How to Restring a Fishing Reel [6 Easy Steps]

It’s not easy to learn how to restring a fishing reel for new anglers. But like everything, it gets easier to restring the more you practice. How do you restring a fishing reel?

To restring a fishing reel, follow these 6 steps:

  1. Hold the Tip of the Line
  2. Open the Bail Arm
  3. Insert the Line through Each Rod Guides
  4. Start from the Bottom
  5. Hold the Line Until You Have Done All Guides
  6. Cut the Line Near the Supply Spool

The procedure above is for bait caster reels. Restringing a spinning reel is slightly different than restringing bait caster reels.

Tackle shops can do the restringing for you, but it would be best to know how to do it yourself.

Read on to learn more about how to restring a fishing reel for both the spinning reel and baitcasting reel, also tips for restringing.

How to Restring a Fishing Reel?

how to restring a fishing reel

To restring a fishing reel, follow the 6 steps below:

1. Hold the Tip of the Line

Hold the tip of the line securely with your right hand. Be careful not to let it slip from your hands. Once it slips, you will have to start from the top again.

2. Open the Bail Arm

Open the bail arm with the left hand by flipping it. If you don’t open the bail, you couldn’t spool the line properly.

3. Insert the Line Through Each Rod Guides

Now, insert or tie the line through each rod guide or into the reel itself, still firmly holding on to the line. Your movement must be continuous and smooth.

4. Start from the Bottom

It would help if you started from the bottom, going upwards to make the task orderly and easier to perform.

5. Hold the Line until You Have Done All Eyelets

Hold the line until you have placed the line in all rod guides. This step is essential because if you let go of the line, you will have to start anew.

6. Cut the Line Near the Supply Spool

Cut the line near the supply pool with a scissor. You should leave a small line where you could attach your bait/lure. If you still would not use it, you can secure the end with a tape, so it would not unravel back to the guides. You can also use a rubber band, whichever is more convenient for you.

How to Spool the Spinning Reel?

If you’re using a spinning reel, spool it by following these steps:

  1. Lay the spool flat on the floor after closing the bail. Its label should be facing up. To avoid the line becoming twisted, the spool must line up so that the line comes off and goes in without twisting;
  2. Lightly pinch the line for about 12 inches above the reel and pull it securely;
  3. With the line sliding through your pinched fingers, crank the reek gradually about 15 to 20 times;
  4. Stop and inspect the line for any twists by giving it slack;
  5. If there are any twists, allow the line to back off from your reel and realign the spool to the line. You can then start loading again;
  6. Apply light pressure while loading the line to ensure that the line doesn’t twist or get tangled. If it gets twisted, repeat the procedure, making sure you apply slight pressure to avoid twisting;
  7. When the spool is full, without twists in the line, and leave 1/8 inches to 1/16 inches (1 to 2 mm) gap from the line to the top of the reel or spool lip. Don’t under-spool or over-spool. Once you’ve got that, you’re ready to go; and
  8. Clip the line and tie your bait to start fishing.

Below is a video on how to spool a spinning reel:

How to String a New Line?

Although tackle shops have reliable machines to load fishing lines for you, you could also do it on your own:

  1. Open the bail of the spinning reel;
  2. Flick up the reel’s small wire arm;
  3. Tie the new line on the arbor;
  4. Use an arbor knot to tie the new line;
  5. Flick down the reel’s wire arm; and
  6. Close the bail properly.

How to Tie an Arbor Knot?

  1. Tie an overhand knot around the line’s free end after wrapping the line’s tag end around the arbor;
  2. Tie another standing knot below the first using the tag end;
  3. Pull tight both knots simultaneously to secure the knots against the spool; and
  4. Trim the tag end.

When to Restring Your Fishing Reel?

You need to restring your fishing reel when you notice that it is worn out and shows any of the following signs:

  1. Weak knot strength
  2. Twists
  3. Evident roughness
  4. Casting problems

Many factors could damage your fishing lines, such as:

  • UV light,
  • High temperatures,
  • Wrong storage methods, and
  • The fishing area’s friendliness.

Areas with rock bottoms could damage your lines more quickly than sand bottoms.

How to Choose Your Fishing Line?

If you’re fishing with floating baits or live baits, the best line choice is a monofilament line. The single line provides a more flexible line that can increase your chances of securing the bait inside the fish’s mouth.

If you’re bottom fishing, the braided lines are recommended as they form one cohesive line that would not stretch and, thus, is suitable for topwater baits.

If you’re fishing in shallow, calm waters, your best option should be fluorocarbon lines. This monofilament line is suitable for live baits in clear waters as well.

Again, how to restring a fishing reel? You can learn how to restring a fishing reel by organizing your materials first.

