How to Spool a Bait Caster

How to Spool a Bait CasterSpooling a bait caster reel with fresh line can improve your fishing success by reducing the risk of snapped lines. Seasoned anglers replace their bait caster line before the start of the fishing season, and the winter months are a great time to spend a pleasant hour working with your equipment to get it ready for the next adventure on the water. If you happen to be on the trail and suddenly need to replace the line due to a snarl or some other problem (maybe you borrowed some defective fishing gear from the cabin), knowing how to spool a bait caster will get you back in the water and catching fish.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Bait casting reel and rod
  • New fishing line
  • Knife or scissors
  • Paper towels or rags
  • Pencil or wooden dowel
Step 1
Peel off the old line on the bait caster reel and clip the knot securing it to the spool.
Step 2
Wipe down the spool with a paper towel or rag to remove dirt and grit that can weaken the line.
Step 3
Mount the bait caster reel on the rod.
Step 4
Thread the end of a fresh spool of fishing line through the rod tip and guides, down to the reel.
Step 5
Thread the line through the level winder, which resembles a thin loop of wire like a paper clip over the spool. The level winder helps the line go on smoothly across the length of the spool instead of bunching up in just one spot.
Step 6
Make several revolutions around the spool with the line, then tie it off with an overhand knot, clipping the excess line close to the knot.
Step 7
Insert a pencil or wooden dowel through the spool of new line to serve as an axle that will keep the line straight and prevent the plastic spool from rolling away under the furniture. Alternatively, get a friend to hold the pencil or dowel.
Step 8
Add line to the baitcaster spool by slowly turning the retrieval crank handle on the right-hand side of most bait casters. When you have added several layers of fresh line all the way across the width of the pool, you can begin adding line faster.
Step 9
Fill the bait caster spool with new line to the level recommended by the reel manufacturer. The amount of line you can spool on the reel depends on the thickness of the line and size of reel. You'll fit more 20-pound line on a reel than 50-pound line, for example. The inside lip of the spool may have markings to denote the number of yards of line that can be added to the reel, depending on line weight.

Article Written By James Clark

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.

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