There is a baitcaster with loaded reel on the fishing rod. The background is blur.

How To Spool A Baitcaster | Baitcaster Reel: Easy 05 Steps Guide

Here in this article, we have come up with 05 steps easy guide on how to spool a baitcaster. Adding the line to a baitcasting reel isn’t too hard, assuming you know the steps. This guide is for folks new to using a baitcaster reel.

Get your supplies ready: scissors, fishing rod, and the spooled line-less reel. We’ll go through each step in detail, so beginners can get the hang of it.

Ready? Let’s begin!

Types of Baitcasting Reels

A man holding holding a baitcaster with reel in his left hand teaching how to spool a baitcaster reel

When it comes to baitcasting, two types of reels exist: round and low-profile.

  • Round reels are bigger. They make long, accurate casts.
  • Low-profile reels are smaller and easier to work with. Thus, they are ideal for beginners.

Let’s explore the differences and pros/cons of each type of reel.

A man is holding a baitcaster in his left hand to teach how to spool a baitcaster

Spincast Reel

Spincast reels and baitcasting reels may look different, but they both have the same goal: cast a line and reel in a fish when you get a bite. Spincast reels are meant for lighter lines and lures, so they are great for freshwater fishing. Beginners often prefer them as they are simpler to use.

Spincast reels have a fixed spool beneath the nose cone and handle. When you press down on the button at the back, the spool disengages from the gear. This releases the line without tangle or backlash. Then the smooth retrieve gathers up the line onto an adjustable line guide in the body of the reel.

These reels don’t have the ‘cast’ of traditional baitcasters. That’s why they are sometimes called ‘overhead’ or non-casting reels. Need more help? Our How To Spool A Baitcaster guide will help you with your fishing needs.

Closed Face Reel

Closed-face or round reels are a simple form of baitcaster. They are usually the least expensive and feature an anti-reverse switch. They come pre-spooled with line. These reels tend to backlash easily and can cause tangles. Popular models include Zebco 33, Zebco Omega ZO3PRO and Daiwa Goldcast GC100.

A closed-face reel only has one handle, unlike a spinning reel. You must manually thread the line onto the spool from your rod tip, which can be difficult for beginners. Depending on the model, these reels come with a level wind or backstop function. This helps to keep the line evenly spooled while casting. Generally, they have a lower capacity than other types of baitcasters. This gives them less power for long-distance casting. Nevertheless, they are still suitable for lighter tackle fishing and trolling with lures like small crankbaits or jigs.

Baitcasting Reel

Baitcasting reels, or baitcasters, are perfect for catching high-powered fish such as bass. They have an open spool to cast accurately. To use a baitcaster, you must spool it properly. Doing this requires skill and practice. This guide explains the steps to spool a baitcaster.

A man is spooling a baitcaster on a lake shore
  1. Firstly, decide your line strength and reel size. Then, tie your lure according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you use braided line, use a barrel knot. Cut off the excess material and thread it through the hole in your lure.
  2. Next, attach one end of your line to your reel. Use a knot recommended by the manufacturer. Check that the connection is secure.
  3. Start winding several turns around the arbor. Make sure the lines are straight. Then, wind the main line onto the side of your spool. Do this in an alternating direction. Don’t apply too much pressure.
  4. Finally, tie off any loose ends into an overhand loop knot at either end. Make sure it is not bigger than 3mm. This allows quick removal from both sides.

How to Spool a Baitcaster

Spooling a baitcaster is both an art and a science. Patience and precision are key! This guide provides beginners with the steps to successfully spool a baitcaster. Here’s what you need to know for a successful day of fishing:

There is a baitcaster with background of water. It is to share how to spool a baitcaster

Choose the Right Line

Choosing the right line for your baitcaster is a must for successful fishing. It affects cast strength and power, as well as your feel for the water and lure. Different types of line work better in various conditions and weather, so it’s wise to stock several spools. Popular choices are monofilament, fluorocarbon, braid, and hybrid lines.