You can then hold the line’s tip, open the bail arm, insert the line through each rod guide by starting from the bottom, and then holding the line until you have done all guides. Then cut the line near the supply spool.

Next, let’s proceed to tips for restringing your fishing reel.

Tips for Restringing a Fishing Reel

Now that you know how to restring a reel, here are a couple of tips to make your job easier:

1. Choose the Correct Fishing Reel

Select the appropriate fishing reel, depending on your purpose. You could either choose the bait caster reel or the spinning reel.

If you don’t have time to learn how to cast reels, your best option would be the spinning reel. This is because the spinning reel is easy to use and perform efficiently. [1]

The spinning reels work smoothly with specific spinning rods, fishing lines, bait, hook, and scissors. Your fishing line will depend on what type of fish you want to catch.

One disadvantage of the spinning reel is that line twists can occur more often than baitcasting while spooling up a reel.

2. Bring Various Types of Baits

You will never know when you need certain baits for a specific fish. Hence, it’s recommended that you bring various baits. Again, you have to organize your bait boxes to retrieve the bait you want to use quickly.

Be ready with your plastic baits or live baits. You can refer to the recommended baits on this site for different fish species.

3. You Should Not Have Less than a Hundred Yards on the Reel

Your indication is when your line is 1/8 inches to 1/16 inches from the top. Again, avoid under-spooling and over-spooling as this can twist your lines and disrupt your fishing. It could also increase spool-lip friction, which can deter your casting distance.

 4. Don’t Wind Too Fast

Don’t wind the line too fast as you might hurt your fingers. Do it at a regular and steady pace, being careful not to do it too slow as well. You could use a towel or a finger glove to reduce the risk of injuring your finger.

how to restring a reel

But you should ensure that there’s enough tension applied to the line to prevent twists or tangles.

5. Hot Water Could Damage the Line

Some experts recommend that you submerge the line in warm water for a few hours or overnight before spooling. This step will allow the bed to line down on your spool correctly.

Nevertheless, take note that ‘warm’ is different from hot. Hot water will damage your line to the point that you will not be able to use it.

6. Loosely Wound Line Reduces Your Casting Distance

When you wind your line loosely, it increases the risk of twisting or getting tangled. It would also reduce your casting distance. Winding the reel correctly will also ensure that your line will last longer and be less susceptible to wear and tear.

7. Prefer a Spool with the Line Coming Off Counterclockwise

This preference stems from the fact that there would be no line twists in most spools with counterclockwise orientation. Line twists will decrease the overall strength of the line and would reduce your casting distance too.

8. When Your Line Begins to Twist, Stop Reeling

When you stop reeling, you stop twisting the line too. To remedy this line twisting, you can pull some line off from your spinning reel and then flip the filler spool. This action would change the line direction, and you can begin reeling anew.

9. Use a Braided Fishing Line If You Need a Strong Line

We recommend braided fishing lines for bottom fishing or other methods that need a firm line. To counter your inability to grasp the braided line’s thickness, you can have a monofilament backing.

The monofilament will ensure that the line becomes thinner and is easier to grasp. Braided lines are usually slippery and could be hard to grasp.

You can learn more about putting a braided line on a spinning reel using the tutorial video below.

10. You Have to Start Anew If You Notice a Line Twist

Note that when you see a line twist while restringing, you have to start anew. Flip your spool and begin anew. If you have already done this, do it again, and try to take time to notice twists.

Be patient to go through the whole procedure at the onset rather than ruining your fishing adventure when you are already fishing.

12. Set the Drag before Starting to Fish

This step is crucial because you cannot fish properly without the correct set-up. If the drag is too tight, the line might break because of too much tension. On the other hand, if the drag is too loose, there’s little tension in the fish‘s mouth, allowing the fish to get off the hook.

You can set the drag by turning the drag knob counterclockwise to loosen it and clockwise to tighten it. To determine the result, manually pull the line from the reel and observe its effect. Repeat these steps until you acquire the drag that you need.

Conclusion – How to Restring a Fishing Reel?

You can learn how to restring a fishing reel by doing the following steps:

  1. Hold the Tip of the Line
  2. Open the Bail Arm
  3. Insert the Line through Each Rod Guides
  4. Start from the Bottom
  5. Hold the Line Until You Have Done All Rod Guides
  6. Cut the Line Near the Supply Spool

You may want to choose the spinning reel as it’s easier to load up, more reliable, and easier to use than the bait caster reel.

Also, note that you can restring the fishing reel by asking a shop to do it for you. You don’t have to do it yourself.

Nevertheless, as an angler, learning how to do it yourself is crucial. This is because when no shop is around to do it for you in emergencies, you can readily restring your fishing reel.