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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5 days ago

I would have put on your briad first. Then the mono and finally flipped it entirely. Avoids the small remaining waste left on the spool. Then the next time you spool you have the exact amount of mono backing already in place and you can load the the whole 150 spool. Or if you buy a 300 yard spool you’ll get two fillups.

1 month ago

I’m an absolute beginner at fishing anything and can’t afford to be an insider but after all I’ve learn from you, I need to give some back to you.
Forget the wet rag, just tie a Munter hitch on a good condition carabiner to the incoming line, this way you’ll keep perfect tension effortless

Ron Whetstone
6 months ago

Luke when you are spooling up your tarpon reels do still put a splice in the line at 100 yrds or do you make the section longer or none at all? Also when splicing 30lb power pro do you still use 10 wraps for the uni to uni knot?

Ron Whetstone
6 months ago

Hey Luke I’m sorry if this question has been asked and answered I did not read all the questions below. Is there a reason not to use the FG knot on your mono to braid splice near the spool. Thought of trying it on my new BG MQ 4000’s with 30lb line for tarpon. Thanks

John Cabala
9 months ago

Hi Luke. I know this is an old topic, but would like yours and other’s thoughts on another option. Instead of a base of mono, I wind a couple wraps of electrical tape onto the spool base first, then tie braid right on to the spool. The braid digs and grips into the tape and seems to grip onto the spool maybe even better than mono. It also eliminates the extra knot. If you then make a braid to braid knot where you need it (for me, 150 yd on top), you accomplish the same objective without a mono-braid knot. The base of braid remains there, essentially forever. Thoughts?

Andrew Myers
11 months ago

Most manufacturers show in their manuals to spool with the line coming off the bottom. Is there a reason you prefer to come off the top? Or in your experience does it not seem to matter?

Tony Zongaro
1 year ago

Luke, I have a Penn 7500ss reel for surf fishing. I would like to use Power Pro or Kastking 40 lb test braided line with a monofilament backing. How much of each would I need to use to fill the reel to your recommendation?

Dave Otte
1 year ago

Luke, here’s something I don’t understand about braid. If 10 lb briad is stronger than 10 lb mono and breaks at much > 10 lbs, and it’s diameter is much smaller than 10 lb mono, why is it considered 10 lb?

Randy Edwards
1 year ago

That technique/plan is all well and good for most inshore fishing, but for offshore/bluewater fishing I and others would rather not have a knot in the mainline when a big fish runs more than 100 yd or whatever your topshot is. So, here is what I do…more complicated, but it keeps 200-300 yd of braid on my reel filled properly near the rim of the spool. When I have lost say 20 or 30 yd of braid, I unspool the braid wraping the line around a couple of tree trunks about 50 yd apart in my yard. I continue to unspool until lthe mono backing is off of the spool also. Then, I tie the the end of the braid that was on the top of the spool onto the bare spool. I wind that braid on. Then I can either continue to wind on the mono backing, or new mono until the spool is full. If I wind on the on the original mono, I can tie on a shorter length or additional mono and continue to wind it on until the spool is properly full. That way I have a knot (uni to uni) between two sections of mono. I then wind the mono and braid off the reel by going around the trees again. Then I go to the mono end of the line, tie it with an arbor knot to the spool, wind on the mono, followed by the braid, and I have a completely full spool, with over 200 yd of braid before the knot to the mono, and then the knot to the added mono is all the way down to within 20 or 30 yd from the spool end.

It takes a little time, but this way one can start with 300 yd of braid, and continue to have well over 200 yd of braid without any knots. Of course this could be done by spooling the line onto a couple of reels, but a couple trees or poles is much easier and quicker.

Tom Marks
1 year ago

Luke! That makes so much sense! Spoiling it on with a twist and it UN twists coming off. Have a Berkley spooling stating where I take the spool off the reel and wind the line on. I knew it wasn’t perfect because I had some twists in the line never knew it was my setup. Your method makes so much sense. Thank you!


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