how to restring a spinning reel

How To Spool A Spinning Reel

Hey fisherman, today we’re going to talk about how to put line on your spinning reel. If you are using old line, your ability to cast suffers. Additionally, the line becomes weaker over time and with more usage, your chances to lose that trophy catch increase every season. For this reason, I recommend putting new line on your top spinning reel every season at a minimum. Under heavy fishing conditions, you may need to do so more often. Whether this is a new reel or you are restringing a fishing pole, this is how to get it done properly.

The Right Line Is Important

You’re going to want to choose the fishing line based on the size of the fish you will be catching as well as the size of the reel it is going on. For instance, you wouldn’t want to put thick 30 lb test line on a very small spinning reel. The result would be very poor casting and performance. Similarly, you wouldn’t want to fill a large reel with 4 lb test line. It sure would take a lot! Beyond choosing the size (strength) of the line, you also need to decide if you will be fishing with monofilament, fluorocarbon, or braided fishing line. This will largely depend on how you will be fishing. Monofilament fishing line has a lot of stretch and can be a hindrance in some cases. Braided line is highly visible and can deter fish from moving in. Each has its merits and weaknesses and that choice is up to you.
monofilament fishing line
monofilament fishing line
fluorocarbon fishing line
fluorocarbon fishing line
braided fishing line
braided fishing line

Put Line On Your Spinning Reel

Step1: Rod and Reel Size Matters

Put the fishing reel onto a properly sized spinning rod. It doesn’t have to be the entire rod if it’s 2 piece, just the bottom will be fine.
fishing pole with monofilament fishing line
run line through eye towards reel

Step 2: Line Through Rod Eyes

Run the line through the eye or eyes from the end (as though reeling it in) down towards the reel.

Step 3: How to Tie Line to Reel

How to tie fishing line to a reel? With the bail open, of course! Many line manufacturers recommend tying a double overhand knot and snipping off the excess after cinching down the knot. It doesn’t really matter what knot you use to tie the line to the reel, as long as you get it tight and it holds. It would only be critical if a fish ran all the line off your reel. At that point, you will most likely lose the fish due to the know snapping anyway. Trim the tag end 1/8″ from the knot.
with bail open, tie line to spool tight
ensure line is on roller guide, new line label side up

Step 4: Close Bail on Spool

Close the bail and ensure the line is on the roller guide (see arrow) of the spinning reel and the new line spool is placed so the line comes off counter-clockwise (label side up).

Step 5: Add Pressure to New Line While Spinning

Add pressure and begin reeling the line onto the new fishing reel.
add pressure to line with fingers while spooling
fill spool to within 1/8" of edge

Step 6: Fill Reel to 1/8″ From Edge of Spool

Continue reeling until you fill the spool. How much line do you put on a spinning reel? Generally, I would fill the reel to about ⅛” from the bottom of the spool. Do not overfill. Overfilling will result in excess line flying off during casting which causes “bird nests”. It’s no fun.
Remember that it is important to respool every year at a minimum. Aside from the wear and tear, if you fish as much as me, you end up changing tackle enough to make a lot of that line disappear. The video below is a walkthrough of how to spool a spinning reel with a new Shimano Sienna 2500 combo.
Hopefully, these tips on spooling a spinning reel help you avoid line twist and wind knots for the season. Now that your spinning reel is filled with new line, go out and catch some fish! Good luck and happy fishing!