How Much Line Do You Put On A Spinning Reel?

How Much Line Do You Put On A Spinning Reel?
How Much Line Do You Put On A Spinning Reel?

When you’re out there fishing, you need to make sure that everything is perfectly in place. Running out of fishing line can be a minor hindrance you could probably do without. Same with using too much fishing line and having your spool turn into Neptune knot.

So, how much line do you put on a spinning reel?

It all depends on the size of your fishing reel and the type line you want to use. If you look at your fishing reel, it should tell you how much of each type of line and poundage it can hold. A general rule of thumb is to stop once you’re 1/4″ from the edge of the spool. 

Most reels are going to recommend 200 yards of line. Unfortunately, most lines are sold in 150- and 300-yard spools. This creates a bit of a problem. The best way to remedy that problem is by using filler line first.

Use a very cheap line to get started. Then, you should finish things off with the very good line. This will save you money and ensure you have enough good line to catch all of the fish that your heart desires.

How Much Is Too Much?

Ultimately, it can be very difficult to find out how much line is actually needed. Again, the manufacturers will often recommend 200 yards of line. However, this might not be suitable for your line.

And, you do not want to overdo it. Therefore, you should find out how much is simply too much. Well, in general, the fill level will be 1/16th of an inch from the lip. Some experienced fishermen will add a little more.

However, it is generally best to keep the line below the lip. If you use too much line and it extends above the lip, you’re going to experience problems when casting your line.

Crossing this threshold means that you’ve gone way too far.

The spinning reel I personally use the most is the Penn Battle II 2500. This reel comes with indicators that will tell you when you have enough line on your reel. Additionally, it comes with recommendations on the reel which you can see below:

Penn Battle 2 Super Spool

You can check this reel out online here. Or check out my in depth review here.

Too Much Line Can Lead to Wind Knots

Using too much line can create a wealth of problems in the future. In fact, you may end up having to stop to fix things midway through your fixing journey. This is not something you want to do.

While all of these problems can be very annoying, it is true that wind knots are the worst of the worst. With wind knots, you’re going to have an immense problem to deal with.

So, what are wind knots? Well, they’re nothing more than knots or tangles in the wind. While knots can indeed impact mono lines, they’re more common and far more annoying with braided lines.

Fishing Wind Knots

Some companies claim that their braid fishing line will not actually wind knot. This isn’t true. Wind knot prevention features can help, but they’re not the perfect solution.

Still, you should know that the source of the problem is generally the user. And of course, one of the biggest mistakes that you can make it placing too much line on the spinning reel.

Doing so will greatly increase the likelihood that you’re going to experience wind knots at some point in the near future.

Line Types And Fills

Fishing Line Types & Fills

Now, you should know that there are several different types of fishing line that you can use. When you’re talking about getting the exact fill and avoiding wind knots, you’re most likely talking about braided fishing line.

Well, the alternative is monofilament. Both are pretty good, but there are some major differences between them. First and foremost, you should know that the mono line is going to be much less likely to experience wind knots.

It is also generally cheaper. It is a little tougher to go wrong with mono line. You can use a little extra and still not run into too many problems.

Still, the braided fishing line offers numerous benefits. Since it is thinner, you’re going to get much longer cases. It will not stretch either. Therefore, you’re going to have an easier time feeling the fish and getting it hooked will be much easier too.

It is also great that the braided line is going to last longer. The only problem here is that you have to take steps to avoid wind knots. Otherwise, your fishing trip is quickly going to go awry.

Avoiding Too Much Line And Other Ways To Avoid Wind Knots

At the end of the day, wind knots are going to cripple you. Therefore, you need to be very cautious out there. As you have already found out, using too much line can increase the possibility that you’re going to experience wind knots.

Remember to never fill the reel all the way up to the edge. This will result in your reel having too much line and that means you’re going to be much more vulnerable to wind knots. Decrease the amount of line you put on the reel and you’ll be fine.

