Parts of a Spinning Reel – Complete Explanation For Beginners

Spinning reel is the best option for new anglers as they come handy in any type of fishing ranging from small freshwater fishes to large sea monsters, there is nothing a spinning reel cannot handle. However, for the best performance or using it for the first time, you should know the parts of a spinning reel and have some information about their working. Once you have some knowledge about the spinning reel parts, you are ready to use them. Moreover, you can check out how to use a spinning reel for detailed information. 

Parts of a Spinning Reel 

Now, let’s move towards the Parts of a Spinning Reel with their detailed information. First of all we will discuss the exterior parts and then we will go for the internal parts of the reel. 

External Parts of the Spinning Reel

    Reel foot/ Reel base

    The reel’s foot or base is the lowest part of the spinning reel which sits on the reel seat of a spinning rod. The base gives the required stability and a place to the reel on the fishing rod which makes sure it doesn’t fall during a fishing trip. In high-quality reels it’s usually made out of aluminum or any other durable material. However, in some not so good quality reels the foot is made of plastic and has a possibility to break while handling even smaller fishes. 

    Reel Body

    It’s the construction of the body which is above the reel foot and includes all the below given spinning reel parts such as handle and drag knob. It’s usually made of metal and sometimes it’s made of carbon or any plastic. The reel’s body is to be blamed if your reel is heavy to handle. The reel body depends on the capacity or the size of the reel. So if a reel has a smaller size then it will be compact enough to fit in one hand. On the other hand, the body can be big if the size is more than 10,000. 


      Handle is one of the most essential parts of the reel because once it breaks your reel is of no use at all. The handle is rotated by a non-dominant hand while the fishing rod is held with the dominant one. Only some spinning reels are available which do not let the users change the hand orientation of their spinning reel. That means you can change the hand orientation of your spinning reel by simply detaching the handle from one side and reattaching it to the second. The handle material should be durable enough to live long with the spinning reel, do not get a reel with a plastic handle. 


        Spool is the part of the spinning reel where the fishing line is rotated tightly. Spools are usually made of aluminum for a corrosion resistant reel. Depending on the size of your spinning reel and the line capacity, the size of the spool increases. In all spinning reels the line capacity is given on the spool so you don’t have to do guess work here. Also, with the line capacity, markings are given for stopping you from over spooling the line or even user spooling. 

        Line Roller

        Line roller is the part of the spinning reel which is located at the end of the bail arm. The function of a line roller is to pass the line over to the metal guides on the fishing rod. In simple words a line roller is something from which the fishing line passes. 

          Bail Arm

          Bail arm may seem as a small part but it has a significant share of work during your fishing. The bail arm can be opened or closed depending on what you are doing. While the bail is closed, no line can pass through the line roller the bail is closed after the line has been cast. On the other hand, when it’s open that’s the only time the line can pass through it and it’s during the casting. However, if your bail shuts during casting, it may lead to losing your expensive lures inside water. Depending on your preferences you can go for a manual bail or an auto bail. 

            Drag adjustment knob

            The drag adjustment knob or dial is located at the front size of the spinning reel. It totally depends on you to adjust the drag according to your preferences. The knob needs to be adjusted by rotating. You can get many online tutorials on how to adjust a drag knob. It has the function of managing the friction on the line. Moreover, a good drag can make your reel smoother and easy to use. 

            Internal Parts of the Spinning Reel 


              Everyone knows gears right? They are everywhere, aren’t they? If still your answer is no, we will explain it to you. In simple words, gear is something which makes your machine smooth and easy to use. Moreover, you don’t have to exert a large amount of force while reeling, if your machine includes gears. The gears also have a ratio for example 5.0:1. Which means the bail rotates 5 times in one rotation of the handle. More the gear ratio, the more is the retrieve rate. 


                The drag is set by the drag knob which we discussed earlier. This makes it easier for you to prevent line breaking and provides a smooth performance by adjusting the friction on the line. A good drag force is required if you will go for bass or trout fishing. 

                  Ball Bearings

                  Ball bearings in a spinning reel do the same thing which they do in any other machine which is to reduce the friction and provide a smooth and faster performance. It’s good to have more ball bearings, anything less than 5 will not work finely during fishing. Also, they are made of stainless steel in most cases. Besides that a roller bearing is also included which makes it possible to include an anti-reverse feature which stops the handle from rotating backwards. 


                  What is the on/off switch on a spinning reel?
                  The switch is used to switch on the anti-reverse on the spinning reel and obviously switch it off when of no use.

                  The anti-reverse is used to prevent the handle and spool from rotating backwards and also prevent the line from getting tangled or breaking. 

                  Why are most spinning reels left handed?

                  The reason for this is that 90% of the world population is left-handed and the reel is to be held in the dominant hand and the handle is to be rotated with the non-dominant hand, which is left in many cases. However, you can change the hand orientation of maximum reels easily. 

                  What is an automatic bail?

                  In some spinning reels, automatic bail arms are featured which automatically open or close depending on whether you are casting.

                  However, there is a chance of it closing unpredictably if it’s not of good quality. 

                  How do I tighten my spinning reel drag?

                  The drag is tightened or loosened depending on whether you are rotating the knob to the right or left. If you want to tighten the drag, rotate the dial to the right.


                  Here we gave the simplest and smallest explanation of each and every part of a spinning reel.

                  Which you should know about before buying one as you won’t be able to operate it without knowing the names and functions.

                  We hope that you have detailed information regarding spinning reel parts and have liked this informative article and would love to get the best spinning reel of 2023 for you as we have already shortlisted 10 best spinning reels.

                  Moreover, if you want to learn how to use a spinning reel, check this link once for a detailed guide. 

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