How to Spool a Baitcasting Reel

How to Spool a Baitcasting Reel

Many new anglers are hesitant to buy their first baitcasting reel, and most beginners start out with a spinning rod and reel setup. However, baitcasters can be extremely useful to have in many situations, and crucial in some. Although casting a baitcaster is tougher for most new angler than a spinning reel, it is typically much easier to spool. Follow these quick steps to ensure you do it correctly!

For information on spinning gear vs baitcasting gear, visit here.


Sizing your line for the situation and reel you intend to use is probably the most important first consideration for new anglers looking to re-spool their baitcasting reels. Certain line types are thicker than others at the same breaking strength, so thicker lines will take up more space on the reel. This means less line on the reel, but a higher breaking strength. Choose wisely, and it will make a difference in your success when using certain fishing techniques. 



Monofilament and fluorocarbon fishing lines more easily grip to reel spools, and may be tied directly to the reel, where non plastic lines (like braid) cannot. When tying on braid, I like to use old plastic lines as a backing before using a strong knot to attach my running braid line to the backing. This prevents slippage and allows the braid (often more expensive) to be used effectively and sparingly, to conserve costs. 


You will want a clean space as well as your rod and line. Pass your line of choice through the rod’s guides (this helps prevent loops and knots) and through the baitcasting reel’s level wind guide (the moving arm with a hole next to the spool). Pass the line around the spool, and tie the line to the spool using an arbor knot. 

As you begin reeling, be sure to keep tension on the line and the roll/spool of line that is feeding your rod’s guides. This helps the line wind evenly on the spool of the reel. It also helps prevent line twist that negatively affects performance. 

Hopefully this helps the new anglers planning to fish with baitcasting reels! Keep at it, and hook a monster! 

Learn better visually? Click here for a video explaining this same setup.

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