How To Spool A Spinning Reel (A Step by Step Guide)

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Are you wondering how to spool a spinning reel but don’t know where to start? It can be challenging trying to figure out which knot to tie on the spool, how to prevent line twists while loading the reel, and knowing how much line to put on it. In this guide, Diana, who’s spooled hundreds of reels, shares her insights on what you should to to spend less time worrying about your gear and more time fishing.

how to spool a spinning reel

One of the sought-after fishing reels for all angler skill levels is the spinning reel. This kind of reel is an excellent gear due to its versatility in all kinds of fishing activities. 

Spinning reels have beneficial features that can make the lives of anglers easier. However, if it’s not spooled properly, you’ll not be able to maximize its use. 

Knowing how to spool a spinning reel by yourself will allow you to troubleshoot if you encounter problems while you’re in the waters. If you’re a beginner, here’s a guide on how to assemble the spinning reel.  

What You Need

Fishing Line

different color braided line
I recommend spooling your line with monofilament if it’s your first time spooling a reel.

So what line is best for spinning reels?

The three types of fishing lines—monofilament line, fluorocarbon line, and braided fishing line—have their own pros and cons. The monofilament line works well in topwater fishing.

Since it’s flexible, it can be a challenge to catch fish at a great distance, but if you’re using a light spinning tackle for big fish, a monofilament line is a great use because breakage will be avoided. 

The braided line features twisted lines around each other making it strong and durable, perfect for battling with big fish. However, if you would fish on clear waters, it can be visible. As a workaround, you can tie a monofilament line or fluorocarbon line into the main braid. 

The last type is the fluorocarbon line, which is suitable for bottom fishing because it sinks more easily than the other fishing line types. In addition, it works well in clear waters because its line can’t be noticed easily. 

Fishing Rod

You’ll be catching fish in no time.

When choosing a fishing rod for your spinning reel, the factors that you need to consider are the power, action, bending curve and tapering, line weight, lure weight, and the number of pieces you’ll use.

The casting rod is the least fishing rod that suits a spinning reel because its name is the opposite of what it can offer. It’s not suitable for casting with a lure or bait. Anglers usually use it if they use a sinker at the hooks.

The spinning rods are a great match for spinning reels because of their versatility when it comes to the type of fishing, handling lures or bait, or targeting different kinds of fish species. 

Spinning reel 

The measurement of your fishing rod is where you’ll base the type of spinning reel that you’ll use. Suppose your spinning reel and the fishing rod have a balanced weight. In that case, you can easily handle it longer, and you can detect or feel accurately if a fish is striking into your lure or bait.  

1000 to 3500 (or 10 – 35) class reels are suitable for small fishes’ 6-7 ft rod.

The 4000 to 5500 (or 40 – 55) class reels are the barramundi and snapper style rod that perfectly fits into a braided line with a weight range of 8-25 monofilament line with a weight range of 8-14 pounds. Finally, the last class reel is 6000 to 9500 (or 60 – 95) and is suited for heavy-weight boat roads.

Not sure which spinning reel to get? Here are our top picksbest spinning reels under 100!

Steps To Spool A Spinning Reel

YouTube video

You may ask someone to do it, but it would be more rewarding if you were able to do the procedure alone, so you would know what to do on your next fishing adventure.

Step 1: In order to know which kind of fishing line to use, you must determine the spool capacity through a pound test line. Choosing the appropriate line is essential to prevent a decrease in line retrieval and avoid poor casting performance due to too much line.  

Step 2: Open the rounded wire material on top of the reel, also known as the bail, when the rod is already attached to your spinning reel. Flip it up to open it and flip it down to close it. 

Step 3: Using the guides or the small circles on the bottom of the rod, thread the line through it and secure the tag end using an arbor knot. To do the arbor knot, wrap the first knot of the fishing line around the arbor, then secure an overhead knot in the standing line.

The second overhead knot must be tied just beside the first overhead knot. Pull the standing line so the first knot will go to the spool. 

Step 4: Close the bail and lay the spool flat on the floor. The part that must be facing up is the fishing line that comes off the spool. Flip it over if the line doesn’t line up or if it’s twisted. 

Step 5: Pinch the line about 12 inches above the reel. Next, crank the spinning reel multiple times until the fishing line slides through your pinched fingers. Inspect for some line twists.

Realign the spool and line if you notice line twisting. Applying light pressure while loading will prevent loosening the line so it will not be tangled easily. 

Step 6: Fill the spool continuously until it’s only ⅛ inch away from the rim. Ensure that the spool isn’t too loaded until the edge to avoid issues with casting. Underfilling may also cause tangles.

The few centimeters allowance of the spool from the rim won’t overload the reel, even though you’ll cut the line while clearing snags or changing the lure. 

Step 7: Secure the tag end on the spool so the fishing line won’t slip through the guides. You may also use a rubber band, and wrap it around the spool.

Soak the fishing line in warm water for a few hours for better spooling performance. This will let your line stay in place even when it’s windy and may help settle down the line into the spool.

Final Thoughts

If you’re still feeling overwhelmed on how to spool a spinning reel, then by all means, take your reel to a tackle shop and watch them do it. You’ll be able to ask questions and get insights on the proper setup for your local area. Better yet, ask them if you can film them spool your reel so you can watch it again in the future.

Diana Nadim
Fishing Expert
Diana began fishing at the age of seven, as it has been a long-time family tradition. From catching small bullheads to catching strippers on the backwaters of Bighorn, she loves to get out in the wild and have a marvelous day on the water. Her dad was an expert angler, and he taught her fishing along with her two siblings. They used to go to the Bighorn River in Montana and Henry’s fork, Idaho. As a pragmatic person, she is obsessed with creating well-researched and practical guides and reviews of the best fishing methods and gear.
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