How to String a Fishing Reel Like a Pro

How to string a fishing reel

What is a fishing reel? A fishing reel is the round contraption that is usually connected to a fishing rod that has a spool of “fishing reel” spun around it. It works in combination with the fishing line.

How do you string a fishing reel? Keep reading to find out. Stringing a fishing reel is a breeze if you follow these easy steps, tricks, and tips for stringing a fishing reel.

Stringing a Spinning Wheel or Fly Reel

There are two types of fishing reels: fly reels for fly fishing and regular spinning reels. In this article we are going to focus on stringing a fishing reel for a regular spinning wheel.

Step One: Choose the Fishing Line

What kind of line you use for your reel will depend on the model of fishing rod and what kind of fishing you are doing, but generally a simple monofilament line will get the job done. These lines are a bit stretchy and flexible which makes them perfect for pond fishing. If you are fishing in shallow waters you may need a tougher type of line like a braided fishing line to hold up against abrasive surfaces better (such as rocks and sticks).

RUNCL PowerMono Fishing Line, Monofilament Fishing...
  • Ultimate Strength: The PowerMono's amazing strength allows it to withstand sudden, aggressive...
  • Suspend in Water: PowerMono fishing line is constructed from less density for neutral buoyancy,...

Step Two: Check the Direction of the Spinning Reel

Before you begin stringing your spinning reel you want to check to see if the direction of the reel is clockwise or counterclockwise. This will be important later on when you begin to string the fishing reel.

Step Three: Open the Spinning Reel

Spinning reels are among the oldest fishing contraptions and are very easy to use. While the design may vary depending on what kind of spinning reel you are using with your fishing rod, opening the reel for stringing should be uncomplicated.

Simply lift up the small metal arm to open the bail and close it down to shut it when you are finished. If there is any fishing line remaining in the spool you should remove it before adding new fishing line.

Step Four: Stringing the Fishing Line

The third step is to string the fishing line. There are guides along the fishing rod that you can thread the fishing line through to keep it in place, and then you want to secure the fishing line to the spool of the spinning reel using what is called an arbor knot. Click here to learn how to tie an arbor knot, and click here to learn how to tie two pieces of fishing line together.

Now the first step will be applied because as you begin to string the fishing reel you want to make sure that your spool of fishing line and the direction of the spinning reel are going in the same direction: either clockwise or counterclockwise. Position the spool of line on the floor and check to make sure that the line is coming off of the spool in the same direction as it goes into the spinning reel.

With one hand pinch the line gently to provide some tension. This is important for keeping the line tight to avoid tangles later on. Start to crank on the reel to string the fishing line.

As you are stringing the fishing line it is very important to check to make sure that there are no twists in the line and that it is smoothly going onto the reel. Inspect it for twists every twenty cranks or so until you are finished.

Step Five: When to Stop Spooling the Fishing Line

When the spool of fishing line in the fishing reel is about ⅛ of an inch away from the rim it is time for you to stop. This should be plenty of fishing reel to last you for a while and also gives you enough wiggle room that it isn’t too overfilled. Too much or too little fishing line can both cause problems when it comes to casting the line.

How to string a fishing reel

Tips For Stringing a Fishing Reel

Here is a list of tips and tricks for stringing a fishing reel:

  • Get someone else to do it for you

When you go to buy your fishing line the bait shop will likely have a handy machine that can easily string your fishing reel for you. This is the easiest way to keep your fishing reel properly loaded with line. Local fishing shops can also help you set up your new fishing pole and recommend the best gear to you.

  • Pick the right fishing reel

Depending on what kind of fishing you are doing, you will want to adjust what kind of fishing line you use for your fishing reel. For shallow waters a tougher line should be used that can withstand some abrasion from rocks or sticks, etc. Fishermen should stock up on several different types of line for different occasions.

  • Do not over or under fill

Both overfilling and underfilling the fishing reel with line can have negative effects on your line while casting. For the best results you should stop when the fishing reel is about ⅛ of an inch away from the rim of the bail.

How to string a fishing reel

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about stringing a fishing reel:

What is an arbor knot and how do I tie one?

An arbor knot is a common type of fishing knot that all fishmen and outdoorsmen should add to their arsenal. It is also known as a fishers’ knot because it is most commonly used for tying fishing line. To tie an arbor knot for a fishing reel you should tie an overhand knot, and then with the end of that knot tie another overhand knot to secure the first one. It is basically a reinforced double overhand knot.

How should I store my fishing line?

After filling the spool of the fishing rool to about ⅛ full from the brim you will probably have some fishing line left. To store the left-over fishing line for next time you will need to properly secure the loose end or else it could become tangled. We recommend using rubber bands to secure the loose end of the fishing line before storing it away for later use.


Thank you for reading our guide to stringing a fishing reel! You can have your fishing reel strung at a local fishing store by machine, but doing it yourself can save you some time and money. We hope that after reading our handy guide that you have a better idea of how to string a fishing reel yourself.