How To Put Fishing Line On a Baitcasting Reel?

If you’re excited to use a baitcasting reel for fishing, the first thing to do is make sure it has the right fishing line. Putting fishing line on a baitcasting reel might seem a bit tricky, especially if you’re new to fishing, but don’t worry, it’s not too hard.

In this simple guide, we’ll go through the steps one by one, from choosing the right line to getting it on your reel correctly. Whether you’re just starting or you’ve been fishing a bit, understanding these basics will make you more confident and improve your chances of catching something great.

So, let’s keep it easy and get your baitcasting reel set up for a successful fishing trip!

How To Put Fishing Line On a Baitcasting Reel?

Simply follow each step one by one, and you’ll steer clear of any issues.

Material Required

To properly switch the line on your baitcasting reel, you’ll need a few essential fishing supplies:

  • The rod
  • The reel
  • A pencil
  • A fishing buddy
  • Braided line with hooks (optional)

No need to stress if you lack enough fishing buddies to complete your gear list. To ensure a complete baitcasting reel setup, you can always rely on a fishing line spooler.

1. Tie on some monofilament backing

If you’re using braided line, this step is crucial for adding cushioning and preventing any slipping on the spool.

Essentially, you wrap the line around the spool of the baitcasting reel and guide it through the line. If handling the line around the spool is tricky, you can use a pair of fly fishing forceps to make it easier.

Tie on some monofilament backing

To secure the monofilament line to the spool, tie an Arbor Knot using an overhand knot.

2. Lay down some mono line on the reel spool as a cushion

Reel in sufficient mono line to create a cushion, adjusting based on the size and type of baitcasting reel you have (especially if using braid). Baitcasting reels usually handle line lengths of 50 yards or more.

To ensure the mono fishing line coils sit smoothly on the spool, have someone hold the line spool and apply slight tension to the line as you wind it onto the reel.

Lay down some mono line on the reel spool as a cushion

On the baitcasting spool, we lay down a single layer of monofilament line for two reasons: to cushion the line and prevent slipping (which can happen with braid if tied directly), and to save costs, as mono is the most budget-friendly fishing line and doesn’t require as much as braided lines.

3. Tie on your braid to the mono

You can use either the Double Uni Knot or the FG Knot to connect the braided line to the mono backing line. Afterward, spool the braided line onto your baitcasting reel until you reach the desired length, typically around 100 yards, especially when dealing with fast and long-running fish.

Tie on your braid to the mono

(If you plan to use mono fishing line instead of braided line, you can skip this step. In that case, you can fill the baitcasting reel spool directly with the mono line, without using it just as the backing line)

Use a mono or fluorocarbon line as a leader by connecting it to the braided line, and you’re ready to start fishing!

4. Tie off a Lure or Hook to the End of the Line

This step helps prevent the line from backing up on the reel by keeping some tension on it. My preferred way to tie off is using a small hook. This method ensures there won’t be any issues with it snagging on lures you might want to use on another rod in the future.

Frequently Asked Question

Here are some questions about putting fishing line on a reel:

Should I string the line through all the guides before or after?

You can wind the line onto the reel either before or after, but I’ve discovered it’s simpler to do it afterward because you have better control. When the reel covers the whole line, handling it becomes a bit tricky. However, you have the option to do it before if that’s your preference.

I have some loose spots on my reel. What do I do?

If the tangles are near the surface, you can try pulling them. For deeper knots, unwind the line past the loose part and then wind it back with enough tension.

Why have I read about keeping the spool of line face up?

This is necessary only for spinner reels. Load the line in the same direction as instructed by the manufacturer. When removing the line from the reel, ensure you cast it in the same direction.

How can I prevent line twists when spooling a new line?

As you can see, the method mentioned above is useful for avoiding twists. Figuring out the direction of the twist will assist you in straightening your line. You can achieve this by flipping the line spool.

How many lines to put on my baitcasting reel?

Several factors come into play. The size of your baitcasting reel is the initial consideration. If a baitcaster requires only 150 yards of line, then that amount might be sufficient. However, reels designed for offshore use might demand ten times that quantity.

Consider what type of fish you’re after too. Generally, bass and trout tend to make quick runs, but only for short durations.

On the other hand, freshwater predators like musky and striped bass can make strong runs and surges. You’ll need an ample line to allow these fish to run against the drag on the reel and give you the upper hand.

Why do I need to apply tension to the backing line as I put it on?

As you start reeling, apply tension to both sides of the line filler spool (have your assistant insert a pencil through it and apply pressure with their thumbs). This helps keep the line coils neat and flush.

As you pull the line from the filler spool, the line guide will neatly lay the lines next to each other, keeping them snug.


Now that you know how to put fishing line on your baitcasting reel, you’re all set for your fishing trip. Choose the right line based on the fish you’re after and the size of your reel. Adding a mono backing can save money and prevent slipping.

Remember to maintain tension while spooling the line and use the correct knots to connect different types of line. Whether you reel in before or after, keeping the line snug is essential. With these steps and tips in mind, you’re ready to enjoy a successful day of fishing!

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