How Much Line To Put On Your Spinning Reel (To Maximize Casting)


Have you ever wondered if you are maximizing the performance of your spinning reel?

If you are not managing the amount of line you have on the reel then you may be at a disadvantage.

Watch this video and learn the best way to determine how much line to put on on your reel and why it matters.

Check it out below!

How Much Line To Put On Your Reel [VIDEO]

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By understanding how much line to put on your spinning reel, you can effectively increase your casting distance and decrease your chances of getting wind knots.

If you have too much line, you will significantly increase your odds of getting wind knots.

And if you put too little line on, you are not going to be able to cast nearly as far.

So what is the ideal amount?

There needs to be some gap between the edge of your spool and the outer layer of your line.

Think about it like this…

No gap = increased wind knots

Too much gap = decreased casting distance

The normal recommendation is 1/8 inch gap and this does work in most cases.

But, through testing, we have found that casting distance is still impacted with the 1/8 inch gap!

My recommendation is to customize it based on your needs based on your preference for increased distance vs. fear of wind knots:

  • Distance Focus: Slightly under 1/16 inch will help you cast farther while still having a low risk of wind knots for advanced anglers
  • No Distance Focus: Use a 1/8 inch gap because it’ll still cast well and you’ll have a very low chance of wind knots

Also, do you want to know a little trick for spooling and how to know the amount of backing to put on your reel?

For most 2500 or 3000 size reels with similar diameters (1-3/4 inch), a 1/4 inch gap is what is best for the backing.

This is the perfect amount of gap to be able to use all 150 yards of your new line.

Of course, this will be different with larger-sized reels but the ratio of the backing gap to reel diameter should remain the same!


what size mono backing for spinning reel

Line management is very important, but it often gets overlooked.

Don’t make this mistake!

If you understand how much line you should have on each reel and what the gap should be, then you can maximize your casting distance while decreasing the occurrence of wind knots.

Have you found any other best practices when spooling up your reels?

Let me know down in the comments.

Know someone who spools their own reels? Please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Walter Schubert
8 months ago

Extremely useful information. I have been using your technique and it works nearly perfect every time. Heck of a lot better than guessing and coming up short.

Tom W Bent
9 months ago

I have a question…I’ve loaded my reel previously with about 90 yds. of 15 lb. Spiderwire Hi-vis (for my old eyes). I’m at slightly over 1/8″ from the outer edge. How much Fluorokote crystal clear 4lb can I add as a leader? Or should I just unload the 15lb and load all 4lb?

11 months ago

Hey Thanks, I Appreciate the good Info. that alot of people don’t acknowledge the amount of line backing to wind on the reel, and by the time they put the top shot on, then it doesn’t act right when you cast your Rod, so you really have to pay close attention to how much backing to put on, and the diameter size of the line, so they both will Correspond to each other for the Ultimate Cast, and longer distance without kinking and fly bailing out to a big notty mess!!* Thank You Very Much for your Assistance, and I’m a Professional Angler, but not in a Association Club!!*

2 years ago

My new reel is not spooling evenly. Explain please.

2 years ago

How much line do you loose (cutting due to frays nicks, breaking off on snags ect) before you respool

10 months ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

How do you respool I am a little short on my reel about 1/8 do I just add more with a double uni

10 months ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

Will the 1/4 inch mono gap with 150 yards of braid good for surf casting long distance

Bob Hartwein
2 years ago

Luke, I just purchased a Procyon AL 2500D-XH. I also purchased a J-Braid X8 20 lb test, 165 yards. Is that braid to heavy for the reel & does a 1/4 inch of backing still pertain?

2 years ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

Thanks for the come back! I changed the line to 15 lbs as Im around mangroves a lot since River grass died. I have also purchased a Fuego 2500d-xh & spooling X8 Braid grand 10lb. so will the 1/4 rule apply with 150 yard spool?

Bill Poletti
2 years ago

I did the math on a Daiwa BG 2500 using Trilene 14lbs backing and PowerPro 10lbs main line. Figured out all the line lengths using values from the manufacturer’s advertised diameters and the proportions of capacity of 150 tds of PowerPro 10lbs mainline. The backing worked out to 42 yds of 14lbs Trilene backing (45 turns of the reel handle) to fill the reel with 150yds of 10lbs PowerPro.

When I was spooling the Trilene, the 45 turns of the reel created a slightly less than 1/4″ gap between the spooled line and the rim of the spool, just about what Luke recommended. When I spooled on the PowerPro 10lbs mainline, the correct gap was attained with just a few feet left on the PowerPro spool.

My conclusion is that Luke’s 1/4″ backing spool technique works great on a BG 2500 using PowerPro 10lbs line.

It’s not that I was testing Luke’s methodology, I’m a math and science guy and wanted to try an independent calculation.

Malcolm Hayward
2 years ago

Fine, but still missing reality.

Easiest fix. Biggest spool that will work with your butt ring.
I generally use a 7000 or 8000 with a 4ft run into a 50mm ring.
50mm, 40mm, 30mm with 30 or 20mm tip is good.

Penn style LC spool.
Cheap, cheerful, long, tapered and with a line lay we would have strangled for.
Loverly Jubbly but useless for heavy boat work.
My expendable boat fixed spool is a Pennfisher 6500 LL.
Superb clutch despite being so cheap.

Now comes the “7Ps”.
Adjust your backing, by hand, with much trial and error. Yes, probably hours and hours.
Aiming for the load 1/16″ down from the lip, doming to a level centre, then carrying flat all the way to the back of the spool. Line can fall off the front but not the back. LOL.
The brave / foolhardy may dome a little higher.

You should have adjustment washers to help with the line lay. Try them. In the box.

A MF action will cast with a fixed spool much better than F or Tip actions.

Line 1/8″ down from the lip causes significant drag.
By 3/16″ you can feel the rod pulling in your hands. Cast will then just die.
Had a 70mm tapered spool Diawa that walled out, fishing load, 174yds.
80mm tapered spool Shimano Beastmaster, likewise, 192yds.
Competition load, Shimano went 206yds.
Mitchel 498, hand profiled, went a lot further but only one cast for every hand load.
Took six spools to a competition.


Malcolm Hayward.

Joe Puleo
2 years ago

You only need enough distance to get the specific bail to it’s desired location.
when throwing a spook on my 7’6” Avid I want maximum distance. Same for a MR 17, these are search baits generally across open stretches of water, however when pitching an X-rap or paddle tail up against or under mangroves etc. from the bow, on. 6’9” Avid totally different story.
leave Tuesday for 7 weeks in the Lagoon, mosquito lagoon that is 😄

Judi Cole
2 years ago

What do you use for backing? My dad taught me what I know about spooling line on a reel. I don’t think he did anything but just tie a knot in the line and reel it on until it was “enough.”


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