The Following Tips are Offered by:

Ron Crandall of Ron's Reel repair
camdoc@pacbell.net

Spinning Reel Line Spooler

When you spool line on a spinning reel yourself, (rather than having it spooled on by a line winder), you introduce twists in the line. Twists in the line cause birds nests. In the fishing magazines, books and on the web, there have been many suggestions for the best way to lay the spool, or how to clamp the bulk spool on the rod in order to eliminate the twists.

Here is a very simple way to duplicate what the tackle store does with their $1,000.00 line winder.

You will need two items:

  1. An electric drill (a variable speed drill is ideal), and,
  2. A main shaft for your particular reel.

When you mount your spool to the main shaft, it is just like putting it on the reel, and then it can be rotated by the drill. The line then goes on the spool WITHOUT TWISTS.

Now for the particulars

  1. Look at your reel to see which way the rotor turns (most turn clockwise when viewed from the front).
  2. Order a main shaft for your reel from your reel repair shop or the manufacturer. This won't be a problem unless you have a Box-Mart $10.00 reel or one that is fifty plus years old. (most cost less than ten dollars).
  3. Put your spool on the shaft and mark the shaft about one inch past where the spool ends. Cut the shaft at that point. If you don't do this, and try to run the shaft full length it will wobble as you try to install line.
  4. Install the main shaft in the drill. Check drill rotation direction. Drills rotate to the right. This is marked forward on the drill. In most cases this is the correct position to use to wind line on the spool. (Naturally, Mitchell 300 spools are the exception. In this case use the reverse position marked on the drill.)
  5. Place spool on shaft.
  6. Position bulk spool of line so that it is free to rotate. (Placing the center hole of the bulk line on a pencil locked in a vise is one way. Having someone hold the pencil is another.)
  7. Attach the line to your spool using your favorite knot.
  8. Turn on the drill and wind the line on to your spool. (With a variable speed drill you can use a speed that is comfortable to spool the line on evenly.)

With this setup you can wind line on the spinning spool just the same as you would with a bait caster. It is important to do some radical crosses every 1/8" or so of line depth. (Radical crosses are one or two turns across the whole spool) This way if your drag is running the line won't bury itself and cause the spool to stop turning. If it does, this means "LOST FISH"

Lastly, when you are ready to respool pull off 150 yards of line and look at your spool to see about how much is left. What's left can be replaced with a backing material (old 20# to 50# dacron line works great), rather than with monofilament, because under most conditions if you have a fish out more than a hundred yards you've lost it anyway.

By the way, the drill can also be used to remove line from your spool. Simply put a dowel in the drill, attach your line and press start. Slow down and stop before you reach the knot on your spool or the drill will take line, spool, reel and all. Remember to properly recycle used line at your Berkley Line Recycler.

Additional Information

Check the archives for determining the correct line weight for your rod/reel combination.