How To Use A Spinning Reel – Beginner Guide

Fishing is a timeless pastime that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. If you’re new to fishing and looking to learn the basics of using a spinning reel, you’ve come to the right place.

Spinning reels are a popular choice for beginner and experienced anglers alike, thanks to their ease of use, versatility, and affordability.

With the right equipment and techniques, anyone can learn how to use a spinning reel and catch a variety of fish species in both freshwater and saltwater environments.

In this beginner guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know to get started with spinning reel fishing, from choosing the right reel to casting techniques and more.

Let’s dive in and discover the world of spinning reel fishing together!

How To Use A Spinning Reel
Image: How to use a spinning reel perfectly.

Major Parts of Spinning Reels

  • Drug adjustments 
  • Line roller
  • Handle
  • Bail
  • Reversible handle
  • Line spool
  • Reel  foot

Drag Adjustments

The drag system is an essential component of any fishing kit. Comprised of metal and fabric washers that are integrated into the spool of a spinning reel, it helps to prevent the fishing line from breaking. Installed between a pair of plates within the reel, the drag system is particularly useful when reeling in larger fish that put a considerable strain on the line.

By allowing you to pull the reel under tension, the drag system reduces the extreme pressure on the line, rod, and angler, ensuring that both you and your prized catch remain safe throughout the fishing experience.

Line Roller

A line roller is an essential part of a spinning reel that plays a critical role in keeping the fishing line taut while reeling in your catch. This small but mighty component rolls along the fishing line as you reel in your catch, ensuring that the line stays straight and tight.

When fishing, having a taut fishing line is crucial to ensure that the hook is securely embedded in the fish’s mouth. Without a properly functioning line roller, the line can become slack, and fish can easily escape before you have a chance to land them.

The line roller is designed to reduce friction between the fishing line and the reel’s spool. During a fishing session, friction can cause the line to tangle and knot, making it difficult to reel in the fish. By keeping the line taut, the line roller helps prevent these problems, increasing your chances of catching a big one!

So, whether you are a seasoned angler or a beginner, understanding the importance of a line roller and ensuring that it is functioning correctly can make all the difference in having a successful fishing trip.


One of the most important parts of any fishing gear is the reel, which is responsible for holding and releasing the fishing line.

When it comes to spinning reels, the bail is a crucial component that often goes unnoticed. The bail is a small wire arm that rotates around the spool and holds the fishing line in place. Its primary function is to release the line smoothly when casting and then prevent the line from unraveling when reeling in a fish.

When you set the bail, you create resistance on the line, creating a friction that slows down the spool’s turning speed. This feature can come in handy when trying to reel in a big fish. A sudden pull can cause the line to break or get tangled, but with the bail set, you will have more control over the fishing line.

Moreover, setting the bail also gives you more reaction time when you feel a fish biting on the bait. By slowing down the forward motion of the bait on the spool, the bail reduces the risk of overrunning the fishing line and gives you more time to react to a sudden pull.

Setting the bail is a crucial part of fishing that every angler should master. With this small yet essential technique, you can increase your chances of catching more fish while also protecting your fishing line and gear.

Reversible Handle

When you’re looking to catch a big fish, it is essential to have a reel that can handle the power.

A spinning reel with a reversible handle is perfect for this purpose. This type of reel allows you to switch between left-handed and right-handed reeling without having to stop and change gears.

Line Spool

A spinning reel is an essential piece of fishing equipment that enables an angler to catch fish with ease. It works by spooling the fishing line onto a spool, which is essentially a circular device that holds the line.

To start fishing, it is important to have enough fishing line in the spool to prevent the line from running out before you get a bite. This is where the line spool comes into play. The line spool can hold different amounts of fishing line depending on the type of reel that you are using. For example, a small reel may hold less line compared to a larger reel that can hold more.

There are different types of spools available in the market, and each one has its unique characteristics. For instance, some spools are designed for use with braided line, while others work best with monofilament or fluorocarbon line. It is crucial to choose a spool that is compatible with the type of line you plan to use.

