How To Put A Line On A Spinning Reel

December 17, 2016

Learning how to put a line on a spinning reel is essential for every angler. Before you can discover various fishing techniques, you should be able to master how to spool a fishing reel. In this way, you can guarantee that the line is properly positioned on the reel. This is important, as it will dictate the accuracy of your casting.

There are several methods of putting a line on a reel. Anglers across the world have their unique techniques to ensure that the will behave properly on the reel.

On this article, we will teach you the basic way of spooling a spinning reel. The method we will show you is simple. However, it is the best way to get the line properly attached to your reel! So what are we waiting for? Let's get started!


How To Put A Line To A Spinning Reel


The first thing you have to know is which direction the bail of your reel is turning. To do this, take hold of your empty reel the same way as you orient it with a fishing rod. Next, you have to turn its handle just like you are retrieving. Through this, you can identify the turning direction of the bail.

You have to spool the line in the way your bail is turning. On the hand, the opposite direction is where the line will unfurl when casting.

Take note that spinning reels have a design to hang from a rod. It is a unique design, unlike baitcasting and spincasting reels. These reels are built to rest above the rod. You can hold a spinning reel properly by wrapping your fingers of your casting hand in the mounting bar. After doing this, you can let the reel hang while you are spinning the line with your other hand.

Take note of the direction of the line would peel off from the filler spool. Specifically, you have to configure the filler spool so that the line will unfurl on the same way in where your bail is turning. You can do this by turning the reel handle. To summarize, the line should come off from the filler spool in the similar direction in which it spins onto your reel.

Next, you have to link the end of your line to the spool of the reel. You can use a uni-knot or an arbor tool to do this properly. You can also opt in mounting your reel on the rod first. In this method, you have to tie the line along the guides before you connect it to your rod.

Spooling The Reel

#Step 1

Once the previous processes is completed, you can already start reeling the line to the reel with the spool. To do this, you have to turn the handle of the crank gradually. Use you cranking hand on this step. Moreover, you can provide additional tension by threading the line between your fingers (it has to be your casting hand). You can also accomplish this by elevating the rod slightly (if you mounted your reel on the rod).

If you are lining the reel by yourself, then just put the filler spool on a flat surface (such as a floor). Afterward, you can let the line thread it off onto your reel.

If you have a partner, then let him/ her spool a dowel or pencil through the filler spool. They have to hold it in a parallel direction as of the reel spool. Your assistant can exert pressure to the spool so that your line can have additional tension.

#Step 2

You need to inspect the line for a twist. Crank it for several times before you can call it done! If you did the previous processes correctly, then your line should not suffer from twists. However, you still need to do some double checking.

To do this, you have to let the line slack slightly and see if there are twists. The line will automatically unwind from the reel spool if there are twists present. You need to peel off the line and overturn the filler spool so that you can repeat the entire process once again.

#Step 3

If there are no twist, then you can continue filling the reel spool. Specifically, it has to be within 1/8 inch of the rim of the reel spool. Therefore, it is ideal that your reel has a mark or a tab on its spool so that you can have a guide for filling.

Under-filling the reel will reduce the casting range of a fishing rod. This is because of the friction that happens between the top flange of the reel spool and the fishing line. On the other hand, over-filling the reel can also cause your line to absorb too much water. It can cause painful backlashes while you are casting.

#Step 4

The last step is cutting the line from the filler spool. Ideally, you can use a rubber band to wrap the line intact with the reel spool. It is a good practice. You are preparing your spinning reel ahead so that you can avoid future hassles and cramming!

How To Put New Line On A Spinning Reel

Of course, your line will wear out as time passes by. Moreover, it can adapt its looping position around the reel. Because of this, casting would be a lot difficult. You can suffer from occasional tangles, too! To avoid these nuisances, you have to change your fishing line once every season.


Different reels require different methods of spooling a line. For a spinning reel, here is the correct process:

First, you still have to observe the direction of where the bail is rotating. Not all spinning reels are spinning in the same direction. Some spin clockwise while others are counterclockwise. Once you can determine the rotation, you have to take your new spool. Observe the direction in where the new line peels off from the spool.

Each reel should have their spool unwinding and bail rotation in the same direction. For example, if your bail is rotating clockwise, then the line should also come off in the same way. This method reduces the chances of encountering line twists.

If the two doesn't match, then just flip the reel spool.

Putting The New Line

Once the preparations are done, you can already tie the new line to the reel. Hoist the arm of the bail. Afterward, thread the end portion of the line through the guides of the rod to the reel. The following steps will guide you how to tie the line correctly.

  • Bind the line around your spinning reel.
  • Use the free end and tie it to the main line. You have to use a simple overhand knot for this process.
  • ​You need to do a second overhand knot again. This time, it should be close to the tip of the free end. In this way, you can prevent the line from untangling.
  • Next, you have to stiffen the knot in the reel. Trim carefully the remaining excess lines.
  • If you are using a line that has a low diameter, then you can use an electrical tape to tighten the line into the reel. In this way, you can avoid bulking the knot.
  • ​You can now close the bail.

The line should be held between the two of your fingers. This approach will keep the line as sturdy as possible while you are reeling it several feet onto the spinning reel.

Once satisfied, you can already stop reeling. Next, you have to put the spool on the floor and dip the rod towards it. You have to make sure that the line is being coiled to the fishing reel properly. If you can see no issues, then your job is finished. If it is the opposite, then you have to repeat all of the steps again. Your spinning reel won't work if you cannot perfect this process.

Ideally, you can spool the line to a spinning reel by using a cotton cloth. The line should be held in the fabric so that you can apply proper tension. In this way, your line won't be loose while you are casting. It also guarantees that the line will spin as fast as you want it to be!


Knowing how to put a line on a spinning reel is basic knowledge that every angler should be aware. It gives them the familiarity over their fishing armaments. Moreover, it ensures that they can catch fish without experiencing any troubles in the line. After all, the setup of the line dictates your overall fishing experience. A poor orientation of line to the reel will result into short casts and backlashes. As a result, you won't be able to catch any fish at all!

Moreover, baitcasting reels and spincast reels do not use the same spooling method as spinning reels. Their designs are different from one another. You will experience problems once you use a similar line spooling process for all of these reels!

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About the Author


Hello, fishing world! My name is Bella. Yes, you got me right, I am a woman! But, I am a woman not only fond of cooking and shopping. I am a woman who shows interest in everything that covers topics regarding fishing. Don’t get me wrong! I believe that the world of fishing is not exclusively for men! In fact, I, myself enjoy fishing. That’s why I created this website.

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