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How to Fix an Over Spooled Reel: Our Quick Fix Guide

Whether you are new to fishing or need a refresher course before the season begins, one of the things you don’t want to neglect is spooling the reels. Whether it’s an under spooled or over spooled reel, there’s a correct amount of line you should be using.

Whether you have a new reel for this season or pulled out an old one, the perfect way to spool it with the fishing line depends on the kind of reel you have.

Here’s a primer on all of it so that you don’t end up with an over spooled reel.

How to Spool a Reel

Depending on the kind of reel you have, the process of spooling changes a bit. So, let’s look at reeling a monofilament spinning reel and a braided spinning wheel. 

Spooling a Conventional Reel

The first one is called the bucket method. You’ll see why.

Equipment Needed:

  • Thick gloves 
  • A five-gallon bucket
  • Two gallons of water
  • Fishing rod (with holder if possible)
  • The fishing reel

First, you must get a pair of thick gloves, a bucket filled with two gallons of water and the reel. Ideally, you must try to spool the reel by placing your fishing rod in its holder.

Author Note: If you do so, you will have more stability. It will allow you to guide the line instead of having to put pressure using your hands. The holder makes sure that the line is tight while you are winding it.

If you don’t have the bucket and water, you can try doing a freespin. This is easier if you have a friend to hold the line so that you can put pressure on the spool while it rotates. But if not, you can still do it in these simple five steps. 

Step 1: Tie the arbor knot and load the monofilament reel. Cut the tag at the end with an inch left around.

Step 2: Drop the spool in the bucket of water.

Step 3: Hold the rod with gloves on your hands and pinch the line with your thumb and index fingers.

Step 4: With one hand, apply tension on the line and with the other, reel it in.

Step 5: Lay down the line evenly while using your hand to put pressure sideways.

Spooling a Braided Line

Man holding fly rod and reel

If you have a braided line, you will need a strong line. It needs to be thin but even then, it is a bit tricky to do this on your own. That’s because they are slippery and not great at gripping the reel spool.

It is worth noting here that these are also a bit more expensive compared to monofilament lines which you will need as a backup. You will also need your braided line and that’s all.

Step 1: Attach the monofilament line to the spool. Reel it halfway and stop.

Step 2: Thread the braided line till it gets to the first eyelet. then, connect this line to the monofilament line using a double-uni knot.

Step 3: Put pressure on the line and spool until it is â…›th of an inch from the lip of the spool.

Step 4: Thread the braided line through the rest of the eyelets and trim it.

And you’re all set. Spooling is a simple task but if you don’t do it right, you can have the best gear money can buy but you won’t get anywhere with it.

The Difference between a Braided and Mono Fishing Line

Before we go into the problems of having an over spooled reel, you need to know the basic differences between braided and monofilament fishing lines.

A mono line is relatively thinner and more flexible when compared to a braided line. This means it is easier to use with bare hands.

Mono lines are also lightweight for this reason which keeps them floating on the water. So, if you are going to lure the fish with a topwater bait, mono lines are a great choice.

Author Note: Braided lines, on the other hand, are a good choice if you don’t want as much stretch and require a thinner diameter. So, if you are going to fish around a structure because they will break easily.

So, if you are going to use a braided line, here are two ways of making it easy.

  1. Get a mono line and make a layer out of it. Do this around your spool’s base and then tie the braid and fill it up. 
  1. Get a masking tape and put it on your reel’s spool. This will give you some friction while you are spooling. Keep the braided line tight when spooling and you must be fine.

You must also make sure the tension is even throughout the line so that the possibility of unwanted knots is kept to a minimum.

Why It’s Bad to Over Spool Your Reel

A man repairs a fishing reel

One of the simplest problems that is quite easily fixable is an over spooled reel. One of the reasons this is a bad move is because it results in a line twist.

When the line is twisted, whether you have a monofilament or a fluorocarbon or a copolymer, your reel will have tangles. This reduces your casting distance by limiting it and that happens because your line isn’t strong enough.

Manufacturers have made a lot of effort to reduce the problem of line twisting but a little bit of effort is required on the angler’s part too. And that’s spooling the line well.

Another thing that can be easily noticed when you over spool your reel is you will have a lot of line on the reel. And even if you don’t notice it, you will know that you have an over spooled reel because you will hear a strange sound when you cast it.

If you have a spinning reel, it should be full to the top. When that doesn’t happen, you will have excess line on the reel which will get off your spool and get tangled in coils.

When dealing with baitcasters, some anglers think that too much line can cause backlashes. But that can be fixed too.

Over Spooled Reel: How to Fix It

If you are dealing with a spinning reel, the fix is quite easy. Fill it to the top so that the line does not get twisted into coils. Because if and when it does, casting the next time will be an impossible task.

If you are dealing with a baitcaster, you must adjust it so that it is a bit tight. This is for beginners and novices. You can start loosening them up as you get a hang of it. The goal is to achieve both accuracy and distance without too much effort on your part.

But whether you have a baitcaster or a spinning reel, you need to have a full spool. Otherwise, you will have to compromise on the casting distance because you will not have enough line left. And that gives your fellow anglers with length the edge that you could’ve easily had.

Now, as mentioned before, some anglers with a baitcaster don’t want too much line because they are trying to avoid backlashes and save money in the process.

Top Tip: A simpler solution is to put an old line in on the reel before spooling the braid. This works well for both spinning and casting reels.

The old line prevents the new braid from cutting or slipping. That means you don’t have to worry about your expensive new line.


baitcasting reel

Q: What Are the Different Types of Reels?

A: No matter what kind of fishing rod you have, it is important to have the right kind of reel and spool it properly because that will determine whether or not your expedition ends up being a success.

Different types of reels are available based on what you want to do with them and how skilled you are.

There are four types of reels. They are spinning reels, baitcasting reels, spincast reels and fly reels.

Q: Which One Is Better, Spinning Reel or Baitcaster Reel?

A: Spinning reels have a small and narrow spool. They are not great when the line has a large diameter. Baitcaster reels are at the top of the fishing rod which will be parallel to the spool.

You can get monofilament, braided and fluorocarbon line types for it. Baitcasters are for experienced anglers who can control the moving spool along when the line is cast.

Otherwise, when the line is cast, the spool will move faster than the line which means your line will end up in tangled knots which is commonly called backlash.

But baitcaster reels solve the problem of narrow spools because of their ability to handle relatively heavier lines. They also make room for a long cast when compared to a spinning reel in the same size range.

Parting Thoughts

More often than not, a lot of anglers don’t leave enough line on the fishing reel because they are too busy trying to avoid backlashes.

And even when they do, novice anglers tend not to spool them properly which affects their game. And while it’s not the toughest problem to solve, it is a necessary one.

We hope you enjoyed this guide on how to fix an over spooled reel.

Happy Hunting!


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