How to Put a Fishing Line on an Open Face Reel

How to Put a Fishing Line on an Open Face ReelOpen-face reels are popular because of their ease of use. With just a little practice, most fishermen can quickly be making long, accurate casts. The one drawback of open-face reels is that the line will sometimes twist and cause snarls. When putting new line on an open-face reel, it is important that the new line goes on without any twisting or the reliability of the reel will suffer. To avoid line failure, change your line frequently and follow these steps when putting on new fishing line.


Difficulty: Easy

How to Put a Fishing Line on an Open Face Reel

Things You’ll Need:
  • Spool of new line Nail clippers
  • Spool of new line
  • Nail clippers
Step 1
Remove old fishing line and ensure old line is properly disposed. Inspect the spool and bail mechanism for abrasions or dirt and debris. Clean as necessary. Turn the handle and take note of which direction the bails rotates. This information will be used in a later step.
Step 2
Remove the tag end from the spool of new line. Ensure that the bail is opened on the reel. Run the new line through each of the rod guides, taking care to make sure the line is centered in each guide. Affix the line to the reel's spool with a 3-turn Uni-Knot as described in the step below.
Step 3
Run 7 to 8-inches of line around the reel's spool and then reverse direction so that a loop is formed next to the doubled line. Grasp the tag end and make three revolutions around the doubled line. Pull on the tag end and the standing line until the knot tightens around the spool. Use the nail clippers to trim the tag end flush with the knot.
Step 4
Close the bail and turn the reel's handle and make sure the line wraps tightly around the spool. Refer back to Step 1 and the direction that the bail rotates. The new line must slip off the spool in the opposite direction that the bail spins. If the bail spins clockwise, the new line must slip off the spool in a counter clockwise direction.
Step 5
Set the new spool of line on the floor and turn the reel's handle a few times to determine the new line's direction. If it is not counter-clockwise, simply flip the spool over to the other side to reverse direction. Grasp the line with your thumb and forefinger and apply pressure to the line so it seats tightly on the spool. Reel until the spool is filled with the desired amount of line.

Tips & Warnings

Fishing line is a hazard to wildlife and the environment. Please do not throw line overboard.

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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