How To Spool A Spinning Reel Like A Master

Anyone who has had their line twisted knows how much of a nightmare that can be. Apart from having coiled lines, an ugly tangle that resembles a nest is not pleasant in any way.

It messes with your casting that could potentially cost you a good catch. On top of that, who wants to untangle a line while out on a fishing trip?

Even master anglers have had experience with line overfills, knots, and twists. In most cases, this is due to poorly spooled spinning reel.


If you are in the habit of reeling a line with a pen or pencil on the spool, you have to stop. Here are proper ways on how to spool a spinning reel. Follow these steps and you will save yourself time and energy.

Important Reminders

Before we go to the actual spooling, you need to first check the following:

  • Does the size of the line match the size of the reel? You don’t want heavier lines with smaller spinning reels.
  • Consider that spinning reels are used for downsized baits and lighter lines. You can use bait casting reels if you want bigger baits and heavier lines.
  • Spinning reels do not work well with certain types of lines such as heavier fluorocarbon and filament lines. These types have large diameters that they overfill the spool. Take note of this as you do not want to waste time on the water trying to fix your spinning reel.
  • In case you need a 10- or 12-pound line, experienced anglers recommend using Fireline that is attached to the backing with a uni-knot. This also requires fluorocarbon or monofilament line that is spooled as backing. This method allows the superline to stay on the spool when you have caught a fish. This system makes it possible for you to have a higher pound test, but with the diameter of a lighter line.

Step-By-Step Guide On How To Spool A Spinning Reel

1. Tying the line onto the spinning reel

Arbor knot is highly recommended when tying the line onto your spinning reel. It is an overhand knot on one end of the line that meets another overhand knot and tied around the spool. This knot is awesome as it gives the right amount of tension to reel the line as you spool it.

The first thing you need to do is to click the bail open. Then, make sure the knot is secured tightly around the spool. Trim the extra line at the end of the half knot.

However, if you are using a super thin line, you may skip tying the knot and secure it using an electric tape instead. A good tip is to use the tape that comes with a new spool. If it’s not available, you can use any piece of electric tape. Close the bail after you have tied the new line.

2. Spool the line in the right direction

The proper way to spool the line on the reel is to follow the line?s direction as it rests on the spool. Most inexperienced anglers commit the mistake of spooling in the opposite direction with the logic that this creates more tension.

The right way, however, is to follow the direction on which the line was laid when you open the spool. Doing so will help avoid knots and twists once you have done multiple casts.

The rule to follow is to lay the spool with the label side up. This will leave the line to naturally spool back on the reel in the same direction as it is set on the spool.

Using your thumb and index finger, clench on to the line and hold it back about a foot away from where the reel is. Then, to spool the line, reel it in tightly with a couple of rotations.

Once you have enough base, reposition the label side up and lay it on the floor. Keep the line tight between your fingers as you reel in the line. This is an important step as letting the line loose will end with knots and tangles.

3. Check the rim of the reel

You are almost done! It’s not yet time to relax though as this last step is as important as the first ones. So you are reeling the new line and keeping it tight between your fingers. At this stage, you want to keep an eye on the amount of space you are leaving for the rim of the reel.

The ideal space between the line and the rim is about 1/8 of an inch. Since this is basically a hard distance to check, you can simply leave enough space on the line where you can rub your finger. You also want to see to it that the line does not go over the rim.

You know what happens when there is too much line on the reel. This will end up unspooling when you cast and that is one of the most annoying incidents when you are out trying to catch fish.


Common Problems You May Encounter And How To Avoid Them

Now that you have set up your spinning reel, take note of this additional information to help you spool a spinning reel with fewer complications.

  • Consider getting help. If you are new to this, having someone assist you is not a bad idea. You can ask another person to hold on to the line and make sure it stays tight while you reel it in.
  • As much as possible, you will want your line to be off the spool counter-clockwise. You will notice this is advantageous when you cast. Observe how the line in a spinning reel usually comes off counterclockwise. This means that having this line positioning helps avoid twists and knots.
  • ?You also want to consider the lures and the techniques that you will be using. For example, using shaky head jigs will be difficult when you are using fluorocarbon and monofilament lines since these lures are light.
  • You also want to consider the lures and the techniques that you will be using. For example, using shaky head jigs will be difficult when you are using fluorocarbon and monofilament lines since these lures are light.


At the same time, you retrieve these lures using a stop-and-go movement. Since the line, lure, and technique don’t go well together, you will most likely have to deal with knots and twists.

  • In case you do experience knots and twists, the best way to solve the problem is to let loose a long line behind the boat. Carefully drag it until it straightens out. Slowly reel the line back as you unravel knots along the way.
  • Learning how to spool a spinning reel like a pro helps guarantee maximum performance when you are out fishing. You also want to avoid the lines from twisting and getting tangled. When this happens, you will have to use up time and energy to unravel the knot. Or worse, you may need to cut the line and start over again.

Final Thoughts On How To Spool A Spinning Reel

Despite these seemingly complicated scenarios, fishing with a spinning reel is rewarding. In fact, many professional anglers like it for its convenience as far as use and maintenance are concerned.

More importantly, your skills in spooling a spinning reel will help you catch more fish. By learning the proper way to spool your reel and keeping the line well maintained, you are guaranteed to have a better time out in the water.

John Morris

Hi, I?m John Morris. I?m an avid outdoorsman and fisherman, blessed with an awesome wife and 2 kids. Fishing is not my passion, it is my lifestyle. I fished before I knew how to walk! I?m obsessed with all things related to fishing, even the fishy smell. I?m always willing to extend a hand to novice anglers looking for fishing tips and tricks thus I created this blog. This blog is a collection of my experiences, knowledge, and also research from other blogs.

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