How to Spool a Spinning Reel: A Detailed Guide

By Sonnox | Fishing Advice

how to spool a spinning reel
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Fishing is a very relaxing activity; it gives you inner peace while providing a sense of achievement every time you catch a fish. This is just one of the many reasons why fishing has been around for thousands of years. However, before you can enjoy the relaxing vibe given by fishing, you should first know how to spool a spinning reel.

If you are new to fishing, it is only natural that your chances of making a mistake are very high. While you can ask someone to do the spooling for you, you can’t possibly expect them to do it forever, right? To help you stand on your own two feet, we’ve decided to share with you our tried and tested tricks.

How to Spool a Spinning Reel

Spooling a spinning reel is more complicated than you might think, and you need to do it properly if you want to advance your fishing skills. If you don't do this the right way, the fishing line might snap before you even catch the fish.

Below is a simple step-by-step guide to spooling a spinning reel:

Step 1: Prepare the Items

Before you start, you should first prepare everything that you would need for the trip. You need to prepare the fishing rod and spinning reel and choose the fishing line carefully. You have to remember that you cannot simply choose any type of fishing line.

The different types of fishing lines are often made for a specific type of fishing. Let’s check them out below.

  • Monofilament Line

If you plan to fish with floating or live baits, this is the best type of fishing line to use. These are usually known as single stand lines, and they have actually had a stretch. This will provide more flexibility to the fishing line, and it will also help the hook to securely stay inside the mouth of the fish.

  • Fluorocarbon Lines

If you are planning to fish in calm and shallow waters, fluorocarbon lines would be the best choice. This type of line is the best because it is harder for fish to see it underwater. You can say that they are almost similar with monofilament lines, but they don’t have the stretch that it has. This is also more reactive to light bites.

  • Braided Lines

If you plan to do bottom fishing, using braided lines is a good choice. It is made from different lengths of braided synthetic materials, which would make it a good choice when you are making a larger casting distance. Also, this type of line provides a much better breaking strength, and it will not stretch as well.

Step 2: Learn How to Use the Reel

The reel is not too complicated to use, but you should at least know how to it is done properly and how to open and close it.

  • Clockwise or Counterclockwise?

The first thing to do is to know if the reel actually turns clockwise or counterclockwise. This will help you determine how to pool it properly.

First, you should hold the reel like you are actually fishing. The next step is to turn the wheel three to four times to know if it is clockwise or counterclockwise.

The one you are checking is how the fishing line will be spooled on your reel, and the other way around would be the direction it would go once it is cast.

  • Opening and Closing the Bail

The bail can be found on the reel, and it is a little wire handle that you will flip up or down to open and close the reel. Basically, you need to flip it up if you want to open and flip it back down when you are done.

Step 3: Securing the Line in the Reel

Before you start pooling, you need to secure the fishing line in the reel. This is done to make sure that the line is tied securely and that it won’t loosen while you are fishing.

Remember that this is the most important part of spooling. You have to tie a knot that would keep the line from loosening up. The best thing to do is to use an arbor know to secure the line.

How do you tie an arbor knot? First, tie an overhead knot in the tag end. Next, wrap the line around the arbor and make another overhead knot in the standing line. Lastly, pull the standing line so the first knot would slide down to the spool and the second knot will then pull down to your first knot and lock it down.

Step 4: Spool the Reel

Spooling the reel is not as simple as you think. You do not simply turn the reel to spool the fishing line. If you made a mistake, you would have to start over, and you will surely waste your time.

Let’s check out some of the things that you need to do:

  • Put the Spool on the Floor

After tying the knot in the reel, the next thing to do is to close the bail. Get the spool and put it on the floor; make sure that it is lying flat with the label of the spool facing up. This is done to make sure that the line will enter the reel the right way.

The line should enter the reel the way it is coming off of the pool. There are times when the line would be twisted, and it won’t line up properly. The best thing to do is to flip the spool over. Just repeat this every time the line gets twisted.

  • Pinching the Line

Again, you do not simply reel the line inside; instead, you have to pinch the line and crack the reel slowly. This is to make sure that you can prevent the line from being tangled while you are spooling it.

