How to Load Fishing Line on a Spinning Reel in 6 Steps
Before you begin, make sure you pick out the right fishing line for your needs and prepare an area. I like to load fishing line onto my reels outdoors to avoid breaking things. Waving around a 7 foot fishing rod inside a house is a recipe for broken rod tips and other things. Once you've found a location to work in, continue on by following the steps below.
Step 1 - Run the Line Through the Eyes of the Fishing Rod
Start by opening your new spool of fishing line and running the line through the rod guides. Some people will only run the line through the first rod eye, however, I personally start at the tip of the rod and run the fishing line through all of the rod's line guides.
Just make sure you'll be able to apply tension to the spool when you start reeling. The advantage of running the line through the first guide near the reel is that you can hold the spool of line between your feet to apply tension and avoid having to mount the spool onto something to prevent it from moving around.
Step 2 - Open the Bail and Tie the Fishing Line Onto Your Spinning Reel's Spool
Once you've run the fishing line through the rod guides you can tie the line onto the spinning reel's spool. A common fishing knot for tying fishing line on a reel's spool is the arbor knot. However, you can use whatever knot you want here, its primary purpose is to help create friction to start the process of spooling the line onto the reel.
Some anglers just use a piece of tape or even just wrap the line around the reel a few times. The argument is that you should never let a fish pull so much fishing line out that you need to rely on the fishing knot. While this might be true, it only takes a second to tie a knot, so I go ahead and do it every time, often just using a couple overhand knots.
Step 3 - Place the Spool of Fishing Line So It Unspools Properly
Once you've secured the fishing line to the spinning reel, place the new spool of line so that the line comes off the spool vertically. To help reduce your chances of wind knots or line twist, it's also advised to position the line so that it feeds onto your reel the same way it came off the spool.
Step 4 - Slowly Begin Reeling While Applying Tension to the Fishing Line
Close the bail and begin reeling the fishing line onto the spool by turning the handle. As your reel, make sure to apply tension to the fishing line by grabbing the fishing line near the rod guide closest to the spinning reel with one hand and reeling with the other. It's advised to use a wet towel when grabbing braided fishing line as you could potentially cut or burn yourself.
Step 5 - Avoid Overloading the Reel
Continue reeling until the reel's spool is filled to about 1/8th inch from the edge. Completely filling the spool can result in the fishing line jumping off too quickly as you cast, resulting in wind knots or worse, a bird's nest. You don't want to start off your next fishing trip with a tangled mess!
Step 6 - That's It! You Can Now Cut the Line and Tie on A Lure
That's it! Once you've filled the spool to about 1/8th of an inch from its edge, go ahead and cut the line. Make sure your fishing line is running from the spool, through the bail's line roller, and up through the rod guides. You're now ready to tie on your favorite fishing lure and go catch some fish!
In this guide you learned how to put fishing line on a new spinning reel. Now it's time to tie on a hook with your favorite bait on the hook, and head out to catch some bass! If you're a beginner and aren't sure of any nearby spots, we have a guide filled with tips for finding new places to fish.