How To Wind A Fishing Reel?

Getting the hang of winding a fishing reel is a crucial skill for any angler, and it’s not as complicated as it may seem. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned fisher, properly spooling your reel ensures smooth casting and helps you reel in your catch without a hitch.

In this guide, we’ll break down the steps in a way that’s easy to follow, regardless of the type of reel you’re using – be it a spinning reel, baitcasting reel, or fly reel.

Learning the ropes of winding your reel not only makes your fishing experience more enjoyable but also boosts your chances of landing that prized fish. Let’s explore the basics and make winding your fishing reel a breeze.

No need to worry if you’re new to the fishing scene – we’ve got you covered with simple steps that will have you spooling like a pro in no time. Whether you’re casting from the shore or a boat, understanding how to properly wind your reel is a game-changer.

So, let’s dive into the basics and make the process of winding your fishing reel a stress-free and rewarding part of your fishing adventure.

Types of Fishing Reels

There are several types of fishing reels, each designed for specific fishing techniques and preferences. Here are three common types:

Spinning Reel

A spinning reel is great for people who are just starting with fishing. It’s easy to use because the reel hangs under the rod, and you can cast it easily. Spinning reels work well for catching not-too-big fish in places like rivers or lakes. They’re good for using lightweight lures or bait. So, if you’re new to fishing or just want something simple, a spinning reel is a good choice.

Baitcasting Reel

A baitcasting reel is a bit fancier and goes on top of the fishing rod. It has a turning spool and is good for more experienced fishermen. Baitcasting reels are great for catching bigger fish because they can handle heavier lures. They might be a bit tricky to use at first, but once you get the hang of it, they give you a lot of control. People often use baitcasting reels in rivers or lakes when they want to be precise about where they cast.

Fly Reel

Fly reels are made especially for fly fishing. They look a bit bigger and simpler. Their main job is to hold and manage the fishing line. Fly fishing is different because you’re trying to make the fishing line move in a specific way. The fly reel helps with that. Even though it’s mainly for fly fishing, it’s super important for making sure the line moves just right. If you’re into fly fishing, you’ll need a good fly reel to help you catch those tricky fish.

Material Required

Winding a fishing reel isn’t as hard as it seems. Once you figure out how much the spinning reel can hold, you can start getting your spooling gear ready. This gear includes:

  • Fishing Rod
  • Monofilament Fishing Line
  • Spinning Reel
  • Braided Fishing Line (optional)

Once you’ve checked everything, you’re ready to start spooling.

How To Wind a Fishing Reel?

Here are the steps to follow for winding a fishing reel. Even if you don’t have someone to assist you, it’s essential to know how to do it on your own. To make the loading process easier, we’ve given instructions on how to do it independently.

1. Set Up Your Reel

Just like you would prepare for fishing, put your fishing rod together and make sure all the guides (eyes) line up. Once the spinning reel is in the reel seat, grab it and give it a gentle jerk to make sure it’s secure.

When turning the reel handle, check that it’s moving in the correct direction. As you start unspooling the two reels, make sure to copy their movements. The line coming off one spool should follow the same direction as it winds onto the next.

Set Up Your Reel

Aligning the direction of the reel and line is essential as it ensures the line is spooled onto the reel evenly and helps prevent any twists in the line.

2. Connect The Line

Take the line off the spool slowly, whether it’s braided or monofilament. It’s a good idea to remove about 15 feet of line from the spool to prevent tangles or twists. If you’re using monofilament backing, attach the braid after the monofilament is in place.

3. Threaded The Line

To thread the line, begin at the top of the rod and feed it through the eyes of the reel.

Threaded The Line

4. Bail Should Be Opened

A crucial step in the process is to open the bail. It’s something that people might forget, which can be surprising. They might notice the bail isn’t picking up the line after carefully attaching it to the spool, so they have to go back and do this step again.

Bail Should Be Opened

When tying the knot of the line to the spool, ensure that the bail arm of the spinning reel stays open.

5. Connect The Line To The Reel Spool

Attaching a reel to a line is quite simple. You can secure the reel spool with an overhand knot by wrapping the line twice around the spool. Then, trim the tag end closely.

If you’re replacing the line on your reel because the existing line is worn out, you might choose to leave a part of the old line on the reel.

Connect  The Line To The Reel Spool

In such situations, a Uni knot comes in handy to join the old and new lines. This trick can save you some money when you’re re-spooling your reel because you won’t need to use as much new line.

6. Slowly Begin Winding the Line Onto the Reel

Hold the screwdriver and the spool in one hand, and take a thick cloth in your other hand. Grip the spool on the opposite side with the cloth. Apply pressure to the spool to make sure the line goes onto the reel tightly. If needed, take breaks during the process, as the cloth may get hot as you continue.

7. Wind the Line Onto the Reel Slowly

Closing the bail involves turning the handle slowly. As you crank the reel spool, the line will wrap uniformly around the spinning bail. After a few turns of the line spool, stop to ensure it faces the right direction.

8. Check Your Spool Orientation

There are three ways to position a line spool, and two of them can cause line twists, but one is the right way. To avoid line twists, don’t pull the line straight from the reel, especially like you would with a baitcaster to prevent backlash. When you take the spool off, make sure its face is pointing towards you.

Whether the line comes off a reel clockwise or counterclockwise depends on how it’s wound. To remember this confusing detail, here’s a trick that might help, although describing it is just as puzzling as remembering it.

Check Your Spool Orientation

Hold the rod parallel to the ground while standing up. Position the line spool on the ground, either facing the floor or towards you, with the label visible. Once you add a bit of tension to the line, start cranking the reel.

After cranking the spool around 10 times, you can lower the rod slightly to introduce some slack while keeping an eye on the line just above the spool.

Now comes the moment of truth, and a few things will catch your attention. The first thing you’ll notice is the relaxed loops of loose lines on the floor.

Moreover, you’ll see the loops twisting around each other in coils that are the opposite of relaxed. We’re aiming for a calm, loose coil. If there’s any deviation from that, you’ll need to repeat the process by flipping the spool over.

During this step, if you see loose and relaxed coils on the floor after cranking about ten times, it means your attempt was successful, and you can proceed. If there are twists, you won’t need to unspool the line. Since they’ll be deep in the spool, they won’t cause any issues.

9. Spool The Reel Until It Fills

At this stage, the reel needs to be filled with lines. Hold the rod parallel to the floor, position the spool on the floor, and work on the line with some elbow grease.

Hence, turn the reels slowly while keeping an eye on them. As you do this, you’ll see the line getting close to the lip of the spool, about 3/16 to 1/8 inch away. Now, you can cut the line and thread it through the other rod guides while attaching a lure.

Spool The Reel Until It Fills


In the end, knowing how to wind a fishing reel is crucial for a good fishing experience. This guide helps both beginners and experienced anglers with easy steps for different reel types. Whether using a simple spinning reel or a more advanced one, the guide explains everything.

It talks about the materials you need and gives step-by-step instructions. Remembering tips like keeping the bail open and using the right knots is key. The guide also mentions the correct way to spool to avoid tangles. In simple words, it helps everyone spool their reel easily for a better time fishing. Happy fishing!

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