How to Correctly Use Spinning reel? This Guide ...

How to Use Spinning reel

Choosing the right fishing reel and learning how to use it may seem complicated.

There are different types of reels on the market, and there are differences between models of the same type.

If you are a beginner, or you have limited experience, you probably decided to use spinning reel for your fishing adventures.

Here we are going to explain how spinning reels work, how to use spinning reel, how to put new line on a fishing reel, how to choose the best one, and a lot more useful information that a new angler needs.

So, read more in the following chapters:



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Understanding Spinning Reels

In order to find out how to use spinning reel, first we need to know how it works and what are the parts of a spinning reel.

Spinning reels are fixed-spool reels. They are usually attached below the fishing rod. They have an open face, unlike spincast reels. Spinning reels are also more precise and you can cast further away. Line capacity is one of the biggest advantages for this type of reels.

It has fixed spool, unlike baitcasting reel, which we are going to mention later. Fixed spool enables the fishing line to run freely during casting. The line is simply unwrapping from the spool. That option is very good for small lures. It is more suitable for anglers who already have some experience with spincasting reels, but a skillful beginner can also learn how to use spinning reel.

Using heavy lines on spinning reels is not advisable, so that is a downside of this type of reel.

5 main parts of spinning reels

There are 5 main parts of spinning reels and every one has a specific function that anglers should be aware of:


– Drag system is a part of spinning reels that sets tension on your fishing line. You can set it as you wish. There is a knob on the spool that regulates friction plates. By operating that knob you are adjusting the drag (friction). The looser it is, the more control fish has, but also there will be lighter tension on your line. If you set it up to be tight, fish can’t do much, but you will have a lot of tension on the line.


– Spool is a part of the reel that stores the fishing line. Spools are different and they depend on a reel type. As we already said, on the spinning reel the spool is fixed. Also, line capacity is different for different spools.


– Firstly, the bail is there to guide your line while it rolls on and off the spool. It prevents knots and tangles. Another function is while casting. You must open it to cast and close it to retrieve.


– That part describes itself. By rotating the handle you retrieve the line.


– It is a switch that allows back-reeling or reverse reeling. It is not recommended to use with large fish.

2 different drag types of reels: Front and rear.

And there are 2 different drag types of reels: Front and rear.


-It is more widely used. Front drag is better to be set before and not to adjust it while playing the fish. Front drag systems are generally smoother. High-end, more expensive fishing reels usually have front drag.


–It has an advantage that it is easier to set drag while playing the fish. Changing spools is also a bit less complicated.

How to Correctly Use Spinning reel - Guide - Bearings Ratio

How to Correctly (Use) Cast With Your Spinning Rod and Reel?

It is important to know how to use spinning reel, together with your rod.

Pairing a rod with a reel is important because not all reels are suitable for all rods. But let’s assume you have a good combination. Casting with spinning reels is fairly easy and accurate.

By practicing you are developing the skill that is essential to gain some experience that will enable you to use baitcasting reels later on.

To practice your casting, follow these steps:

• The rod should be held in front of you, at waist level. Reel should be positioned directly below the rod. Your lure should be hanging about 8 to 16 inches (20 to 40 centimeters) below the tip of the rod. Having too much or too little length here will compromise your casting accuracy and distance.

• Hold the line with forefinger. Open the bail with your other hand (that is easier for beginners). Remain holding the line through this process.

• Pull the rod to the upright position. Tip should be over your shoulder.

Move it forward rapidly. Try to point the top towards your designated location. When the rod comes in front during this rapid movement, release the line. The lure will pull the line off the reel.

• When your lure lands, close the bail.

Tips and tricks:

• Foot of the reel should be between your middle and ring finger. If from some reason this position does not feel good, feel free to adjust.

• Line roller should be positioned directly under your finger when you set your lure on the desired hanging distance from the top.

• Your movements should be smooth. Both moving the rod to vertical position and moving forward. Try practicing just that movement without twitching

• The front movement should be controlled by your elbow not your shoulder

The hardest part is to find the right moment to move your finger and release the line. It will take some time to do it perfectly. If you see your lure flying high into the air but not gaining distance it means you released too early. If it falls too early without gaining distance, you released too late.

Make sure you don’t put too much or too little line on your reel. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions; otherwise your casting won’t be precise.

While practicing, you can use a bit heavier lure to feel it better. If it is windy, try to adjust the direction of casting accordingly. Wind will carry your lure sideways so it may not end up at a desired location.

If you are having troubles don’t give up. Practice as much as you can. Adjust whatever you think is necessary to master this skill.

