How to Line a Baitcast Reel

How to Line a Baitcast Reel
Anglers use baitcast reels in a variety of fishing situations. From largemouth bass to open-ocean tarpon, baitcast reels are often preferred for their durability and line control. Any reel is only as good as the line on the spool. Damaged or worn line can easily result in the big one getting away. Help ensure your bragging rights by taking the time to change the line in your baitcast reel before every season and as needed due to wear.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Select a fishing line that is matched to the tackle and type of fishing you will be doing. For example, an 8- to 15-lb. test monofilament is a good choice for largemouth bass but not so good for stream trout. Line selection involves considering the fish species as well as the size and weight of the fishing rod and reel. The recommended line weight may be noted on many rods just above the handle.
Step 2
Pull a short length of the new line from the spool. Position the spool so that the line unwinds from the bottom or top of the spool and not the side to avoid unnecessary line twist.
Step 3
Pass the free, or tag end, of the line through the line guide on the front of the reel. The line guide may be two small wires or a round guide that the line feeds through before winding onto the spool of the reel.
Step 4
Wrap the new line under and around the center, or arbor, of the reel. The tag end of the line should extend past the spool for 6 to 7 inches to allow enough room for tying the connecting knots.
Step 5
Attach the line to the arbor of the spool with an arbor knot. Form an overhand knot with the tag end of the line so that it passes around the main line. Tie another overhand knot, using only the tag end, below the first knot.
Step 6
Moisten the knots slightly. Pull both knots down securely against the arbor. Use snips to trim excess tag line from the knot. Apply tension to the line and turn the handle of the reel to wind the new line onto the spool.

Tips & Warnings

Refer to the reel manufacturer's directions for the amount of line to spool onto the reel. A rule of thumb, if information is not available, is to fill the spool about 3/4 full. This should provide enough line for most fishing situations.

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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