How to Spool a Baitcasting Reel? Detailed Guide for Beginners (Summer 2022)

One of the top reasons many anglers prefer using baitcasters is quite simple. In addition to providing greater casting accuracy, they also have more torque and handle heavy lines so much better. This makes them the preferred choice in heavy weeds where strong lines provide the edge you need. If you’ve recently invested in a baitcaster, you could be wondering how to spool a baitcasting reel.

If that’s the case, then this article is for you. We’ll look at the difference between baitcasting and spinning as well as highlight a step-by-step guide to spooling. Additionally, we’ll also answer a few questions commonly asked by people new to using baitcasters. Keep reading as we delve right into the tools needed.


Before you get ready to spool your baitcasting reel, you’ll have to get a few items handy. These include the following:

  • Rod
  • Reel
  • Line
  • Tool to cut the line – A small knife, sharp scissors, or nail clippers work well
  • A lure, weight, or even a hook – You'll use it to tie off the end of the line to ensure the line doesn't back out of the tip guide

If you’re still browsing for the perfect baitcaster, the KastKing Royale Legend II features a new compact design. Combining this compact profile with a concealed side cover release ensures a comfortable and easier reel. Its new pinion gear technology ensures this model delivers an impressive 35% increase in smoothness.

Baitcasting vs. spinning

Baitcasters and spinning reels generally have different designs and builds. Since they’re so different, they’re also used with different rod types. A baitcaster is a fishing reel that has a rotating spool attached to the top of the fishing rod. The spinning reel, on the other hand, is a fishing reel that gets attached to the bottom of a fishing rod. It’s important to mention that the spinning reel comes with a spool that can’t rotate.

The general principle of spooling a reel is similar for each type of reel, and it's worth noting a few key differences.

  • Baitcaster: Feed the line through the line guide, which is the small hole at the front of the reel. Do this before you tie the line around the spool.
  • Spinning reel: Ensure you place the line on the right side of the bail. This is best done when you open the bail before tying the line.


When it comes to tying the line around the spool, we always recommend using the arbor fishing knot. The main reason for this is that it’s a remarkably simple knot made up of two overhand knots. Since it’s such an easy knot to tie, the only tough part will be to tighten the inside knot slowly enough to let the fishing line slip enough to create the right amount of friction.


It’s crucial to maintain tension as you reel in the new line. If it’s not done correctly, you’ll end up with loose loops around the spool. These, in turn will lead to a few common problems, which we've listed below:

  • Inconsistent casts: The reel will try to unravel at different speeds when the lure flies through the air. This will lead to you losing control of your cast, creating inaccuracy and unsteadiness.
  • Kinks in the line: When a loose loop is under multiple layers of fishing line, you could very well end up with kinks in your line. Not only will this make your line weak, but it’ll become susceptible to breaking, which in turn will cost your lures and most likely fish as well.

If you’re looking for a baitcaster that can handle and maintain the right amount of tension, you might want to consider the Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Fishing Reel. With a low-profile and quality gear system, you can expect the right amount of torque for the perfect rolling technique. Additionally, four carbon fiber washers give the low-profile reel a physically powerful 18LB drag that makes bringing in the huge fish a breeze!

Step-by-step guide

Spooling your baitcaster reel isn’t that complicated. To show you just how easy it is, we’ve broken the process down into a few easy-to-follow steps.

Locate your line correctly

  • Feed your line through the specified line guide on your baitcaster reel
  • To get an even line distribution, do this before you start reeling

Loop the line around the reel spool

  • Here you’ll need to feed the spool of line directly onto the reel by holding the reel upright – you can easily stick a pencil through the center to help you keep the reel upright
  • If someone holds the pencil, it will be easier for you to ensure the line comes off straight

Tie an arbor knot around the spool

  • Tie two overhand arbor knots – ensure that the knots are tight enough to create enough friction for the spooling

Pinch the line

Here you’ll need to maintain sufficient tension to ensure the reel spools properly

  • Pinch the line just enough to keep it tight for correct reeling
  • Remember that fluorocarbon and monofilament lines can stretch if pulled too tightly so, be careful not to stretch too much
  • A tight enough loop will prevent having any loose loops

Reel the line in

  • As you’re maintaining the tension on the line, reel it in until an average of 1/8” between the outside of the spool and the line
  • Essentially, manufacturers regard this as full and recommend you not exceed this

Feed the line through the rod guides

  • As you feed the line through the guides, be sure to leave a few feet of the additional line after the last guide at the tip

Tie off a lure or hook

  • Here you need to sustain a small amount of tension on the line to prevent it from backing up on the reel

Some people do this by tying off a tiny hook as this doesn’t hamper any potential lures


Read on as we answer a few of the more common questions surrounding the finer tricks to spool a baitcaster reel.

Should I string the line through all the guides after or before?

This is a matter of personal preference. Many people find it easier to do after because you end up having better line control as you reel. When the line has run its length, it may be harder to manage.

Why do you need to keep the spool of line face up?

Since this generally applies to spinning reels, it’s crucial to mimic the same direction the manufacturer has used to load the line. Effectively, this will then be the same direction in which the line comes off during casting.

What to do with the loose spots?

Loose spots close to the surface can easily be pulled out. For deeper spots, you’ll have to unravel the reel until just past the spot. Re-reel the line with enough tension.

How to prevent line twists when spooling a new line?

If your line already has a twist in, determine its direction and then flip the spool to ensure the line straightens out.

How much line to put on?

For the most part, many reels’ specifications will list how much line they can hold. It’s also more effective to fill the reel up to about 1/8” between the outside of the spool and the line. This will ensure that you always have enough line.

Can you run line through the spool holes?

There’s no right or wrong answer here. Some people do it either way without any problems. If you are worried about kinks or sharp angles, it’s better to wrap the line completely around the spool.

Can you overfill or underfill your spool?

Regrettably, it’s possible to do both. Here’s why you should avoid both of these instances.

  • Overfilling: When you overfill a reel, it can cause abrasion between sections of the reel and the line. Additionally, if the line absorbs water, overfilling keeps the water in the line, which in turn makes it considerably weaker.
  • Underfilling: If the spool is underfilled, the reel is forced to spin much faster to do the same work as a fuller reel. Aside from creating extra friction, it’ll also cost you some distance during casting.

How to prevent a braided line from slipping?

Since braided lines are smoother they have less friction which in turn causes the line to slip when you try to start spooling. To avoid this, consider the following:

  • Use a short backing line of fluoro or mono – make sure it’s a few feet long
  • You can even take this out to about 1/3 of their spool’s depth – remember that this will be the line that gets everything started on the reel
  • Tie a knot that splices the backing line to the braid
  • It’s always a great idea to use a double uni knot because of its simplicity and strength

Final thoughts

Our step-by-step guide shows that it’s fairly easy to spool a baitcasting reel. Ensure you have the right tools and practice the necessary knots beforehand. Baitcasters are extremely easy to use and highly versatile. Since they have a high degree of casting accuracy, baitcasters are always a good option to use. With a bit of practice, you’ll easily learn how to spool a baitcasting reel quite effectively. Happy fishing!


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