How to Correctly Put New Line on a Spinning Reel?

While thinking about how to use spinning reel, you are probably wondering how to put a new line on it.

That can be a bit complicated, but when you try it a couple of times you will see it is not that hard. Unlike baitcasting, spinning reels are more likely to get your lines twisted and tangled. If you are a beginner, maybe you should try this with braided lines. They tangle less than monofilament.

As already mentioned, check the length of the line, which goes onto your spinning reel. About 0,3 centimeters of space should be left between the rim and the line.

To put the new line on reel follow the next steps:

• Determine the way that the reel turns to see the way that line should be spooled.

Open the bail and remove the old line.

String the line through the guides and close the bail.

Crank the reel, make sure you carefully avoid an twists.

Fill the spool with the new line.

• Cut it and secure the line.

>> For detailed instructions how to do it step by step, click here <<.

Or check the video on our YouTube channel ...

Learning how to do this is as important as learning how to use spinning reel.

As a beginner, you are more likely to break your lines, damage them, or loose parts of them together with hooks. If you know how to put a new line on the reel, you can do it wherever you are and loose less than 10 minutes of your fishing time.

How to Correctly Use Spinning reel - Guide - Put new Line on Fishing Reel

How to Choose the Best (Spinning) Fishing Reel (Size)?

There are different sizes of fishing reels available. Except that, there are numerous manufacturers (like Shimano, Daiwa, Piscifun, etc.) that vary in price and quality. Also, there are models for fresh water and salt water use.

Choosing the best one depends of few factors:

Where are you going to fish?
How big will the fish be?
How much money are you ready to spend?
Do you have a suitable rod?

But, firstly decide is it for fresh or salt water.

Spinning reels differ in sizes. Every model has a number next to the name. Same models are usually available in different sizes. Smaller number means smaller size. Usually it will be the name and the 1000, 2000, 3000 etc. number. Different manufacturers use different marks, so those numbers could be 10, 20, 30 etc. They mark the same thing, so one brand has “some model 10” and the size of it is equal to another brand “some other model 1000”.

Size also marks the line strength that can be used. For example, size 1000 is suitable for monofilament lines 1-2 kilograms. Size 3000 is suitable 2-5 kilograms monofilament line strength.

The bigger it gets, the heavier it is. Models up to 3500 are considered smaller models. Medium models are the ones between 4000 and 6000. Large size models are 7000 to 9000. For the last one line strength is 9-11.5 kilograms for monofilament lines.

There are also the very big ones, from 14 000 up to 30 000. As a beginner, you shouldn’t consider those, because probably you won’t be fishing for tunas and sharks.

As a complete beginner, you probably need a light tackle to learn the techniques. Small models are ideal for that; considering you probably won’t catch any fish over 2 kilograms.

If you are going for bigger ones, you will need something from medium range. They are all suitable for fishing on lakes and streams, from the shore.

One more thing that is always mentioned about spinning reels is gear ratio. It is refers to a number of times a bail rotates around the spool with one turn of the handle. There are low, medium and high speed reels. As a beginner who will have just one reel choose the medium one, 5:1. Faster ones are 6:1, and slower are 4:1.

Talking about money, many new anglers think they should spend a fortune, but that’s not true. There are very good and dependable entry-level models for a reasonable price. Don’t need to buy the most expensive, complicated piece of equipment while you are in a learning process. Maybe you won’t like it, or you will break it. Hold on to simple and verified solutions. The same goes for very cheap models sold by shady manufacturers. You will save a few dollars at first, but you will realize it won’t do the job properly, and then you will have to buy a new one.

Having a compatible rod is also necessary. A lot of fishing equipment manufacturers produces models of rods and reels that go together. Buying it as a set you can’t go wrong. If you already have a rod and you are looking for spinning reel, ask in the local fishing store for advice, or search the internet in order to find out which reels are compatible.

READ MORE: Recommended Fishing Gear - rods, reels and more

Should You Use Spinning Reel For Bass, Pike and Carp?

Fishing for Carp, Pike and Bass is very popular. For some of them spinning reels are a good choice, and for some are not.

Spinning Reel For Bass

Depending of a bass size, we can use smaller spinning reel models. They can also be used for other fish of similar size. Considering the size, they all have some advantages and disadvantages.

The smallest ones (1000) should be avoided because they are too small with very limited line capacity. The only advantage is the weight. Model used for bass should be between 2000 and 3500.

The most popular size is 2500. Not too big, but big enough to accommodate longer lines on spool which is wide enough not to tangle a lot. This reel size is the most versatile one and can be used for a variety of fish species.

