How to Respool a Spinning Reel

As Spring approaches it’s time to get the fishing equipment out and prepared for the upcoming seasons changing the line on your spinning reels is one of those necessary jobs that are key for upkeeping your tackle, rods, and reels there are different methods to do this but which is best? How do you re-spool a Spinning Reel?

  • Open Bail
  • Tie string onto the spool with an Arbor knot
  • Run the Line through the first Guide
  • Stand over top of the new line
  • Apply resistance as you wind the line
  • Wind at least 100 + yds-1/8 to 3/16″ from the lip of the spool.
  • For Braided line-Use 1 layer of monofilament line
  • Use Uni Knot to tie both together

The type of fishing line that you use is an important part of your fishing gear, can make your rod and reel perform better, and can, depending on the environment and conditions can give you an advantage in catching more fish.

How to Put New Line On a Fishing Reel


Before you start putting fresh new lines on your spinning reel, you have to make sure that you buy the right kind of fishing line. You always want to make certain that you are able to get at the very least 100 yards of line or more on the reel. 

Check the rating for the line on the reel itself. You always want to make sure that you are putting the appropriate lb. test fishing line and the maximum amount capacity that the reel is rated for which is normally easily located right on the outside of the Spool. The reel has limits that will affect its optimum operation along with its best casting efficiency and overall manageability.

Next, you can take the spool off the Spinning Reel so that it is separated from the rod and the bulkiness of the reel. This can make it easier to tie a knot with nothing in the way of your hands and fingers.

Or you can leave the Spool inside the Spinning Reel and attach it to the rod.  Whatever is easier for you. Just lay the rod down flat on a table and flip the bail completely over, so that you have a clear view of the knot you will be tieing to the spool. I use the Arbor Knot for attaching a line to a Spinning Reel’s Spool. Follow these steps: 

  • Open the Bail– then, after the line is carefully attached to the spool, they realize that it’s not going to get picked up by the bail, and it’s back to this step. Save yourself some trouble and remember to open the bail right before you attach the line to the spool.
  • Tie an Arbor Knot- to the fishing line and the Spool of the Spinning Reel
  • Determine if the reel turns clockwise or counterclockwise- the easiest way to do this is to hold the reel the same way you would if you were actually fishing. Turn the wheel at least 2 to 3 times to determine if the reel turns clockwise or counterclockwise. This is the way the line will be spooled onto the reel; the opposite direction is the way the line will peel off the spool when you cast.
  •  Winding the Line onto the Spool- put the Spinning Reel back together on the Fishing Rod if you put the line on with the Spool taken out of the reel.


  • Attach the Reel to the Rod-  put the Spinning Reel back together on the Fishing Rod
  • Run the Line through the first Guide-Take the end of the line off the spool that it came on and run the line towards the reel through the first guide you know the biggest one that’s mounted closest to the reel.
  • Slowly Start Winding the Line onto the Reel-Now, you can flip the bail closed and start slowly turning the handle. As you crank, the rotating bail will lay the line onto the reel spool in even wraps. Stop after just a couple of cranks, because it’s time for the most critical step: ensuring the line spool is facing the right direction.
  • Keep your orientation correct and the line tight so that the line goes onto the spool without a tangle or cross-over.
  • My wife or kids help me by holding the spool while I crank the reel handle. They can run a pencil through the center of the manufacturer’s spool and apply resistance to it (while I am adding the line) using their thumb. It creates enough resistance that the line goes on the Spinning Reel fairly well.


Spinning reels are designed to hang down from the rod, not rest above it like spin-casting and baitcasting reels are. To hold the reel properly when it’s not mounted on the rod, wrap the fingers of your casting hand around the mounting bar and let the reel hang from that hand while reeling with your other hand. If the line is twisting up then trim it back some. Underfilling or overloading the spool will cause tangles and problems with casting.

Another good tip is to soak your spinning reel’s spool once you restrung it and soak it in warm water for 5 minutes to reduce memory. This will stop the Monofilament or Fluorocarbon string from coiling and twisting it up instead of trimming it back.


How To Tie an Arbor Knot


The whole idea when it comes to tying a fishing line to the spool on your Spinning reel is to use a dependable knot to ensure the line won’t slide or slip on the SpoolMonofilament and Fluorocarbon both can deteriorate over time especially if the line is exposed to heat or the sun. Always store it in a cool dark place.

Spinning Reel manufacturers always recommend using some kind of backing on the spool to cover the knot with.  You can use a piece of tape or even a sticker that comes with the new string and cut it down to size. Cover the knot on the Spool and trim it down so it won’t interfere with the operation of the reel. Make sure you snip the tag from the knot down as close as you can to the spool too, Nice and neat. Again the knot won’t ever move and slide underneath the string on the reel once you spool it.

