Do you need help spooling your spinning reel for your next fishing trip? In this complete beginner’s tutorial, we’ll teach you how to spool a spinning reel with ease. In addition, we’ll discuss what fishing line to use and give you simple tips on maintaining your reel.

Undoubtedly, knowing how to care for and spool your reel correctly will prevent it from malfunctioning while on the water.

Does It Matter What Line You Use on a Spinning Reel?

Many beginner anglers may wonder if they can only use specific fishing lines on a spinning reel. The answer is: no, the line material doesn’t matter, whether you’re using monofilament, fluorocarbon, or braid. However, don’t do anything crazy like using a fly line on a spinning reel; that is pure nonsense.

Although, if you would like to learn more about selecting the correct fishing line for your needs, please refer to our fishing line guide.

Quick Tips for Maintaining Your Spinning Reel

It is essential to maintain your fishing reel every 12-months or so, depending on your fishing activity. Here are some preventative maintenance tips you can perform to keep your reel functioning:

  • If you feel you’re ill-equipped to clean your reel, take it to a professional service.
  • Periodically break down your reel and clean it thoroughly.
  • Ensure you oil your reel’s components after each cleaning.
  • Oil your reel bearings and grease its gears at least once a year.
  • Spray your reel with fresh water and wipe it down after each use in saltwater.

What You’ll Need To Spool a Spinning Reel

Here is a list of items you’ll need to spool a spinning reel:

How To Spool a Spinning Reel

So, now you’re ready to spool the fishing line on your spinning reel. Please follow these step-by-step instructions so that you can accomplish this task with ease:

Step One: Examine Which Direction Your Bail Turns

First, you need to look at what direction your bail spins when you crank your reel’s handle. For instance, is it turning clockwise or counter-clockwise? Then, after you’ve taken a mental note on which direction your bail turns, grab your packaged fishing line and continue.

Step Two: Open the Packaging and Orientate Your Line’s Spool

Next, take your line out of its packaging and peel off the little piece of tape holding down the tip of the line. Then, grab the line’s end and pull it out a foot of it. While you do this, take note of which direction the spool is turning as you let out.

Now, this is important: match the direction your line’s spool is turning with your bail. For example, if your bail turns clockwise, make sure your line’s spool rotates in the same direction as you reel in line. Specifically, ensuring both items are spinning the same way will keep your line from twisting.

Step Three: Flip Your Bail Open

After you’ve matched the direction of your line’s spool with your bail, flip your bail arm open.

Step Four: Thread Your line and Tie an Arbor Knot To the Reel’s Spool

Then, thread your fishing line throw the first guide of your fishing rod, running it down to the reel’s spool. Next, tie an arbor knot to the spool of your reel. If you don’t know how to tie this knot, please check out our tutorial on tying an arbor knot.

Step Five: Close Your Bail and Start Reeling In Line

Next, after cinching down your arbor knot to the reel’s spool, close your bail. Then, take your free hand and grab below your first guide. You want to hold your fishing line against your rod, lightly keeping tension on your line. Keeping slight pressure on your line will deter it from kinking and twisting, making the spooling process easier.

Step Six: Reel Your Line Until It’s Close To the Beveled Edge and Cut Off the Excess

While you apply tension to the line, continue to reel it in. Most importantly, you’ll know when to finish reeling by looking at the beveled edge of the top plate, where the drag control sits. Specifically, reel your line until it’s about an eighth of an inch from the edge of the beveled top.

Lastly, after reeling up your line, cut off the excess. Then, to finish lining your rod, pull out enough fishing line to thread it up through all of your rod’s guides, including the rod’s tip.

Step Seven: Spray Your Spooled Reel With Line Conditioner

    Line & Lure Conditioner

Product information for a line and lure conditioner for line and reel protection against a white background.
    This line and lure conditioner is a high-quality product that can enhance the performance of your fishing line, as well as increase its lifespan. This conditioner can improve your castability and prevent backlashes.

This step is optional yet recommended for anglers spooling their reels with monofilament or fluorocarbon. Since these two line materials have memory, using a line conditioner can improve your line performance. For example, using a line conditioner can lower line memory and reduce the likeliness of backlashes and twisting.

Furthermore, we do not recommend using a line conditioner on braided lines, as the braid does not have any line memory.

Make Sure To Keep Your Reels Clean and Lubricated!

Thus, it is critical to know how to spool your spinning reel correctly so that you can avoid mishaps on the water. In addition, you should also maintain your reel periodically as well to keep it functioning smoothly.

Do you have any questions on spooling a spinning reel? Please, let us know in the comments below. Did this article benefit you in any way? Then, please share it with your fishing buddies via social media.