How To Spool A Spinning Reel With Braid While Saving Money And Time [VIDEO]


Want to learn the best way to spool a spinning reel?

There are many ways to do it, including getting a store to do it for you, but I’m going to show you how to do it yourself and avoid the most common mistakes that many anglers make when spooling their reels.

Most of these mistakes can lead to you getting more line twists and wind knots when you’re fishing, so you’re better off doing things the right way from the start.

Watch the video below to learn:

  • How to spool your spinning reel by yourself
  • The common misconceptions to spooling spinning reels (that I believed for many years)
  • How to save money on braided line
  • How much line to put on your reel
  • And much more


How To Spool A Spinning Reel [VIDEO]

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Here’s what you need to spool your spinning reel (in addition to the line, rod, and reel):

  • Mono backing line (within 10 lbs of your braid strength is recommended)
  • Scissors
  • A wet towel or washcloth
  • A pencil
  • A narrow cardboard box (or someone to hold the spool)

Now before we get going, you might be asking yourself why mono is on the list if you’re spooling your reel with braid.

Here’s why: braid doesn’t grip into the arbor (the center of the spool), so if you tie braid straight onto it and you have a big fish on, the line might free spin and you could lose your fish.

Monofilament does grip into the arbor, so the best way to combat this is to have a base of mono line on the arbor.

Plus, even the small reels like the 2500 series can hold a LOT of line, so it’s smart to fill up some of the spool with the much less expensive mono line knowing that it’ll likely never see the light of day.

Alright, now let’s get into the steps.

Step 1: Thread the monofilament through the top eye.

Step 2: Tie an arbor knot to connect the mono to the arbor.

Note: This knot isn’t very important because its job is only to start creating friction on the reel’s arbor. None of the “Arbor Knots” are very strong, so you should never let a fish pull the line out all the way down to this knot because you’ll end up losing all of your line out into our waterways… instead, just grab the spool when you realize that you can’t turn the fish so that no more line can go out should palm the spool before a fish takes all of your line out (video lesson on this here)… either your hook will straighten or your line will break at the leader 99% of the time so you’ll at least prevent your line from getting dumped into the water.

Step 3: Set up the spool of mono so that it can spin vertically around a pencil with the help of a friend or simply using a box to hold it as shown in the video.

And a key thing to keep in mind here is that you need to have tension on the line as you’re reeling it in — this will decrease your odds of getting wind knots down the road.

To do this, grip the line with the wet rag and apply pressure to it as you’re reeling in.

Step 4: Tie the mono backing to the braid.

I like to use a double uni knot here (5 turns with the mono and 10 turns with the braid).

Step 5: Reel the braid onto your spool just like you did with the mono backing.

Again, don’t forget to use a wet rag to apply tension on the line as you’re reeling it in.

When the line is about 1/16″ away from the top of the reel, you know you’ve put enough braid on.

If you put too little braid on, you’ll inhibit your casting distance, and if you put too much on, you could be more susceptible to wind knots.

How To Save Money On Braided Fishing Line

There are many benefits of using braid, however, it is considerably more expensive than mono.

Here’s a quick tip to make the most of your line:

Once you’ve spooled your reel, go to a park or beach and walk out 100 yards of it.

Then, walk back to your reel, cut the line, and retie it with a double uni knot with 10 turns on both sides.

Since braid lasts for many years, whenever you need to re-spool, you don’t need to touch the line after the knot.

You’ll only have to put on 100 yards to the top, so if you get a 300-yard spool, that will last you for three re-spools which can save you a lot of money over the years.


spool reel with braided line

Although you could have a store spool your line, by doing it yourself you can make sure that you’re less likely to get line twists or wind knots, and you can set up a system that helps you save money on braid in the long run.

Have any questions about spooling braided line onto your reel?

Do you do it any differently?

Let me know in the comments below!

