line to the reel once you notice any problem in your line.

Another thing you should be careful of is how you store your line. You can make sure that the line has a long life by not exposing it to heat and sunlight.

Finally, you should dispose of your lines properly to protect the environment.

Key Insights & Takeaways

How To Put Line On A Spinning Reel

The process of putting a new line on a spinning reel can be quite complicated, especially if you are an amateur.

Fortunately, the information in this article is enough for you to complete the task successfully.

You may either do it alone or with a friend. Having sufficient knowledge of your fishing gear will be very beneficial too.

If you had rather watch a video guide, then you should watch this video.

Frequently Asked Questions

I already have the line on the spinning reel but I don’t know if the bail is meant to be closed or opened?

You have got it right if the line is below the bail when closed. But if that isn’t the case, remove the line from the guides and return it through the guides.

Does a fishing line have to be soaked before spooling?

You should soak your line in warm water if you will be spooling with a mono. This will be beneficial to you during winding and also ensure that the line lays perfectly on the spool. A few hours of soaking in a bucket should be sufficient.

Why does my Fishing line continue to unravel?

A big reason why your fishing line keeps unraveling is that there are excess lines on your spool.

Other reasons include:
– The formation of memory
– You have slack in your line
– The bail was closed with your reel
– You didn’t open your bail
– The lure began to spin

Does a braided line require a leader?

Yes, you should use a leader almost every time you use a braid. Braided lines have several advantages including sensitivity, durability, and casting distance. You should use a straight braid only in an environment you may get snagged. These include environments with dirty water or vegetation.

Do I need a leader line for bass fishing?

A leader line isn’t necessary for bass fishing. This is because they can’t bite through fluorocarbon.

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I've been a fisherman for over 35 years. From catching small bullheads with my grandfather at his pond to catching strippers on the backwaters of the Chattahoochee, I love to get out in the wild and have a marvelous day on the water.