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How to Properly Spool a Spinning Reel

by Yoshinori Mitani
How to Properly Spool a Spinning Reel

One of the most overlooked concepts in fishing is spooling reels. Many anglers have problems with their line twisting and wonder what causes it. The way to prevent line twist starts with properly spooling your reels. Spinning reels are known for line twist because anglers assume that they can be spooled the same way as baitcasters. Check out these tips on how you can make the line have the best performance on your spinning reels and save money on fishing line by properly spooling.

Spooling with a Filler Spool

Line twist is the main issue that anglers deal with using spinning reels. Preventing line twist starts with how your line comes off the spool onto your reel. With baitcasters, the angler can spool his or her reel with any size spool of line with the line coming off the top of the spool as it sits horizontally. However, this is not the case with spooling spinning reels. Using a filler spool (330 yards or less), the spool needs to lay flat with the line coming off the spool the same way that the reel spins. For example, if the reel spins clockwise, the line needs to come off the filler spool clockwise. If this is confusing to you, try a couple turns of the handle one way. If the line forms twists rather than a natural curve, then flip the spool and try it again. Proper spooling with fluorocarbon is especially important as it is stiffer by nature and more impacted by improper spooling.

Spooling with a Bulk Spool

A bulk spool is typically 600 yards or more, so the spool is taller when it sits face down. When dealing with spools like this, it is better to sit the spool horizontally in a spooling station or you can have a friend hold it with a pencil or screwdriver. When doing this, make sure the line comes off the bottom of the spool as it sits horizontally when spooling a spinning reel. As mentioned, this is the opposite of spooling baitcasters as the line needs to come off the top of the spool. Sunline offers a 660 yard spool of FC Sniper that features a built-in spooling system that makes doing this so much easier.

More Tips for Spooling

  1. Always Hold Tension on the Line—Put just enough tension on the line when spooling so that it will spool tightly onto the reel.

  2. Use Backing with Braid—This applies to using braid on both spinning reels and baitcasters. Braid can be extremely slick which can cause it to slip when tied around the reel spool. This will make your reel seem like the drag is not working when all your line is just spinning on the spool. Applying a nylon backing will keep braid from slipping on your spool. Sunline offers a line called Sokomaki specifically for backing only. It is a 1000-yard spool that can last a lifetime so the angler won’t have to waste any other line. It is also wise to use backing on all reels to prevent from wasting line whether it’s fluorocarbon, nylon monofilament, or braid. Use more backing on bigger spools and less backing on smaller spools.

  3. Spool Slowly and Don’t Overfill—Always make sure to spool your reels slow and steady so that the line can go on the reel smoothly. Also make sure that you leave about 1/8 inch of the reel spool showing when done spooling. Overfilling a reel will cause line to get tangled.

If you are looking for a great bag to store all of your lines, the Sunline Camo Line storage bag is a great way to store and protect all your lines.

See how Bassmaster pro Jason Christie spools his spinning reels in this video.