How To Put Line On A Fishing Reel

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How To Put Line On A Fishing Reel
How To Put Line On A Fishing Reel

In this article, we are going to look at how to put a line on a fishing reel. If you have ever tried to fish with an incorrectly spooled line, you will know what sort of pains it can cause.

After the second or third time of unpicking your line tangles, you are surely wanting to know why it is happening, and what you can do about it. No matter how many times you try it, swearing will not fix the issue.

The only way that you can prevent line tangles and twists is by learning how to put the line on correctly in the first place. (I am not saying it is your fault the first time!)

Problems Of Line Twist On A Fishing Reel

Before you learn how to put the line on properly, you need to understand what issues may cause it to become twisted and tangled in the first place. Well, the line twist is the most common perpetrator.

Line Twist

Line twist is the arch-nemesis of every angler, and unless you know how to identify and rectify the problem, it could quite easily be something that stops you from fishing altogether. That is not what we, or you, want to happen.

Nylon monofilament is possibly the worst type of line for causing issues while putting a line on a fishing reel. That is because nylon monofilament has a retention factor of the shape that it is in. That means that it “remembers” what position the line was spooled at manufacturing.

All lines have a slight twist to them because of the manufacturing process. However, there is one significant difference between good and bad manufacturing. That is the size of the supplied spool onto which the line in on. Larger diameter spools will have a lot less inherent twist to them than smaller, tighter coils. Therefore, using a line from a larger diameter spool is much more recommended than from a small one.

You may notice that the more expensive fishing lines are from larger spools, too, so that may play a part in the process. You will also see that spincast and spinning reels are more prone to line twist as the arm rotates around the spool. Whereas baitcasting reels turn, so you will have a lot less twist.

Identifying Line Twist

Identifying if your line is twisted or not, is a straightforward thing to do. Pull some line free from the reel and let it hang freely. If the line has twists in it, you will easily be able to see it by loops and twists forming on their own.

How To Put Line On A Fishing Reel

Now we will look at how to put a new line on a fishing reel depending on the type of reel that you have. The main area of concern that you have to face is noting how the line comes off from both sides of the supply spool.

Do the same test as above to determine to twist. Although we hope there is no large twists line you may get on your reel, you may have slight curves from a supply reel. Whichever side has the least curve is the side you want to use.

Spincast Reels

This section is going to show you how to put a line on a Spincast fishing reel.

The first thing that you need to do is to identify the line capacity of the reel that you are using.

  • Remove the front cone.
  • Remove the remaining lines.
  • Run the line through the first guide of the rod.
  • Put the line through the hole in the cone.
  • Tie the line. Use an overhand knot at the end of the line after pulling it through the cone.
  • Wrap the line around the reel. Do this only until the ends meet.
  • Tie the line. Use a double overhand knot in the two pieces of the line so that they are tied together. The result will be a loop with the initial knot on the outside of the loop.
  • Pull the main line tight. That will pull the first knot up against the second knot, and the line is tight on the reel.
  • Hold the line taut against the reel as you replace the cone. 
  • Keep tension on the line as you start to wind the handle about 50 turns. No need to count, just guess.
  • Take off the cover and check the amount of line. 
  • A good rule of thumb is to leave about 1/8th inch gap from the end of the reel.
  • Run the line through the rest of the guides.

Baitcasting Reels

This section is going to show you how to put a line on a Baitcasting fishing reel.

On baitcasting reels, the process is pretty similar to the Spincast reels:

  • Thread line through line guides.
  • Put the line through the line guide on the reel.
  • Tie the line. Use a double overhand knot in the two pieces of the line so that they are tied together. The result will be a loop with the initial knot on the outside of the loop.
  • Pull the main line tight. That will pull the first knot up against the second knot, and the line is tight on the reel.
  • Ask for help. Your friend will need to hold the supply spool so that the line leads off the reel from the top. Hold it with a pencil or rod through the hole.
  • Put tension on the supply spool.
  • Put tension on the line before the reel.
  • Start reeling.
  • Add the line. Continue until it is 1/8 inch away from the casing.

Spinning Reels

This section is going to show you how to put a line on a Spinning fishing reel.

How To Put Line On A Fishing Reel

As with the previous two types of reel, ensure that you have the right line capacity for the reel.

  • Open the bail. If you forget to do this, it will cause you problems.
  • Tie the line. Use two overhand knots as if you were tying your shoes to tie the line onto the spool. Ensure it is tight.
  • Cut the tag. Cut it as close to the knot as you can get without damaging the knot.
  • Tape the knot. Use tape or a label to place over the knot and the tag end. That helps to stop the tag from getting caught up in the line, and it also ensures a smooth surface to spool the rest of the line.
  • Place the supply spool down. Try to make sure that the “remembered” twist of the line will be going onto the reel in the same direction. That will help with twists. I have found and read that if you put the spool down with the label facing up, it will be in the right orientation. However, ensure that you check that on your reel.
  • Turn your drag down. 
  • Apply pressure to the line. Using your thumb and index finger, hold the line to keep the pressure on it.
  • Wind line on to the spool. Wind the line on to the reel. Remember to stop winding when you have the right amount of line.

How To Put Line Onto A Fishing Reel Top Tip

As you will remember, the line has a memory that includes the direction of the supply spool and also the diameter. Therefore, here is a top tip:

  • Hold the line tight.
  • Remove the drag adjuster. Remember though, to keep all of the washers, so that they come off.
  • Remove the spool altogether. 
  • Wrap the line around the line tie. Ensure that it is secure.
  • Place the whole spool into hot water. Use a cup of hot, NOT boiling water, just hot from the tap.
  • Leave in the water. Leave it for about 10 minutes. However, as it is only a cup, you can leave it for as long as you like as it will cool down pretty quickly. Doing that will consequently, readjust the “memory” of the line to fit the reel that it is now on.
  • Replace the spool.

Conclusion

The majority of reels that you find will certainly have similar, if not the same techniques required for how to put a line on a fishing reel as what you have seen above. You may have to adjust some of the techniques a little, however, the main principle is the same: Watch the direction of the coil for the line as it comes off the spool.

However, if you would like a method for a different type of reel that we have not listed, please let us know.

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