Learning how to spool a spinning reel correctly is critical for a tangle free day of fishing. Many issues can arise that will leave you scratching your head if a spinning reel is not properly spooled. A poor job leads to tangled rat nests and wasted fishing line. We show you how to effectively spool up your fishing pole for a hassle free day. There are several items needed for the spooling process. Gather your spinning rod & reel, a new spool of fishing line, a pen, a pair of nail clippers, and a bowl of water. You can complete the steps below by yourself, however having a friend nearby always helps.
How to String a Fishing Pole
Thread your line down the rod, starting with the first guide at the tip of your rod. Proceed all the way down to the last rod guide before your reel. Make sure that the line cleanly passes through each guide from top to bottom, and not wrapped around your rod or threaded through the brackets of your rod guides. Before you begin to tie the line to the spool, confirm that the bail is open. If the bail is already closed, it will not catch line and you will be unable to reel in your line. Stringing the line through rod guides is tedious work and is not something you want to do twice because you forgot to open the bail. If your reel has an anti-reverse lever, make sure it is set to OFF while spooling on line. Otherwise you run the risk of reversing the process and spooling the line out.
How to Tie Line to a Reel
Once you have stringed up your fishing pole, it is time to tie your line to the reel. This is a very important step that secures your line system and determines how evenly your line spools to your reel. Reminder, the bail on the spool must be open before you tie. An Arbor Knot is the most common and effective knot for tying line to a reel. To tie an Arbor Knot, begin by wrapping the line around the reel and make an overhand knot around the standing part of the line with the tag end. Next, make a second overhand knot with the tag end, about two inches up from the first. Moisten the line with your mouth or some water and pull the standing end while the overhand knot slides down tight around the spool. The second knot should tighten into the first, smoothly cinching the full knot to the reel spool so that your line catches and fills the reel. Clip your tag end down to roughly 1/8″ so it does not impede with the application of your new line.
How to Put Line on a Spinning Reel
After your knot is tied, tug it tightly so it is flush with your reel. If you are spooling alone, place the purchased spool of line in a bowl of water. Close your bail, and pinch down on the line with your thumb and index finger. The combination of your sunken spool, and the pressure from your pinch, will provide enough tension to securely apply your line. Reel in gradually, maintaining enough tension to turn your reel once over per second. If someone is available to help, have them place a pencil through the purchased spool and let them apply tension to it while you reel in with both hands. In either scenario, fill your spool up to roughly 1/8″ of space between the line and the lip of your reel. This is generally 3/4 of the recommended capacity. A way to avoid memory with monofilament line is to either submerge the original spool in water or place your detached spool in a cup of water (~1hr) afterwards.
What Line to Spool your Reel With?
Monofilament line is the most common and least expensive type. It is great for beginners because it gives stretch which is forgiving of mistakes when setting the hook, fighting a fish, and landing your catch. We recommend starting with 6 Lb monofilament. However, mono’s synthetic make-up forms to the shape of your spool, and it remembers this shape when the line as cast or reeled. This is called memory, and leads to tangles. You can combat memory with the steps above, and it will naturally reduce over extended use. Braided line is stronger and more durable when measured at the same diameter. However, it is a slightly more advanced option. Braided line is less forgiving to mistakes because it does not stretch and securing your knots properly is more challenging with this material. If you are itching for strength, and are willing to risk the learning curve, we recommend 10 Lb Braid to get started . Here is our thorough article on fishing line types.
Always remember to have the bail open when spooling up your reel. Apply enough tension so that the line is spooled securely and evenly. Avoid spooling excess line on the spool. A good rule of thumb is to leave 1/8″ from the line to the rim of the spool. Over spooling, especially with the line spooled in the opposite direction is asking for a messy tangle during the first use. If you have access to a boat, troll your line almost fully out for 10-15 minutes after recently spooling. This will iron out all the kinks.