How to Put Lines on A Reel: Easy to Follow Tips and Tricks

Spooling a reel is not as hard as it seems. With the right knowledge, you can be a pro at spooling reels. This article discusses everything you need to know about fishing lines and offers a step-by-step guide on how to put lines on a reel.

What Is A Fishing Line?

Fishing Line

A fishing line or cord is typically made of nylon or silk. It is attached to a hook and used to bait and catch fish. It is also used for angling where a hook is attached at the end, that hook is attached to a fishing line, which in turn is attached to a fishing rod.

Over the years, fishing lines have improved tremendously. Some even come fitted with fishing reels that are multi-functional. From storing to retrieving — it does it all!

Of course, you have to make sure it is just the right size. Too thick or too thin a line will spoil your fishing experience. A good fishing line also involves several factors, like specific length, thickness, weight, castability, stretch, and breaking strength.

3 Types of Fishing Lines

Fishing gear can be found by the dozens. So how do you decide which works best for you? You can’t just buy whatever fishing line you lay your eyes on.

For an angler set-up, you need a good fishing line. Not just that, it should also be the right fit for your fishing endeavors. Whether you’re fishing in a pond or a large body of water, your success is hugely determined by the type of fishing line you use.

With that in mind, let’s proceed to the types of fishing lines.

1. Monofilament Line

Monofilament Line

As the name suggests, a monofilament line has a single continuous filament. It is mostly made of nylon and is usually the line found in pre-spooled reels. Monofilament lines come in a wide range of colors, which also aids visibility.

What’s more, you don’t have to worry about impacting the environment by cutting it because it’s recyclable. They are also great for surface lures. However, if you’re aiming for deep-sea/water fishing, it’s best to opt for another fishing line.

Benefits of Using a Monofilament Line

#1. Versatility: The monofilament line works for just about everything. It’s a jack of all trades.

#2. Price point: It’s affordable.

#3. Cast: It casts smoothly with plug tackles and spinning and holds knots.

#4. Buoyancy: It floats, making it a great fishing line for surface lures.

Drawbacks of a Monofilament Line

#1. Stretch: It has a high stretch that causes low precision.

#2. Strength: When exposed to sunlight, the monofilament line breaks over time. It occupies more room on the spool, despite being weaker than most lines.

#3. Casts: Because of its line memory, it negatively impacts the casting distance. It also causes knotting in the reel.

When and who should use it?

The monofilament line is perfect for beginners. It’s cheap, easy to use, and holds knots better than most of its counterparts. It works considerably well alongside several reels.

Because it is easy to handle, you don’t have to worry about losing your grip when you’ve got a fish fighting to get itself off the hook. Rigging hooks, snaps, and swivels are pretty easy with monofilament lines.

2. Fluorocarbon Line

Fluorocarbon Line

Some mistake fluorocarbon lines to be the same as monofilament lines. While not the exact same, they’re close relatives. But the fluorocarbon line is made of a single strand with much denser material.

With the fluorocarbon line, you enter stealth mode in the water. It’s completely invisible underwater and is also abrasion-resistant. Which means, it can be easily braided. Often used as leader material, it is now being sold in quite some places as a mainline.

Once the holy grail of fishermen who cast their lines in the deep sea, the fluorocarbon line now works considerably well with the freshwater anglers too.

Benefits of Using a Fluorocarbon Line

#1. Visibility: It is invisible underwater, making it much easier to catch unsuspecting fishes.

#2. Strength: Although not much stronger than monofilament, it is abrasion-resistant. Meaning, it lasts longer than most lines and does not degrade when left in the sun or the storage for too long.

#3. Stretch: Not the stretchiest line out there but that means it has a high shock strength and no significant loss of precision.

Drawbacks of Using a Fluorocarbon Line

#1. Price: It’s high-end, very expensive.

#2. Cast: If the knots are not tied the right way, the fluorocarbon lines’ high memory tends to falter for something as small as a worm.

When and who should use the fluorocarbon line?

The fluorocarbon line sinks fast, almost double the speed of a monofilament line, making it an ideal fit for fishing in clear water. While it can be used on a spinning reel, it works best with bait casters.

As it is waterproof, it adds to the handling of the line on the rod, whether it’s in the water or above the surface. It packs quite a power and is perfect for beginners in the fishing arena/field. Its molecular strength also makes it last longer.

3. Braided Fishing Line

Braided Line

Simply put, braided fishing lines are the superior lines. They are very different from all the other fishing lines as they pack massive power in a super-thin line.

Braided lines are made by weaving together strands of Dacron, Dyneema, and Spectra. Because it’s made from stronger materials, it can reel in bigger fish. It also offers no stretch and thus makes it easier to feel every movement the fish makes at the end of the line.

Benefits of Using a Braided Fishing Line

#1. Strength: Ranging anywhere between 4 and 16 strands, the braided lines offer abrasion resistance — the lesser the strands, the more effective the resistance.

#2. Stretch: The braided line offers no stretch. This makes it flow more freely and offers complete precision.

#3. Cast: It has no line memory, thus offering greater cast distance. It also sinks super-fast and is less visible to the fishes than other lines.

Drawbacks of Using a Braided Line

#1. Price: It’s one of the most expensive fishing lines. Not really worth the price.

#2. Cast: It creates a mess when it backlashes. You may have to cut it out. Not very environment-friendly seeing that it cannot be recycled.

#3. Strength: It’s tough and thin, and if not used right, it can damage other equipment. Plus, it’s very hard to tie a knot with. It doesn’t really “blend” with the water and can potentially weigh down the rod.

