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How to Properly Spool a Spinning Reel and Prevent Line Twists

These products and fishing tips are based on my own experience catching smallmouth bass.

Abu Garcia Spinning Reel

Abu Garcia Spinning Reel

Tying the Proper Knot to Your Spinning Reel

After you've properly selected the appropriate type of fishing line for the type of fishing you'll be doing, it's important to tie a proper knot to your reel.

  1. Begin by running the end of the line through the rod guides and wrap the tag end around the spool twice.
  2. Then, tie an over-hand knot in the tag end, wrapping the knot around the mainline as it comes onto the reel spool.
  3. Next, tie an over-hand knot in the tag end and slide the knot down so that it rests just above the first knot.
  4. After securing the knot by pulling it tight, trim the tag end so that 1/4 inch of line remains above the second knot—this extra line keeps the knot from coming loose.

Follow These Simple Steps and You'll Be Hassle Free

Far too many anglers spool their spinning reels, by simply placing a pen/pencil on their line spool and simply reel it on up... This is the worse thing you can possibly do, as you are doing nothing but creating line "twists," which you know will come back to haunt you. Instead, follow these simple steps...

Determine What Direction Your Spinning Reel Turns/Reels

The line coming off the spool should match. The easiest way to do this is to set your new spool of line down, label up.

Next, take your spinning reel and place it over the top of your new line and slowly reel so that you can determine the direction of your reel's rotations.

Next, grab the line off your new spool of line, and see if pulling the line, causes the line to come off the spool the same way—if the answer is no, simply flip or turn the spool, to match your reel's spinning direction. (It's a little tricky to understand what I'm talking about with just words, so I've attached a short video to help...)

The Broadside (Flat Side) of the Reel Should Be Facing You

STOP using a pen/pencil to spool up! The easiest way to do this is to have a friend hold the spool a short distance away from you, or to simply place the spool on the ground in front of you while you spool up.

As you reel, you should see the line coming off the spool in the same direction. Essentially, you are ensuring that the lines go on your reel, the same way the manufacturer put the line on the spool—preventing any line twists.

As you spool up your reel, be sure to keep tension on the line with your thumb and fingers, to make sure the line goes on nice and tight.

That's It, It's Really That Simple!

It truly is as simple as that, but not following those steps can cause a world of hurt, so be sure you've done it properly. Nothing is worse than being on the water, catching fish, and then suffering from an equipment disaster. But the truth is, most of these disasters are created by the angler themselves.


Steve on May 17, 2020:

The Berkley website recommends that the line goes on counterclockwise. What's up?

Dave on January 31, 2019:

Perfect Video answered my question quickly and clearly thank you

TRC on May 05, 2018:

Great “Short Video” on spooling Spinning reels; by placing the reel over the spool to determine proper direction

Simon on January 17, 2015:

One of the only descriptions I found that made things clear (i.e. the direction of rotation of the reel *when held over the spool of line*).