  • Monofilament is usually made of nylon or similar plastic. It’s economical and commonly used, plus versatile in weather. It’s got decent knot strength, moderate abrasion resistance, and good stretch. Perfect for smaller baits/lures, and long-distance casting.
  • Fluorocarbon is denser than monofilament, making it sink faster. Great for stealth in deep, clear water. It also has excellent knot strength and tremendous abrasion resistance. Perfect for bottom fishing and friction-resistant spots, such as thick weeds or strong currents.
  • Braid lines are made of polyethylene fibers. They offer superior casting distance due to low friction. Though they can make noise, so some prefer a hybrid line. Unlike mono/fluoro, the braid has no stretch, making bites harder to detect.
  • Hybrid lines have both braid core and outer layers. This offers better casting than mono/fluoro (braid) and more sensitivity than braid (mono/fluoro outer layer). They also have some stretches like mono/fluoro, which can be useful for jerk bait lures.

Attach the Line to the Reel

Before attaching the line to a baitcaster reel, there are some steps to follow:

  1. Loosen the drag knob to halfway open. This prevents damage from sudden tension.
  2. Find the spool guide or bail arm. It could be a flipping switch or raised metal arm. Hold the bail arm up and thread one or two loops of line.

When placing a new line, add 10-15 inches of extra line beyond the total cast length. This is called “backing“. It helps protect against jerks in the line when casting.

After adding backing and debugging knots, it’s time to wind the reel with line. Lay out 10 feet of line and put pressure on top of the spool with both hands. Place your left thumb over any loops. Then turn the handle in a back-and-forth motion while continuing to steady the pressure. This is called a “Corkscrew” motion. Keep rotating until you’ve wound at least 20 revolutions or have reached just past halfway along its spool’s circumference.

Fill the Spool

Attach the monofilament to the reel spool’s arbor with an arbor knot. Check it won’t slip or unravel.

Fill the spool clockwise from your perspective. Don’t overload. Use a 10-14 lb test line for most fishing applications. A heavier line adds more resistance. Wind and take out any excess line.

Tighten drag by giving half a turn either way – this will prevent backlash. Enjoy hangup-free casting results every time you cast out your lure!

Secure the Line

Secure the line first when spooling your baitcaster. Pick the right reel size and PowerPro braided line for the type of fish you normally catch. Use backing with heavier lines to fill your reel before braiding, to stop slipping and tangling.

  1. Unscrew one side of the reel and slide in the filled spool. Make sure it’s seated properly.
  2. Reattach it, then tighten the star drag and knobs/screws, so the spool won’t become loose.
  3. Once done, attach the fishing lure or jig head and start fishing!

Adjust the Drag

Adjusting the drag on a baitcaster is essential. Do this after spooling the line, but before use. To adjust, turn the drag knob clockwise until you feel a slight tug when pulling from the spool. This allows for more give when catching bigger fish and prevents breakages.

Test the spool by pulling out 10 feet of line and feeling for resistance. Do this until it’s back. You should not be able to pull more than 50 pounds of pressure while adjusting.


Time to practice! Get your angling game to the next level with a baitcaster. Feels daunting? Don’t worry, practice and patience will turn you into an expert.

  • Check spool tension – it affects accuracy.
  • Change the line if worn or broken.
  • Follow the steps, practice, and you’ll maximize casting accuracy for success!

In the end, if you still need any guide about, find a full visual guide on how to spool a baitcaster here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A baitcaster is a type of fishing reel that has a spool mounted above the rod and handle. It is used to cast artificial bait and lures farther and more accurately than with an open-faced spinning reel.

Spooling a baitcaster is a simple process that consists of threading the line through the guides and onto the reel spool. First, attach the line to the reel spool and wrap it around the spool evenly. Next, thread the line through the guides on the rod and secure it at the tip. Finally, pull the line through the reel spool and secure the end with a fastener.

The type of line you should use for a baitcaster depends on the type of fishing you are doing. Generally, a monofilament fishing line is best for baitcasting, as it is strong, reliable and easy to cast. A braided line is also a good option as it is more durable and has less stretch than a monofilament line.

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