Spooling line onto a baitcasting reel is easier than you think. The wide variety of fishing line and special setups with backing line may complicate the process a bit, but it’s nothing you can’t master with practice.
We’ve put together this guide to show anglers how to spool baitcasting reels and everything they'll need to get the job done. So keep reading to learn how to spool a baitcaster the right way.
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What Exactly Are Baitcasters?
A baitcasting reel sits above the rod so that the spool is directly in line with the guide eyes. It’s built to cast heavy lures further and multiply the angler’s cranking power. For each turn of the handle, the spool turns more than once - you can find out exactly how many times by the gear ratio given by the reel’s manufacturer.
These reels are typically made out of stainless steel, aluminum, or composite materials that make them both durable and lightweight. The best baitcaster and rod combo casts lures accurately over long distances.
Different Types Of Lines Used In Baitcasting Reels
Baitcasters work with many different kinds of fishing line. Here are some of the most common.
Commonly referred to as ‘mono,’ this fishing line is usually the least expensive and easiest to use. Mono line stretches to avoid snapping. The stretch also helps make cleaner hooksets.
Topwater lures work great with a mono line because it sinks into the water slowly. Knots are less common with mono fishing line, and their larger diameter often makes them more abrasion-resistant than other types of line.
Fluoro fishing line is most famous for being invisible to fish. It’s also highly sensitive, so fish bites and other vibrations are transferred to the angler more readily. Fluoro fishing line is more durable than mono and even braided line most of the time.
It might sink faster than mono line does, but fluoro is still great for getting your lure where you want it. Like mono, fluorocarbon can be wound directly onto the spool without any backing.
Braided line is just as tough as mono line at smaller diameters, which means anglers can fit more of it onto the same baitcasting spool. It floats for frogging or fishing floating minnows, buzzbaits, and spoons.
Its resistance to damage and strength makes braided line ideal for hauling a big catch out of the water. Word to the wise, though: don't go beneath 30 lb. test with a baitcasting reel, or you could run into knot problems.
4 Things Needed When Putting Line On A Baitcaster
How To Spool A Baitcaster: Step-By-Step Guide
- 1First, attach your baitcaster to the reel seat on your rod.
- 2Next, pass the mono fishing line through the first rod eye and keep going until it reaches the spool.
- 3Attach the line to the spool by wrapping it around once and making an arbor knot. Cut off the leftover line after you tie the knot.
- 4Slowly wind the reel handle toward you to get the line off the factory spool and onto your reel.
- 5When you have about 1/8th of an inch left on your spool, you can stop.
- 6Add any hooks, weights, or lures you want to use, and you're basically ready to hit the water.
How To Spool A Baitcaster With Braid
Braid is much stronger at lighter test weights. Higher line capacity allows you to tire out bigger targets by letting them go on a run.
Spooling braided line with a backing prevents it from digging into the spool and causing knots or pauses.
Most of the steps are the same whether you're putting on braided line, fluorocarbon, or mono. If you want to know how much mono backing you should put underneath a braided line, do the whole thing backward. Spool braid almost all the way, then spool on mono until the spool is full. Finally, you take all this line off and put it on in the reverse order.
Perhaps most importantly, you have to spool braided line very tight, or it will bite into itself.
Frequent Asked Baitcaster Spool Questions
Should you wet the line before spooling?
Soak fluorocarbon line to reduce memory and keep braided line dry, so it doesn't change character after you spool. Wetting mono line could change how it spools because it is typically wound onto the factory spool dry.
How can I prevent line twist when spooling new line?
Line twist is usually because you’re going too fast. If the factory spool twists, the line twists with it. Take it slow and make sure the source of the line stays even and steady to reduce line twists when you’re spooling a baitcaster.
How full should I spool my baitcaster?
Fill your baitcasting reel to within ⅛ inch of the top of the reel. Some models have lips on the spool edges that allow you to fill it up all the way. If you’re using a mono backing, fill up to ½ of the spool with the backing and do the rest with braid.
How do you fix the loose spots of your reel?
Various parts of a baitcasting reel can come loose and seriously impact the performance of the reel. For instance, a ball bearing might wear out and prevent all the reel components from working fluidly. Check your reel seat if the whole baitcaster is wobbling and always spool line under tension to make sure it doesn’t feel loose.
Why does my baitcaster reel backward?
If your reel doesn’t have an anti-reverse switch, then the ball bearing responsible for preventing the handle from spinning backward might be shot. Take it in for repairs or investigate the anti-reverse bearing yourself if you have the tools and know-how.
Spooling line onto a baitcasting reel is surprisingly easy. Even if you want to use a leader or spool braided line with a mono backing, all you really need is a pencil, line cutter, and a solid baitcasting rod.
Now that you know how to put the line on a baitcaster, you can take advantage of these reels’ long casting and haul in some big fish.