Whether you’re a casual fisher spending a few weeks a year away from the city or a seasoned fisher, there’s a crucial skill you should consider learning: How to string a fishing pole.

For those who don’t know, ‘stringing a fishing pole’ means replacing or switching your line, which can be done for a variety of reasons that range between wear and tear to needing to change the line in order to secure a particular catch.

Regardless of the reasons, learning how to string a fishing pole (or spooling a new fishing line) is a crucial skill that, luckily, is very easy to learn.

I. For this tutorial you’ll need:

  • Fishing Rod
  • Line of your choice.
  • Spinning Reel

While the process is relatively similar for all of them, the way you’ll string a fishing pole depends a lot on the kind of line and reel you’ve chosen, as they all have certain properties that should be considered.

Because of this, we’ll break down the steps necessary for different kinds of reels, instead of using only one.

II. Spinning Reels

Spinning Reels

Step 1: Verify bale and spool.

Some spinning reels rotate clockwise, other counterclockwise. Figure out what your rod does and adjust the spool (the little plastic or metal circle the line is wrapped around) accordingly to minimize the risk of twists.

If you see any twist all you need to do is flip the spool. If both sides twist, then you choose then one that offers the least resistance / that twists the least.

Step 2:  Secure the line.

Open the bail, which is a small wire that moves up and down.

There are small guides on the rod that end in the reel. Follow these and wrap the line around the reel, using an overhand knot or an arbor knot to tie it securely.

For extra strength, tie another knot by the tip of the loose end.

Close the bail arm (Remember, up is open, down is closed)

Step 3: Tense the line.

Hold the line with two fingers and pull it so that is taut. Keep this position as you carefully reel in a couple of feet of line.

Remember, fishing involves a lot of patience and that’s particularly true when you’re setting your line.

Step 4: Check the line.

Stop reeling and let the line go lose then reel it in for a few seconds, paying attention to how the line is coiled. If there are no twists then proceed as normal, reeling the line until a quarter inch from the rim, give or take.

If the line is twisting, repeat everything from the start.

III. Baitcasting Reels

Baitcasting Reels


Stringing a baitcasting can be done by a single person but they usually a reel filling station for this. If you don’t own one then chances are you’re going to need a buddy so prepare accordingly.

Step 1:  Prepare the Spool

Stick a pencil or a stick through the spool and ask someone to hold it for you. If you have a reel filling station, you can use that instead.

Step 2: Verify spool and reel.

Make sure the spool and the reel match directions. (Check Step 2 on the Spinning Reel instructions for more information)

Step 3: Pull and Secure the line.

Once you’ve slid the line through the receiver pull all the way through before tying it with an overhand or arbor knot.

Step 4: Tense the line.

Once again secure the line and gently start to reel, maintaining tension so the line wraps tightly around the reel. Check to make sure there are no twists and if there’s none keep reeling until you’re about ¼ inch from the rim.

IV. Spincast Reels

Also called “close faced” reel, this is a very easy reel to operate and one of the safest, if not the safest, for kids.
Spincast Reels

Because the reel and the line are kept inside an enclosure, stringing your fishing rod is a little different.

Step 1: Check your reel.

The first thing you have to do is check the capacity of the reel, you’ll find this information on the reel itself.

Step 2: Remove the cover.

Since the line goes INSIDE the enclosure, you’ll need to open it to get things done so remove the closed face and check for remaining line.

Once you’ve verified the enclosure is empty you can continue to step 3.

Step 3: Verify spool and reel.

Once again, make sure the spool and the reel are facing the right direction.

Step 4:  Get the line in the housing.

The cover you remove has a small hole, slide the line through it before running the end of the line through the guides and into the reel.

Step 5: Secure the line.

As with the other kinds of reel, you’ll have to wrap the line around the reel and use an overhand or arbor knot to secure it in place.

For extra strength, tie a second knot close to the free end.
Closeup of fly-fisherman holding brown truit in river

Step 6: Remove excess line.

Remove any excess line on the loose end to keep it from tangling inside the housing.

Once you’re sure everything is in place, screw the cover back in place.

Step 7: Tense the line.

Hold the line with two fingers and pull it so that is taut. Keep this position as you carefully reel in a couple of feet of line.

Step 8: Verify.

Remove the cover once more to check how much reel is in there as well as to make sure there are no twists and tangles.

Since there’s limited space, you want to leave about ¼ of an inch from the top to make sure the reel doesn’t overfill.

If everything is alright, screw the cover back in place and proceed until you’re done.

V. Conclusion

Now you know all there is to know about stringing a fishing rod which is the first step to your own fishing adventure.

Do you have any questions?

Let us know in the comments!

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