Why Use A Fishing Line Spooler?

Hey there my fellow fishers. Today we are going to discuss one area that I have often had issues with which is spooling a new reel. For me, this was always a daunting task that has caused me to end up with a number of problems such as slipping and tangled lines.

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Luckily for me, fishing is an area where there are specific tools and gadgets designed to make the experience easier – and one of those is the fishing line spooler. So why use a fishing line spooler? Let’s take a closer look.

What is a fishing line spooler?

A fishing line spooler is an accessory used to quickly and easily wind new fishing line onto your reel. They are designed to keep the line tight whilst spooling leading to less tangle and line slippage once the big ones bite. With a line spooler, all you do is crank the handle to wrap the line around the spindle – much faster and easier than doing it by hand!

In general, there are two types of fishing line spooler:

  • One that has a spinning ‘gimbal’ attached to a bent fishing rod that allows for the reel to be attached when the line is spooled.
  • One that had the gimbal attached to a clip that can be attached to a table, suction pad or even a fishing rod.
fishing line spooler - spooler

The Gimbal

Regardless of the type above, the main advantage of a fishing line spooler – or winder – is found in the gimbal. This is effectively a spinning clip that holds the line tight whilst it is wound onto the reel.

These are generally designed to both run straight for a baitcaster or turn to match a spinning reel. Gimbal tension can be adjusted by dials and the clips adjusted to match all line holder widths.

Why use a fishing line spooler?

As mentioned above, the biggest issues that many fishers suffer is twisted or loose lines on their reels. This causes tangles and reduces casting ability. Another issue is uneven spooling where most of the line is wound onto half of the reel (our finger placement usually causes this) again making casting unsmooth and leading to birds nests.

And now for the obvious answer, a fishing line spooler should solve this problem by keeping the line tight and even as it is spooled onto the reel.

How to use a line spooler

Below we will run through the steps required to use a line spooler. First however we just need to revisit some of the rules that apply to line selection regardless of how you plan to wind it onto the reel.

Reel size

The main thing we need to consider is the size of the line that we select to spool onto the reel. In short, the size of the line must match the specs of the reel and the simplest way to work this all out is via the first number on it. You see a spinning fishing reel may be rated as a ’20’ or a ‘2000’. If this is the case, the ‘2’ is the common denominator and what you match the line to (this is not an exact science but it works for me).

So, then all you need to do is match the line kilogram/pound strength to the spool. To make this easier, I have whipped up a little table below (I have not included all sizes here but you can see that generally, the lower suggested mono line weight matches the first number of the reel size – braid is generally higher):

Reel SizeSuggested MonoSuggested BraidSuggested Rod Length*
10 or 10001- 2 kg/2 – 4 lb4 – 8 lb6-7 ft (line rating 1-4kg)
20 or 20002- 3 kg/4 – 6 lb5 – 10 lb6-7 ft (line rating 2-5kg)
25 or 25002.5- 4 kg/5 – 8 lb5 – 12 lb6-7 ft (line rating 2-5kg)
40 or 40004- 6 kg/8 – 12 lb8 – 12 lb8-10 ft (line rating 3-10kg)
60 or 60006- 8 kg/12 – 16 lb12 – 30 lb8-10 ft (line rating 4-10kg)

Baitcasters work in a slightly different manner in that the manufacturer will generally specify them as capable of loading “150 yards at 15lbs mono capacity – or 15/150” for example (slightly longer for braid). Some manufacturers will also stipulate maximum and minimum line weight limits as well.

Again, whether you are using braid or mono, just make sure that it matches the reel size or specifications.

Line backing

Unless specifically stated, if you are planning to load braided line onto your reel you will need a mono backing first. A mono backing is where you spool a ‘few turns’ of mono onto the reel first to provide a good base before attaching and loading the braid.

This process stops the braid from ‘biting’ into the reel and itself causing line twists, uneven spooling and loose line spinning.

fishing line spooler - reels and line

Loading the line

The last step then is to load the reel using your newly purchased reel spooler. To do so, complete the following steps:

  1. Attach the line roller to the gimbal and tighten the clamps into place
  2. Attach the reel to the spooler (or hold in your hand if not the rod option)
  3. Open the bail and tie the line to the reel – Arbor knots work best here.
  4. Close the bail and crank the reel slowly, about 20 times – keep line tight if not attached to the rod version.
  5. If you are using a backing, remove the mono line and repeat steps 1 to 4 above with your braid.
  6. Check that the line is even and then continue to apply light pressure while you’re loading the line.
  7. Fill the spool until it is around 1⁄8 inch away from the edge.
  8. Cut the line close to the supply spool, while leaving a small amount of excess line.

The line should now be loaded tightly and evenly onto the reel and ready for use.


As there is it, hopefully a clear explanation of the processes behind using a fishing line spooler to load line onto a reel and as always, please let me know of your experiences below.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time

Have fun


Why Use A Fishing Line Spooler
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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.