Close this search box.
Close this search box.
Home » Blog » How to Use a Spinning Reel?

How to Use a Spinning Reel?

To learn how to use a spinning reel, you first need to understand what a spinning reel is and how it works. Let’s explain it below.

What is Spinning Reel

A spinning reel, also known as an open-faced reel, is a type of fishing reel commonly used by anglers. It is designed to be mounted on the underside of a fishing rod and is widely recognized for its user-friendly design and versatility. The spinning reel is particularly popular among beginners and experienced anglers alike due to its ease of use and suitability for various fishing techniques and environments.

Key Features of a Spinning Reel

Orientation: A spinning reel is mounted below the fishing rod, allowing the line to flow off the front of the spool during casting.

Bail System: The reel features a bail, which is a wire arm that can be opened and closed. The bail guides the fishing line onto the spool during retrieval and releases the line for casting when open.

Drag System: The drag system allows anglers to adjust the amount of resistance the fish feels when pulling the line. This feature is crucial for preventing line breaks during intense fights with powerful fish.

Spool Configuration: The spool on a spinning reel is stationary during casting, and the line is released from the spool without resistance. This design reduces the chances of backlash, which can occur with other reel types.

Line Capacity: Spinning reels can typically hold more line than baitcasting reels, making them suitable for various fishing scenarios, from freshwater to saltwater.

Versatility: Spinning reels can be used with a wide range of fishing techniques, including casting, jigging, trolling, and more.

Ease of Use: Spinning reels are often recommended for beginners due to their straightforward design and reduced likelihood of tangling.

How a Spinning Reel Works

The bail is opened to release the fishing line.
The angler performs a casting motion, releasing the line as the bait or lure moves towards the target.
When the bait lands in the water, the bail is closed.
The angler retrieves the line by turning the reel handle, winding the line back onto the spool.
The drag system can be adjusted during the fight with a fish to control the amount of resistance.
Spinning reels come in various sizes, with larger sizes suitable for heavier lines and bigger fish, while smaller sizes are great for lighter lines and smaller species. They are available at different price points, offering options for anglers of all skill levels and budgets.

The spinning reel’s user-friendly nature, combined with its adaptability to different fishing styles, makes it a versatile tool for both beginners and experienced anglers in various fishing environments.

How to Use a Spinning Reel for Beginners

Fishing is a popular outdoor activity that provides relaxation and an opportunity to connect with nature. If you’re a beginner, one of the most versatile and user-friendly types of fishing reels to start with is the spinning reel. Designed for ease of use, a spinning reel is suitable for various fishing situations and can be quickly mastered with a bit of practice. In this guide, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of using a spinning reel as a beginner.

Understanding the Spinning Reel:

Before you begin, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the components of a spinning reel:

  1. Handle: The part you turn to retrieve the fishing line.
  2. Spool: The cylindrical component where the fishing line is stored.
  3. Bail: The wire-like arm that flips open and closed to release or hold the fishing line.
  4. Drag Knob: The adjustment that controls the tension on the fishing line.
  5. Reel Body: The main housing of the reel, which contains the internal gears and mechanisms.
  6. Anti-Reverse Switch: A switch that prevents the handle from turning backward.

Setting Up the Spinning Reel:

  1. Select the Right Fishing Line: Choose a fishing line that matches the type of fishing you plan to do. Monofilament or braided lines are commonly used for spinning reels.
  2. Choose the Right Lure or Bait: Attach the appropriate lure or bait to your fishing line, depending on the type of fish you’re targeting.

Casting with a Spinning Reel:

  1. Open the Bail: Flip the bail open by lifting it with your non-dominant hand. This releases the fishing line.
  2. Hold the Rod: Hold the fishing rod with your dominant hand on the handle and your non-dominant hand on the rod’s grip.
  3. Hold the Line: Use your index finger to lightly hold the fishing line against the fishing rod, just above the reel.
  4. Prepare to Cast: Point the rod tip towards your target and bring it behind you. Keep the rod at a slight angle.
  5. Cast: As you move the rod forward, release the fishing line from your finger. The momentum will carry the lure or bait to your target area.

Reeling In:

  1. Engage the Bail: After casting, flip the bail back down with your non-dominant hand. This locks the fishing line in place.
  2. Turn the Handle: Use your dominant hand to turn the handle clockwise to retrieve the fishing line.

Using the Drag System:

  1. Locate the Drag Knob: The drag knob is usually located on the front or back of the spinning reel.
  2. Adjust the Drag: Turn the drag knob clockwise to increase tension and counteract the fish’s pull. Adjust it according to the size and strength of the fish you’re targeting.

Setting the Hook:

  1. Feel for Bites: Watch for any signs of a fish biting, such as the line moving or tension on the line.
  2. Set the Hook: When you feel a bite, swiftly jerk the rod tip upwards to set the hook in the fish’s mouth.

Landing the Fish:

  1. Play the Fish: Allow the fish to tire itself out by gently reeling it in while giving it some line when it pulls.
  2. Use a Net: Once the fish is closer to the shore or boat, use a fishing net to scoop it out of the water.

Releasing the Fish:

  1. Handle with Care: If you plan to release the fish, make sure to handle it gently and keep it in the water as much as possible.
  2. Remove the Hook: Use pliers or a hook remover tool to safely remove the hook from the fish’s mouth.

Fishing with a spinning reel can be a rewarding experience for beginners. Remember that practice makes perfect, and each fishing outing is an opportunity to learn and improve your skills. As you become more comfortable with your spinning reel, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of fishing techniques and strategies that will enhance your overall fishing experience.

