How To Put Line On A Spinning Reel And Avoid The Annoying Twists

How successful your first day of fishing goes depends on whether you know how to put a line on a spinning reel. A properly spooled fishing line improves the rod's maneuverability and prevents line tangles. Without further ado, let me show you how to tie a perfect line onto your spinning reel before you go out fishing.


Step By Step Process On Lining Your Spinning Reel

how to put line on a spinning reel

What You Need

  • Spinning reel
  • Fishing line
  • Adhesive
  • Lukewarm water
  • Fishing pliers

I have seen many frustrated anglers lose their catch because they tied a weak line to their fishing rods. Although I would not want you to make the same mistake, I also would not like you to think that spooling your rod is a complicated process. I am going to show you just how easy it is and help you achieve a perfectly spun fishing line in no time.

#1 Open The Bail

how to put line on a spinning reel

The bail is like a latch that secures the spinning reel in place on your fishing rod. It swings up to open and back down to secure the position of the reel. It is important that you have the latch opened (quite easy to forget) so that it does not get in the way as you spool the reel.

By opening the bail, you are able to access both the reel and the drag. You also have a better chance of doing a good job of spooling the fishing line. A perfect spin fishing line should not hang loosely or tangle when you cast it out into the water.

#2 Check Line Length

Check Line Length of Reel

Spooling the right length of line ensures you are able to cast the line to any desired distance on your fishing trips. Normally, spinning reels are calibrated with the amount of line that can be wound onto them. This is indicated through a calibration written on the reel.

A standard reel will be calibrated as 6lb/240yards-8lb/200yards. It means the reel can accommodate a 6-pound fishing line for up to a 240-yard distance, or an 8-pound line up to a 200-yard distance. Anything below or above this bracket will cause problems while fishing. About 15 to 20 turns of the fishing line should be enough to fill up any standard-size spool.

#3 Attach The Line To The Spool

Attach The Line To The Spool Reel

One end of the fishing line attaches to the spool via an arbor knot. An arbor knot secures the fishing line firmly onto the spool making it easy to reel a line length of your choice. Get the arbor knot right and you will never worry about fishing line tangles.

Take one end of the line and tie an overhand knot. Then wrap the line around the spool and tie a second overhand ensuring the first overhand knot stays on the outer part of the loop.

Attach The Line To The Spool Reel

Now pull the line to tighten it around the spool; the first knot acts like a lock to secure the line from untangling. You can also use adhesive tape over the knot to secure it before you reel the line onto the spool.

Remember, loading your fishing line onto the spool depends on the kind of line you have. The procedure is different for monofilament lines and braided lines. Spooling a braided line will be talked about in the last step.

#4 Reeling The Line Onto The Spool

Reeling The Line Onto The Spool

Now you can reel the line onto the spool using the reel handle. For a consistent spool, let your other hand hold the line out using the thumb and index fingers. This also prevents the line from tangling or wounding loosely around the spool. As you spool the spinning reel, do it gently so that you don’t burn or cut your other hand holding the line out.

Remember, as you reel the line onto the spool, it has to be in the direction it comes out of its packaging spool. That is, if the line was wound in a clockwise direction when packaged, that is the same direction to follow when spooling your spinning reel.

Most commercially sold fishing line spools are wound in a clockwise direction; keep the label of the spool facing out so the line comes out in a clockwise direction.

Reeling The Line Onto The Spool

Ensure you spool enough fishing line onto the reel to cover the maximum distance you will want to fish. On the other hand, be careful not to wound too much line onto the spool. As a rule of thumb, always spin the line to about a 1/6 or1/8 inches in length below the spools rim.

Never let the wound line go beyond the edges of the spool or this will cause problems when fishing. Aiming to reel the line just below the spool edge automatically guarantees the maximum line capacity required for that specific reel.

#5 Change The Line’s Memory To Fit Your Spool

Change The Line’s Memory To Fit Your Spool

Fishing lines are made from nylon or fluorocarbon and tend to take the shape of the spool they are packaged in. If the line is not committed to your fishing rod’s spool memory, it tends to jump off the spool creating tangles. There is a simple trick I use to make my fishing line adjust to the new spool size.

Once you spin enough line onto your spool, cut the line and secure the remaining end onto the spool’s line tie. You can also use adhesive tape to secure the line to the spool. Now take off the spool by unscrewing the drag adjustment knob.

Once you detach the spool from its position, dip it in lukewarm water and let it sit for 10 minutes. When you take it off, the fishing line will have adjusted to the new spool size. This is a quick technique to ensure you cast right away after assembling your fishing line for the first time.

#6 Checking For Line Twists

Checking For Line Twists

Tangles on a freshly fixed fishing line are every angler’s nightmare. Most anglers would blame the quality of the line for line twists. However, it all depends on how well you spool your spinning reel and whether you troubleshoot for line tangles after.

It is important that you countercheck for line twists before you start using your new fishing line. This helps you rectify the problem early enough so that it does not to ruin a perfect day of fishing. Furthermore, checking for line twists is quite easy.

line twist

To begin the test, pull a significant amount of line from the reel then suspend it. A line twist manifests as several curly twists on one or different places along the line. It is a nightmare a lot of anglers face, but one that can be easily corrected.

In case you experience line twists on your spooled line, you need to purchase a swivel. The purpose of the swivel is to stop the line from tangling when reeling the line out or back. Note that swivels are sold in different sizes and it is important to get the one that fits your rod; otherwise, you will still have the same line-twist problem.

#7 Spooling A Braided Fishing Line

Spooling A Braided Fishing Line

If you are spooling with a braided fishing line, then the approach has to be a little different. Braided lines do not grip on the spool as perfectly as the monofilament lines. What you will discover is that the braided line tends to slip off the spool as you reel the line.

To prevent line twists, spool a monofilament line as the base line then combine with a braided line. Use steps one to six above to get your monofilament line fixed as the base. Make sure you do not spool a big chunk of the mono, leave less room for the braided line.

Spooling A Braided Fishing Line

When you have enough mono line loaded onto the spool, cut the line then tie a mono to braid knot to connect the two. Again, the famous arbor knot comes in handy to secure the two knots together. Now continue loading the braid line onto the spool holding it out with two fingers to create a tight tension.

The secret to achieving a perfect load of your braided line is to hold it out tightly. Braid line does not have friction like mono and tends to slip off. A mono base gives the needed tension to spool a braided line. Alternatively, stick a piece of electrical or masking tape on to the spool’s base first before spooling the braided line; the tape creates the friction required to hold the braided line in place as you load your fishing rod.


I am hoping you found this step-by-step explanation comprehensive and helpful. As I said, I was growing tired of seeing anglers spool their reels the wrong way. Fishing does not have to be frustrating and complicated, you only have to get the spooling part right to have an efficiently working rod.

Comment below and let me know if the warm water trick of adjusting the line’s memory to your spool works for you. I have owned a couple of fishing rods and I can tell you it works all the time. Lastly, share this article widely; let us help as many anglers as we can out there.

Lucas Bryant

Hi, I’m Lucas Bryant and fishing is one of the most important parts of my life. I usually go fishing with my friends and have many fishing competition. That why I like to research and create many tips to get more fishes to win a race. I hope my experience will be useful for you.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 3 comments
Chris louis - 5 years ago

Hi Lucas, Thanks for your article. I am planning to buy a baitcasting reel. have there any differences to put the line in a bait casting reel?

    Lucas Bryant - 5 years ago

    Yes of course, because of the design both of them very different. I’m planning to write another article 😀

      Chris louis - 5 years ago

      Thanks, waiting for your next article on the differences.


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