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The Correct Way To Spool A Fishing Reel


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1.Take the old line off the reel, then run the end of the new line up through the rod guides to the reel and tie it to the spool of the reel.

2.Put a pencil into the new spool and have somebody hold it. Or use a reel filling station that you can buy at a tackle shop to hold the spool of line. To avoid twists, make sure the line feeds off the top of the supply reel.


Baitcasting reelFor a baitcasting reel, fill to within a quarter inch of the outer rim. Keep a bit of pressure on the line so it doesn't get loopy and tangled.


Spinning reelFor a spinning reel (the kind that hangs down underneath the rod), you place the supply reel on the floor. You need to determine whether to place it label side up, or down, in order to minimize introducing line twists during the loading process. This needs to be done for every supply reel, as the direction the line has been loaded can vary from reel to reel, even among the same brands of line. The following 3 steps detail how to determine which side of the supply reel should face up.

1.Look down at the top of your spinning reel, and turn the handle as if you are retrieving the line. Note the direction that the bail rotates around the spool. Most spinning reels rotate in a clockwise direction.

2.Examine your supply spool, and find the end of the line (the lead). It may be secured by tape. Orient the supply spool so that the lead is at the top and the label is facing you.

3.If the lead is coming off the spool in a clockwise direction (i.e., if the free end of the line were an arrow, it would be point to your left), you want to place the supply reel on the floor label side up. Otherwise, you want to place it on the floor label side down. If your spinning reel turns in a counter-clockwise direction, you want to reverse this.

5.First lift the bail arm so it will loop line as you reel and then run the end of the new line up through the rod guides to the reel, and tie onto the spool. Once the line is tied onto the spool lower the bail arm.

6.Hold the line between two fingers to keep it taut as you reel a couple of feet onto the reel.

7.Stop reeling and dip the rod toward the spool on the floor. If the line twists onto itself, turn the spool over before putting more line on. If the line is okay, go ahead and finish.

1.For a spinning reel, a good way to spool the line is to take a soft cotton cloth and hold the line in the cloth at about the first eye. Apply a good amount of tension, so the line does not spool loose, and you can real as fast as you like.

8.Fill the reel only until it is about a quarter inch from the rim.

9.For a closed-faced reel (like the Zebco 33, etc), fill it the same way you do a spinning reel, except make sure you run the line through the hole in the reel face before tying it to the reel spool. Screw the face back on before reeling on the new line.


•Using a line conditioner to treat your filler spools prior to filling your reel spool will help the line wind on your reel better with less twist. Regular use of a quality line conditioner before and after fishing will protect your line and help it last longer and give you longer more accurate casts.

•To avoid loops when you fish, keep tension on the line whenever you are reeling. If you need to, hold the line between your thumb and finger in front of the reel.

•If you do get a lot of twists in your line, take the lure off and just let a lot of line out behind the boat as you go. This will take the loops out.

•If you don't have a boat, just take off the lure and tie your line to a post. Walk away, spooling out line behind you. Now have somebody cut the line free so you can reel it back on, but be sure to keep tension on it with your fingers.

•Take the old line to a line recycling bin. You can find these at most tackle shops.

•If you are using braided line, make sure you put cloth tape or a layer of mono on the reel first. Otherwise the braid will slip around the spool and you won't be able to set the hook.

•If you're a real tight-wad, you might want to take the old line off onto a different spool, then re-spool it on back wards. That way the used part is down by the bottom and fresher line is up where you use it.

•To attach the new line to the spool, you can tie a regular square knot, but make sure you get the knot snug against the spool so it doesn't slip. First aid tape on the reel spool really helps with the slippage problem.

•Closed-face reels don't hold much line, so make sure to unscrew the cover now and then to check how much you've got on there.


•NEVER dispose of old line by throwing it on the ground or into the water. Birds and fish get tangled in old line and die.

•Biting the line can chip or break your teeth.

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A couple of extra tips

When you back up your braid with mono or spool up with mono only, tie a couple of half hitches each side of the starting knot on the spool preferably by tying a uni knot for the starter knot...It's a good idea to do this in case you are taken down to the spool knot by a fish, in order to keep the pressure off the knot and the half hitches will stretch evenly and share the load...The mono backing should always be at least 10 percent stronger than the main line..

Also before you spool on new monfilament line only spool on around four metres and as is including in no.7 above, drop the rod tip slowly to the floor ..if the line coils up badly, try spooling the new spool on the wrong way around and if it still coils up badly take the spool back to where you bought it, show them the problem and exchange the particular spool of line for another brand.....


jewgaffer :1fishing1:

Edited by jewgaffer
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Great info jewgaffer :thumbup:


I used to use a albright at leader but now use the 5 turn surgeon

which now use a fair amount

also your first guide diameter might be the cause of the tangles

as the 3000 spool might be to big for it.just a thought hope it helps



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informative post as always Jewgaffer - thanks for taking the time to type it out!!

To be honest I dont normally pay alot of attention to line twist but I should. I have one setup - a daiwa sol 3000 with 20 pound red platil braid on it that is very thin line and soft. Sometimes have trouble with it catchin on the first guide of the rod when casting plastics - and the leader to main albright catches on the rod guides leading to frustrating tangles... have been getting around this with a shorter leader, ie not winding the joining knot through the guides. especially when making 100's of casts with a SP when snapper fishing.. wonder whether line twist is a factor here.

thanks again mate


G'day Andy,

Line twist isn;t anywhere near as much of a problem with limp braid as with mono... but to get rid of it, cut your rigs off at the end of the day's fishing and as you're travelling in your boat, let out about 50-100 of line behind the boat. If you 'troll' the line only for about 5 minutes it'll get rid of most of the twist for you.

Cheers, Slinky

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I would not recommend using a cloth with a PE braid.As the heat generated can cause the material used in the manufacturing process to break down.

It would be better to use two old spools on either side of the new spool and push together for tension. Or better still majority of the tackle shops will spool your line for you.If they have a spooling machine its even better.

Hope this helps


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Hi Rich P......Thank you for your advice on the possibilty of developing a heat problem when using a piece of cloth and spooling on PE braids Rich.....I've always been sensitive about any heat problem developing when wearing a glove for spooling on line particularly if there is a possibililty of nylon line expanding and causing a weak spot somewhere...

Hi mc fishn.....Quite a few people I know and myself included place their new line spool to soak in a bucket of water for a while....that helps add weight to the line for settling it on the reel spool, gives the line good distribitution and holds the spool itself down when spooling the new line solo ....the bucket needs to be outside of the house because of all the water spray that comes out as the spool spins around in the water and has to be held in the correct side on position and also kept upright...... I find it better to use a light weight rod to maintain the line tension when holding a bent rod against the weight of the line spool.....


jewgaffer :1fishing1:

Edited by jewgaffer
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G'day Jewgaffer,

Thanks once again for these very informative tips. it's people like you who help the inexperienced like me learn tips, tricks and whole lot more from your knowledge of our favourite past time.


Robert :1fishing1::beersmile:

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