6 Easy Steps on How to Put Fishing Line on a Reel

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As much as people love fishing, they dread the task of putting a fishing line on a reel. 

The only obvious reason for this is lack of knowledge about how to do it. 

In fact, people do not dread the task in itself. The idea that they will have to do it all over again if they commit a single mistake causes more trouble. 

There are many obstacles that people can face while putting a fishing line on a reel. 

This guide will come to your rescue and help you deal with these obstacles and learn all the required tricks. If you want to learn how to put fishing line on a reel, then read ahead.

Line Selection

There are several types of fishing lines. Selecting the appropriate one is the first step to go. 

You should get familiar with all the main types to decide which one will serve your requirements the best. There are three main types of fishing lines – monofilament lines, fluorocarbon lines, and braided lines. 

The monofilament line is very thin and flexible. Due to the elasticity, it stretches easily. If you plan to use a live bait while fishing, this single strand fishing line will come helpful. 

A fluorocarbon fishing line is less flexible than a monofilament fishing line. This is the fundamental difference between the two. 

However, the fluorocarbon line is harder to see underwater for fishes. They are perfect for when you are fishing in shallow water. Like the monofilament line, this also works well with live-baits.

The braided fishing line combines multiple synthetic materials to create a single braided fishing line. It is naturally heavier than the other two fishing lines. It sinks slowly and is clearly visible under the water.

Understand the location where you will be fishing before deciding on any type of fishing reel. Take your time and choose one accordingly. You can also experiment and try a new one to find out whether it works better for you. 

Observe The Reel

Understanding the equipment that you’re going to work with is important. 

Make a quick observation of your fishing reel to determine the direction in which it turns. It can turn clockwise or anti-clockwise. 

This essential step will help you assess the correct direction as if you move it the wrong way, it will peel off when you turn the handle. 

Don’t worry. This step is easier than it sounds. You simply have to turn the reel’s handle a few times to determine the direction of the fishing reel. 

Open The Bail 

Next, you need to open the bail to fix the fishing reel into it. 

The bail will have a wire handle that opens and closes through, flipping it up and down. 

Open it up once and check if it has any previously installed or left over the fishing reel. If it does, take it out so that you can put in the new one. 

Run The Reel Through The Guides

If you don’t know it yet, the small hoops placed along the bottom part of a fishing rod are called guides. 

You have to carefully pass the fishing line one-by-one through all these guide hoops.

Next, you have to secure it. 

There are many ways to do so. The most common and convenient way is to tie a tight overhand knot. It will ensure that it stays in place as it is.  

Do not forget to trim the excess fishing line with the help of line cutters to keep it neat. 

Spool Orientation

This is a crucial step when we’re talking about how to put fishing line on a spinning reel. It is time to close the bail. To do this, you have to crank and load the reel by winding it.

There are many ways to orient the spool. However, be careful about how you’re doing it. A single mistake can result in a line twist. 

To do it correctly, you need to stand up and hold the rod parallel to the floor. 

Next, put a tiny tension on the fishing line, keeping your hand between the first guide hoop and the reel. Turn the handle slowly after that to wind the reel down. This will lay the fishing line onto the reel in even wraps. 

After a few cranks, observe the line on the floor. 

You should be able to see some relaxed, coiled loops on the floor. If you don’t, you will have to flip the spool over and do it all over again. 

You also have to ensure that the spool line is facing in the correct decision. Be careful about this step as it is very important. 

You should know how and how not to orient the spool, equally well.. 

After reading this guide explaining how to put line on a fishing reel, you know both. 

Cut The Excess And Secure The Line

You should always keep some line excess before trimming it down after carefully winding it. 

The next step is to secure the free end of your fishing line. You wouldn’t want to repeat the whole process all over again, after all. 

This is important to prevent it from slipping through the guides. 

To secure it, you can use a lure, swivel, tape, or even a rubber band. You can also alternatively tie the loose end along with the tab (if your spool comes with a tab). 


You should now be adequately equipped with all the basic and necessary knowledge that you need to put a fishing line on a reel.

You will not only be able to distinguish between the types of fishing reels, but also choose the right one for yourself. All this apart from learning all there is to put the line on the reel properly. 

With this essential knowledge, you will be able to make your fishing trips effortless and convenient. You will be able to spool through different types of fishing reels efficiently. 

You will also be able to spool any time in only a few minutes. 

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Donald Patt

Donald Platt, our founder, is a fishing enthusiast who has almost 10 years of experience in fly fishing. While Donald works hard to put up the most informative articles, he still keeps his Sundays free for a quick fishing trip.

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