How to String a Fishing Line to a Penn Reel

How to String a Fishing Line to a Penn Reel
From inland brackish water fishing to the deep open ocean, Penn reels are designed to be serious tools for the angler. Penn manufactures a variety of spinning and bait-casting reels to match the needs of most every saltwater angler. Spooling Penn reels is a basic part of fishing rod maintenance and preparation.


Difficulty: Easy

Penn Spinning Reel

Things You’ll Need:
  • Penn spinning reel
  • Penn bait cast reel
  • Monofilament (or similar) fishing line
  • Snips
Step 1
Open the bail wire of the spinning reel. Pull the bail wire back from the front of the reel so it locks into place.
Step 2
Wrap the tag, or free, end of the monofilament (or similar) line around the spool of the reel for 5 to 6 inches. Attach the line to the spool of the reel using an arbor knot.
Step 3
Tie the arbor knot by forming an overhand knot with the tag end of the line. The loop of the knot should pass around the main line. Form another overhand knot between the first knot and the tag end of the line. Moisten the knot, pull down tightly and cut excess line from the knot with snips.
Step 4
Close the bail of the reel and apply tension to the line 12 to 18 inches in front of the reel. Turn the handle of the reel in a steady motion to spool the line evenly across the face of the spool.
Step 5
Refer to the reel manufacturer's instructions regarding the amount of line to spool onto the reel. The amount of line will vary based on the pound test. A rule of thumb is to fill the spool so it is just over three-fourths full.

Penn Bait-Cast Reel

Step 1
Pass the end of the monofilament or similar line through the line guide located at the front of the reel. The line guide will typically be mounted to a rail across the face of the reel. The guide travels along the rail to evenly spool the line onto the face of the reel.
Step 2
Wrap the end of the line around the spool of the reel so that 5 to 6 inches of line extend past the spool. Attach the line to the spool with an arbor knot. Refer to step 3 in the first section for directions on tying the knot.
Step 3
Apply pressure to the line just in front of the reel and begin turning the handle with a smooth motion so the line is evenly spooled across the face of the line.
Step 4
Refer to the manufacturer's directions for the amount of line to spool onto the reel, or spool enough line so the reel is three-fourths full if directions are not available.

Tips & Warnings

Moisten the arbor knot before pulling it down tight. This will increase the strength and holding power of the knot.

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.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.