How to spool up your reels perfectly

Spooling up

by Steve Ringer |

It used to be a major job in the closed season, stripping old line off reels and filling them with fresh mono. But with the abolition of the closed season on most lakes, and given the amount of fishing I do, I now respool my reels all year round.

Winding the reel until the fresh spool of line empties may seem simple, but it’s no good if you’re left with a reel that’s unevenly filled. That will lead to poor casting, tangles and lost fish, so you need to adopt a ‘best practice’ to get the job done right first time.

My favourite way is simple and takes no time at all – it involves just a bucket of water and a damp cloth. I’ve seen a lots of other ways to spool up being touted, and some will invariably work just as well. Provided there’s a steady tension in the line when winding, the spool will be neatly filled.

Pick your diameter

Diameter is as important as breaking strain if you want to cast accurately. Take the pellet waggler. On the reels I have for this, I’ll use 0.18mm or 0.20mm Guru Pulse Pro (5lb-6lb) for smaller waters with smaller carp but, for big casts and big fish, that goes up to 0.24mm.

Keep the tension on

Line needs to be kept under tension as you wind, and there are two ways to do it. The easier is to drop the spool in a bucket of water to create drag. The other is to put a pencil through the middle of the spool and hold it between your feet as you wind. This takes practice!

Spooling up

Use a damp cloth

As well as using the bucket of water, I’ll wind the line on to my reels through a damp cloth. This grips the line just above the ring of the rod butt that I attach my reels to when spooling up. It not only keeps the line taut, but also removes any grease on the line as it passes through.

Fill it up to the lip

Reel spools vary, but what I’m looking for when filling the spool is to have the line laying just ever so slightly under the lip. Overfill it and you’ll get tangles, while if there’s not enough line, casting distance will be affected by resistance, which will also damage the line.

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