How to Put Fishing Line on a Baitcasting Reel

By Richard | Fishing Advice

how to put fishing line on a baitcasting reel
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Fishing may be an occupation for many, but for some, it is an activity for leisure that people enjoy, either together or by themselves. While this may seem like a fairly simple activity to do, there are a couple of skills that you will have to learn, and one of them is how to put fishing line on a baitcasting reel.

Knowing how to do this may not seem like the most complicated thing to do. Nevertheless, it does need a good amount of practice. As such, if you are taking your work and time meticulously, then you will definitely learn it in no time.

As a new angler, there may be a few fishing terms you may not be familiar with yet, like the baitcasting reel or fishing line, which is why you first need to understand what you’ll be working with before putting the line on the baitcasting reel.

What Is a Fishing Line?

A fishing line is basically a cord that is extremely thin and is mainly used for angling or fishing. This may look like a regular string, but it is more durable than that. You may feel you can get away using a regular string when you go fishing; however, let us break this to you right away that the chance of you having a successful trip is very unlikely.

There are several reasons why the fishing line is much better than a regular string when you are going to fish. For starters, the fishing line is thinner compared to a regular string. This becomes an advantage to you as the fish are unable to see this thin line. Since they are unable to see the fishing line, they will not get scared of the lure or bait. This leaves you with a significantly high chance of you actually catching one.

However, do note that not all lines will be the exact same. Certain lines tend to have abrasion resistance, while some will need to have a breaking strength. The line that you need will entirely depend on the environment that you are going to fish in. As a newbie, though, you will need to stick to a regular line for your trip. There is no need for you to make use of special fishing lines until you become more experienced with the whole thing.

What Is a Baitcasting Reel?

Before you even learn to put the fishing line on your baitcasting reel, you will first need to know what a baitcasting reel is. This reel is a very specific kind of reel that is used by anglers. With this kind of reel, you will be able to launch the bait much farther compared to other kinds of reels. This is mainly due to the fact that the line will flow in a straight line off the spool. With other kinds of reels, this tends to move in a circular motion.

That said, baitcasting reels, unfortunately, tend to be comparatively challenging to make use of compared to other kinds of reels. Understanding how to use this reel will take you a ton of time, and you will also take a lot of time to get comfortable with it. Once you do master this reel though, you will be able to cast it with absolute accuracy.

Make sure that you spend a lot of time properly understanding this reel and always practice it as much as you can. That is the only way you will be able to make this your go-to fishing reel. Furthermore, mastering the baitcasting reel will truly make you an experienced fisherman.

Baitcasting reels also allow fishing from a longer distance, and this will make the reel a much more appealing option in several fishing locations where there is space.

Spinning Reel Vs. Baitcasting Reel

Among the different kinds of fishing reels you read about online, there are two that are extremely common. Compared to a baitcasting reel, a spinning reel is more common and, in fact, an easier reel to master. This reel is known to be quite popular among several anglers, especially new ones, mainly because they are so easy to understand and use. For a new angler, they will spend lesser time learning to understand and master the spinning reel.

To use this reel, you will need to simply flip the bail and put your finger on the cast and line. Then, you just need to close the bail and turn the handle to reel it back in. It is as simple as that. This sort of reel is mainly preferred when you have to use baits that are lighter. This is mainly due to the distance you would get on a cast that is limited by how hard you will be able to cast the bait.

The fishing line will flow off the spool with minimal to no resistance. Because of this, the lighter bait allows you to reach a longer distance. When you are comparing both of the reels though, the spinning reel tends to be much easier, and this is something you should opt for as an absolute beginner.

That said, if you want to take your fishing skills a bit more forward, you would prefer learning the baitcasting reel. As mentioned earlier, the reel will offer you a better distance when you are casting it. This also works well when you are fishing in areas that are calmer. This ends up lowering the chances of the fish getting scared by the boat’s motion.

How to Put Fishing Line on a Baitcasting Reel

With a thorough understanding of the baitcasting reel and how it differs from the spinning reel, it is now time that you learn and understand how to put the line on the baitcasting reel.

Ensure that you are following all our instructions to the T; else, you will end up getting all the things tangled.

