How to Replace the Fishing Line on a Reel

How to Replace the Fishing Line on a Reel
Fishing line can be the weak link in your tackle setup. The overall success of your fishing trip can be determined by the line on your reel. Even if you use the most expensive and highest-quality line on the market, if it is worn or damaged it is not going to perform as intended. Changing your line routinely is a way to prevent unnecessary line breaks that typically happen when the big one hits your lure.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Small dowel or pencil
  • Drill
  • Tape
  • Snips
  • Replacement line
Step 1
Remove the old line from your reel. Open the bail or depress the button at the rear of the reel to release the line from the spool. Depending on whether the reel is a spinning or bait-casting model, the method of releasing the line will vary.
Step 2
Attach a small dowel or pencil to the chuck of a drill and tighten. Tape the free, or tag, end of the old line to the dowel, and squeeze the trigger on the drill to begin winding line. When the line is completely removed from the spool, use snips to cut the line free. Remove the line from the dowel or pencil and recycle it.
Step 3
Attach the end of the new line to the spool of the reel with an arbor knot. Tie the arbor knot by passing 6 to 7 inches of line around the center of the spool. Form an overhand knot with the tag end of the line so that it goes around the main line. Form another overhand knot toward the tag end of the line. Pull the knot tight, and trim excess line with snips.
Step 4
Apply tension to the new line and begin winding it onto the reel. Refer to the manufacturer's directions for the amount of line to be placed on the spool. If information is not available, fill the spool three-quarters full as a rule of thumb.
Step 5
Cut the line with snips when the spool is filled. Secure the line to the line keeper mounted on the side of the reel, or use a line keeper that slides onto the line and is designed to hold it in place.

Tips & Warnings

It is important to apply tension to the line while spooling. The tension will help the line lie flat across the surface of the spool.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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