And if you know someone who needs to learn the best way to spool their line, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Steven Lantry
4 months ago

Just a good review. We need a trick for using the almost empty braid we have left. May put that on next reel just less mono. I have never done a braid to braid knot but looks like with 10 twists it should work. Know I just need an excuse to purchase another new reel.

nikko stabile
5 months ago

why are some reasons you wouldnt want bass pro to spool your reel with the machine ? – thanks

andy j
1 year ago

I just bought a new Penn Fierce III Live Liner 6000 spinning reel which has a rubber gasket around the center of the spool to allow tying braid directly without slipping. Given this, I plan on tying the 300 yards of 50-lb Power Pro Super 8 Slick V2 braid directly to the rubber gasket. Why even use a monofilament backing? (other than mono is less expensive). I plan on adding a 40 lb mono top shot and/or a fluoro leader depending on the situation.

John Hatfield
1 year ago

New to SS insider…
Great Demo- Can you use the same mono base to braid concept on a bait caster reel? Considering the fact they generally don’t hold as much line. Maybe just a few mono wraps then uni to uni knot with the rest braid. Do you still apply the within 10# of each other mono: braid. Thanks in advance.

1 year ago

Instead of the box method, I put a dowel, long pencil or chopstick through the spool and hold the stick with my toes. The stick goes under the big toe, over the second. Then, You can apply drag with the sides of your feet, directly on the spool. Haven’t had heat issues braking the spool itself. I’ve loaded many reels, even large capacity surf casting reels, this way. Sounds nutty but it works!

Greg Brillant
1 year ago

Excellent refresher on spooling a spinning reel properly. That said, although you’re using the same lb/test line (mono to braid) doesn’t braid really have a higher tensile strength? The follow up is should your reel get stripped down to the mono by a large fish, would there be a better chance of snapping the mono as opposed to the braided line? Should there be more braided line than mono on the reel? Thanks

1 year ago

This is the best guide I’ve found for now. Thank You for sharing this valuable information!

David Strand
1 year ago

I am quite sure I have watched this video before, but I learned something new this time. What I learned was to walk out 100 yds and cut the line. Then tie a double uni knot and spool on the 100 yds. Next season but a 300 yd spool, locate the double uni knot, cut there and put 100 yds of new line each season and have enough for 3 seasons of fishing with fresh braid. I hope I have made sense.

John Crongeyer
10 months ago
Reply to  David Strand


Paul Shorrock
7 months ago
Reply to  David Strand

or dont walk out 100yds and then cut your nice brand new line and put in a knot which is not as strong as the original line… just go fish. then when your line needs changing…THEN walk out 100 yds and attacch your new line….. DUH!

Lee Styres
1 year ago

Back in the 60s and 70s the Pros suggested dropping mono in a bucket or pan of warm water before spooling. Claim was it helped reduced twists. Not sure I believed it, but I kept it up for many years. Thanks for super video.

Dean Carter
6 months ago
Reply to  Lee Styres

Mono still has a memory. The bucket trick is still for me. No memory in the mono I use. 20# Stren Original. Cheap and strong.

Destiny H
3 months ago
Reply to  Lee Styres

I do this, but with a pot and lid with a “steam” hole in it. Can reel it directly on without the pencil and box trick.

Brad Ewing
1 year ago

I have a pencil through my crocs is a good way to hold it besides a box or something. 🙂

Rich Miller
1 month ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

I found a way to get the amount of mono backer perfect by Reversing the way the line is spooled.

First tie on the 125yd spool of braid on to the empty reel spool temporarily. Start cranking on the line under tension. When you get to the end of the spool of braid use your knot of choice to splice on the mono. Finish reeling to just short of the lip of the reel. It should typically about a 1/16 shy of the edge.

Cut the mono. Go to an open place, football field, beach etc. Tie on your biggest sinker. Now walk away from the sinker with the reel until all the line is off the reel. Now all the line mono and braid is laying on the ground.

Cut the braid off the reel and tie a large sinker on that end. Now walk back to the mono end of the line, tie it to the spool of the reel and crank it back on under tension. It will be perfect, no wasted braid. No guessing how much backing.

I figured this out when I broke off about 25 feet of my braid while fishing. The reel didn’t cast well of course because it didn’t have enough line. I basically unspooled it and added The perfect amount to the mono backing. I didn’t need to buy more braid.


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