When and who should use the braided fishing line?

The braided fishing line is normally used for deep dropping and precision jigging. It’s best used in low-visibility water and can be used in any type of reel.

The best thing? It doesn’t let thick vegetation deter its movement.

Fishing Line Selection

Line Selection

Fishing lines are a huge determiner of your success with your fishing adventure. Picking the right fishing line involves checking out a number of criteria.

Unfortunately, fishing lines are not one size fits all. You have to look at fishing lines that best suit your purpose. Let’s have a look at the criteria to follow when selecting a fishing line.

1. Line Stretch

Line stretch preferences can differ a lot in fishing. The lesser the stretch, the easier it is to feel the fish at the end of the line. Fishing is not just about baiting the fish and reeling it in, it’s about ensuring you set the hook in the fish instead of ripping it.

2. Line Strength

The line strength in the fishing language is called “test” and is measured in pounds. It should match the weight of the species of fish you’re fishing.

Of course, if you’re experienced in fishing, you can look for lighter lines to reel heavier fishes in. It won’t tire you out and will make for a fun experience.

3. Castability

The lighter the lines, the farther it will cast. Lighter and smoother lines also offer more precision and accuracy when casting lines.

4. Line Memory

Less is more with line memory. Line memory is the fishing line’s ability to retain its shape after deformation.

More line memory can be really bad because the fishing line “remembers” its place — all wound up in the spool. That’s not very helpful when you’re trying to bait fishes. So, the lesser the line memory, the better the fishing line performs.

Less line memory also ensures the line stays straight after it comes off the spool giving a much smoother and successful fishing experience.

What Is A Reel?

A fishing reel is a device, a cylindrical tool, used to wind and stow the fishing line. It is typically attached to the fishing rod and collects the fishing line through a rotating arm. You can also attach the fishing reels directly to boat gunwales and transoms.


Fishing reels have weight classes. You need to balance it out with your fishing rod. It’s an important requirement.

The type of fishing reel you opt for depends on the targeted species of fish, the chosen location, and your experience level.

There are 3 main types of reels:

• Baitcaster Reel
• Spincaster Reel
• Spinning Reel

How To Put Lines On A Reel?

Putting a line on a reel is quite simple and will take no more than 10-15 minutes. If you find yourself struggling with how to put lines on a reel, I’m here to help.

What You Need:

• Spinning reel
• Spinning rod
• Fishing Line
• Bait/Hook
• Scissors

Putting Lines on a Reel 101

#1. Attach the reel to the fishing rod

This is an important step. It will greatly simplify the process of installing the fishing line to the reel. Of course, before you proceed, make sure your spool has an adequate amount of fishing line wrapped around it. Always have at least 100 yards of line on your spool.

#2. Open the bail

Do not forget this step. If you don’t want to backtrack because you’re not able to wind the line in and start the process again, remember to open the bail during the first try itself.

#3. Attach the line to the reel

This may seem like a complicated step but there’s a simple way to go about it. Loop it around the reel spool twice and trim the end closely with scissors. Tie an overhand knot just like you tie your shoes. Make sure to secure the knot.

#4. Wind the line onto the spool

Close the bail and start rotating the handle slowly. Don’t rush. The spool should be kept label size up. This will help distribute the line in a clockwise manner, facilitating even distribution.

#5. Make sure your line is following the right direction

The line spool can be oriented in several ways. Does that mean you have more options to test out? No. Only one of the line orientations is right and does not result in line twists.

Make sure to hold the rod parallel to the floor. Pinch the line with your fingers. Don’t wind too fast or too slow. Maintain a steady pace and fill the reel spool completely.

That’s it. Now you know how to put a fishing line on the reel.

You can also use a fishing line spooler to make the whole process quicker and easier. Check out this article about Best Fishing Line Spooler to learn more about using one of these handy gadgets.

Tips on Putting Line on The Reel

You didn’t think we’d leave you without some handy tips to make this easier, did you? Here’s what may help:

#1. Soak your line in warm water. The fishing line will lose its line memory and wind properly on the spool.

#2. Use tension when winding the line to the spool. This will ensure fewer mistakes with loosely wound-up lines.

#3. Make sure you have the appropriate tools for the job. Look for drill-type attachments and other tools that can help make spooling a much faster and easier process.

#4. Don’t overfill the spool. This could lead to tangles and can affect the casting performance.

#5. Steer clear from line twists. This can reduce the overall strength and life of your line.


1. What damages the fishing lines?

Constant exposure to the sun. Keep your fishing line and other equipment stored away properly instead of leaving them for long hours in the sun.

2. Can I put any type of lines on the reel?

While trying to put lines on a reel, use lighter lines as the heavier ones can cause the reel to tangle much faster. This can reduce the life of your reels.

3. How often should I replace my fishing line?

It depends on how long you’ve used it or how often you use it to fish. Depending on the variety of fishing lines available, you may need to change some faster than the others. Once in every 6 months or a year should do the trick.

4. Can I fill the spool completely?

Leave a small gap between the fishing line and the top of the spool. Apart from that, you can fill the reel spool up.

A Few Parting Words

Fishing should be a fun and recreational activity, not drab and boring. But with so many types of reels and lines available on the market, getting the right reel can get overwhelming.

Above all, know your reels. A little in-depth research never hurts anybody. Almost everybody faces issues with how to put lines on a reel. But I hope this detailed guide helps with your queries and makes your fishing experience a memorable one.

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