Gone Outdoors

How to Reline a Baitcasting Reel

by Larry Anderson

Most fishermen who use baitcasting reels carry an extra spool of fishing line in the boat with them. An errant cast can cause the line on the reel to backlash, and particularly bad backlashes may require fishermen to reline their reel. Backlashes, sometimes called birds' nests, occur when the line quits traveling off the spool, but the spool does not quit spinning. The best time to reline a reel is before a fishing trip, but anglers who are prepared can accomplish the task while they are in the boat.

Strip all of the old line off the reel.

Attach the reel to a rod. Baitcasting rods have a trigger that hangs below the reel seat.

Push the line through each of the line guides on the rod, and then through the line guide on the front of the baitcaster.

Wrap the fishing line around the reel spool at least two times. Tie a knot so the line is tight against the spool.

Turn the reel handle clockwise. Continue turning it until the line is 1/4-inch below the top of the reel spool.

Cut the line beyond the end of the rod.

Items you will need
  • Rod and reel
  • Line
  • Scissors


  • Dispose of the old fishing line properly. Line left on the ground or in the water is dangerous to fish and wildlife.

About the Author

Larry Anderson has been a freelance writer since 2000. He has covered a wide variety of topics, from golf and baseball to hunting and fishing. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, including "Fargo Forum" newspaper. Anderson holds a Bachelor of Arts in print journalism from Concordia College.

Photo Credits

  • Christopher Robbins/Digital Vision/Getty Images