How To Use Spinning Reel?

Fishing with a spinning reel is exciting and fun. It’s a handy tool for catching fish, whether you’re new to fishing or have been doing it for years.

Spinning reels are easy to handle and can be used in lots of different fishing situations, which is why many people like them.

In this guide, we’ll show you the basics of using a spinning reel. We’ll explain all the parts of the reel and teach you some important techniques for casting your line, controlling it, and catching more fish.

Whether you’re just starting out or want to get better at fishing, this guide will help you understand how to use a spinning reel so you can have more fun and success on the water. Let’s get started!

How To Use Spinning Reel?

Spinning reels are known for being handy and versatile when it comes to catching different types of fish. The spinning reel’s spool is easy to understand, making casting simple. Plus, it has a drag system that can be adjusted to match the size and strength of the fish you’re trying to catch.

Even though both experienced and new anglers use spinning rods and reels, beginners tend to find them especially helpful. Whether you’re fishing in freshwater or saltwater, spinning reels are versatile tools that can help you catch almost any type of fish.

As you get more comfortable using spinning reels, you can explore more specialized gear like baitcaster reels and regular reels in the future. As your fishing skills grow, trying out different types of equipment can add to your fishing experience.

1. Choosing the Right Fishing Rod

Hold the fishing rod with your dominant hand in a relaxed manner. Keep your palm facing inward, away from the rod, as you extend the rod in front of you. Use your fingers to grip the handle of the reel, which is connected to the rod.

Wrap your pinky and ring fingers around the point where your pointer and index fingers meet on the other side of the rod. For better control, try adjusting your grip by twisting your thumb over the top.

When casting your line, it’s important to keep a relaxed grip on your rod. Avoid gripping it too tightly to the point where your knuckles turn white.

Place the spinning wheel under your rod as you turn your wrist. Make sure your wrist is right under the reel when you spin the fishing rod in your hand. Hold on tight to keep a firm grip with your hands.

Fishing Rod
  • Spinning wheels are round gadgets positioned right above your rod’s handle. They come with a built-in reel system, along with a fishing line and bail.

Pull in the line by extending your index finger. Let go of your index finger from under the fishing post while keeping your non-dominant hand on the reel handle. Loop a portion of the fishing line around the shaft of your knuckle and point it away from your hands.

Release your index finger

Position your finger between the cushions, ensuring the top part of your finger touches the fishing line. Let go of the reel handle if you have been holding it.

Leave 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm) of line hanging from your rod after reeling it in. Turn the reel wrench slowly in a clockwise direction using your non-dominant hand.

reel wrench should be turned clockwise slowly with your non-dominant hand

When you turn the handle, the tip of your fishing rod should be visible, with a line swinging from it, measuring between 6 and 12 inches (15 and 30 centimeters). Once you hit the 6-12 inch mark, start turning the handle counterclockwise.

  • Use your index finger to press on the line while lifting it slightly.

2. Casting a Spinning Reel Line

Once you’re prepared, ensure you cast the line and pivot your body. Once you’ve chosen where to place your bait or lure, align your shoulders to be square with your target. Position the non-dominant leg 1 to 2 feet (30 to 61 cm) behind the dominant one, and gently bend your knees.

Ensure your spool switch is set to “abandon” to open the line. The bails on reels connect the two sides of the reel with thin plastic or metal pieces. Make sure your line is properly supplied by locking and unlocking your spool.

Lift your index finger off the line to make sure your bail is open, indicating that your reel is also open. If the line discharges within half an inch (1.3–2.5 cm), check the tension by using a 0.5–1 inch (1.3–2.5 cm) ruler. If flipping it the other way doesn’t work, attempting it again won’t be helpful.

If your bail is locked, there’s a risk of losing your bait or trap, leading to potential line damage or breakage.

lose your bait

When lifting the rod, ensure your dominant shoulder is positioned at the top. Lift the rod slowly and carefully, keeping the fishing rod’s end facing you. Drag the rod straight behind you using your wrist and elbow. As you raise the rod behind you, let the index finger of your dominant hand grasp the line.

  • If your non-dominant hand feels too heavy on the post, consider holding it with your other hand, although this method may not be the preferred choice for all anglers.

Step#1: Using both hands to swap power enhances precision.

Step#2: Switching power between both hands enhances precision.

