Classic Spinning Reel Spooling Techniques
How do you spool line on a spinning reel?
Include the traditional way using pencil and having someone hold it.
There’s nothing that can put a stop to your perfect fishing day than a tangled line, and fixing it grows so frustrating that you start losing (what’s left of) your hair. But knots, twisting, and overfills happen to even the most seasoned anglers, so it’s important to know how to spool a spinning reel to minimize the damage – or get back to fishing as soon as possible.
Spool Line with The “Pencil” method (or Screw Driver)
For all of you old school anglers, I’m sure you know the traditional method spooling the line. While it’s great to have a fishing line spool, there may come a time and place to know an alternative.
Of course, one of the biggest threats to ruin a perfectly good day on the ice is getting your line so twisted that you just have to start cutting.
When it’s reeled from spool to spool, it (theoretically) lays down exactly the same, so it’s usually twist-free.
But you can re-spool yourself with the same effect if you know how to do it and use patience.
- First, grab a pencil, a pen, or a screwdriver end, etc. that will fit inside your spool ends. To be honest, it’s best if you grab a buddy to help you re-spooling this way, because a second pair of hands really helps keep everything straight and tight.But if you have to do it yourself, just grab an empty box, first. Drill or poke some holes into it.
- Next, place the spool over your pencil or implement and fit it into the can. This way, you have a stable base to turn it without needing a second person or professional spooler.
The hardest part will be to spool with the correct amount of tension.So another old school trick is to use a heavy book (like a handy fishing guide, map book, or even the Yellow Pages!) and run the line through it. You can make it even heavier by putting a toolbox or something weighty on top.
- Then, reel the line through the book and onto your new spool, creating the perfect amount of tension.
Go slowly and make sure it all lays down correctly to avoid tangles and problems once you cast!
Creating a Line Spooling Station with a Box
Here is the easiest way – using a fishing line spool.
- To get started, tie the line onto the spinning reel. I like using an arbor knot to attach the line to your reel. For those of you who don’t know, an arbor knot is an overhand knot on the end of your line that joins another overhand knot that’s tied around your spoil. You’ll find that this knot holds well and also offers the perfect amount of tension for spooling.
- Next, click the bail up. After tying that knot and making sure it’s secure, trim excess line.
One note – if you’re using an extra thin line, it might be too hard to tie the knot so you can easily just secure it with a piece of electric tape, too.
- Close the bail again.
- The next step is to spool the line, making sure it’s going in the correct direction. Too often, newbie fishermen make the crucial mistake of spooling the line in the wrong direction, thinking that it will create extra tension.
But any experienced angler knows that it’s supposed to go in the same direction as the line sits on the spool. Getting this right is super important, so stop and check twice, or else you’ll run into the problem of your line twisting and knotting after a few casts.
The easiest way to make sure you have it in the right direction is to put down the spool with its label facing up, which means it will correctly spool back on the reel.
- Next, using your index finger and thumb, hold the line and keep it about twelve inches or so from the reel.
Then you can start spooling the line with a couple of spins of the reel.
That will get you started enough to secure the line so you can turn the reel label-side-up and put it back on the ground.
- Keeping the line between your fingers, continue to reel in. Make sure to keep the line tight or else tangles and knots can result.
As you’re reeling in the new line and making sure it’s tight, take a quick glance at the rim of the reel. You want to make sure to leave enough space – about 1/8 of an inch – between the rim and the new line. It’s not easy to gauge that distance, but just make sure it’s not too close or running over, too.