How to Use a Spinning Reel [Simple and Easy Steps!]

As an amateur, spinning reels are a great introduction style of reeling. Their open-face structure matches the set-up. Spinning reels are perfect for live and light baits. The best part is, well, apart from their versatility, they can fish multiple fish species.

Moreover, spinning reels are ideal even for pro anglers. Now that you know how to set up a spinning reel let’s learn about using it. The different styles of using a spinning reel will advance your fishing game as a beginner. Read on.

Types of Fishing Line for a Spinning Reel

There are three types of fishing lines, namely;

Monofilament/mono: it’s the cheapest and most common line. It is best for stretching and floats on water. Also, it is visible in the water.

Fluorocarbon/fluoro: fluoro is the most expensive fishing line. It does not stretch, and it sinks in water. Also, it is invisible, making it the best for fishing.

Braided/braid: this is a combination of single lines braided together to make one strong line. It is also visible in water and stretches slightly.

For a beginner’s reel, the ideal fishing line will be the monofilament. 6lbs of weight in mono is sufficiently heavy to handle all the popular species at regular sizes. It is also is light enough to launch minor lures when learning how to use a spinning reel.

Read also: The 5 Best Spinning Reels Under $100

Spooling a Line

Typically a 330yds of the spool will be enough for a spinning reel.

  1. Run the line through the guides and crack up the bail.
  2. Use an arbor knot to tie the spool firm enough, so it latches uniformly.
  3. Shut the bail and tweak the line on top of your reel in between your index finger and thumb.
  4. Ask for assistance to clutch the other spool of the line as you reel. Make sure your assistance’s spool runs the line in a similar direction you are spool onto the reel.
  5. Set aside about 1/8″ between the rim and the line of the spool. That way, you will not over spool the reel.
  6. Once you finish, take out the spool from the reel. Soak it in warm water for like 30 minutes to erase the memory and avoid line twisting.

How to Cast a Spinning Reel

Casting a spinning reel is very easy hence ideal for all levels of anglers.

  1. Hold the rod using your dominant hand, and make sure the reel’s arm is between your ring and index finger.
  2. Tweak the line towards your rod using your index finger and open the bail.
  3. Put your opposite hand firmly on the butt section of your rod.
  4. Hoist the rod back over your shoulders in a vertical position.
  5. Swipe forward the rod in a 180 degree spin from back to front.
  6. In the spin, discharge the line from your tweak at approximately 130 degrees.
  7. Shut the bail using your opposite hand and reel forward to recover your lure.

Setting a Fishing Reel Drag

Managing your drag system correctly will ensure you do not miss any fish. Furthermore, you can catch large fish with just a light attack. The drag is a pair of friction plates inside the reel. When a fish battles as you reel in, the drag lets the strain slowly discharge your spool and feed line out minus any droop.

If a fish tugs on a rigid line without any release, the pull can break the line. A well-set drag allows you to stay firmly attached to the fish. It also offers the fish a good volume of the line back when it combats too harshly.

To position the drag on a spinning reel;

  1. Turn the knob above the reel; rotate to the RIGHT to TIGHTEN UP the tension, and Rotate to the LEFT to SLACKEN the tension.
  2. Assess the drag by slamming your bail and drawing the line. Use your hand from the front of the reel.
  3. Try your best to copy the tug of a fish sized to your object and regulate appropriately.
  4. While wrestling a fish, you can amend your drag by holding the knob when the rod is full.
  5. Rectify your drag when not sufficient or excess line is feeding out.

When to Use the Anti-Reverse Switch

This is the last section to learn about a spinning reel. Similar to the drag mechanism, the Anti-Reverse system lets you bait the fish by discharging tension. Anti-Reverse is a switch, usually on the bottom section of the reel. When it is OFF, Anti-Reverse permits the angler to reel back and forth. What’s more?

 As you steadily reel back, the line will discharge. When knowing how to use a spinning reel, the Anti-Reverse should always be ON for the handle to only reel forward. As you learn your spinning reel, settle your Anti-Reverse to OFF to bait smaller fish kinds like Crappie and Bluegill. Conversely, Panfish don’t have the muscle to engross your drag. Therefore, work them alternating between easing tension when spooling with a micro-line.

Handling a Line Twist

When using a spinning reel, dealing with twists is a fundamental skill. What causes a twist, you ask? A twist is due to the angle that the line discharges from the still spool and the bail.

When a line twist combines with a slack, it becomes a complicated tangle. This tangle wraps on every part of the reel, including the spool. Read on.

To minimize the line twist on your spinning reel, you need to spool the line in the same direction you bought it from the store. Do not distort its original set-up.

Secondly, make sure the line is tight after shutting the bail. After casting, check on the line often and give some quick reels.

Lastly, make sure you change your line after some time, preferably every time you pick it from the storage to go fishing.

How to Service a Spinning Reel

Regularly overhauling your spinning reel is vital in making sure your equipment will last. After each fishing trip, use a dry towel to wipe down your reel and place your tool in a dry setting. Opposing the common belief, do not keep your gear in the basement or garage. Why so?

These areas are usually wet or humid. It would be better to store your reels and rods inside your closet. After fishing in Saltwater, you should rinse all your gear thoroughly using Freshwater and towel dry. Salt disintegrates spinning reel parts hence needs replacing after every trip.


A spinning reel provides the angler a lot of flexibility in several fishing skills. They are relatively easy to master. However, some restrictions and some ins and outs come with using this kind of reel. If you are planning to teach someone fishing, this is the ideal reel, to begin with.

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