How to Put Fishing Line on a Bait Caster

How to Put Fishing Line on a Bait Caster
Becoming proficient with a bait caster reel requires more practice than a spinning or close faced reel. When spooling a bait caster with new line, it is important to install the new line correctly so that the reel will operate smoothly. Monitor the condition of the line on your reel and change the line frequently. The effects of catching fish, heat and sun will degrade the strength of your line. An incorrectly installed line may cause backlashes and tangles.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Spool of monofilament or braided line Pencil Nail clippers or side cutters Helper to hold line spool
  • Spool of monofilament or braided line
  • Pencil
  • Nail clippers or side cutters
  • Helper to hold line spool
Step 1
Remove old line, if needed. Dispose of line properly. Do not throw overboard as a fishing line is a wildlife and ecological hazard. Inspect the condition of the bait caster's spool to ensure the spool's surface is clean and smooth.
Step 2
Thread the new line through each of the rod guides, beginning with the rod tip. Ensure the line is centered in each guide as it is easy to miss the guide. Attach the new line to the bait caster's spool using a Uni-Knot.
Step 3
Tie a Uni-Knot by running 6-inches of line around the reel's spool and then double back to form a loop. Make 2 to 3 loops through the doubled line and the loop. Pull on the tag end and the standing line and tighten the knot. Trim the tag end flush with the nail clippers. See the Additional Resources section below for a link on how to tie a Uni-Knot.
Step 4
Have your helper run a pencil through the center of the spool of line. The pencil will make an axle so that the line spool will spin freely. Instruct the helper to maintain pressure on the line spool with his thumb so that the line plays out under light pressure.
Step 5
Spool the bait caster reel by turning the handle. Use your thumb and forefinger to squeeze the line while reeling. This will add some tension to the line so that it will seat tightly and not dig into the previous loops of line. Cut the line from the line spool when you have added the desired amount of line.

Tips & Warnings

Failure to install new line tightly onto the bait caster reel will result in unreliable casting.

Article Written By Daniel Ray

Daniel Ray has been writing for over 15 years. He has been published in "Florida Sportsman" magazine. He holds an FAA airframe and powerplant license and FCC radiotelephone license, and is also a licensed private pilot. He attended the University of South Florida.

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