Spinning rod on a bridge over water.

How To Spool A Spinning Rod 2020

Spinning rods are one of the best inventions that an angler has at their disposal. They do an excellent job of casting big and small lures alike as well as large and small live bait rigs. They can be used for everything from finesse fishing all the way up to extremely heavy saltwater fishing in the surf.

Spinning rods are debatably the most versatile of fishing rod types. A spinning rod is a great tool with a simplistic design. The mechanics of the average reel are pretty basic yet the issue that will steer many anglers away from using them is loading it up with some new line. To many, this is always a problem.

When the old fishing line becomes tangled, kinked, or weather damaged, the task of re-spooling the rod can be cumbersome and a pain to many anglers. The person who knows how to spool a spinning rod correctly and without hassle is also the very same one who spends more time catching fish with it.

Many times, anglers are stuck with a ton of line twists, kinks, tangles, and this often results in a lot of cut line. Much of the twist is a direct result of improper spooling practice. Once you know how to do it properly, effectively, and efficiently, you will never have to worry about it ever again. Replacing your line will just become second nature to you once you master the concept. It will be hard to learn how to use a spinning rod to catch more fish if you are constantly cutting lines due to improper spooling.

Match The Fishing Line To Your Spinning Reel

Before we go any further into the actual process, we need to address something. You will need to purchase some new fishing line if you don’t already have some. You will have to make sure that the line is made to fit on the reel you want to put it on. You want the reel to readily accept the new line when you purchase it and go to spooling. Using the wrong line will cause you problems. A ton of problems too.

You do not want to put a very light six-pound Crappie line on a huge saltwater spinning reel, nor do you want to put seventy-five-pound monofilament onto a tiny Crappie reel meant for small fish. Just don’t do it. First of all, the line will not go on properly. Second, it will not cast or work correctly. Third, you will be cutting a lot of freshly bought line because it tangles so much. Wasting line is like wasting money.

So take the precautions beforehand and figure out what line you reel needs. Most spinning reels come with a labeling system unlike pretty much any other product else out there. Most reels actually tell you what line you can use on it, the pound test, and how much to use. This is not exactly perfect though.

You can find this description on the side of the spool most of the time. The gear ratio of the reel rests above the exact same spot. The image below shows an example of this. The reel in the picture will readily accept 340 yards of six-pound line, 230 yards of eight-pound line, and 190 yards of ten-pound line. The gear ratio is 5.2:1. Different line brands are different in thickness, especially with braids.

Three spinning reels with freshly spooled line showing the yards and pound test line that they readily accept.

Say Bye-Bye To Old Line!

Although it may seem obvious to strip all of the old fishing lines off before re-spooling, many anglers will often choose not to. Maybe it is to save a few dollars on the fishing line? At the end of the fishing day, it costs you much more money in the long run. The reason is that the old line can still be problematic and get in the way. It really doesn’t matter how you attempt to remove all of it.

The main thing is that you do. It will cause all sorts of problems that are extremely hard to fix once they have occurred. Make sure you get all of it and try not to leave any on the spool. If you want to save money on the backing material, you can always spend a couple of dollars to get a very low-quality fishing line to use as backing. You don’t even need to use backing though.

What you don’t want to do is use the old stuff just to save some chunk change. Any water or moisture that gets in between the old line and the spool can cause corrosion and severely┬ádamage your reel beyond repair in many cases. Especially true if you are a saltwater fisherman, having saltwater get on your spool and leaving it there for a long time because you wanted to save some money on fishing line may end up being wasted on a new reel anyways. Open the bail and pull the line off.

If it has too many knots to come off in one fell swoop, don’t be afraid to use nail clippers to cut the line in various places until you get it all off. Nail clippers can be easily used to destroy lines that you will throw away anyway. Dispose of any used line in a responsible way to prevent environmental impact.

Don’t Forget To Treat Your Reel With Loving Care

Many anglers when they attempt to replace their fishing line make one critical mistake. Half of the time, they forget to properly care for and maintain their reel once the old line has been removed. This is not always required but it sure does help extend the life of the fishing reel by many years.

