How To Set Up A Spinning Reel

If a good chunk of your time during fishing is being taken up by the necessity to set up your reel and rod, it’s totally understandable if you’re looking for easier, quicker ways to do so. After all, fishing is supposed to be a relaxing activity!

Also, if you’re not very good at it, your limited abilities will, in turn, reduce your chances of bringing in a good catch.

Learning how to fish can be a bumpy ride, and only with a good amount of practice can you hope to reach an expert level. So many factors go into determining whether or not you’ll have a successful fishing trip that it would be presumptuous to say you’ll have a good haul even if you’re an expert fisher.

The keyword here is: preparation. No amount of preparation is too much when it comes to a fishing expedition. In this article, we deal with how you can set up a spinning reel effectively to make the most out of your fishing experience.

So, without further ado, let’s now go through the few main steps of setting up a fishing reel like an expert:

Gather Your Tools

It seems worth mentioning that if you don’t have all your tools on hand in perfect working condition, there’s little point in attempting to set up your reel.

Ensuring that you have all your necessary equipment beforehand not only saves time, it helps you focus more on the task at hand too. These tools should consist of a spinning reel, rod, spool, and a pair of scissors.

Set Up The Rod And Spindle

You’ll have to do this before you attempt to set up your line. Attach your rod to the spindle and carefully place the reel’s foot on the floor, screwing it to the seat. You may have to make the foot big enough for the reel to pass through first.

Make sure it’s really tight and secure before proceeding to the next steps. After you’re done with this, pass the edge of the rope through the first guide in the rod as you would thread a needle.

Attach The Line

In order to attach the line, you’ll first have to open the bail’s arm. The opening should leave your line in two pieces which are connected around the reel.

You can then use these to tie an overhand knot and fasten the line securely onto your spool. The resulting pieces can be utilized to tie another knot but remember to cut the loose piece about 1/4’” away from your reel.

Proceed to shut the bail’s arm after you’re done attaching the line to the spindle.

Reel The Line

Please ensure the line flows through in a counter-clockwise motion, or you’ll have a hard time releasing it. Place the line firmly in the line roller and reel it in.

There really is no single method you can depend on to reel your line in terms of speed, etc. as this varies from day to day or even hour to hour. The weather, water temperature, and even the kind of bait you use will end up determining your precise reeling method.

Let us now take a look at a few additional steps you can use to make your fishing experience easier:

Purchase A Line Spooler

While spooling a fishing line is quite a basic skill for an expert fisher, it’s not necessarily required of a beginner. Though we’d strongly advise you to spool your own line even if you are a beginner, you can always purchase a fishing line spooler in the meanwhile.

This is the one we’d recommend for you:

Piscifun EZ Fishing Line Portable Spooler

Piscifun EZ Fishing Line Spooler Portable Spooling Station System Fishing Reel Winder Baitcaster Reel Line Winder Machine

This line spooler is perfect for both small and large spools with a clamping range of up to 145 mm. The clamp can hold a rod blank up to 1.1 inches in diameter.

We love how adaptable this spooler is as it can accommodate several types of reels such as a round reel, spin-cast reel, spinning reel, and baitcasting reel. It’s pretty lightweight, and you’ll have no trouble carrying it around with you on both long and short fishing expeditions.

This spooler is also surprisingly easy to install and works well on both thick and thin rods. Remember to use the convex surface of the locking lever if your rod blank is between 0.2-0.6 in/5-15 mm in diameter and concave one of its 1.1 in/15-28 mm in diameter.

Pros of this spooler

  • It’s versatile and suits all types of rods
  • It’s very well designed
  • Saves a lot of spooling time
  • It works exceptionally well on baitcasting reels
  • And it doesn’t cause any line twist

Cons of this spooler

  • It could include more comprehensive instructions
  • Large spools require some modification

Purchase A-Line Remover

A fishing line remover can save you the time and energy of removing your fishing line by yourself. After a long, hard day of fishing, we’d say this is a well-deserved comfort. Attach this device to your line and push a button to work the magic.

Remember to make the drag on your spinning wheel very light and tape the end of the line to the holder to ensure it gets on easily.

This is the fishing line remover we’d recommend for you:

Berkley Line Stripper

Berkley Line Stripper, Black/Red

The Berkley Line Stripper is motorized and helps strip away your fishing line quickly and in a hassle-free manner. It can remove lines at a speed of about 300 yards per minute. This is especially useful if you’re using multiple rods and need to keep re-spooling them.

This device has been designed specifically for 2-80 pound fishing lines and works best with these. It includes a built-in grinding stone that allows you to sharpen your hooks quickly. It also includes a lanyard that helps it stay attached to your wrist carefully while you’re stripping the line.

We recommend this stripper mainly because it’s very easy to use for beginners as it can be activated with a single button. It runs on just two AA sized batteries.

Pros of this line stripper

  • It’s quite reasonably priced
  • It strips the line away at a high speed
  • It’s ideal for use on multiple rods
  • It helps sharpen hooks easily
  • It saves a lot of time during fishing

Cons of this line stripper

  • It doesn’t last as long as costlier strippers
  • It may have to be altered for optimum use

Choose A Spooling Method

There’s more than one type of line that you can use to spool your spinning reel, and we’ve discussed a few of them here:

Mono Line

Firstly, what is a monoline? A monoline here refers to a monofilament line. This line is usually the most convenient line when it comes to ease of fishing. It doesn’t get tangled or anything easily, so you’ll have one less thing to worry about on the water.

Even so, we’d recommend you check your spool at regular intervals to ensure there aren’t any knots or tangles in there. Slackline may present a bit of an issue as well, so be careful when you’re casting the line. With proper technique and knots, you may just steer clear of this.

Braided Line

You’ll have to be careful while using a braided line as these need to be placed securely on the school to avert a potential mess. In order to do this, you’ll have to type it to fit the school properly. Other than this, a braided line is not all that different from a fluorocarbon line.

While casting or during slackline (if at all it occurs), if you notice the braided line digging into the lines of your spool, you’re in trouble. A warning sign for this is usually a slight pause that will occur during the casting of the line, which happens because your line tripped itself.

So how do you avoid this? It’s pretty simple: use heavy baits and lines that stretch easily, and you should be fine.

Related: Cleaning a Spinning Reel


Having read the previous sections, you should now be equipped with a fairly good idea of how to set up a spinning reel for yourself.

While this is by no means a comprehensive article discussing every minute detail on how you should be going about the same, it certainly covers all the integral points a beginner needs to know.

Even experts may run into snags during fishing every now and then since there’s so much room for error with elaborate fishing equipment. The best way to keep these errors at bay is to continually read informational material on fishing techniques and keep your knowledge up to date at all times.

If you follow all tips and tricks carefully and make a conscious effort to hone your skills, you’ll be able to make almost every one of your fishing trips a rewarding experience.

The tips we’ve given you here are just a drop in the ocean of information out there, but we hope they help all the same!

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