How to Spool a Baitcaster
Putting fishing line on a baitcaster is a simple process and only requires a few steps. Below I will walk you through step-by-step on how to spool your baitcaster.
1. Thread Line Through Rod Line Guides
When spooling a baitcaster you can either start with just the reel itself or by setting up with the rod too. If you want to setup your reel and rod at the same time start by threading your line through your rod’s line guide on the tip and through all the others until you get to the last down by your reel. Make sure your line goes straight down and isn’t wrapped around your rod anywhere.
Once your through your rod guides or if your just spooling your reel start by threading your line through your reel’s line guide. The line guide will ensure your fishing line goes on evenly which will allow your reel to hold more line and prevent backlash when fishing.
Next you will need to connect your line to the spool.
2. Tying Line to Baitcasting Reel
The easiest way to connect your line to a baitcaster is by tying an arbor knot. The arbot knot allows you to have more room and tie further away from the spool. Once your done tying it will pull into the spool as you tighten the knot.
Connecting Fluoro & Mono to Spool
With fluoro or mono line you can tie directly around the spool. Both of these lines dig in and tighten on themselves which prevents them from slipping.
If your baitcaster has holes in the spool you can also tie through that. Going this route will guarantee your line won’t slip on the spool.
Connecting Braid to Baitcaster to Spool
Braided line is a little different than fluoro or mono in that it doesn’t grip down on itself. This means you can’t braid tie directly around the spool like with mono or fluoro. If you do, it will eventually slip and create a mess of your line.
To get prevent the braid from slipping you have a few options.
1. If your baitcaster has holes in the spool you can tie through one of the holes. This will keep your knot in place and will prevent any line slip.
If your spool doesn’t have holes to tie onto then your left with option 2a or 2b:
2a. Tie your braid onto the spool with an arbor knot just like you would with mono or fluoro. Once your knot is tightened down and the excess tag end is removed add a short strip of electrical tape over your knot. You want the strip of tape to go around the spool at least one time.
Additionally you want to make sure you place the tape is placed in the same direction that the line is going on in order to prevent pulling. This short strip of tape will help hold the knot in place and give the braid something to dig into which will also help the line from slipping.
2b. The second option for those without spool holes is to use some mono or fluoro backing. I recommend mono as it is the cheapest option.
By tying on mono first you will get a strong grip that will tighten on itself and prevent any slipping. You can use as little as 20 yards or use more if you want to save some money and use less braid.
You can connect your braid to mono backing by tying a fg knot. The fg knot is the thinnest knot for connecting two lines and will allow more line to be spooled over it.
3. Adding Line to a Baitcaster
When reeling line onto the spool you want to keep tension on the line by pinching the line with you thumb and forefinger on your non reeling hand. This will ensure your line goes on tight without any loops that could later cause backlash.
Avoiding Line Twist
You can prevent line twist on a baitcaster by making sure the spool of new line is positioned so that the line is coming off the top of the spool. This will ensure that the line is going onto your reel spool the same way it was resting on the spool of line.
How Much Line to Put on a Baitcaster
You can look up your specific baitcaster and it will tell you how much line it can hold. For example if it lists 10/135 that means it can hold 135 yards of 10lb mono. That doesn’t mean you have to use 10lb mono however, it’s just a guideline. If you are using 8lb mono it will hold more than listed, if you are using 12lb mono it will hold less.
The type of line will also determine how much line it will hold. Braid has the thinnest diameter followed by fluro and then mono which is the thickest.
These calculations are not really needed though as the length doesn’t really matter. What is important is that you want to keep reeling on line until you reach 1/8th of an inch from the top of your spool. This will ensure you have plenty of line you make long casts and cut damaged line away as needed while not overfilling your spool.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do You Need Backing on a Baitcaster?
Using a monofilament backing when spooling a baitcaster is a great way to save money by using less braid or fluoro which are more expensive. Backing also prevents braid from slipping if your spool doesn’t have holes to tie to.
What’s the Best Line to Use on a Baitcaster?
All three line types will work on a baitcaster. The best will depend on the lure/technique you are using. I recommend you read our fishing line guide that compares braid vs fluorocarbon vs monofilament.