How to Spool a New Line on an Ice Fishing Rod

How to Spool a New Line on an Ice Fishing Rod
Ice fishing rods are similar to the rods and reels used by warm-weather anglers except they are much smaller. The average rod length for example is just 28 inches. These ice rods are employed to catch fish through the ice, with species like crappie, bluegill and trout often the fisherman's target. Spooling new line onto one of these setups will allow an individual to have confidence in her rig when in search of a trophy fish through the ice.


Difficulty: Moderate

How to Spool a New Line on an Ice Fishing Rod

Things You’ll Need:
  • Ice fishing rod and reel new fishing line nail clippers
  • Ice fishing rod and reel
  • new fishing line
  • nail clippers
Step 1
Choose an ice line appropriate for your rod. Many anglers will have different strength rods for different fish and spool them with the type of line that works best for that species. For example, those that fish for panfish like bluegills will use a lighter four-pound test line on an ultralight rod while people that want to catch pike will employ a much higher test on a much stronger rod.
Step 2
Take the end of the line off the spool and lay the spool on the floor at your feet where you are sitting. Pass the end of the new line through the eyes on your ice fishing rod, from the top one down through the last one.
Step 3
Open the bail on your ice fishing reel and tie the line onto the reel. Most anglers will utilize an Arbor knot for this task. Close the bail.
Step 4
Place the line coming off the new spool between your knees and hold it there as you begin to turn the reel's handle. By keeping your knees together with the line between them, you will add enough tautness to the line coming onto your reel for it to spool onto the reel tightly.
Step 5
Realize that your reel has a certain line capacity that you should not exceed. If you do, the line will be prone to coming off the reel and tangling whenever you open the bail. You can put more line on if the line is a lower test and less line on when the line is a higher test.
Step 6
Turn the handle of the reel and fill your reel to capacity with line. Once you have done this, cut the line with your nail clippers and tie on a leader and a hook.

Tips & Warnings

To know exactly how much line you are putting on measure up one foot from where the line enters the reel. Mark the line with a magic marker at that point, and then watch as you begin to reel in how many turns of the handle it requires before that spot makes it to the reel. Multiply this number by three and you now know how many turns of the handle puts a yard of line on your reel.

Keep Me Informed

Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from to your inbox.

Sign me up!

We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.