How To Put Fishing Line On A Closed Reel

How To Put Fishing Line On A Closed Reel To Catch Fish

Closed-face reels are ideal for beginners and come with a decent existing line. However, when you need to replace your line, they are not nearly as simple as open-faced reels. If you need to replace your line but have no idea where to begin, we have the solution for you as we investigate how to put a fishing line on a spin caster (closed) reel.

How to put fishing line on a closed reel:

  1. Remove The Reel Cover
  2. Remove Any Old Line Still On The Spool
  3. Clean The Reel And Check For Damages
  4. Tie The New Line Onto The Spool
  5. Replace The Cover
  6. Spool The Line Onto Your Reel
  7. Test The Line To Ensure It’s Properly Spooled

1. Remove the reel cover

Removing the reel cover is a simple process of holding the rod handle steady while turning the top half of the cover in a counterclockwise direction.

These covers are usually constructed from thin metal or plastic, so practice a gentle touch when removing the cover to avoid damage.

Although you (technically) don’t need to remove the cover before removing the old line, doing so allows you to watch the mechanism as you pull the line and observe any issues. It also lets you remove the line without constantly depressing the line release button (some models).

Either way, you’ll need to remove the cover before adding a new line, so we recommend removing it first.

2. Remove any old line still on the spool

To remove the old line, first, place the rod on a stable surface with the reel exposed and accessible.

Next, hold the line release button and pull the line out. Continue pulling until all the old line is out (you’ll reach a point where you’ll need to cut the knot holding the line onto the spool).

This method takes a bit of time and might be tedious. Some reels allow you to pull the line freely once you remove the cover.

A drill/electric screwdriver and a wood block or water bottle are more efficient ways to remove the line. Attach the wood or water bottle to the drill/screwdriver. Next, attach the old line to the wood/water bottle.

Using the drill’s turning motion, you’ll wind the old line from the reel onto the makeshift spool significantly faster. Start slowly to get it going, and then increase to maximum speed. You’ll need to hold the line release button for the duration of the line removal (some models).

Once removed, please dispose of the old line responsibly and appropriately. Depending on where you are when replacing the line, you might have access to line collection bins (often around popular fishing spots).

If there are no line-drop points, please keep the old line until you can throw it away in a suitable recycling bin. Old fishing lines are catastrophic for aquatic organisms.

3. Clean the reel and check for damages

Adequate maintenance of a tool extends its life, functionality, and efficacy drastically (if you look after something, it’ll work better for longer).

Once you’ve removed the old line, inspect the reel interior and spool for dirt and damage. If the innards are dirty (fishing is not a clean sport), use a cloth and wipe the dirt out (carefully). If there are any broken components, see if you can fix or replace them (without replacing the entire reel).

Once satisfied with the reel maintenance, you can start the spooling process.

4. Tie the new line onto the spool

Now that your reel is primed and ready take the new fishing line and open it up.

Take the loose end and feed it through the opening of the reel cover. Feeding it through the cover first is essential because you’ll need to return the cover to the reel to spool the rest on. Don’t screw the cover on; you’ll need to tie the line to the spool.

When tying the line to the reel, there are two popular methods/knots. The easiest method is to make an overhand knot at the end of the line (trim off the extra so that the knot is at the end).

Next, take the line and make a slip knot that goes over the spool and pulls tight.

The overhand knot keeps the string from slipping under tension. This knot is also referred to as an arbor knot, and it is immensely popular for this purpose.

Other anglers use a double overhand knot to secure the line. While the arbor knot is more secure, it might be “overkill.” Whichever option you choose, ensure it is tight and does not slip when you pull on the line.

Trim off any excess line once you’ve pulled the slip knot closed around the spool.

5. Replace the cover

Once you’re satisfied that the knot anchoring the line to the spool is sturdy, put a bit of mild tension on the line and push the cover back to the reel (the line should run through the exit hole in the middle of the cover).

However, this won’t be the last time you remove the cap during spooling. You’ll remove it periodically to ensure the line spools correctly.

6. Spool the line onto your reel

Finally, the fun part of the exercise (because it feels like fishing, even if it’s without the fish)!

With the line tied and the cover in place, you’ll slowly spool the new fishing line onto your reel by winding/cranking the reel handle (as if you were reeling in a fish).

Your reeling should be clockwise (but most reels prevent you from working in the opposite direction).

You must decide if you want to thread the line through the guides before you start spooling. The benefit is that there is less chance for your line to tangle as you spool it on compared to not threading it through the guides first.

You’ll need to keep a constant tension on the line as you spool it onto the reel to prevent tangled lines later. Pinching the line between your thumb and forefinger applies suitable tension to the line, allowing the reel to spool the line on without excess “slack.”

During the spooling process, you‘ll frequently pause your activity, open up the reel (take the cover off) and see how much line you’ve spooled on.

You make these frequent checks to ensure that you don’t over-spool your reel (you don’t put too much line onto the spool). Aim for around 80% capacity (when the line is between ⅛” to 3/16” from the edge of the reel).

Once you hit your 80% capacity, measure off enough line to stretch from the reel to the topmost guide and back down to the reel (double the rod length). Then cut the line.

Once you’ve spooled on a sufficient line, replace the cap for the last time.

If you decided not to thread the line before you began spooling, now is the time to thread it. Press the release button and pull your fishing line out, threading it into each successive guide until you reach the top.

7. Test the line to ensure it’s properly spooled

This point is by far the most critical step. You’ll need to collect some bait, put all the tackle you want to use in a box, leave the house as early in the morning as possible (on a day off), and head to your favorite waterbody.

Next, you’ll want to spend at least 8 to 12 hours casting, waiting, and retrieving your line to ensure it works. At least, that’s the excuse you’ll tell your partner or parents. All joking aside, once you’ve spooled your new line, your rod is ready to go fishing.

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