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how to spool a spinning reel

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Here's a guide on how to spool a spinning reel:

Before you begin:

  • Gather your supplies: You'll need your spinning reel, fishing line of appropriate weight and length for your reel and target species, line cutters, and (optional) a line spooler.
  • Consult your reel manual: Refer to your specific reel's manual for any recommendations or instructions regarding spooling.


  1. Prepare the reel:

    • Open the bail arm (the wire lever that guides the line) and disengage the clutch (the mechanism that controls line release).
    • If there's any old line remaining, remove it carefully by turning the handle and spooling it off.
  2. Attach the new line:

    • Tie the end of the new line to the spool using a secure knot, such as the improved clinch knot or the Palomar knot.
    • Tip: Some reels have a small notch or spool lip designated for tying the line.
    • Optional: If using a line spooler, attach the spool of line to the spooler and the other end of the line to the reel as instructed by the spooler's manual.
  3. Spool the line:

    • Hold the line spool with your non-dominant hand, keeping slight tension on the line to prevent tangles.
    • With your dominant hand, turn the reel handle clockwise to wind the line onto the spool. Make sure the line lays evenly and tightly across the spool, avoiding gaps or bunching.
    • Optional: If using a line spooler, follow the specific instructions for operating the spooler to wind the line onto the reel.
  4. Fill the spool:

    • Continue spooling until the spool is nearly full, leaving a small gap (around 1/8 inch) between the rim of the spool and the line. This prevents the line from overflowing and causing friction during casting.
  5. Finalize and cut:

    • Close the bail arm and engage the clutch.
    • Using line cutters, carefully trim the excess line.

Additional tips:

  • Use the correct line weight: Ensure the line weight you choose is compatible with your reel and the type of fishing you'll be doing.
  • Wet the line (optional): Some anglers recommend wetting the line slightly as it's being spooled to help it lay evenly on the spool and reduce memory (coils that can affect casting).
  • Avoid overfilling: Overfilling the spool can lead to line tangles and other issues.
  • Practice makes perfect: Spooling a reel smoothly takes practice. Don't be discouraged if it takes a few tries to get the hang of it.

By following these steps and considering the additional tips, you can properly spool your spinning reel and ensure smooth line feeding and casting performance during your next fishing trip.

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