Aim your rod by thrusting your lower arm towards the target. Casting is a straightforward action involving using the elbow as a hinge and propelling your wrist accordingly.

To generate additional power, lower your bicep by 3–4 inches (7.6–10.2 cm) during this movement. Keep your shoulders aligned with your aim while maintaining your footing on the ground.

The line will be released when you lift your finger. Point your index finger away from the rod as you lift it from the fishing line. This helps to decrease tension on your line, allowing you to propel your equipment forward with your forward movement.

If you observe the rod heading toward the target while your line is soaring through the air, ease back on your arm and bring the casting motion to a stop.

  • If you cast the line with your finger close to it, the abrasive nature of the twine as it takes off may result in scratches or cuts.

You May Need To Know The Parts of a Spinning Reel

Here is a concise overview of the different parts of a spinning reel and their functions before delving into how to use it on the water.

1. Handle

Reeling in your line or bringing in a fish is accomplished by turning the handle protruding from the side of the reel. The winding can be done with either hand since the handle can be switched between the two sides.

2. Line Spool

The line spool, situated in the middle of the reel, is where your fishing line is wound. It serves to hold and neatly store your line for both casting and reeling in.

Casting the fishing line involves unwinding it, while winding the fishing line wraps it around the spool. Pulling the fishing line, akin to a fish pulling the line, engages the drag and allows the line to be released.

3. Drag System

It connected to the spool, facilitates the easy release of the line. Controlled by a drag knob on the top of the spool, it operates by pressing two friction plates against the spool. To ensure smooth fishing without complications, understanding how to set the drag on a spinning reel is essential.

Workings of a Spinner Reel Drag System

You can make the knob tighter by turning it to the right, creating more grip between the plates and the spool. This makes it tougher to pull the line away from the spool.

Starting from zero (free spool), you can increase the drag all the way to its maximum limit. As a general rule, it’s advisable not to set the drag too tight when battling a fish, as this could lead to your line breaking.

4. Reel Foot

Fishing rods, particularly spinning rods, are linked to the reel through the reel foot. The reel foot goes into the reel seat on the rod handle, and there are two hoods and threaded sleeves that secure the rod and reel together.

Reel Foot

5. Bail & Line Roller

The bail of a spinner reel has a line roller on one side, resembling a rigid wire that wraps around the reel. While spinner reels consist of several parts, the bail holds particular significance.

When the bail is wound around the spool, your line is evenly laid on it. The roller, besides safeguarding the line from friction, also guides the line through its rotation.

As evident, it plays a crucial role in every aspect of spinning reel fishing, particularly during casting.

6. Anti-reverse switch

To activate or deactivate the anti-reverse feature, you’ll find the anti-reverse switch positioned at the bottom of the reel.

By utilizing the anti-reverse switch, you can rotate the bail in both directions. This enables you to present the bait to a fish or reel in your bait while engaged in a fish fight.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about using the spinning reel:

Q1: What are the spinning reels good for?

Whether you’re a young or seasoned angler, spinning reels serve as excellent fishing tools. Their lightweight design and open-face reeling make them very user-friendly, especially for beginners. The easy-to-handle layout also makes them suitable for using live baits.

Q2: On which side should the handle sit on a spinning reel?

The handle should be on the right side of the reel. This is because spinning reels traditionally have the handle set on the right side.

Hence, for right-handed casters, the reels were often configured with the handle on the left side. This arrangement allowed them to easily turn the reel using their right wrist.

Q3: How to Service a Fishing Reel?

To keep your fishing reel in good condition, simply wash, dry, and store it in a dry place like a closet after each use. Ensure smooth operation by taking off the handle and spool every six months, applying reel lubricant for proper maintenance.

Q4: Should you change your fishing line every year?

The pressure you exert depends on your line type. Monofilament or fluorocarbon lines should be replaced after two years of regular use to ensure reliability. If you’re using a braided line, check its strength annually for 3-5 years to prevent breakage.


In conclusion, using a spinning reel is made accessible, catering to both beginners and experienced anglers. It simplifies the essential components and techniques, emphasizing the versatility of spinning reels for various fishing scenarios.

Encouraging a gradual progression from spinning reels to more specialized gear as skills evolve, maintenance tips stress the importance of simple care practices. Understanding reel parts and addressing common queries enhances decision-making during fishing, making it a valuable resource for an enjoyable and successful fishing experience.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top