How to Use a Spinning Reel

How to Use a Spinning Reel – A Step By Step Guide

Spinning reels are said to be the best choice if you want to learn to fish because they are easy to learn and maintain. Moreover, they are perfect in all ways. Beginners, after having a friendly conversation with professional anglers and experts we present before you this article. In this article we have given a detailed guide on how to use a spinning reel, starting from its assembly to cleaning. 

How to Use a Spinning Reel

Moreover, you can also check out our articles on how to spool a spinning reel, how to cast a spinning reel and how to set up a spinning reel for more information. 

Now, let’s get started with the article’s major topic 

How to Set up a Spinning reel 

  1. As a beginner get familiar with all the parts of the spinning reel and fishing rod. You can check the reel’s user manual for detailed information. 
  2. Assemble the fishing rod into a single piece. As many fishing rods come detached, it is an important step.
  3. Clean the reel and fishing rod, especially the reel seat with a cleaner. You can simply wipe it with a dry cloth.
  4. Loosen the reel seat at the bottom of the fishing rod by rotating it clockwise. Make it big enough to accommodate the reel’s foot into it.
  5. Now, tighten the reel seat again such that the reel doesn’t move at all. 

How to Spool a Spinning Reel 

  1. Get your preferred fishing line such as monofilament, braided or fluorocarbon line.
  2. Check the line capacity which will be specified on the reel’s body. Do not exceed the line capacity ever, otherwise it may get hard to handle 
  3. Place the line spool on an even surface and see from which direction the line comes out, is it the same as your reel’s spool rotates? If not, flip the line spool on the other side. 
  4. Now pass the line through the guides on the rod from the top to the bottom spool. Moreover, make sure the line won’t get twisted. 
  5. Open the bail of your reel and tie the line to the spool with a slip knot tight enough to stay at the same place. 
  6. Rotate the handle and start spooling, check if the line is getting twisted in between if yes stop rotating the handle and try again. 
  7. Once you have spooled the line over your reel, keep 6-12 inches of line from the tip of the fishing rod and cut it using a line cutter 
  8. Attach a lure or bait at the end of the line with an Albright knot and make it secure.

How to Cast a Spinning Reel 

  1. Hold the fishing rod with your dominant hand such that your First three fingers before the spinning reel’s foot and your pinky finger are at the end. 
  2. Take out your index finger out of the reel’s hand and apply light pressure on the line such that it gets closer to the fishing rod.
  3. Use your non-dominant hand and rotate the handle to adjust the length of the line. The line should be 6-12 inches long.
  4. Open the bail otherwise your line may get cut because of getting stuck in between.
  5. Decide the target you want to hit and cast the line with both of your hands on the rod for a better aim. Now hold the fishing rod pointing towards the sky and try throwing the lure towards your intended target.
  6. Remove the index finger you were holding to release the tension. Otherwise you might get a cut on your index finger 
  7. If the lure hits your intended target, once again hold the line with your index finger and try loosening and tightening the line if it doesn’t get to the targeted location. 
  8. Lock the line by flipping the bail downward as it was earlier. It will make sure your line and the lure won’t float away with the water. 

How to Clean a Spinning Reel 

  1. Use a tape or a rubber band and secure the line on the spool
  2. Disassemble the reel by detaching the spool, handle, bail, etc. Moreover, make sure you number them so you won’t forget their sequence.
  3. Except the spool, clean all the parts using a small brush, mild soap or reel cleaner and water.
  4. Get a dry damp cloth and dry all those parts after cleaning them. Make sure there is no moisture left as it can corrode your spinning reel. 
  5. Reassemble the reel with the same sequence. In case you forget the sequence you can watch any online tutorial.
  6. Once you have reattached the spinning reel, use some grease or oil on the screws, handle and shaft of the spool so that it works smoothly.
  7. Spray some of the reel cleaner on the reel and wipe out the exterior of the reel again and store it away until your next fishing trip.

Frequently Ask Questions (FAQs)

Do you need an anti-reverse on a spinning reel?

Yes, anti-reverse is important for seawater fishing as it stops the reel from rotating backwards so the line doesn’t get cut or tangled. You can switch it on or off anytime you need. Therefore, it is good to go for a reel with anti-reverse.

Why are spinning reels left handed?

By left hand you must be referring to its handle right? It’s because your dominant hand can hold the fishing right as your non-dominant hand simply rotates the handle. All spinning reels have a detachable handle which can be attached on the other side to make it right-handed. 

How do I choose a spinning reel?

You should choose a spinning reel depending on your targeted species. The spinning reel size depends on the line size. You can check out our spinning reel sizes article for more information. 


We hope that you have understood all the steps perfectly and ready for your first fishing adventure. Using a spinning reel requires skills which you will master once you start fishing don’t worry if you don’t get a catch on the first trip. In this article we have tried our best to add all the information regarding using a spinning reel while keeping it short and meaningful so that you can get a detailed guide. You can also check out our article on top 10 best spinning reels of 2022 for the best options to choose from. 

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