Gone Outdoors

How to Set Up Your Open-Bail Spinning Reel

by Larry Anderson

Spinning reels are one of the most popular reel types, used by novice and expert fishermen alike. They come in a wide variety of sizes and, when paired with a spinning fishing rod, can be used to catch the smallest and largest of game fish that swim. Before anglers begin fishing with a spinning reel, they must set it up, which includes putting line on the reel and adjusting it for the fishing situation at hand.

Pair the spinning reel with a spinning rod. These rods do not have a trigger on their handle, and the line guides become progressively larger moving from rod tip to reel.

Load the reel with fishing line. Insert the line through the rod tip, then through each of the line guides.

Open the bale of the reel by flipping it upward.

Place the fishing line on the reel by wrapping it twice around the spool, and then tying the line so it is tight on the spool. Cut most of the extra line above the reel, though it is a good idea to leave a tag end of about 1/8 of an inch.

Flip the reel bale down.

Spin the reel handle counterclockwise to load the spool with line. When the line is within 1/8 of an inch of the rim of the spool, quit reeling.

Cut the fishing line 15 inches beyond the end of the fishing rod.

Use a Palomar knot (See Resources) to attach a lure to the end of the line.

Set the reel's drag, which, depending on the reel, is a knob at the top or bottom of the reel. Turn it counterclockwise to loosen it, clockwise to tighten it. The drag should be set so that it takes a firm tug before the it releases line.

Items you will need
  • Fishing rod
  • Spinning reel
  • Line
  • Scissors

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

  • spinning wheel image by Zbigniew Nowak from Fotolia.com