It’s no surprise that fishing is one of the best ways to spend time with your loved ones. Getting kids into fishing can be an easy way to spend quality time together, organize a fun family outing, or even teach them some valuable life skills. But there are plenty of reasons why adults like it too, like the chance to reconnect with nature and the soothing sound of water. If you’re interested in doing more than just fishin’ at the dock or shoreline, you’ll need a good spinning reel.
Spinning reels have been around for ages, and while they have some things in common with their close cousins, the baitcasters, they also have a few key differences. When you’re done reading this article, you’ll know how to spool a spinning reel, how to maintain it, so your fishing time is more enjoyable than frustrating, and how to choose the best spinning reel for your purposes.
Important Starting Tips
Spinning reels work by using a lure similar to a fly rod. A lure tied on a short metal wire is dropped into the water and then allowed to spin, which causes it to cast off slowly. The spinning reel then holds on to that line through some mechanism, or spool, while the line slowly rewinds on itself. When you cast your line out, you let go of the spool, and the line shoots out in a circle around your reel. Spinning reels have been around since at least 5000 B.
Pieces of Equipment
To get started with a good spinning reel, you’ll need the reel itself. You can expect to spend around $100 or more for a decent one, but you can also get a nice one for less than $50 if you’re shopping around. Don’t skimp on this part of your equipment! The lure is the next thing you’ll need to buy. These lures are made out of various kinds of metal wire, and they’re typically colorful and iridescent in appearance.
Finally, it would help if you had a rod. Just as with a fishing rod you use from the shore, the spinning rod is designed with a long length to give you more leverage. You can expect to pay around $30 or so for a good one, and they come in many different lengths depending on the kinds of fish you’re going after.
Step by Step
Before we get to the how-to part, let’s go over a few things to keep in mind when spooling a spinning reel:
Lean back and brace yourself. To spool a spinning reel, you need to cast your lure and let it slowly spin. You should use some sort of long rod, similar to what you’d find at the grocery store checkout. This is because the spokes on the reel are tiny, making it hard for you to hold onto them while releasing your line.
Let the lure drop in the water. You do not want to let your lure hang, or it will cast much more slowly and jerk you back and forth. The cast should be smooth and graceful, letting your line fall in a swooping motion. Slowly let outline as your lure slows down. The amount of time you hold out your line depends on how fast or slow your reel is when wound up. If it takes longer than three seconds for the winding to stop, you should give a bit more line.
Replace the lure once it has dropped. You should be able to tell when that happens because the lure will become more and more bent. You should take it out of the water and replace it with another on your spool when you see that. This will ensure your spinning reel is loaded with enough lines for more casting.
Wind hard so you can cast quickly. A spinning reel needs to have some mechanism, or spool, to wind up before it casts your line out. When you see that it’s all wound up, release the spool, and you’re ready to cast again! It can be hard to tell how fast your reel is rewinding the line in, so you should give it an excellent winding to ensure your line isn’t flying off.
Replace the reel cover. The reel cover keeps water out of your spinning reel when it’s not in use. It’s a good idea to replace it when you’re done with the day.
You’ve got all the skills you need to spool a spinning reel! Check out your local spin fishing laws to get out there and put your new knowledge into practice on the water. They’ll help you know what’s legal on public waters, and they’ll also help you find some great spots for some quality fishing time with friends and family.
Spooling a Reel With Braid
Your first step is to get a spool of braided lines. These come in various sizes, but most people prefer 150# or more. Using a spool with too few yards on it will make it difficult for the line to fit correctly on the spool, resulting in some frustrating casting problems.
Next, you’re going to want to take some pliers and gently bend the end of the line on one side of the spool upwards. This is to allow extra room for the line to fit. If the end of the line is too tight or too loose, you may also want to cut off the extra bit of string on the other side.
Next, you’re going to need some thread. Cut an inch-long length of thread and twist it onto one end of your line. You’ll want to take it up to about halfway between the line’s end and the bend you created earlier. Optional: You can use tape instead for this step, but it’s not necessary with braided mainline lines.
Now, you’re going to wrap the thread around the spool in a clockwise motion. You should be trying to get your thread tight enough so that it’s touching but still loose enough so you can pull it off if needed. You will want to move from one end of the line to the other until you’ve wrapped it around the spool. It can be hard to get a feel for this, so it may take practice before perfecting your technique.
Once you’ve wrapped your thread, cut off about an inch or so of the line near the spool. Then, you’re going to pull up on both ends of your thread and roll it back down onto itself. Once you’re satisfied with your wrapping job, you can cut off the extra bit of string with scissors.
All that is left to do at this point is to take your line and stretch it out. If you’re using a spinning reel, take it outside where you can practice. You want to make sure the line is castable, and it’s not too loose/tight around the reel. If it is too loose, you can always add a bit more thread. If it’s too tight, you may have to cut the line and start over. With a bait caster reel, you can cast a few feet out and hand-wind the reel until the line is tight enough.
Spooling a fishing reel is a relatively simple process that can take a little practice, but it can be a fun and exciting way to spend time in the great outdoors. If you’re interested in learning more about spinning reels, don’t hesitate to contact your local tackle shop. They’ll be able to show you how to spool both baitcasting and spinning reels, or you can look into some of the many online sources for information.