How to Care for Spinning Reel

Caring for your spinning reel is key to ensuring its long-term performance and life. Here are some suggestions for caring for your spinning reel:

Cleaning the cord reel: Try to clean the cord reel thoroughly every time after use. Using mild salt water or mild soapy water, gently wipe down the exterior surfaces of the cord reel, reel, reel rod and drag system. Make sure to remove dirt, salt, sand, etc.

Protection from water: Avoid immersing the cord reel in water. Even with water-resistant reels, prolonged immersion in water may cause damage to internal parts.

Drag system maintenance: Check and maintain the drag system regularly. Depending on the frequency of use and the size of your catch, adjust the drag knob to ensure it releases the line properly when needed and provides the proper amount of resistance when stressed.

Lubrication: Lubricate the rollers, reels, bearings and other friction surfaces with an appropriate fishing reel oil or grease. But don’t over-apply, lest the oil get in where it shouldn’t.

Storage: When the cord reel is not in use for an extended period, it is best stored in a dry, cool place. Unhook the drag system to reduce stress on the wire pulley.

Avoid excessive force: When using the cord reel, avoid excessive force to rotate the cord reel lever. Use proper force so as not to damage internal parts.

Inspect parts: Periodically inspect the various parts of your cord reel to make sure they are in proper working order. Pay special attention to the wire reels, wire bearings, drag system and handle.

Periodic Maintenance: Regularly perform more in-depth maintenance such as lubricating internal parts, replacing worn parts, etc. If you’re not sure how to perform maintenance, consult your reel’s owner’s manual or ask a professional fishing equipment store for advice.

Keep dry: Try to avoid exposing the cord reel to moisture, as moisture may cause parts to rust.

Normal use: When using the cord reel, follow proper usage. Avoid unnecessary shocks, drops or excessive force.

Caring for your reel ensures its performance and longevity, making your fishing experience more enjoyable and lasting. Remember that different cord reel brands and models may have different maintenance requirements, and it is best to follow your cord reel’s owner’s manual.

How to Deal with The Fried Line

Here are some things to do when a spinning reel has a line blow (line flying out or wrapping around the reel):

Stay calm: First, stay calm and don’t pull hard on the reel or line.

STOP OPERATION: Stop operation immediately and do not make any further attempts to cast or retrieve the line.

Drag On: Turns on the drag system (drag knob) to ease tension in the line. This will reduce the chance of the thread breaking when frying it.

Check the reel: Check the reel and reel holder to make sure there is no external interference or objects stuck.

Untangle: If the line is wrapped around the reel, gently untwist the line making sure the line is not overly tangled.

Check the wiring: Check the wiring for tangles or knots. If there is a knot, try to untie it gently.

Loosening the Thread: If the thread becomes tangled on the rod, loosen the thread from the rod and gently untangle the tangle.

Rewinding: When the line has been unwound and cleared of tangles, rewind the line onto the reel to make sure the line is neat and smooth.

Double-check: Double-check the cord reel and wiring to make sure everything is in working order. If the wire pulley is worn or otherwise damaged, it may require repair or replacement parts.

Re-casting: If everything is back to normal, the line can be re-cast and normal fishing operations resumed.

Fried line is a common problem during fishing, but the right way to deal with it can help you solve the problem quickly and continue to enjoy fishing. If you’re regularly experiencing fried cords, consider checking your lines, reels, and reels for maintenance or replacement.


Q1: What is a spinning reel used for?

A1: A spinning reel is used to cast and retrieve fishing line. It’s commonly used for various fishing techniques, including casting lures, bait fishing, and finesse fishing.

Q2: How do I cast with a spinning reel?

A2: To cast with a spinning reel:

Open the bail (wire arm) to release the line.
Hold the line against the rod with your index finger.
Swing the rod backward and then forward, releasing the line during the forward motion.
Close the bail to lock the line in place.
Retrieve the line by turning the reel handle.
Q3: How do I adjust the drag on a spinning reel?

A3: The drag system controls the resistance of the line when a fish pulls. To adjust the drag:

Locate the drag knob near the reel handle.
Turn it clockwise to increase resistance or counterclockwise to decrease it.
Adjust the drag to match the size of the fish you’re targeting.
Q4: How do I prevent line tangles?

A4: To prevent line tangles:

Make sure your line is spooled evenly on the reel.
Avoid overfilling the spool, which can cause line tangling.
Close the bail gently after casting to prevent line backlash.
Q5: Can I use a spinning reel in saltwater?

A5: Yes, many spinning reels are suitable for saltwater fishing. However, make sure the reel is designed for saltwater use to prevent corrosion. Rinse the reel with freshwater after saltwater use.

Q6: How do I change the fishing line on a spinning reel?

A6: To change the fishing line:

Remove the old line by unwinding it from the reel.
Tie the new line to the reel’s spool using an appropriate knot.
Wind the new line onto the spool, ensuring it’s evenly distributed.
Q7: How do I maintain a spinning reel?

A7: Regular maintenance includes cleaning, lubrication, and checking for wear. Clean the reel after each use, lubricate moving parts with reel oil, and inspect for any damage or issues.

Q8: Can I cast heavy lures with a spinning reel?

A8: Yes, spinning reels can handle a variety of lure weights. However, larger spinning reels are better suited for heavier lures and lines.

Q9: How do I handle fish with a spinning reel?

A9: When you hook a fish:

Keep the rod tip up to maintain tension on the line.
Let the drag system control the fish’s pulls.
Use the rod’s flexibility to absorb the fish’s movements.
Gently guide the fish toward you or your landing net.
Remember, practice is key to mastering the use of a spinning reel. Over time, you’ll become more comfortable and skilled in handling different fishing situations. If you have more questions, feel free to seek advice from experienced anglers or fishing equipment experts.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact Us