Spinning Reel For Pike

You can use spinning reels for pike fishing. But many anglers will tell that baitcaster is better for this purpose. It is a matter of personal choice and experience. Advantage of baitcaster here is greater maneuverability.

The best gear ratio for pike fishing is medium one. Size of the reel should be 3000 or 4000. They can accommodate enough line and are big enough to do the job.

If you are a beginner, you should use spinning reel for pike fishing (or catfishing). After you gain some experience you can try baitcasting, and compare the two.

Spinning Reel For Carp

Carps can be very big and strong. Unlike previously mentioned pike and bass, carps require larger reels. A lot of anglers fishing for carp, prefer baitcasting reels over spinning. Also, baitcasters are preferred for larger specimens.

Carp species are different in size so it depends which one you are fishing for. Larger specimens require larger reels, usually 7000 to 10 000 size. Some anglers use even bigger ones.

Gear ratio recommended is also medium one, if you are using spinning reel. It is assumed that you will use the same reel for some other large fish too, so it is good for the reel to be versatile.

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Baitcaster vs Spinning Reel?

How to Correctly Use Spinning reel - Guide - Baitcaster

Unlike spinning reels with fixed spool, baitcasting reels have free spool.

If you don’t know how to use spinning reel, it is better not to try baitcasting reel.

Free spool rotates while the line is released. They are very accurate and precise and enable greater casting distances. Baitcasters have higher gear ratios, and offer much faster retrieving.

They are also more complicated and harder to use. They are usually used for bigger fish. Backlashing and tangles are a disadvantage. They are also more expensive.

Baitcaster advantages:

• Very accurate, especially with heavy lures.
• Better control and maneuverability.
• Higher gear ratios.
• Lighter than spinning reels of the same size.
• Greater durability because they are constructed to withstand impacts from large fish.
• Greater line capacity.

Baitcaster disadvantages:

• Hard to use.
• Expensive.
• Not suitable for thinner lines.
• They jam more often.
• Harder to maintain.

Spinning reel advantages:

• Easy to use and maintain.
• Cheaper.
• Longer line life.
• Can be used for variety of fish and different techniques.
• Less tangling.

Spinning reel disadvantages:

• Smaller line capacity.
• Heavier than baitcasters.
• Less precise.
• Lower gear ratio.
• Not suitable for very large fish.

Experienced anglers like baitcasters, because of the advantages, and it is true that they are better for some situations. But even experienced anglers will not use them for small fish. So, if you are a beginner the best reel for you is spinning reel.

OUR TOP PICK: SHIMANO Sedona FI, Freshwater Spinning Reel

Shimano is one of the most popular manufacturers of fishing reels. It is also liked among beginners because they offer a variety of affordable and dependable models. If you want to learn how to use spinning reel, Shimano Sedona FI is one of the best models for you.

First of all, it is affordable. Price varies between 60 and 130 dollars, depending of the model, and where you buy it.

Sizes vary between 500 and 8000. That covers most of the less experienced angler`s needs.

Unlike the previous Sedona model, they upgraded this one so that the center of the reel body sits closer to the rod. That feature increases comfort of the user. They have full metal cold forged gears.

This is also the cheapest Shimano reel with Hagane gearing. That enables the use of larger baits.

Magnumlite rotor is a part of every Sedona model, same as higher gear ratios and maximum drag, except 1000 model. Propulsion line management system enables greater casting distance. Spool lip is constructed in a way that spool lip and a line roller have no contact with bail arm.

Varispeed system, which is also a part of other Shimano reels, is included here also. It prevents the line to stack only on one end of the spool.

They are very lightweight. The 5000 model for example weighs only 0,3 kilograms, while offering 10 kilograms of drag. They also have excellent gear ratios.

Shimano really made a good job constructing this reel. If you check user reviews online you will see that it scored very high. Most of them are extremely satisfied with this product, which is expected when talking about Shimano. It is accurate, dependable, easy to use and durable.

The only downside is that this model does not have anti-reverse switch.


Spinning reels are a part of every anglers fishing gear. They are easy to use, suitable for beginners and can be used in various situations.

Unlike baitcasters which are specialized for larger fish, spinning reels, depending of their size, can be used for almost everything. It is easy to learn how to use spinning reel properly, how to cast and maintain it.

They have some disadvantages but their advantages are much greater. There is a huge selection of spinning reels available on the market, some of them are very affordable, and you will easily find the best one for your needs. Spinning reels make fishing accessible to everyone. 

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