The Best Technique for Spooling a Spinning Reel

spinning reel fishing rod

Fishing can be a lot of fun and offers time for relaxation, but one of the things that can be frustrating while fishing is having to spend time making adaptations to your gear so you can get the fishing done. Tangles and twists in the line can leave even the most experienced angler frustrated and ready to take off, leaving the fish for another day.

The good news is that spooling your spinning reel is not as difficult as you might think. Whether you are straightening out a line in use or doing maintenance, the process is straightforward. Choosing the right line, loading it on the reel, and spooling it is something that can be done in as little as five or ten minutes.

Choosing the Proper Line for Your Spinning Reel

The most commonly used line is a monofilament. This is also the best choice to make if you are going to be fishing using bait that floats on the water. It can also be used with live bait and jigs. A monofilament line is a single strand line that is quite stretchy and simple to handle. This stretchiness adds extra flexibility to the line, which is what helps keep a hook secured in the mouth of a bass or other fish in the water.

Those who are planning to go fishing in shallow and calm water will want to choose a line made of fluorocarbon. This line has some similarities to a monofilament line but are less stretchy and hold up better to any abrasion. The reason to choose this line in shallow water is because fish have a harder time seeing this type of line. It’s also more reactive to bottom contact and light bites. While this line is a type of monofilament, they work well for live bait and jigs and for use in clear waters.

Those who are planning to do bottom fishing will want to select a braided line. This line is made of several different synthetic lines that are braided together, which makes it optimal for a large casting distance. However, this line is not going to stretch like the other options.

How to Load the Reel

The first thing to do after choosing your line is checking whether the reel moves in a counterclockwise or a clockwise direction. You can do this by holding the reel like you are fishing and turning the reel a few times to see which way works. The line will be spooled onto the reel in the same direction. This is also the opposite of the way the line will come off the spool when you make a cast.

The next step is to open up the bail by flipping up the small handle. The bail is a tiny wire handle that goes up and down to open and close. You will want to flip it upward in order to load the reel and then flip it back down when you are finished. This is also a good time to see if old line is on the spool which should be removed.

After this is complete, it’s time to string the line through your guides and make sure it is secure. The guides are the circles on the bottom of the rod that hold your line next to the rod. You can finish off by making an arbor knot to hold the line on the spool. Any extra can then be cut off with line cutters. However, you should leave a ¼ inch of line hanging where you made the knot.

Those who aren’t familiar with an arbor knot, don’t worry. It’s simple. All you need to do is wrap the line around the arbor and tie an overhead knot in the standing line. A second knot should be tied near the tag end, around an inch from the overhead knot you made. Then you simply pull the standing knot to slide the original knot to the spool before sliding the second knot to the same position.

How to Spool Your Reel

There are a few steps to take to spool your reel, but they aren’t overly difficult. The first thing you want to do is be sure you have closed your bail. After that, put the spool on the floor or ground where the label is facing up towards you.

You want the spool to line up in a way where the line that comes out of the spool does so in the same way as you will be putting it onto the reel. If the line doesn’t line up this way, flip it over and try again.

The next step you should take is to pinch the line, but not too hard, around a foot above the reel and then pull it tight. You then want to crank the reel slowly about 20 times while allowing the line to slide through your gently pinched fingertips.

At that point, take a break and offer the line some slack while you look for any twists. If present, you’ll need to remove some of the line and realign everything before moving on.

As long as you are certain that the line isn’t twisting, you can continue to crank the reel to load up the line slowly. Remember to stop every once in a while to check for twists you missed.

The spool should be filled until the line is just a tiny bit away from the rim, about 1/8 inch or so. This will ensure you have plenty of line to fish with but that your reel will not be overloaded, which can cause tangles and casting issues.

From there, you can use scissors or line cutters to cut the line near the spool. The excess line helps secure the end with a lure so you can start fishing. If you desire, place a small piece of tape on the free end so unraveling doesn’t occur.

All that is left to do is securing the line on the spool. This can be done with a clip, lure, or swivel that is connected to the end of the line. The purpose of this is to prevent the end of the line from going through the guides.

That’s all there is to it. If you’ve made it this far, you have a spooled reel and you’re ready to catch some fish. While it might seem like a lot of instructions, the technique is pretty simple, and most people will catch on easily. It won’t be long before you can handle the process in your sleep.