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How To Spool A Spinning Rod – Steps, Pictures & Video


Article Categories: Fishing Tips

If you are a beginner angler a few issues related to fishing may discourage you from this wonderful pastime activity. One such issue is twisting and tangling of your fishing line while spooling a spinning reel. Don’t worry. You have come to the right place. In this article, we will discuss how to spool a spinning reel to help you learn an important fishing skill.

This article should be very valuable for beginners, and even seasoned anglers might get some good tips to get improve your spooling process. Here we cover everything you need to know before spooling your first, or 100th, spinning reel.

How To Spool Your Reel | Spinning Reel Parts | What You’ll Need


How to Spool A Spinning Rod Video

Before we jump into further details and a written explanation, we thought we’d share this great how to video on how to spool a spinning reel. This is a great asset for you visual learners, and we recommend giving this a watch.


Why Are Spinning Fishing Reels a Useful Fishing Gear?

These reels are ideal for lightweight tackle and lures, but are also used frequently for heavier and intermediate sized fish. At this point, you have already probably picked your reel, and ready to spool it, but in case you haven’t, check out this article on spinning reels of different brands to help you choose your next reel.

Spinning reels are extremely easy to use, and effective for handling fish. This is a great option for anyone just getting into fishing as this method of fishing is generally a bit easier to get into than fly fishing or baitcasting. If interested in fly fishing, you should check out our complete beginners guide to fly fishing.


Why Is Spooling Correctly So Important?

The answer to this is pretty simple. If you make a mistake in the spooling process, you are going to end up with a lot of knots and tangled line in your future fishing trips. If done correctly, you’ll spend more time fishing, and less time untangling. That means more fish, and more fun.


What Are the Three Main Parts of a Spinning Fishing Reel?

The three main parts of a spinning fishing reel are handle, spool, and bail. Knowing these parts closely will help you to understand the spooling process.



This is the rotating part in which anglers impart power via the hands to rotate the spool and reel in line.



This part is made of graphite or anodized aluminum. Its function is to hold the fishing line. The line is wrapped around the axis of the spool. There is a spindle on which the spool is rotated both during the casting and retrieval process.



It’s a semi-circular part that is fixed with the reel’s body. The bail’s function is to release to the line for casting as well as hold it in place, and draw in line when reeling in.

Spinning Reel Parts

Spinning Reel Parts


What to Know Before Starting the spooling Process

Know the weight of your spinning reel. When purchasing a reel, packaging, or the reel should tell you what pound line, and how much line it should be able to handle. When spooling your reel, make sure you get the proper line for that reel.


Equipment List

Once you find the information about your spinning reel’s line capacity, let’s gather necessary pieces of equipment which include below things:

  • Monofilament fishing line
  • Fishing Rod
  • Spinning reel and
  • Braided fishing line

Once You have collected everything let’s start the step by step process of spooling a spinning fishing reel.


Steps to Spool A Spinning Reel


Open The Bail

The first step is laying down your fishing rod and opening the reel’s bail. This step will ensure that you will start your spooling process correctly.


Tie Your Line On The Spool

We recommend an arbor knot for this (shown in the video), and then an overhand knot to tie the line around the spool. Tighten to the spool and cut any tag ends/excess line.

Here is a great video on tying an arbor knot: https://youtu.be/7UVUBFyHoBU

And a great video on tying an overhand knot: https://youtu.be/SwdJ5op25SM


Reel Your Line Onto The Spool

This can be done in various ways, and there are many tools out there to assist you. Your objective is to reel in the line so that it wraps around your spool. Here it is important to be very careful, and avoid twists and knots in your line. Imperfect sections will create snags and knots that will inevitably lead to tangles on the water.

Pro Tips: 

In this step, you should also to look at how the fishing line is coming off the reel. Is it coming out with the reel’s clockwise or anti-clockwise motion? If it comes off with the reel’s counterclockwise motion, it means the line will also enter into the reel with a similar motion. These lines and reels movement will help you to minimize future’s line twisting or other line related problems.

Many will also say you can just place the spool on a table with the label facing up. This will allow the line to come off properly in most cases. Using a towel to hold the line and create tension will enable you to reel faster with tension without burning your fingers.

You could also set up your line on some type of spinning device with tension as this will prevent knots and keep you from over-reeling. A pencil or pen into a cardboard box is of ten a great option for this. But beware, this option will often cause twisting that you need to adjust and fix every 15-20 reels.

Check out the video for other tips.

Another way to do this is to pre-emptively place your line through your eyelet. Then you can hold one end of your line in your hand, close the bail, and apply tension while you reel with the other hand. This is a very effective way to ensure you don’t end up with tangles or snags.

If you discover that the line is starting to twist, stop the reeling process. Pull a few yards line off the spinning reel, invert the filler spool and start reeling again. Flipping the filler spool will change the direction of the line entering into the reel and the entangling of the line will also resolve.


Cut the line

Cut any leftover line. Be sure to not add too much line to your spool otherwise line will fall out.


Bring Line Through Your Eyelets

If you haven’t already done this, feed your line through the eyelets, and tie on your lure!


How to Spool a Braided Line?

Braided line is a good choice for fishermen since they like to get a strong line with a  think profile reel like spinning reels. However, the problem with a braided fishing line is its slippery characteristics and incapability to firmly hold the reel’s spool requires fishermen to apply some tricks to make the line compatible with a spinning reel. One such trick is providing a monofilament backup so that the line holds the spool firmly. Take a monofilament line first. Attach it with the spool. Fill the reel half. Next, insert a braided line into the first eyelet and attach it with the monofilament line by using a double knot.

Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais is the founder of hikingandfishing.com. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor adventure, travel, and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, backcountry skier, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. Max grew up hiking all around New Hampshire and New England. He became obsessed with the New Hampshire mountains, and the NH 48, where he guided hikes and trail runs in the White Mountains. Since moving out west, Max has continued climbed all of the Colorado 14ers, is always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about