Eliminate Malfunctions Part 1: Spooling Line On A Spinning Reel

By Kurt Dove

Spooling fishing line on your spinning reel properly beforehand will save you from headaches on the water later.

Every time I get ready to go out fishing I go through in my mind what techniques, tactics and lures I think should start me off in the right direction. Once I know in my head what my strategy will be I need to prepare my equipment to best facilitate it efficiently and effectively when I hit the water. First thing is to get my line on my reels correctly It is important to match your line size to your fishing technique.

I will usually have at least one spinning rod on my deck during every month of the year. Spinning reels are some folk's worst nightmares. Often it is difficult to manage line correctly on a spinning reel simply because of the engineering of how a spinning reel works. So let's spool it up correctly.

Apply Backing

First and foremost, apply some backing to the reel so we aren’t winding on the entire spool of line we just bought from the tackle store… the stuff is expensive. I will wind on approx 1/4 of my spinning reel with some type of old monofilament line I have lying in the garage. Run the line through only the first rod guide and wrap the end around the spool of the reel. Tie a few overhand knots and tighten it up to the spool. Then tie on your best braided line to the end of the backing using a double uni knot.

My next step is to wind on the braided line. For most applications, I use 30 lb. braided line on spinning reels — Toray line from Blackwater International is my choice. I will typically use about 100 yards of the braided line for a reel. I only want to fill the spool to about 3/4 of the way full. I wind on the Toray line making sure my rod guide is retrieving the line off the spool straight, not swirling off in circles.

My final step is to tie approximately 6 feet of fluorocarbon leader to the braided line utilizing a uni knot. I use 8-12 lb. test depending on fishing techniques and situation. So you ask, 'why use the braid instead of spooling up mono for fluorocarbon for the entire spool?' The braid will absorb the line twist of a spinning reel and allow you to be more efficient and effective with it. You only have to replace the fluorocarbon leader for break off's and fraying of the line. The braided line will last you six months to a year depending on how much you fish it. Trust me ... you will like it!

Note - If you are applying just monofilament or fluorocarbon lines to the reel then be sure when laying the spool flat on the ground that the line comes off in a counter-clockwise direction. This will allow for minimal twist of the line.

Anytime you are on the water and the line shows signs of twist just remove the lure and let out about 200 feet of line and rewind the spool. This will help remove some line twist.

I hope this helps you eliminate malfunctions of your spinning reels!