The best knot in my opinion is the Arbor Knot which will take just an extra minute or so but it’s just the best way of attaching the line to the reel. The Arbor Knot is tight and clean and won’t slide and is specifically used to connect your fishing line tour Spinning Reel.

The arbor fishing knot is most often used when tying fly line backing, monofilament, and fluorocarbon line to a large arbor fishing reel. Using an arbor knot for the braided line is not recommended unless you have a non-slip spool. If you don’t have a non-slip spool and want to use a braided line on your spinning or baitcasting reel, use an arbor knot to tie monofilament backing to your reel spool before adding a length of the braided line.



How To Tie a Uni Knot


If you’re planning on spooling a medium-sized spinning reel and your fishing style calls for anything larger than about a 12-pound test, you should try and use a braided line. If you do decide to go with braid, lay a little bit of monofilament fishing line on the spool first, using the same steps explained here. That will prevent the braid from slipping on the spool. With the backing in place, you can attach the braid to the monofilament line using a Uni Knot, the Ultimate Fisherman’s Knot. Every Fisherman should know how to tie a Uni-Knot. 

The Uni Knot was invented by Norman Duncan and is also known as the Duncan Knot. It was also published later under the name Uni Knot by the outdoor writer Vic Dunaway as being a versatile knot that can have many applications. It is also known as a Grinner Knot and has the same appearance as a Hangman’s Noose although it is different internally. When used to join two lines it is known as a Double Grinner or a Double Uni Knot.

The versatile Uni Knot undergoes a transformation as it is tightened. The outer wraps become internal and vice versa. A wise old fisherman once told me that a good fisherman should be able to tie a Uni Knot in his sleep and under any condition wind-cold or rain.

How to Spool a Spinning Reel With Braid


Most fishermen will use Monofilament underneath the Braid on a Spinning Reel. One thing you’ll want to do is put some mono on the spool first and then the braid. Mono has the ability to grip the spool better since the braid is naturally pretty slippery. Just do a few wraps around the spool so it’s completely covered. This will also save you some money, so it’s a win-win. The easiest way I found is to leave the reel on the rod and reel enough of the monofilament or fluorocarbon line to cover an outside layer on the spool of the reel.

Braided Line has many advantages over Mono or Fluorocarbon string. Casting is one strength and sensitivity is so much better so it’s just so much better than the standard line. It has no stretch to it (Monofilament and fluorocarbon String do) so you’ll be able to feel the smaller bites a lot easier. You’ll also be able to get a better hookset in.

One of the biggest differences between cheap and expensive rods is how sensitive they are. It makes sense to use the best line with the best Rod & Reel. Braided lines are comprised of several lengths of braided synthetic material to create one line, which makes it great for creating a larger casting distance. 

  • The line is visible and it floats well, so be selective when using it.
  • Because it sinks slowly, it goes great when using top-water baits

Then use a quality Braid Fishing Line that has a Rounder profile that eliminates flattening of the braid for heightened castability, more effective line management, and enhanced abrasion resistance can get a little expensive but it is well made like the popular Momoi Diamond Braid Generation III Fishing Line X9 – Blue – 15lb – 3000 yds

  • Flip Open the Bail of the reel
  • Tie a Knot with the Mono or Fluorocarbon string onto the spool (whichever knot you choose that will hold the line tight without sliding on the spool)
  • Once there is a single layer of monofilament line on the spool cut the line
  • Use a line-to-line type of knot to connect the Braided line to the Monofilament line most Anglers use the Uni Knot or a Double Uni Knot which has double the strength if that is a concern. If you learn one knot learn the Uni Knot. The Uni Knot has hundreds of applications from tieing off leaders, hooks, or lures to fixing broken lines in the surf for quick fixes.
  • Now, all you have to do is fill the reel with a line.
  • Keep it uniform filling the spool back & forth correctly


How do you Re-Spool a Spinning Reel?

  • Open Bail
  • Tie string onto the spool with an Arbor knot
  • Run the Line through the first Guide
  • Stand over top of the new line
  • Apply resistance as you wind the line
  • Wind at least 100 + yds-1/8 to 3/16″ from the lip of the spool.
  • For Braided line-Use 1 layer of monofilament line
  • Use Uni Knot to tie both together ..………………………………………………………………………………… Read more




A good position to start is standing up, facing the spool down on the floor, holding the rod parallel, putting a little tension on the line by grabbing it with your free hand between the reel and the first guide, and starting slowly cranking.  Or you can ask your wife to help put some of that good tension on the string as your re-spooling.  Pick up speed and keep going until the line comes within 1/8 and 3/16 of an inch from the lip of the spool.

After that, you can clip the line, thread it through the rest of the rod guides, tie on a lure, and give it a couple of casts. Don’t forget to reset the drag if you took the spool out of the Spinning Reel by loosening the drag adjustment. The pound test line you use will all depend on what type of fishing you’re doing.


JimGalloway Author/Editor


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