Parts of a Spinning Reel

Parts of a Spinning Reel
Anglers use a spinning reel to cast lures and other bait into the water to catch fish. The various parts of a spinning reel have different functions that make it easy to use. Novice anglers often choose a spinning reel when they begin fishing.

Foot and Arm

The spinning reel attaches to the rod by its foot, an elongated piece that inserts into a spot on the handle of the reel. The reel arm extends from the foot and holds the rest of the reel.


Gear Housing

The bottom portion of the reel houses the gears and typically contains an anti-reverse button or switch that allows the angler to reel forward, backward or lock the reel so that it only reels forward.


The handle of the reel is often reversible, so that the angler can unscrew it and put it on the other side of the housing. Turning the handle rotates the spool and bail and retrieves the fishing line.


The bail is a metal wire that rotates when the handle of the reel turns. The bail's function is to put the fishing line back on the spool as the angler reels it in.


The fishing line winds around a spool that fits onto the reel. Depending on the size of the reel, the spool has a specific line capacity for each diameter of fishing line.

Drag Adjustment Knob

Most spinning reels come with a drag adjustment knob on the top of the spool. Turning this knob makes it harder or easier for the reel to rotate and controls the speed that a fish can pull line from the reel.


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