The Knots

The process of knowing how to put the line on the baitcasting reel begins with learning the right kind of knot. You will need to know the kind of knot that will work best depending on your situation. This primarily depends on the kind of line and reel you will be using.

Arbor Knot

how to put fishing line on a baitcasting reel

You will often find several anglers using this kind of knot. When you are using a mono backing, it is ideal to choose this knot. This kind of knot is also ideal if you intend on attaching the braid to your spool. It is, thankfully, fairly simple to do.

To begin, you will need to wrap the line around the arbor of your spool. Now, you can tie with a simple overhand knot around the standing portion with the tag end.

After doing this, you will need to tie another overhand knot in the tag end. This should be about an inch, or two at the most, away from the first knot that you made.

Now, you will need to pull the part of the line that is standing to slide your first knot downwards to your spool. Take your second knot and jam it against the previous one. Make sure that you are trimming any extra line. With that, you are ready.

Double Uni-Knot

how to put fishing line on a baitcasting reel

If you are making use of mono backing, then you will have to attach it with the braided line. The knot that you will be able to make use of here is a double uni-knot. The only downside to this knot is that it is a bit complicated compared to the arbor knot, which means it will need a fair amount of practice to master.

You need to begin with overlapping the lines’ ends that have to be joined. Now, you can grab the line’s end from the left side and then double back. Wrap this around both the line at least four to five times and then through the loop.

Make sure that everything you have done is tight enough and then follow this on the other end as well. After doing all of this, you can pull the lines away from each other to slide the knots altogether. What's left now is for you to clip its ends.


This is another important process that has to be done when you are putting the line on a baitcasting reel. While this is not the most complicated step in the whole process, there are quite a few ways wherein things tend to go entirely wrong. Hence, you have to make sure that you are very slow and meticulously working throughout.

Once all the knots are properly tied and the line is going through the right guides, you can get the process started. You may need to ask another person to stand at the end of the rod to hold the spool between a pencil. This will make the line come off much more smoothly.

Also, ensure that prior to reeling, you are gripping the line with your index finger and your thumb. This creates the necessary tension and forces the fishing line to go on tightly to the spool.

To reel the fishing line on your spool, you will just need to turn the rod’s handle in the exact manner that you would when you reel in a fish. This allows you to store a higher quantity of line on the rod.

Pro Tip: Never overfill the spool.

A mistake that several new anglers commonly make is overfilling the spool. Having more than the necessary line would work in your favor is something you would assume, but this could actually end up backfiring.

You must ensure that you are stopping when your line has reached about 1/8th of an inch from the top. When you overfill the spool with more than the necessary length of line, it makes it much more challenging to cast.

Furthermore, you may also end up running into a situation wherein the line slips off the edge. This will be guaranteed to result in tangles, which will be a true nightmare you don’t want to deal with.

Things You May Need When You Go Fishing

Since you now have a better idea of how to put the fishing line in a baitcasting reel, we thought you might find it helpful to know all the things that you may need before you head for your fishing trip.

To begin with, you will need your fishing reel and fishing rod. You will also need to pack the fishing line that you had attached to the rod earlier. We recommend carrying a few extra lines just in case the one you already have on breaks.

What you should also carry along with you are extra fishing hooks and a wider range of plastic and live bait. Again, the right kind of bait needed depends on the type of fishing you will be doing and even the environmental conditions.

Some Useful Safety Tips for Beginners

As a beginner, you may not know what lies ahead of you when you are trying to catch a fish. Hence, the very first thing you must do if you are getting on a boat is to wear a life jacket. With it on, you will at least have some sort of floatation device on you. This is necessary even if you are an experienced swimmer, as you may panic the second you fall off the boat.

Additionally, you must also make sure that you are keeping your boat neat and clean at all times so that you do not bump into stuff accidentally. Keep your hooks safely in a box so that you do not stab yourself on accident. It is also wise to have a first aid kit on you just in case you do end up having an emergency.


We hope that, with this article, you now know how to put fishing line on a baitcasting reel. While this is a skill that will take you a while to learn and understand, mastering it will end up saving you so much more time in the long run as an angler.

Make sure you are taking the time to learn this process properly. We also recommend bookmarking our website to be constantly updated on reviews of new fishing gear and useful fishing-related information.

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