No matter the type of fishing reel or fishing line, it is easiest to spool line onto a reel that is attached to a fishing rod. If the rod and reel are not attached before you begin spooling line, it is a good idea to do so. To attach the reel to the rod, place the reel feet into the reel seat that is located on the handle of the fishing rod. Ensure the attachment is firm by tightening the reel seat covers over the reel feet.
Line Through All Guides
Thread fishing line through every rod guide, beginning with the guide at the tip of the fishing rod. Most fishing rods have between six and eight rod guides, which get progressively larger the closer they are to the reel. Once the line is at the reel, open the bale if you are putting line onto a spinning reel. If you are putting line onto a baitcasting reel, thread the line through the line guide that is located at the front of the reel. Wrap the fishing line around the spool of the reel two times, then tie a knot so it lies tight against the spool of the reel. There likely will be excess line above the knot, which you should cut with a scissors, but keep about 1/8 of an inch of extra line above the knot to prevent the knot from coming apart should the line slip.
Keep the Pressure On
Hold the rod and reel in your right or left hand, depending on which hand you would hold it in if you actually were fishing. Place the thumb and pointer finger from your non-reeling hand onto the fishing line between the reel and the nearest line guide on the fishing rod. The line should be between your two fingers. With your two fingers, apply a sufficient amount of pressure so you can feel the pressure as you reel line onto the spool. Do not apply so much pressure that it is difficult to reel. Applying pressure to the line as you spool it onto the reel helps make sure the line goes into the reel tightly and smoothly and helps prevent knots and other complications from forming in the line.
Putting too much line onto the reel can cause it to come off the reel in spools, which can create knots or kinks in the line and significantly weaken it. So, continue reeling line onto the reel until the line is about 1/8 of an inch below the rim of the spool.
Finish the Process
Use a scissors to cut the fishing line so that about one foot of line hangs from the tip of the fishing rod. After you have done so, tie a hook or other lure to the end of the fishing line. If you are fishing, begin casting. If not, attach the hook or lure to one of the rod guides. If you do not want to tie a hook or lure onto the end of the fishing line, tie the line to one of the rod guides or to the handle of the fishing reel. Whether you tie a hook or lure to the end of the line, make sure the line is tight. Failure to keep the line tight can cause tangles to form.