How Much Line Should You put on a Spinning Reel?

For most anglers one of the most common challenges they go through is not knowing how much line they should put on a reel.

The reasons for not doing so vary from one angler to another. A majority of anglers however think that putting too much line will cause backlashes.

Others also put little line to save on money. Either way, one thing is clear; you need enough line on your spinning reel every time you go fishing.

Generally, your reel should always be full. If you are worried about backlashes when you are casting, adjusting the reels should help avoid them.

The rule of thumb when it comes to knowing how much line to put is to tighten it enough such that the lure drops slowly whenever you release the Thumb Bar.

When that is done, you can go ahead and adjust the brakes so that the spool doesn’t overrun. If you are new to baitcasting, your adjustments should be a little tighter.

Once you’ve gained the experience, you can afford to loosen them a little. You want to get as much accuracy as well as distance with very little effort.

Why Is It Important That You Get the Line Right?

When you are casting with too much line on the reel, it becomes difficult. Usually, to know how much line you need to put, you have to follow the specifications given by the manufacturer.

With a spinning reel, the manufacturer will have indicated the weight of the line by the line yards. This is one of the best ways of determining how much line goes on your spinning reel.

At the same time, the amount of line will depend on what you will be fishing. This way you will have a better idea of the line weight that will be sufficient enough to hold your catch.

A majority of spinning reels have three-line weight options with the line yards along. The manufacturer will have already tested the numbers so you need to follow them.

Failure to do so could lead to issues like the line coming off when you are fishing or annoying tangles.

Most fishing lines come with 150- or 300-yard spools although most lines are ideal for casting around 200 yards.

Consider the Line Capacity

One thing you can’t afford to overlook on a reel is the line capacity. The line capacity is important since it determines how much line you put on the fishing reel depending on the line weights.

For instance, if you have a compact line that can only hold a 6- or 10-pound test line and you put a 50-pound test line, you are definitely going to have problems.

For one, you will only have 50-yards of fishing line on the reel. If you end up catching fish that require a 30-pound test line, it will end up slipping away.

Still, on the issue of line capacity, one other thing you need to understand is that fishing lines come in different thicknesses.

A majority of manufacturers of spinning reels test them with monofilament fishing lines which are thin.

As such, if you have a spinning reel, thicker fishing lines will not hold well on the reel.

How Much Line Do You Need?

Spinning reels are the most common fishing reels and for good reason. Such reels usually have an open-face design that makes casting easy even for novice anglers.

The reel on the fishing rod will hang underneath the road to make the fishing experience as pleasant as possible.

Spinning reels also have line capacities to enable you to put more fishing line on the reel. There will also be an additional spool to ensure that the line flows freely when you are casting. As such, you can easily change the line when you are fishing.

Also referred to as eggbeaters due to the whipping action, spinning reels are the most versatile.

They are designed with a ball guide system that is used to hold the line so that it wraps onto the spool when you are retrieving the line.

When you flip the ball across, the line releases and falls freely off the spool. This makes spinning reels perfect for casting mainly because the spool does not spin like on other reels.

The only thing you need to do is to pinch the line to keep it as tight as possible on the spool before timing your release so that the line can fly.

By doing so, you can easily flick the bail back to engage the reel for retrieval. Spinning reels also feature an adjustable drag that allows for drift fishing especially when there is current.

This feature allows the fish to run with the bait before you engage the reel and strike. Spinning reels usually come in different sizes which are indicated by the manufacturer.

  • 1000 to 3500 reels are small and are designed for use on a 6 to 7-pound rod when fishing for small fish. The monofilament will have a line weight range of 8-14 pounds and an 8-25-pound braid.
  • 4000 to 5500 reels are medium-sized and are ideal for 6-7-pound snapper style rods. The monofilament weight on such reels will be in the range of 8-14-pounds and 8-25-pounds braid.
  • 6000 to 9500 reels are large and best suited for varying rod sizes that include even heavy-weight boat rods or surf fishing rods. They have a monofilament line weight of 6 to +15-pound and a 12-30-pound braid.

So how many yards of fishing line is enough to put on your spinning reel? Honestly, it all depends on the fish you are targeting and how far you want the line to go.

At the end of the day, if you are fishing for heavy fish varieties and in waters that have deep grass or even fallen trees, then you want a line that is heavy enough.

With that in mind, a 100-yard or even 150-yard of the fishing line would be sufficient if you put into consideration where you will be fishing and the fish you are targeting.

If you are fishing in open waters, for instance, you might want to allow the fish to run and tire out so adding a few more yards of fishing line will come in handy.


Knowing how much line you need to put on your spinning reel will help you avoid a lot of issues when you go fishing. Filling the spinning reel spool therefore is quite vital. If you end up under-filling it, you might lose casting distance due to friction on the spool lip.

At the same time, if you use too much, the line will flow off when you click the bail open. Ideally, you want to fill the spool to about 1/8 of an inch from the spool lip’s outer edge. This leaves room that is sufficient to retain the line but full enough to make it easy to launch even longer casts.