Learn About Spooling Line

How to Spool a Line

You may not think that spooling lines is something that you may need to know or do. However, if you’re out fishing and your line breaks or your line gets tangled up, you need to replace the line, knowing how to spool a line onto a reel comes in handy.

Before you start, make sure you are putting the correct line on the correct reel. Spinning and Spin Cast reels require lighter weight lines. Bait Casting reels are designed for heavier weight lines. Not putting the correct line on your reel creates backlashes that are not easy to fix.

View our “Fishing Line” section to learn more about fishing lines.

Anglers have various techniques they use to spooling lines. I use the basic technique and rely on the experts, like my husband, to handle tying the leader to the end of the line. He’s better at tying knots.

To start spooling line, keep the bail of the reel open and run the end of the line through the guides on the rod. Wrap the end of the line around the spool twice. Tie a regular knot. Wrap the knot around the line as it comes onto the reel spool. Then tie a regular knot again so that it sits right above the first knot. Make sure you pull the knots tightly so they are secured. Make sure a short line remains after you have made the final knot.

Close the bail of the reel. You are now ready to begin spooling the line. Have someone hold the line with a pencil between the spool so that you create some tension when retrieving the line. The front side of spool with the line on it should be facing you. The line should come off the spool counter clockwise. The reason is that the line comes off the reel clockwise. This avoids the line twisting up. Start winding the line by turning the reel’s handle. Make sure the line is moving evenly onto the spool. Don’t fill the spool to the edge. Keep about an 1/8” from the edge.

Once you have completed this process, add the leader to the end of the line and then attach your lure to the leader.

You are now ready to fish. As a reminder, never discard any lines in the water or on land as it can harm fish or other wildlife.