Thankfully, there are plenty of other things you can do to avoid wind knots too. For starters, you need to make sure that you’re using a good rod. If the rod is flimsy, there is a good chance that knots are going to develop in the near future.

You should also avoid casting your line with too much force. Instead, you should use the sheer technique. Better technique and less brute force will still allow your line to travel a good distance.

It is vital to never cast towards the wind. As the name suggests, wind knots are generally caused by the wind. If you cast with the wind, the line will be much less likely to knot. Casting towards the wind is only going to create problems.

Turn in the other direction and you should be perfectly fine.

Finally, you should never cast the leader knot through the rod’s guides. This is just asking for problems to occur.

Take these steps and there is a good chance that you’re going to be able to avoid wind knots in the future.

The Amount Can Vary

It should be noted that there are many different types of braided fishing line. To get the best results, you need to choose a line that is going to perfectly suit your reel. To do that, you’ll need to focus a great deal on the pound test.

This is nothing more than the strength of the line. To ensure that you’re able to catch the fish, you need a line strength that matches the weight of the fish.

If you’re going to be hauling in 30-pound fish, you’ll need a line with a 30-pound test. Most people will be fine with a 4-pound test line as long as they’re fishing for lighter fish.

Remember that a higher pound test will generally result in a thicker line. As you can see, the precise amount of line that you need on the reel will actually depend on the pound test.

If you have a stronger line, there is a good chance that it is going to be thicker. In return, you will not be able to wrap as much line around the reel.

Therefore, it is generally best to stick with the basics. Remember to never let the line extend past the lip. This is true regardless of the pound test you’re working with.

Make sure that this happens and there is a good chance that you’re going to get good results out there. The rate of wind knots will decrease and you’ll be able to fish for a longer period of time without issues.

Line Amounts And Strengths For Specific Applications

At the end of the day, everyone is different. Some people like fishing near the shore. Others want to go freshwater fishing. Well, you have to be careful to make sure that you get the exact strength and line amount that is needed.

If you’re going to be freshwater fishing, you should be fine with a 2- to 4-pound test line. And, you can often stick with mono line. If you’re going to be fishing from the pier, it is best to go with a pound test of 6 to 10 pounds.

That should be sufficient for the job at hand. Again, mono line should be okay for this specific application. However, you should know that mono and braided lines are often interchangeable.

A 2-pound test to 10-pound test should be fine for spinning. If you’re going to be trolling or bottom fishing, you’ll need to increase the line strength to some degree. It is also a good idea to upgrade to braided line.

For nearshore and offshore fishing, you will need a much stronger line. A 12- to 20-pound test line will be great for near shore fishing.

Those going offshore fishing will need at least 30-pound test. Depending on the fish that you’re going to encounter, you may need to go with a maximum of 130-pound strength.

As for the amount that you need, it depends on the pound test. Make sure that your line never extends past the lip. It is best to have 1/16th of an inch between it.

Hypothetical Recommendations

It is often best to stick with the manufacturer recommendations. Many people do not do this. They’ll either use too much line or too high pound test line. In general, you’ll find that the reels are clearly marked. For instance, with many, you will receive 370 yards of 30-pound test line.

Alternatively, it is possible to have 280 yards of 17-pound test line. Other recommendations can be found below.

Hypothetical Mono Line Recommendations

  • 175 yards of 4-pound test line
  • 110 yards of 6 pound test line
  • 90 yards of 8-pound test line

Hypothetical Braid Line Recommendations

  • 135 yards of 8-pound test line
  • 115 yards of 10-pound test line
  • 85 yards of 15-pound test line

Just remember that the numbers can vary significantly from one model to the next. Be sure to check with the manufacturer’s recommendations before making your purchase.


At the end of the day, having too much line on your reel can be very detrimental. This will increase the likelihood that you’re going to find yourself dealing with wind knots. And, this is a problem that is downright annoying.

You’ll need to work for several minutes or longer to deal with the knot. That is going to take away from the experience. With that being said, you should never overfill your reel. Make sure that you stop before you reach the lip.

This is the best way to avoid problems.


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