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. Threading Line Through Line Guide
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 Baitcaster
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. If you do it will eventually slip and create a mess of your line. With braid you have two options when spooling:
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 and your only option is around the spool then I recommend you use some mono backing.
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. A fg knot is the thinnest knot for connecting two lines and will allow more line to be spooled over it.
With your line tied on, pull it tight, cut the excess tag end, and start adding line.
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
In addition to keeping tension you can prevent line twist by
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 recomend you read our fishing line guide that compares braid vs fluorocarbon vs monofilament.