Homemade Fly Line Winder

Homemade Fly Line Winder
Spooling new line onto a fly reel is a common procedure to change line that has become worn or damaged. Anglers also change line to adjust to fishing conditions, such as higher winds, or fishing methods. Changing fly line is somewhat different than with a spinning or baitcast reel as there is no automatic winding mechanism. Ensuring the line winds evenly across the face of the spool is the angler's responsibility. A fly line winder can go a long way toward making the line-winding process easier.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Wood clamp
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • 2-by-2-inch piece of wood, 2 feet long
  • 4 2-inch wood or decking screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Fender washer
  • Plastic drinking straw
  • Scissors
Step 1
Place a 2-foot-long, 2-by-2-inch piece of lumber on a sturdy work surface.
Step 2
Center the fly line spool about 3 inches from the top of the 2-by-2-inch lumber. Insert a 2-inch wood or decking screw through a fender washer. Place the screw with washer through the hole of the fly line spool and secure it to the lumber with a screwdriver.
Step 3
Place the end of a ruler at the bottom of the spool and make marks with a pencil at 3 inches, 6 inches and 9 inches in the center of the lumber.
Step 4
Cut three lengths of drinking straw about 1 1/2 inch long, using scissors. Place a 1 1/2-inch length of straw on each of the wood screws. Drive the wood screws into the lumber at each of the three marked spots.
Step 5
Clamp the 2-by-2-inch length of lumber to the edge of a work bench or table with a wood clamp. Adjust the clamp, if necessary, so that it holds the lumber securely in place.
Step 6
Feed the end of the fly line down and weave through the three straws. Pull the end of the line from around the last straw for a few feet.

Tips & Warnings

The line winding through the straws, mounted with screws, will provide some tension to the line while spooling.
Place a small fender washer on the screws before sliding the straw lengths in place if the head of the screw is not large enough to hold the straw in place.

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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