No matter if you are a complete beginner, or if you already have some fishing experience, the time will come when you will have to put new line on a fishing reel.
Fishing lines can break, twist or get tangled if they are not set up properly ...
The process of putting a new line on the reel takes no more than 10 minutes, if you know what you are doing.
Torturing yourself with old and used lines is not an option and here we will explain in steps how to set it up.
There are two main groups of reels, spinning and fly.
Spinning reels, which are the ones we will focus on, have 3 types:
• Spincast - This type of reel is completely closed. All the parts are inside under the cover and line goes trough a small opening. It is suitable for complete beginners and first-timers, and also for children. The main problem is accuracy and distance. It is easily operated by pressing a button on the back while casting and then relising the same button.
• Baitcasting - The hardest one to use, and not recommended for complete beginners. When casting the spool is turning. If not controlled properly the line will tangle. They are excellent for heavy lines and lures. It is very precise.
• Spinning - this one is widely used, popular among beginners. It is the easy to set up and to use. Line capacity is high and that means you can put a very long lines on it. Only problem is using heavier lines. In that case this reel does not perform the best. You can get spare spools and easily change them on the spot. They have an open face, unlike previously mentioned spincast.
Setting the drag - You can use a mechanism to set up the drag that will be felt by fish while pulling the line. That is important because if the drag is too high line can be damaged or break.
Now when we know which types of reels are common, we can discuss how to put a new line on a fishing reel.
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How to put/spool fishing line on a spinning, baitrunner or any other reel?
Firstly, choose a line that suits your needs. We have different types of lines, and they act differently when in use.
• Monofilament - flexible and good for floats/bobber use, and they go well with live bait.
• Fluorocarbon - less visible, ideal for calm water, not flexible. Goes well with the same bait as the previous.
• Braided - visible and sinks very slowly, ideal for topwater baits. Line consists of several thinner lines braided together. It is not stretchy and won't break easily. Greater casting distances can be acomplished.
After you decided which line to use you can try to set it up on a fishing reel.
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1. Take the reel, hold it as you do when fishing and turn the wheel few times to see the direction reel turning. It will show you the way line should be spooled. If you spool it wrong it will strip off while casting. Spinning reels, unlike spincasting and baitcasting should be mounted on the bottom side and "hang" of the fishing rod.
2. Open the bail. It is done by overturning the small handle up to open and down to close. If there are old line leftovers you should remove them.
3. String the line trough the guides (circles down the rod) and secure the line to the spool. Be careful to leave enough line length after the knot.
4. Close the bail. Put the spool on the straight surface, like a table. Label should be on the upper side. Line has to come off the spool in the same way the spool will go into the reel. Turning the spool in the right way will prevent tangling.
5. Hold the line and carefully crank the reel. Hold it approximately 30 centimeters above and pull it. Crank the reel and let the line go trough your hand. Look for twists and tangles. If there are any remove a part of the line from spool and align it again. Make sure to put some pressure while loading it to prevent tangling that can occur if the line is loose.
6. Crank the reel to load the line. Check for twists and tangles regularly. This is the most tiresome part because if the twists are present you should do it again. Also, make sure you are not doing this too fast.
7. Fill the spool 0.3 centimeters from the rim. Spool with too much or too little line will be prone to tangles.
8. Cut the line. You can tape the free end and prevent unwrapping to make it easier for yourself.
9. Secure the line. Tie a lure or use a rubber band to keep it in place.
10.You are done! Start fishing with your new line.
This one is in a way similar to the spinning reel.
11. Pull the fishing line trough eyelets.
12. Attach it to the spool.
13. Wrap it around the spool. Tie it. The best knot to use is arbor knot.
14. Begin spooling. Place some tension on the line to prevent tangles and begin reeling.
15. Check for twists and tangles.
16. Stop when you are 0.3 centimeters from the rim.
17. Cut the excess line and secure it.
18. Remove the face of the reel.
19. Remove the leftover line.
20. Pull the line trough the line guides at the tip of the rod toward the reel. Line guides are ring-like circles.
21. Pull the line trough the opening on the cap of the reel. This step has to be done now because later on you won't be able to. Don't fix the cap yet.
22. Wrap the line on the spool in the direction the reel is turning.
23. Tie the end. Be careful as it can unwrap easily.
24. Hold the line and tighten it same as in spinning reels step 5.
25. Crank the handle and follow previously mentioned steps in spinning reels.
26. Put the cover back on.
27. Cut the line off.
Fly fishing - there is a different process to put a line on a fly-fishing reel but it will not be mentioned here because that is another topic.
Spooling done wrong will cause tangles and twists. Monofilament lines are prone to this problem. Also, twisting and tangling is a bigger problem for spinning and spincast than baitcast.
How much fishing line (Is enough) do you put on a fishing reel?
As already mentioned too much or too little will cause the line to tangle and twist.
When putting a new line on a fishing reel make sure you leave 0.3 centimeters space between the rim and the line on the spool. That is the universal rule.
Every reel will have instructions how much line it can handle. It depends on the line too. Most lines are sold in 150 yards (ca. 137 m) to 300 yards (ca. 274 m) spools. A lot of manufactures of reels recommend 200 yards (ca. 183 m).
Too much line can cause wind knots and tangled lines. If you follow given advice and manufacturer instructions you can't go wrong.
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How long does fishing line last?
How long can the fishing line last depends on how often you use it, how you store it and how much stress it takes.
Usually monofilaments can last from 2 to 3 years. Fluorocarbon can last from 7 to 10 years and a braid can last up to 10 years.
Those numbers are in ideal cases which are not common.
It is recommended to change your lines once or twice per year for an average user. Lines are sensitive to sunlight, especially monofilaments. They also have a shelf-life and that is about 2-3 years. Fluorocarbon is not sensitive to sunlight. An average user should change it 1-2 times per year. Shelf-life is up to 7 years. Braided lines are the same as fluorocarbon, except the shelf-life which is a bit longer.
When lines are not in use they sit in the same position for years and the material deforms. Whenever you see any deformations or you experience some problems you should put new line on fishing reel.
Storage of your equipment is also important. Keeping it away from light and heat will prolong its life.
Whenever you change your lines make sure to dispose them properly, they do not dissolve in nature.
Putting new lines on fishing reels seems complicated and sometimes impossible to do.
If you're a complete beginner - the easiest way would be to have someone to do it for you.
Knowing your fishing gear is an important part of fishing. It will give you experience and confidence in your skills. Everything gets better with practice and anyone can learn and master this skill.
Choose your line and reel and give it a try by following instructions. This will enable you to put new line on the reel anytime and anywhere. You will not compromise your fishing time because of tangled or broken lines.