How to Repair a Spin-casting Reel

by Keith Dooley

Spin-casting reels feature a closed face design that helps to minimize casting issues such as backlash. For many anglers, the spin-casting reel is what is initially used to learn basic fishing skills. Although the reels are basic in design and built to be durable, there are times when operating problems arise. Basic repairs will correct many problems encountered with a spin-casting reel from normal operation.

Line Replacement

  1. Open the front cover on the reel to examine the line. Turn the cover slightly to the left and pull it straight off the reel. Look for tangles, twists or short line length to determine the cause of casting problems.

  2. Cut old line from the spool on the reel with a pair of scissors. Pull the line through the hole in the front cover and dispose of it properly.

  3. Feed the free end of a replacement monofilament fishing line through the hole in the cover. Wrap the line around the spool and secure it with an arbor knot. Tie the knot by forming an overhand knot in the free end of the line so the loop passes around the main line. Tie a second overhand knot in the free end of the line below the first knot and pull it tight against the spool.

  4. Place the cover on the spool, apply tension to the line in front of the spool and turn the handle to spool line onto the reel.


  1. Remove the cover from the front of the reel. Apply a drop of oil to the line pickup pin and one or two drops of oil to the spool mechanism. Replace the cover on the reel.

  2. Apply a drop of oil to the base of the reel handle and the connection point between the grip and handle.

  3. Remove the cover from the reel to access the internal gears. Apply a few drops of oil to gear contact points, pivot points and other areas where parts make contact. Do not overlubricate the internal parts. Instead, use only a drop of oil when necessary.

Items you will need

  • Scissors
  • Monofilament fishing line
  • Reel oil

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.