How to use a Spinning Reel: Learn to Spool, Cast, and Service a Reel

It can be challenging to get the correct fishing reel and learn how to operate it. On the market, there are several types of spins and variations between models of the same kind. You should use a spinning reel for your fishing adventures if you are a novice or have little experience.

Most anglers learned to fish using spincast reels as children or whenever they were introduced to the sport. For most of us, moving up to the spinning reel is a logical progression.

Spinning reels are well-known for their ease of use and ability to catch a variety of fish. A spinning reel has a user-friendly spool for casting and a drag system adjusted for battling fish. While all levels of anglers utilize spinning rods and reels, they are especially suitable for beginners.

When you learn how to use a spinning reel, you can fish for almost any species in both freshwater and salty water. As you progress, the spinning reel’s different capabilities will let you better your game and graduate to more specialized equipment such as baitcaster reels and conventional reels.

Understanding the spinning reel

Fixed-spool spinning reels are the most common type of spinning reel. They are frequently linked to the fishing rod from below. Unlike spincast reels, they have an open face. Spinning reels are also more precise, and they allow you to cast further. One of the most significant advantages of these reels is their line capacity.

Unlike the baitcasting reel, it has a fixed spool. The fishing line can run freely during casting, thanks to the fixed spool. The spool is merely unraveling the line. This is an excellent option for tiny lures. It is best suited for anglers who have expertise with spincasting reels, but even a skillful beginner can learn to handle a spinning reel.

Parts of a spinning reel


The fishing line is stored on the spool of the reel. Spools come in a variety of sizes and shapes, depending on the type of reel. The spool is fastened on the spinning reel, as previously stated. Also, different spools have varying line capacities.


Back-reeling or reverse reeling is enabled via this switch. It is, however, not a good idea to use it with big fish.


The drag system on spinning reels controls the tension on your fishing line. You have complete control over how it is set. A knob on the spool controls friction plates. You can modify the drag by turning that knob (friction). The looser it is, the more control fish has, but the strain on your line will be lighter. You will not accomplish much if you set it uptight, but you will have a lot of tension on the line.


A bail has two important objectives. For starters, it stimulates casting. To correctly spool off the line, you must open or activate the bail before casting your bait. Close the bail before retrieving or reeling in. To fasten the shaft, turn it like you are swerving it in. The auto-locking technique should start working.

When your fishing line falls off, and coils on the roll, the bail on the spinning reel serves a second purpose: it keeps your fishing line in line. If you fail to utilize the bail, your fishing line may react strangely. This may cause knots and a decrease in functionality. The bail brace secures each item in place for easy throws and recoupments.


One of the most critical parts of a spinning reel is the handle. The handle should be smooth and nice to the touch when returning the line to the rod after the cast. Most handles can be used with either the right or left side, depending on where they are attached to the reel body’s sockets.

Casting with a spinning reel

It has a learning curve, and getting to the skill level where you can put some distance on your cast and develop some precision takes some time.

Because spinning reels have a fixed spool, the lure’s weight is what does the work. It is tempting to try to outstretch the cast, but this is a surefire method to clog up your spool with line.

Casting begins with your dominant hand’s index finger pulling the line slightly above the bail and line roller and bringing it back to the rod. Open up the bail with your other hand to create a “free spool” where the line can now flow freely.

It is just like casting any other rod and reel from here on out. Release the line from your index finger at the point of release. Because the spool is permanent, unlike a baitcaster, you do not need to apply pressure to it. As soon as the lure reaches the water, the line will cease exiting the spool.

It will take some time for the uninitiated, despite how simple it appears. Please do not get too worked up over it; there is a reason it is one of the most popular reels among both casual and serious anglers. You will be able to accomplish it in no time.

Follow these steps to improve your casting:

  • The rod should be held at waist level in front of you. The reel should be placed precisely beneath the rod. The lure should be suspended 20 to 40 cm below the rod’s tip. If you have too much or too little length here, it will affect the accuracy and distance of your throwing.
  • With your forefinger, grasp the line. With your other hand, open the bail. Throughout the process, keep the tube intact.
  • Raise the rod to its original position. The tip should be positioned over your shoulder.
  • Move it along quickly. Make an effort to point the top of your head in the direction of your chosen destination. Release the line when the rod reaches the front during this quick movement. The cable will be pulled off the reel by the lure.
  • Close the bail when your lure lands.

Dealing with line twist

When you pick up a spinning reel, you will have to deal with a line twist. The angle at which the line exits the fixed spool and the bail and rotor design will inevitably cause the pipe to twist.

Line twist combined with slackline may cause some terrible tangles on the reel, which tend to wrap around the spool and every other portion of the reel.

With your spinning reel, you can reduce the number of line twists in numerous ways. The first is to spool the line onto the reel in the same direction as it spooled onto the line spool you bought from the manufacturer.

The second method is to make sure the line is tight after casting by manually closing the bail and reeling a few times with a secured line. After a few outings or a few months of sitting in the garage, the third method is to adjust your line.

Working the drag

A stacked drag system made up of washers of various materials is used on spinning reels. The pressure exerted by the washers on the spool is tightened or loosened to regulate the drag. A dial on top of the spool, facing out towards the end of the pole, may easily alter the drag.

Turning the dial clockwise tightens the pressure of the washers, making pulling the line off the spool more difficult while turning it counterclockwise has the reverse effect.

You will be a far more effective angler with fewer line breaks if you become competent with drag settings during a battle and are aware of the setting before hooking up on a fish.

How to put a line on a spinning reel

You are probably wondering how to put a new line on a spinning reel while thinking about using it. That may seem difficult at first, but you will see it is not so difficult after a few tries. Spinning reels, unlike baitcasting, are more likely to tangle and twist your lines. If you are a newbie, braided lines are a good place to start. They are less tangled than monofilament.

To correctly do this, follow the procedure below:

  • Determine the direction in which the reel spins to determine how the line should be spooled.
  • Open the bail and remove the old line.
  • Close the bail after stringing the line through the guides.
  • As you wind the reel, be careful not to twist it.
  • Replace the line in the spool.
  • Cut it and fasten the line.

How to service a spinning reel

It is critical to service your spinning reel regularly if you want it to last. Wipe down your reel with a dry towel after each trip and store your combo somewhere dry. Do not store your gear in the garage or basement, contrary to popular opinion. These are moist and humid places. If your family members agree, keep your fishing rods and reels in an inside closet.

If you fish in saltwater, you must first clean your gear in freshwater before drying it with a towel. Salt corrodes the components of spinning reels and must be removed after each trip.

How to oil your spinning reel

After each season, lubricate your reel. If you want to get the best results, repeat these steps every 3-4 trips. Remove the spool after removing the drag cover by rotating it counterclockwise. Remove the reel handle from its socket by unscrewing the knob on the reel handle. Inside all the sockets, along the shafts, and along the internal edges, apply reel lubricant.


An angler’s closest companion is going to be a spinning reel. To add to that, it comes with a slew of benefits. Spinning reels are simple to manage, even for beginner players, due to their comfort and ease of use.

It does not necessitate any particular attention to use and learn. I hope this information is helpful to you in your fishing endeavors.

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