First, decide what test line you want to use. This is determined by what size rod and reel you have. Generally, the bigger the rod and reel, the heavier line you can use.

There are basically two types of reels, open-faced and closed-faced. Open-faced reels include the spinning reel and the bait casting reel. Closed-faced reels are also called spin cast reels. The only difference in the method of installing line on these reels is that on the spin cast reel, you have to take the cover off and on a spinning reel you have to pay close attention to how you feed the line through the spool so that when you cast, you don’t get the line tangled.

Put a slip knot around the spool and use the handle on the reel to wind the line onto the spool, making sure you feed the line through the slot on the reel. Fill it until you get a good amount on the reel, but not so much that it will get bogged down when you cast it—usually an average size reel will hold about 50 ft. of line. If you buy a 100 ft. roll of fishing line, you can judge when you use up about half of it.

Once you have the line on the spool, cut it from the roll and feed the end through the eyes on the rod. Leave about 3 or 4 ft. at the end to attach a lead to. A lead has eye hooks on it for the hook and weight. If you are saltwater fishing, the hook goes on the top and the weight goes below it to allow you to feel the fish biting when you are fishing in the surf’s current. If you are fresh water fishing, the hook will go on the bottom, and the weight at the top. This allows the worm or minnow to swim and draw fish to it, while the weight holds the line and hook in place.


About rods and reels (n.d.) Retrieved October 5, 2009 from

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Written by Ripley Hunter

Ripley Hunter enjoys a wide variety of outdoor activities and adventure sports. From kayaking to rock climbing, Hunter’s real love lies in fishing, whether on the water or ice. Among his great adventures is deep sea fishing in New Zealand. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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