You have to pinch the line lightly and not apply too much pressure. Pinch it in a way that you would if there are twists on the line. This is also a way to know if the line is already twisting.

If you found a twist, pull some of the line back and realign your spool. You should do this slowly and crank the reel about 25 times before stopping. Check for twists and just repeat the process.

  • Don’t Fill the Spool

One of the most common mistakes of beginners is that they usually fill the spool, which is not a good idea. You should only fill the spool until it is about 0.32 cm from the rim. This is already enough for you to start fishing.

Even if the line snaps while fishing, you will still have enough line to go on without replacing the current one. You have to remember that overloading the spool will actually cause some tangles on the line.

how to spool a spinning reel

Preventing Twists on your Spinning Reel

Now that you already know how to spool a spinning reel, you now have to make sure that there won’t be any twists on the line. Well, this is much more damaging than you think because these twists can actually lead to knots, poor casting, and tangles. There are even times when you would lose the fish that you caught.

As you can see, this is definitely troublesome, so if you are planning to start fishing, you should understand how to prevent twists on the spinning reel. Here are some of the tips that you can follow.

Spool the Reel Properly

We already mentioned how to properly spool the spinning reel, but there are a few things that you still need to know.

First, you should never spool the spinning reel while the line is in an axle. It is not a good idea to let your friends hold it as well. Put the spool of fishing line on the floor and put something heavy on top of it. The goal is to prevent the spool from spinning to prevent twists.

Give your Fishing Line Time to Relax

You have to know that the diameter of the spool is different from the diameter of your spinning reel. Your spinning reel usually has a one-inch diameter, and the spool from the store will be around four or five inches.

Because of that, the line might flex back to the four or five inches diameter from the store. If and when this happens, twists and tangles will surely appear on the line before you even use it. There a few ways to deal with this.

If you are planning to go fishing during the weekend, you should spool the reel a couple of days prior. This will provide enough time for the fishing line to get used to the one-inch diameter of the spinning reel. If you decide to spool your reel on Friday or on the exact day of your fishing, you might expect a few tangles and twists on the line when using it.

If you want to speed up the process, there is also one other thing to do. After filling the spinning reel, soak it in warm water. Make sure that it is submerged in warm water and leave it for a few hours. If you slightly heat the line, it will remove some of the stress on the line and prevent it from going back to its original diameter. After that, remove the spool from the water and let it dry.

Proper Casting of Spinning Reel

Most spinning reels actually have an auto-trip function. This function will allow you to automatically flip the bail coming from cast position to retrieve position once you start reeling. Never use the auto-trip function because the line management and the natural twist on the line will be out of sync.

Once it starts to add up over time, you will realize that there are already tons of twists deep into your spool, which are very hard to remove. Instead of using this auto-trip function, you should manually flip the spinning reel to retrieve mode after casting it to prevent issues on your line.

Always Check your Line

Not all anglers do this because some consider it a waste of time. While checking for tangles and twists once in a while is not something that many people do, this is very important to prevent twists on the line. If you don’t check it often, you will realize that the twists and tangles are already deep into the spool, and it’ll be too late.

This is not something that you want to happen, so you have to constantly check the line and see if there are twists. In doing this, you can resolve the problem as soon as possible.

Use a High-Quality Fishing Line

Don’t be surprised because high-quality fishing lines are less likely to have twists and tangles compared to the cheaper ones on the market.

Of course, the strength of the line is something that you always consider when choosing. It needs to be sturdy enough so it won’t snap or break while you are fishing. However, this is not the only thing that you need to check on a fishing line.

Cheap fishing lines may have the same strength as a more expensive one, but twists and tangles are more likely to happen on the cheaper lines. If you don’t want to deal with a lot of twists and tangles, you can invest in a more expensive and high-quality fishing line.

Final Thoughts

Spooling a spinning reel is a very important part of fishing, and if you made a mistake in this process, it would surely mess up your fishing experience. Tangles and twists can reduce the strength of the line, and they can also lead to more problems. You have to remember that you might lose some fish if there are twists and tangles on your line.

Proper spooling of a spinning reel can guarantee that these instances are reduced or completely prevented. You just need to know how to do it properly, and you are good to go.

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