The spinning reel probably has moisture under the line, oil from your hands, and other foreign materials that shouldn’t be there. If you take some extra time to care for and clean up the reel before you spool up, you reel will last that much longer. The maintenance we are referring to consist of removing the moisture, dirt, salt and other things from the spool before you put the new line on as well as the rest of the reel. It is a good idea to take a dry microfiber cloth and wipe the reel with it making sure to wipe up all moisture, oil, salt, and other debris. All these components can severely harm your fishing arbor.

Now, that you have a clean reel, you want to add a very light spray of WD-40 water displacement spray. Spray some onto a microfiber cloth (it can be the same one). On the spool where the line is to be located, wipe the WD-40 onto the spool. This provides some protection from water, salt, and corrosion.

Identify the Direction Your Reel Spins In

An absolutely essential part of this process is to find out which way your spinning reel spins. Most traditional spinning reels spin clockwise. Yours probably does as well, but it may not. This is why it is worth checking. You need to know which way the reel rotates beforehand because you will need to place your spool of line differently on the table depending on the direction.

Having the line come off of the spool in the exact same way that it is going onto the reel will prevent line twist and other issues associated with it. Take the now empty reel and clean reel, remove it from the rod if you haven’t already and start reeling the reel handle.

Hold the reel in front of you. Spectate and take note of which way the reel spins around. Whichever way it happens to be, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is the fact that the line you are spooling on comes off the same way. For example, if your reel turns clockwise, you want to set your spool of fishing line down on the table so that the line comes off it clockwise too.

You can give the new spool of fishing line a pull to see which direction it comes off. The spool may be upside down or right side up when it comes off correctly. Just know, it doesn’t matter. As long as that line comes off the correct way, you are golden.

Tie A Better Than Average Fishing Knot to the Arbor

Tying a good knot to your reel isn’t as much of an issue as tying one to a lure is in freshwater. Most likely for those anglers who fish freshwater exclusively, you will land or lose the fish before it has a chance to run your line right down to the connecting knot. This, however, is the opposite of saltwater anglers. Saltwater fishermen want the strongest line to reel knot they are capable of using.

A great knot type for both types of water is called the arbor knot. The arbor knot got its name for being used for this very purpose. This knot was invented for the purpose of securely attaching fishing line to the spool or arbor of the reel and is one of the strongest fishing knots. You can also use pretty much every other strong fishing knot that you can successfully tie. The choice is really yours to make.

You can tie the Palomar, the improved clinch, the uni or any other knot that has a low profile. On big fish that like to take some drag, the line will probably come off of the spool faster than you want it to. This is probably where remembering to set the drag on a spinning reel will come in handy. If a saltwater fish brings you down to your knot, having a very strong connection to the reel that won’t fail immediately can give you just enough time to reel in line again before it empties.

In freshwater, you will never get down to this point. If you do, you really should be fishing heavier gear. You want to flip the bail open and pass the end of the new line through the first eye of your fishing rod before you tie your knot to the spool and tighten it down. Clip the tag end of the line.

Reel The New Line Onto The Reel Of The Rod

After you have successfully tied your knot, gotten it fastened down and snug against the spool, it is time to start reeling the line in at a moderate pace. You want to grip the line between your index finger and thumb with a fair amount of pressure. You need to be very careful though.

Doing this barehanded can result in a serious case of rope burn on your fingers. It is for this reason that I suggest holding a damp rag while you hold pressure against the line as you reel. the moisture in the rag will help keep the temperature down on the line as well as reverse any damage done to the line or you because of it. You want to reel until you have approximately the right amount of line on. A good rule of thumb is to leave about an eighth of an inch of space between the line and the top of the spool.

Is Your Head Spinning Yet?

The spinning rod is just a fantastic invention. They are easy to use, easy to spool, and they can do just about anything. Everybody who fishes will need to replace the line at one point in their lifetime. Knowing how to spool a spinning reel will eliminate line twists, frustration, cutting line, and stress.

You can always use the spinning rod to catch more fish. Always. They are one tool that I highly recommend that you don’t put away simply because of line problems. Learn how to do it. It will pay off on the water and you will catch many more fish.

What is your favorite method of spooling the spinning rod? Feel free to leave a reply below this post to let your voice be heard!

There is another way that even easier! See my review!

Leave a Comment