How to Put a Line in a Closed-Faced Fishing Reel

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Close-faced fishing reels (commonly called “spincast” reels) are the easiest reels to use, making them perfect for beginners. The line is less likely to unravel and jam the reel, a common misfortune for inexperienced fishermen using baitcaster reels. Utilizing essentially the same casting system as spinning reels, the user need not deal with flipping a bail or practicing proper finger-release timing; all he has to do is push the button and the spincast reel does the rest.

Items you will need

  • Fishing line

  • Fishing rod

Step 1

String the line through the rod’s eyelets, starting from the tip downward to the reel. Be sure the line does not twist around the rod. Provide at least 2 feet of slack in the line once finished.

Step 2

Open the reel’s spool cover. A button opens the spool cover when depressed; the spool cover pivots on a hinge.

Step 3

Make a loop at the end of the line at least 3 inches across and tie a “fisherman’s knot,” making sure the loop remains about 3 inches across (a simple “slip knot” will suffice, but will not hold the line as well should a fish “spool” you, or run until you are out of line on the reel). Thread the loop through the center hole in the spool cover; insert the loop through the top (pointy side) of the cover.

Step 4

Slip the loop over the spool and tighten the knot.

Step 5

Replace the reel’s spool cover; make sure not to catch the slack line between the cover and the reel housing.

Step 6

Direct an assistant to hold onto the fishing line spool, standing about 5 feet away from the tip of the rod. He should mount the spool on a pencil, take up any slack in the line and apply light pressure to the sides of the spool with his thumbs so that the line has some tension.

Step 7

Reel in the line at a moderate, steady pace. Stop every 10 to 15 seconds and open the reel’s spool cover to inspect the amount of line on the spool. Spincast reels hold less line than other varieties; do not overload the reel. Stop when the line comes to about ¼ inch from the top of the spool.


  • Because the spools of spincast reels don’t hold much line, it’s important to land your fish quickly, which means proper setting of the drag. Unfortunately, most spincast reels have notoriously poor drag mechanisms. The user should upgrade to an open spinning reel as soon as possible.


  • Depending on what type of fish you wish to catch, you may select anything from 2- to 10-lb. test line for freshwater fishing (2- to 4-lb. test line is usually adequate; the lighter the line, the more that can fit on the reel’s spool).
  • Several varieties of spincast reels are available in fishing supply stores; some will thread differently, but all come with easy-to-follow instructions.
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