How to Line a Spinning Reel

Although few fishing enthusiasts truly enjoy spooling a reel, it’s one of those things you just have to learn how to do. Check out our step by step instructions below to make this task as easy as possible. You’ll figure out how to line a spinning reel in no time.

spinning reel
By Photo by Jan Tik from Flickr (Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Why Should You Change Your Fishing Line?

Changing your fishing line at the start of every season is essential to ensure optimal safety and pleasant fishing experience. A fishing line has a limited lifespan, and its life expectancy can shorten, especially if it had been exposed to direct sunlight, moisture, or chemicals.

As you may know, there are different types of fishing line, including monofilament, braided fishing line, and fluorocarbon fishing line. Each type has its own rate of deterioration and should be replaced at a different interval.

If you’re not a regular fisherman, however, replacing your fishing lines once every season should be sufficient. After stripping off the old fishing line, re-spooling can be a challenge if you don’t have a lot of experience. Don’t worry, however; we’ll teach you how to load your spool with line right now.

fishing line

Step by Step

The first thing to keep in mind when you are spooling a reel is that you should put a line on that will give you the correct capacity. As a rule of thumb, the line should be at least a hundred yards long.

The first step is to open the bail by lifting the wire arm. People who forget this step will not be able to wind the line onto the spool. The next step is to tie the line to the reel itself with two overhand knots. Then, take a pair of scissors and cut the remaining short end as close as possible to the knot to prevent it from impeding the line that is coming off the rest of the reel.

After tying the line to the spool, you have to wind the line onto your spool. Check the spool label to make sure that you are turning the spool in the right direction. Wind the line against the drag by holding the incoming line tight between your thumb and forefinger to provide some tension.

Be careful not to wind the line too quickly onto your spool, as you can burn your fingers, and keep turning until you have one-sixteenth of an inch below the capacity of the spool. At this point, you will have around a hundred yards of line on your spool.

Next, take the pair of scissors and cut the line. Since fishing line typically has a winding memory, the entire line may jump loose when you make a cast and simply form a large knot. To prevent this from happening, take the spool off by untwisting the drag to a point where it is as loose as possible.

After taking off the spool, hook the loose end of the line to the spool’s line tie, and put the spool with its tightly wound line in a glass of warm water. After ten minutes, the line will have a new memory and risk of the line jumping off and forming a knot will be eliminated.

Attach the spool, and now you are ready to go fishing.