How to Spool Fishing Line on a Spincast Reel


Spincast reels, also known as closed face reels, are very popular among freshwater fishermen. They are compact, very easy to get going with, and reliable even in difficult conditions. They are especially good for teaching young kids how to fish for the first time.

Spooling a spincast reel with fishing line for the first time can be a little confusing if you haven’t done it before. We’re here to help you learn the most efficient way to do it. Read on to get your step by step guide that will teach you how to put new line on a closed face spincast fishing reel.

zebco close face fishing reel pic
Our favorite closed face reel.

Check the Specs of Your Closed Face Reel

First, you should make sure that you are using the right pound test like on your reel. There should be a mark somewhere between the button and the reel seat that will tell you what you can use.

If you exceed the specs, then you could put undue stress on the gears and bearings, which will reduce the useful lifespan of the reel.

Attach the New Line

Unscrew the cone from the base of the reel and carefully remove any remaining line that is attached to the spool. If it’s been a long time since you last used the reel, take this chance to oil the mechanisms.

Once that’s done, run the new line through the cone and attach the line to the spool.

Tie a cinch not on the free end of the line, then tighten it securely around the spool.

Add an overhand knot on the tail end. This will help to catch the cinch knot, should it slip.

If you’re not sure what the best fishing line for spincast reels is, then make sure to click on that link and check up our write-up on that topic.

Spool Your Reel

Now you can re-attach the cone to the base of the reel. Slowly turn the handle so that the line begins to wind around the spool. Do not rush this. Keep the line taut as you turn the handle, so that the line does not loop off the spool into the compartment, or become tangled up in itself.

You should hold the line loosely between your thumb and index finger, keeping it around six inches from the eye of the cone, making sure that there’s no slack as the line heads into the cone.

Keep reeling until you reach the desired length of line on the reel. Make sure that you don’t get carried away and overload the spool because that would increase the risk of the line slipping off.

Cut the Line

Once you have enough line on the spool you can cut the line. Choose a point that is past the smallest eye on your rod to do this, giving you enough line left over so that you can tie on your snap, hook or lure.

Stow the unused line safely, in a spot away from direct sunlight so that it will stay in good condition for future use.

Now you’re good to go. Pack that rod and head out onto the water.

Some Extra Tips

  • When you cut the line from the packaging, cut a small notch into the packaging. You can then use that to keep the end of the line secure, stopping the line from unwinding when you put it back in the tackle box.
  • Try to keep about 1/8th of the spool clear once you have finished adding line to the reel. This will help to ensure that the line does not slip off the spool while you are fishing.
  • Try not to use a large diameter line unless you absolutely have to for the type of fish you are looking for.
  • If you are struggling to get the line to wind around the spool, start by putting a small piece of electrical tape in the well, then tying the knot. This will give the line something extra to catch onto.

In Conclusion

While spooling fishing line onto a spincast (closed face) reel isn’t quite as easy as spooling line onto a spinning (open face) reel, this doesn’t need to be an intimidating process.

Follow the step-by-step instructions, practice a couple times on some of your older or less reliable reels if you feel you need practice, and soon you’ll be an absolute pro at spooling your closed face reel with new fishing line.

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Big Alaska Dayton

I've always loved the outdoors and have heard the call of the wild, so to speak, since a young age. Big-time camping, hiking, backpacking, and traveling enthusiast, I'm always up for another adventure or another activity that gets me away from the desk and out to enjoy the world. An Eagle Scout with an incurable case of outdoor wanderlust, this blog was a natural labor of love and personal expertise. Hope you enjoy it!

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