How to Set Up a Shakespeare Reel

How to Set Up a Shakespeare Reel
Ask most anglers to name three brands of fishing reels and Shakespeare will probably be included on the list. For more than 100 years, Shakespeare has been involved in the development and marketing of a wide range of freshwater and saltwater fishing reels, from spinning to baitcasting, Most anglers can set up a Shakespeare reel easily and quickly.


Difficulty: Easy

Spinning Reel

Things You’ll Need:
  • Monofilament fishing line
  • Scissors
Step 1
Open the bail at the front of the spinning reel. Pull the bail wire back until it locks into place.
Step 2
Pull the free end of the line around the spool of the spinning reel so that 4 to 5 inches of line extend past the spool.
Step 3
Attach the line to the spool with an arbor knot. Tie the arbor knot by forming an overhand loop with the free end of the line so that the loop wraps around the main line.
Step 4
Tie another overhand knot below the first knot. Moisten the knot with water and pull the free end of the line to tighten the knots against the spool. Cut any excess line from the knot with a pair of scissors.
Step 5
Close the bail and apply tension to the line with your hand. Turn the reel handle with a steady motion to spool the line across the face of the spool.

Baitcast Reel

Step 1
Feed the free end of the monofilament line through the small round line guide at the front of the reel. The guide is attached to a rail that allows it to move across the face of the spool as the handle is turned.
Step 2
Pull the line through the guide and around the spool of the reel. Attach the line to the reel, using an arbor knot.
Step 3
Apply tension to the line with your hand about 12 to 15 inches in front of the reel. Turn the handle of the reel to engage the winding mechanism and begin winding line onto the spool.
Step 4
Wind line onto the spool until the recommended amount of line is spooled. If directions are not available, fill the spool about 3/4 full or a little more. This will typically provide enough line for most fishing situations.

Tips & Warnings

Refer to the manufacturer's instructions for the amount of line to wind on 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.

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.