Easy Steps on How to Put Line on a Spinning Reel

A spinning reel is almost everyone's favorite reel due to its versatility and efficiency. Still, putting a line on a spinning reel can be a bit complicated, especially for beginners.

Knowing how to put a line on a spinning reel is quite crucial for your fishing experience. But, as you know, your line can wear out or simply run out, after which you’ll need to replace it.

The most common issue people encounter is the line twisting as they try to put it on the reel. Some people also struggle with choosing the right size.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about putting a line on a spinning reel. You’ll find a step-by-step guide as well as some details on how to pick the best fishing line.

About Line Selection

Choosing the right line is easier than most people think, although it’s where many beginners make mistakes. For starters, it’s often best to use a braid if you’re spooling a medium spinning reel.

This is especially the case if your fishing style requires you to use a larger than 12-pound test. Again, a braided line is a good choice, but do make sure to use a bit of mono first to serve as backing.

Braid can easily slip on the spool, so a bit of mono should prevent that. Once you have that backing in place, you can go ahead and attach the braid using a uni knot.

A braided line is best due to its small diameter and the fact that it doesn’t stretch. It’s durable, strong, and allows you to cast far. Plus, it has nearly no line memory.

How to Spool a Spinning Reel

Spooling spinning reels is easy, but it takes some practice. However, once you get the hang of it, you’ll notice the whole process takes only a few minutes.

In most cases, it’s easier to do with the help of another person if you have anyone nearby. If not, you can totally do it yourself following the steps below.

STEP 1. Connect the Reel to the Rod

Before you starting spooling, you should always attach the reel to the rod. It’s a simple process that makes a huge difference when working with the line of your choice.

Grab your reel and install it following the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Once it’s in place, you can go ahead and prepare your line.

STEP 2. String the Line Through the First Guides 

Do you see the large guide that’s closest to the reel seat? Take the end of the line and run it through that guide, going towards the reel.

This is quite simple and easy to do without anyone’s help as long as you’re careful about passing it through the right guide.

STEP 3. Open the Bail

The step of opening the bail is among the most important to remember. Many people forget this step and then return once they realize the bail won’t pick up the line.

Focus on opening the bail so that you don’t waste time returning to this step later on.

STEP 4. Attach the Line to the Reel Spool 

Attaching the line is a pretty straightforward process. First, you should wrap it two times around the spool, securing it with an over-hand knot.

If you’re replacing a worn-out line, you might want to leave some to serve you as backing. Then, use a uni knot to connect the old and new lines.

STEP 5. Hold the Line and Carefully Crank the Reel

It’s now time to crank the reel carefully. First, flip the bail closed and turn the handle slowly. As you do this, the bail will lay the line onto the spool in even wraps, avoiding line twists.

Still, don’t go overboard. Instead, do only a few cranks, and then stop to ensure the spool is facing the right way.

STEP 6. Crank the Reel to Load the Line

Once you ensure the spool is facing the right direction and no line twist is in sight, you can go ahead and fill the reel with a line.

Stand up and face the spool on the floor, holding the rod parallel. Grab the line between the reel and the first guide, adding some tension to it before you start cranking again.

STEP 7. Fill the Spool 0.3 Centimeters From the Rim 

Follow the previous step until the line is 1/8-inch away from the rim. It can also be 3/16-inch, depending on your preference and fishing style.

STEP 8. Cut then Secure the Line

Once you’re through with all the steps we explained, you can go ahead and finish installing the line on the reel.

Clip and thread it through the rod guides that are left before tying a lure of your choice. You’re now ready to catch some fish.

How Much Fishing Line Do You Put on a Fishing Reel?

You should think about two things before you can put a line on a spinning reel. The first is the size of your reel, and the second is the type of line you’re interested in using.

In most cases, you can figure out both the type of line and weight by just looking at your fishing reel. Still, it’s hard to tell the exact length you’ll need, although most rods can handle about 200 yards.

Sadly, lines are typically sold in 150 or 300-yard spools, so you’ll have to find a way to work around that. Some people use a filler line to fix the issue.

As we mentioned, a general rule of thumb is to put the line up to 1/8-inch from the spool edge. However, many experienced fishermen say you can stop adding at about 1/4-inches, which should leave you some more space.

How Often Should I Replace My Fishing Line?

This very much depends on the type of line you use. If you’re using braided as we suggested, you don’t have to worry about replacing it as often.

Braided lines are very strong and wear-resistant, so you probably won’t have to replace yours more than once or twice a year if you’re a serious angler.

Moderate and weekend fishers will only have to do it once a year. Still, one thing to keep in mind is that these have an expiration date of ten years if not used.

There are ways to prolong the life of your line, but none of that will prolong it for long enough. So despite what some people do, it’s always the safest to replace the line in time to avoid complications.

Final Thoughts

At this point, you should know how to put line on your spool without anyone’s help. The process is rather simple and easy to do, although it might take a bit of trial and error if you’re a beginner.

Nonetheless, with a bit of practice, you’ll notice it’s quite a breeze when you have the right line and reel. It doesn’t matter whether you’re replacing the old line or adding an entirely new one on a new reel – you can follow the same steps.

The biggest concern is spooling properly so that you don’t end up with line twists. For this reason, follow the guide closely, but also make sure you’re using top-quality equipment.