How to Attach Fishing Line to a Reel

by Keith Dooley
Use the right knot for attaching line to your reel.

Use the right knot for attaching line to your reel.

Knots are a part of fishing. Whether you are spinning, casting or fly fishing you will need to use at least a basic few knots to effectively rig your fishing line. Knots are used to connect the line to the spool of your reel and a hook to your line. Connecting a fishing line to your reel, for example, requires a specialized but easy-to-tie knot. It is important that the right knot be used for the right situation because the knot is potentially the weakest part of your fishing rig.

1.

Open the bail of a spinning reel or feed the monofilament line through the line guide of a bait-casting reel. Both steps are necessary depending on which type of reel you are using.

2.

Wrap several inches of the monofilament line around the spool. There should be five to six inches of free end of the line extending past the spool.

3.

Form an overhand knot with the free end of the line so that the loop of the knot passes around the main line. Do not pull the knot tight at this point.

4.

Tie a second overhand knot below the first knot with only the free end of the line.

5.

Moisten the knot with water, hold the reel with one hand and the main line with the other. Pull the knot down tightly against the spool. Continue pulling until the second knot locks against the first knot. It is necessary for both knots to pull down tightly so the line remains stationary as the spool begins to wind the line.

6.

Close the bail of the spinning reel, if necessary, and grasp the line several inches in front of the reel. Apply tension to the line and begin to slowly turn the handle of the reel to spool the line.

Items you will need

  • Monofilament fishing line
  • Fishing reel
  • Scissors

About the Author

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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