How to Spool a Baitcaster for Beginners

The baitcasting reel is a fishing reel that casts a lure towards a moving target such as fish. So, how to spool a baitcaster? When the line is cast, the fishing rod tip and reel are nearly parallel causing an instant kink or loop for each loop of line. 

This action causes the lure to swim more steadily in precisely controlled oscillations in the swim pattern. As a result of this action, it becomes easier to conceal your movements and present more natural-looking retrieve patterns for positive responses from game fish such as trout, bass, and salmon.

Baitcasting reels are quite easy to use and you will get used to it the more you practice.

What you need:

  1. Rod Holder
  2. Baitcasting Reel
  3. Line and Lure




How to Spool a Baitcaster for Beginners: Step-by-Step

How to Spool a Baitcaster for Beginners 2

  1. Ensure that your reel is clean by wiping it down with a soft, wet rag or sponge. 
  2. Pull the spool out and in, rotating it anti-clockwise, so that a few coils of the line are exposed on one side.
  3. Get your lure ready by placing the hook eye over the spool’s eye before wrapping the line around the spool clockwise.
  4. Once you have placed your lure on top of the spool, wrap your line with two or three turns, depending on your reel’s size and the species of fish you want to catch (larger reels will require more line).
  5. Continue tightening your line until the lure and spool are snugs against each other. 
  6. Some baitcasters have a black ring or blue ring on the spool’s side. This is to keep your line from coming off and tangling with itself while you cast.
  7. Spin your reel handle clockwise to the “on” position, and then take a few practice casts if you wish.

Before you go out into the water, make sure that you have the following:

  1. Your Reel
  2. Your Rod
  3. Your Lure
  4. Velcro Hooks (make sure they are the correct size for your lure)
  5. Jelly Worms (if you are going to use them as bait)

How to Spool Braided Line

  1. Remove the line from the box.
  2. Insert or attach the braid to a spool by feeding the end through the eye of the spool. Repeat for additional braids if applying more than one braid, then tie a knot on the backside of the spool (do not cut off excess).
  3. Attach strong but light-weight material, such as rubber bands or velcro hooks, to the back of lure and/or bait to secure line on either side of bait (one on each side).
  4. Attach one strong but lightweight material to the back of the lure attached to your reel or baitcasting spool, and then attach a second to the trap line.
  5. Attach the line to your rod in a manner you feel is comfortable and effective, depending on what type of fishing you are doing and how you will be using your baitcaster (example: if you are stapling the double hook system mentioned above, a reel slide clip is recommended).

Many baitcasting reels are designed to work with two line sizes in the same reel. Line sizes are marked on the body of the reel and or on the spool.

Use a baitcaster that is designed for your line size. If you choose to use a braided line, use a braided spool for that size (see above). If using monofilament, get a spool with a braid for your line size.

Frequently Asked Questions

#1 Do You Need Backing on a Baitcaster?

The answer is generally no, but it depends!

Backing on a baitcasting reel is used in two situations:

  • To create split shots when using heavy jigs and other baits that require additional weight to be effective. This is especially true in deepwater fishing.
  • To keep the spool from sliding backward when casting. This is extremely important in windy conditions.

Be careful not to put too much backing on your reel, or you will be creating more drag which is actually counterproductive. You need to balance these options with what your fishing situation dictates and how you plan on using your baitcaster in various situations.

#2 How Full Do You Spool a Baitcaster?

This is the most unique feature of baitcasters. They all run on a spool system, but you can choose to over-spool (add more than the recommended amount of line) or under-spool (remove some line).

There are many factors that will determine how many lines you want on your spool, and how much is too much. You must figure out how deep you need to fish. The lower the limits, the less line you will need to use. 

#3 How Much Does It Cost to Fill a Baitcaster Reel?

Generally, you should have enough line that leaves a gap of 1/8 inch from the top of the spool to the line. This should be enough to let your lure move freely while casting.

Line is cheap and in most cases, you will find that over-spooling is not necessary. When choosing a reel, make sure that it has a locking mechanism on the spool (reels without this feature can be set to over-spool by accident).

#4 Which Way Should Line Come Off Spool for Baitcaster?

The line should always come off the top of a baitcaster. Many times, anglers will turn their reels upside down to remove the line. This is a mistake and is dangerous if you are fishing in deep water. The reason why it should come off the top is that the spool has been purposefully designed to do so—this makes it easier for you to use and ensures your lure will always be facing forward.


Baitcasting reels are used by anglers to cast artificial lures that are not attached to a rod. Traditionally, baitcaster reels are utilized for fishing in freshwater environments with a variety of different types of lures. The reel is attached to the fishing line and connected with the fisherman’s rod, which is powered by their arm motion as they cast towards desired destinations.

With the instructions above, I hope you now know how to spool a baitcaster and wish you have successful fishing.

Read more: Best Baitcasting Reel – (Top 10 best baitcaster reel)