Lined Up and Ready to Fish!

Lined Up and Ready to Fish!

Line spooling tips

Let’s face it, when you have as many rods and reels as the average angler does now days it costs a lot of money to keep them spooled. Having fresh line is important for dependability and casting accuracy. Spooling new line correctly can make a huge difference in the way your reel performs. Let’s do a quick refresher on correct procedures to spool a baitcast and spinning reel.




Run your line through the line guide on the reel and attach line to the spool with an Arbor knot. Trim tag line as close as possible. Some spools have holes provided to help stop line slippage. On reels without this feature you’ll have to make a couple of turns to snug the line to the spool. Always make sure the spool of line and the reel turning direction is the same. Another word it comes off the spool and goes on the reel in same direction. The level wind of the reel with do a pretty good job of leveling the line smoothly on the reel but keep a close eye and help guide line with a little finger pressure if it looks like it is building more heavily on one side or the other. Spool the line within about 1/8th inch from the top. One big mistake most people make is fearing a backlash, they underfill the spool. You can always trim a little if you have overfilled but underfilling will make a huge difference in casting distance. Err on the overfill side and adjust accordingly with reel tension and brakes if needed.



Open the bail on your spinning reel and attach line to the spool using the same Arbor knot as mentioned above. If using braid, you may have to first put a mono backing to prevent line slippage unless it is a braid ready spool. Most people that put fresh line on a spinning reel never remove all the old line but leave approximately 1/3 or so on the spool and attach new line with a blood knot and trim tag ends.

This certainly saves a lot of line that usually never gets actually used unless you are getting spooled by a big fish. Most experts say that the line spool label should face up. All I know is the like the baitcaster the line should pay off of the spool in the same direction it goes on the reel. Observe the direction the spool is turning while turning reel handle.

You can always point your rod tip at the spool after a dozen turns or so and give line some slack to observe if any twisting is occurring. If it is noticed, flip line spool over and repeat procedure again. Like the baitcaster, fill spool as close to capacity as you can remembering that line friction as the line comes off the reel is less with a full spool.

Should you determine that the line was spooled incorrectly you can always fix it by slowly trolling out all the line, with nothing tied to it, behind a slow moving boat or in a moving stream and the with a little pressure between your fingers reel line back in. You should notice the line spinning as in straightens back out. 

Be sure to check back each Tuesday for new tips from our expert staff and pro staff around the country.

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