Reel It In: A Comprehensive Guide on How to Spool a Fishing Reel

How to Spool a Fishing Reel: A Step-by-Step Guide


Fishing is an incredibly popular outdoor activity that offers a unique blend of relaxation and excitement. To ensure a successful fishing experience, it’s crucial to know how to properly spool your fishing reel. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of spooling your reel like a pro.

Gather Your Materials

1. Select the Right Fishing Line

Choosing the right fishing line is essential for optimal performance. Consider factors such as fish species, water conditions, and your preferred fishing style when selecting your line.

2. Prepare Your Reel and Rod

Before you start spooling, make sure your reel is clean and in good working condition. Inspect it for any signs of damage or wear that may affect its performance during casting or reeling in fish.

Next, attach your rod securely by sliding it into the appropriate reel seat on the handle end until it clicks into place. Ensure everything fits snugly together before moving forward.

The Spooling Process

1. Secure Your Fishing Reel Properly

To avoid complications while spooling, find a stable surface where you can secure your reel firmly using either clamps or by enlisting the help of another person.

This stability will prevent unnecessary tangling or slipping during line retrieval from the new spool.


– Use cloth padding or rubber mats under clamps to protect both surfaces from damage.
– If possible, position yourself so that you can comfortably see what you’re doing throughout each step of this process.

2. Attach Your Backing Line (Optional)

If desired, you can attach a backing line to your reel before spooling the main fishing line. Backing lines are thinner and less expensive compared to regular fishing lines.

To attach the backing line, tie an arbor knot around your reel’s spool center. Ensure it is tight and secure.

3. Thread Your Fishing Line

Start by feeding your chosen fishing line through the rod guides (starting from the tip) until it reaches the reel.

Next, open the bail or remove any locking mechanism on your spinning reel to create a clear path for threading. Pass the end of your fishing line through this opening with enough length remaining so that tying knots later will be manageable.


– Hold onto excess line tension throughout this process to minimize twisting or tangling.
– Be cautious not to pass any loops over sharp edges or protrusions in order to preserve its integrity during use.

4. Securely Tie Knots

With both ends of your fishing line in hand – one attached securely to your reel’s spool and the other free – tie an appropriate knot such as a uni-knot, Palomar knot, or improved clinch knot at each end.

These knots ensure that your new fishing line remains connected throughout casting and retrieval without slipping or breaking under pressure.

Finishing Touches

1. Wind Your Fishing Line Onto The Reel

Begin winding steadily while maintaining slight tension on both sides of the spooled line using light finger pressure.

Keep an eye out for any potential tangles or twists as they occur and address them immediately by slowing down or adjusting accordingly before continuing further along with reeling process gradually increases speed if necessary but never force anything causing damage risks instead proceed smoothly until reaching desired amount required within limits specified by manufacturer recommendations mentioned earlier when selecting appropriate poundage test strength suitable given intended fishing conditions and target species.

2. Cut Off Excess Line

Once you have successfully spooled your reel with the desired amount of fishing line, use a sharp pair of scissors or line clippers to cut off any excess length.

Ensure that you leave enough line on the reel for future use while removing the unnecessary portion that may hinder casting performance or cause tangles during future trips.


With this step-by-step guide, you are well-equipped to spool your fishing reel like a seasoned angler. Remember to select the right fishing line for your needs, properly prepare your reel and rod, secure everything in place before starting, and follow each stage of the spooling process diligently. By mastering this skill, you’ll enhance your overall fishing experience and increase your chances of success on every cast. Happy fishing!