How to Put a Fishing Line on an Open Bail Reel

How to Put a Fishing Line on an Open Bail Reel
An open bail reel, commonly known as a spinning reel, is one of the most popular pieces of fishing equipment used by anglers everywhere. The spinning reel offers an outstanding balance of several crucial factors, including line capacity, casting accuracy and ease of use. Seasoned anglers typically respool their open bail reels with new line before the start of each fishing season. Learn how to respool yours.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Open bail fishing reel
  • Rod
  • New line
  • Pencil or wooden dowel
  • Pocketknife or a scissor
Step 1
Strip away the old fishing line from the reel and cut the knot tying it to the reel spool. Attach the reel to your rod to make respooling fresh line easier. Run the fresh line through the rod guides from the tip to the reel. Flip open the bail of your spincasting reel so it is in the upright position.
Step 2
Attach the fresh line to the reel spool by making several turns around the spool, then tie off the line with an overhand knot. Clip the excess line close to the knot with a pocketknife or scissor. Close the bail on the open bail reel. Place a pencil or dowel through the center hole of the spool on which your new fishing line is wrapped.
Step 3
Turn the new spool of fishing line so that it comes off the spool in the same circular direction as it will go on the open bail reel. Spincasting reels add line by turning the bail clockwise with the retrieve handle. The line off the new spool should peel off in the same direction to prevent twists and kinks that can lead to tangles.
Step 4
Add line by cranking the reel handle at a steady pace while someone controls the new line by holding the pencil like an axle. Do not overfill the open bail reel. The underside of the spool cap probably has markings to show how much line the reel can hold, depending on line weight.
Step 5
Tie on a snap swivel when you have finished respooling and clip the snap to the reel bail to prevent the line from slipping off.

Article Written By James Clark

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.

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