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How to Respool a Zebco Rhino

by James Clark

Zebco closed-face fishing reels are famous for their ease of use and durability. This makes Zebco reels a perennial favorite with beginning anglers who are learning to cast a line and retrieve it with a fish attached to the other end. The Rhino series is billed by Zebco as "indestructible," although the fishing line still must be replaced from time to time. Experienced anglers replace their fishing line at the start of the season. It only takes a few minutes to respool a Rhino and ensure that fish do not break off from an old fishing line.

Mount the reel on a rod to make it easier to handle while adding new line. The reel feet slip under the rod handle brackets, which tighten with a locking nut.

Press and lock the thumb button on the back of the reel to disengage the spool.

Unscrew the reel cover by turning counter-clockwise to expose the spool assembly and old line.

Peel off the old line and discard responsibly, not in the field where it can pose a hazard to wildlife.

Thread new line through the rod tip and the guides down to the Rhino reel.

Thread the line through the front of the reel cover toward the inside of the cover

Wrap the line under the serrated metal plate and around the spool three to four times, then tie it to the spool with a simple overhand knot

Reattach the reel cover by twisting clockwise onto the threading on the front of the reel.

Turn the reel handle clockwise about half a revolution to release the lock button on the back of the spool. The button will pop outward with a click, locking the new line in place for respooling.

Add line to the spool by turning the handle at a steady pace, approximately one full revolution per second. Attempting to add line too fast can cause tangles.

Cut the end of the new line with a knife or scissor when finished and tie a snap swivel to the line using a clinch knot, then clip the snap swivel to the rod tip. Instructions for tying a clinch knot are linked in the resources section.

Items you will need

  • Zebco Rhino reel and rod
  • New fishing line
  • Knife or scissor

About the Author

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.