Do you have a baitcasting reel in your garage with such an embarrassing bird’s nest that you hide it behind the rake? Could it be you bought a spinning reel for your daughter and still haven’t put any line on it? If you ever want to use the rake again or finally take your daughter fishing, you need to know how to put fishing line on a reel. Let’s look at some easy steps to get you going.
Removing Old Fishing Line
If you have been saltwater fishing and wondered how fishing guides ever get all that line off those big reels, there’s a trick. All you need is a Phillips screwdriver and a drill. First, chuck up the screwdriver in the drill. Then, open the bail of your spinning reel and pull enough line out to tie to the screwdriver.
Once you have tied the line on, slowly start the drill. As the drill turns, the old line will spool onto the screwdriver. Slow the drill as you come to the end of the line. You may want to unwrap the last few turns on the reel by hand. Just like that, the old fishing line is removed.
Putting Line on a Spinning Reel
Before you show your kid how to tie a fishing hook, we need to put a new line on the reel. Here are a few quick steps to get your line on correctly:
1. Make sure the weight of the line is within the specifications listed on the reel. In other words, don’t tie 30-pound test line to a reel that is built for 10-pound test line.
2. Thread the line through the eyes of the pole, starting from the tip of the rod working to the reel.
3. Open the bale on the reel.
4. Pull a little extra line through, and tie an overhand knot toward the end of the line. Cut the tag end off a little short of the knot.
5. Loop the end of your line around the spool and tie a half-hitch slip knot.
6. Snug the line tight, but do not pull the knot at the end of the line through the slip knot.
7. Add an additional three half hitches and snug. Now the line is tight to the spool and does not spin on the spool.
Winding the Line on Your Spinning Reel
Now that the line is attached to the reel, it’s time to wind it on:
1. Tighten your drag up and tug the line to make sure the line is not slipping.
2. Place the spool of new line on the floor with the label facing up.
3. Keep the line taut while you reel on the new line. Many will hold the line tight with a rag soaked in a reel lubricant to avoid friction.
4. Turn the handle eight to ten times; then stop, open the bail and pull a foot or so of line from the reel. Examine the line for line twist, as line twist will cause major problems when you try to make your first cast.
a. If there is line twist, simply turn the new spool of line over so the label is facing the floor. The line will now come off the spool in the direction the reel needs.
b. If there is no line twist, pull the line tight and continue to reel the line on while keeping the line taut.
5. When the line gets to within a 16th of an inch from the edge of the spool, you have enough line on. Too much line, and the extra line will fly off the spool when you make a cast.
Putting Line on a Baitcasting Reel
A baitcasting reel is easier to put line on, but there are still a few things fishermen forget:
1. Make sure the weight of the line is within the specifications listed on the reel.
2. Thread the line through the eyes of the pole starting from the tip to the bottom of the pole.
3. Thread the line through the line guide of the reel.
4. Pull the line through and thread it through the holes in the arbor of the spool.
5. Tie an arbor knot, pull tight and cut the tag end off.
Winding the Line on Your Baitcasting Reel
With your line tied to the reel, it’s time to wind it on:
1. For baitcasting reels, you should pull the new line off with the spool on its side.
A simple, but effective trick is to put the spool of new line in a box. Run a pencil through the spool and two edges of the box. The line will feed off the top of the spool and not spin all over the floor.
2. The spool of your new line, the rod and the reel should all be in a straight line as you wind the line on.
3. Tighten your drag up a bit and pull the line tight.
4. Keeping the line taut, begin winding your line on your reel.
5. It is important that you keep the line taut while you reel on the new line. Many will hold the line tight with a rag soaked in Reel Magic to avoid friction.
6. When the line gets to within a 16th of an inch from the edge of the spool, you have enough line on. Just like that, you’re ready to fish!
It’s Time to Fish
With the embarrassing bird’s nest fixed and your daughter excited about her new rod and reel, it is time to go fishing. If you have followed these quick and easy steps, then you know how to put your fishing line on a reel, and all there is left to do is catch fish.