how to wind fishing line on a reel

Fishing is a popular outdoor activity enjoyed by many enthusiasts around the world. However, beginners often struggle with various aspects of fishing, such as how to properly wind fishing line on a reel. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of winding fishing line on a reel, along with some useful tips and best practices. So, whether you’re a beginner angler looking to learn the basics or an experienced fisherman searching for a refresher, this guide is for you. Let’s dive in!

Understanding Fishing Line

Before we delve into the process of winding fishing line on a reel, it’s crucial to have a basic understanding of fishing line types. There are three main types of fishing line: monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braided line. Each type has its own unique properties and is suitable for different fishing situations.

Monofilament line is the most common and widely used fishing line. It is versatile, affordable, and offers a good balance of strength and flexibility. Fluorocarbon line, on the other hand, is known for its excellent invisibility underwater and high abrasion resistance. Lastly, braided line boasts exceptional strength, sensitivity, and thinness. It is commonly used for heavy-duty fishing and in situations where high visibility is not a concern.

How to Choose the Right Fishing Line

Choosing the right fishing line is essential for maximizing your fishing success. Several factors should be considered when selecting a fishing line, including the type of fishing you’ll be doing, the target species, water conditions, and personal preference.

Different fishing situations call for different line types. For instance, monofilament line is excellent for general-purpose fishing, while fluorocarbon line is ideal for situations where line visibility is a concern. Braided line is perfect for heavyweight fishing or when high sensitivity is needed.

Additionally, consider the pound-test strength (the amount of weight the line can handle before breaking) and the diameter of the line. Thicker lines generally have higher pound-test strength but may be more visible to fish. It’s crucial to strike a balance between strength and stealthiness based on your fishing needs.

Tools Needed for Winding Fishing Line

Before you start winding fishing line on a reel, make sure you have the following tools

1. Fishing line of your choice
2. Fishing reel
3. Fishing rod (to attach the reel)
4. Line spool (to hold the fishing line)
5. Scissors or line cutter
6. Reel lubricant (optional)

These essential tools will ensure a smooth and hassle-free line-winding process.

How to Wind Fishing Line on a Reel

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get into the step-by-step process of winding fishing line on a reel:

Set up your fishing rod and reel

– Attach the fishing reel to the rod according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
– Make sure the reel is securely fastened and aligned with the rod guides.

Prepare the line spool

– Insert the line spool into the line holder of the reel.
– Ensure the spool rotates freely without any resistance.

Thread the line through the rod guides

– Start by threading the line through the first guide closest to the rod handle.
– Continue threading through each guide until reaching the tip of the rod.
– Leave approximately 1-2 feet of line extending beyond the tip for knot tying later.

Attach the fishing line to the reel

– Identify the line attachment point on the reel (usually a small hole or a line clip).
– Tie an arbor knot or your preferred knot to secure the line to the reel, ensuring it is tight and secure.
– Trim any excess line sticking out after tying the knot.

Start winding the fishing line

– Hold the fishing rod in one hand and apply slight tension on the line with your fingers.
– Start turning the reel handle steadily, maintaining a constant winding speed.
– Make sure the line is neatly spooling onto the reel, without any tangles or overlaps.

Fill the reel to the desired level

– Continue winding the line onto the reel until you reach the desired line level.
– Avoid overfilling the reel, as it may affect its performance.

Secure the line on the reel

– Once the desired line level is achieved, cut the line, leaving enough excess for future use.
– Secure the line onto the reel by placing it through the line clip or by tying an overhand knot.
– Apply a small amount of reel lubricant to ensure smooth line retrieval (optional).

Congratulations! You have successfully wound fishing line on your reel. Now, you’re ready to hit the water and start fishing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How often should I change my fishing line?
Ans: Fishing line should be changed regularly, typically every fishing season or when it shows signs of wear, such as fraying or becoming brittle.

2. How much fishing line should I put on my reel?
Ans: The amount of fishing line to put on your reel depends on the reel’s line capacity and your fishing needs. It is best to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.

3. Can I mix different types of fishing lines on the same reel?
Ans: It is generally not recommended to mix different types of fishing lines on the same reel. Stick to one type for optimal performance.

4. Should I use a backing line with braided fishing line?
Ans: Using a backing line with braided fishing line is optional but can help fill the reel to the desired level and save money on expensive braided line.

5. How can I prevent line twists while winding fishing line?
Ans: To prevent line twists, make sure the fishing line is spooling onto the reel in the same direction as it comes off the line spool. Avoid any crosswinds or jerky movements while winding.

6. Is it necessary to lubricate the reel after winding the fishing line?
Ans: Lubricating the reel after winding the fishing line is optional but can improve its longevity and smoothness of line retrieval.

7. Can I reuse fishing line after removing it from the reel?
Ans: Reusing fishing line is possible if it is in good condition and shows no signs of damage. However, it is generally recommended to replace old line for optimal performance.

8. What is the best way to store unused fishing line?
Ans: Store unused fishing line in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Use line spools or line storage accessories to prevent tangling.

9. How can I prevent fishing line from tangling during storage?
Ans: To prevent tangling, wind the line tightly around a line spool or use a line winder. Keep the line secure using rubber bands or clips.

10. Can I use regular scissors to cut fishing line?
Ans: Regular scissors can be used to cut fishing line, but it is best to use specialized line cutters or braided line scissors for cleaner cuts.

11. Does the color of fishing line affect catch rates?
Ans: The color of fishing line can have some impact on catch rates, but the specific effect varies depending on the fishing conditions and target species. In most cases, choose a line color that matches the water clarity for optimal stealth.

12. Should I stretch monofilament fishing line before use?
Ans: Stretching monofilament fishing line before use can help reduce line memory and improve casting distance. Hold the line tightly and pull it between your hands to stretch it gently.

13. Can I use braided fishing line for freshwater fishing?
Ans: Braided fishing line can be used for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. However, its high visibility may affect catch rates in certain freshwater environments.

14. How can I prevent wind knots while fishing?
Ans: To prevent wind knots, avoid sudden and forceful casting motions. Ensure that the bail is closed before retrieving the line.

15. Is it necessary to clean the fishing line after every fishing trip?
Ans: It is not necessary to clean fishing line after every fishing trip. However, wiping it down with a clean cloth and inspecting for any damages or frays is recommended.

16. Why is backing line used in fishing?
Ans: Backing line is used to save money on expensive fishing line, increase line capacity on the reel, and provide a cushion between the reel spool and the fishing line.

17. Can I use fluorocarbon line as a leader with braided line?
Ans: Yes, fluorocarbon line is often used as a leader when using braided line. This combination offers the benefits of high strength, sensitivity, and invisibility.

18. Should I cut off the curled end of the line before winding it on the reel?
Ans: It is not necessary to cut off the curled end of the line before winding it on the reel. The line will straighten out during the winding process.

19. Can I use fishing line that has been exposed to sunlight for a long time?
Ans: Fishing line that has been exposed to sunlight for a long time may become weakened and prone to breaking. It is best to replace it with fresh line.

20. Is it better to fill the entire reel spool with fishing line?
Ans: It is not necessary to fill the entire reel spool with fishing line. It is sufficient to fill it to the desired level, leaving some space for effective casting.


Winding fishing line on a reel can seem daunting for beginners, but with the right guidance and some practice, it becomes a straightforward process. By following the step-by-step guide and considering the tips mentioned in this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well-equipped to wind fishing line on a reel like a pro. Remember to choose the appropriate line type for your fishing needs and maintain the line’s quality for optimal performance. Now, gather your fishing gear and hit the water with confidence!

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