Moreover, the size of the spool is another factor to consider. A larger spool can hold more line, which can be useful for those who intend to cast long distances. On the other hand, a smaller spool is suitable for situations where accuracy is essential, such as fishing in small streams where there isn’t much room for casting.

The line spool is an essential feature of a spinning reel, and it plays a vital role in facilitating a successful fishing experience. One should carefully choose a spool that is optimal for their specific fishing needs, including the type of line, the amount of line, and other individual preferences.

Reel foot

Reel foot is a small piece of metal that attaches to the reel. It usually has a float in it, which keeps the line from tangling up when you’re not using your reel.

It’s a flat object with a hole in the center that holds your line. 

Moreover a clear spool has a transparent center. A clear spool is great for viewing your line when you’re not fishing.

White, a white spool has a white center. This is good to use if you plan on fishing at night, or in cloudy weather.

How To Use A Spinning Reel?

Spinning reel fishing is a great way to experience the thrill of landing a big fish. It can be challenging, but with the right gear and technique, you can land your dream catch.

Obviously now a basic question arises in your mind: how to use spinning reels? No problem. I will guide you step by step how to use it :

Loading the Reel

Load your reel with a line when you’re ready to start fishing. To do this, place the spool of line on the base of the reel and wind it in a clockwise direction.

Make sure you keep tension on the line while winding it so that it remains taut when installed on the reel. 

To release the line, grasp the spool and pull it out of the reel. As you’re rewinding the line, check the condition of your reel.

If it is no longer in good working order, replace it before fishing again. Check the line under a bright light to see if there are any broken or frayed strands.

Drag Setting 

At this time once you’ve placed the line and spool the line, it’s important to change the drag setting as per your need.

You can make it too hard or too soft, but I suggest keeping the drag to the average range. 

A button on front of the spool allows for drag manipulation. Turning to the right will tighten it while rotating to the left will loosen up the drag.

I usually set my drag so that the line is about 1/4 inch from the bottom of the spool.

I will also set a weight to keep it on your rod’s right level. Spinning this way, you can make your line turn very fast and be able to catch fish with precision.

This is the first time I’ve used a reel like this and I was surprised at how well it worked. It’s easy to set up, but takes some practice to master.

Bail Functioning

The bail on a spinning reel is an important design feature that allows the fisherman to easily remove the bait from the reel.

Bails come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but all function the same way- by attaching to the spool using a hinge and allowing the fisherman to lift it off of the reel.

Many fishermen prefer a bail with a small hole that is surrounded by teeth, which makes it easier to remove bait from the reel.

This is a popular bail design, but it is also the most complicated and difficult to use.

If you are not familiar with a bail, we recommend using a small circle bail that simply lifts out of the way when you want to remove bait from your reel.

Usage of Anti-Reverse Button

The Anti-Reverse Button (AB) on the handle of the reel can be used to prevent the reel from spinning in reverse. It can be manually locked and unlocked.

Basically, it helps to use the spinning reels freely. The AB button can also be used to help you control the line when fighting a fish.

When reeling in, the line can be pulled out of the water and then reeled back in slowly. 

You can use this anti-reverse button to move the handle only in an anti-clockwise direction if you are skilled in fishing; otherwise, I suggest you use the normal usage in which the anti-reverse button is locked.

Benefits of Using a Spinning Reel:

  • Drag can be easily adjustable when fighting with fish.
  • suitable for lightweight lures and tackle
  • Not get easily tangled

Things to Remember


Are spinning reels easy to use?

Yes, once you understand how to use the reel properly. First, set the handle so that it is straight up and down.
Then, lift the bail arm off of the spool by pulling on it until it comes loose from the reel.

Are spinning reels easy to handle when casting?

Yes, the large bail arm keeps your hand from getting in the way of your cast. It also makes it easier to put a lot of pressure on the line with your thumb, keeping the bait on the hook for longer periods of time.

In conclusion, spinning reels is the most important equipment for fishing, it plays a major role in fishing. It helps you to do the fishing easily and quickly.

All you need to choose is a spinning reel that has good speed, amount of drag, handling qualities, and also some other features like a good casting ability.

Through this article, I tried to share with you the effective use of a spinning reel. Hope you understand how to use a spinning reel, for the perfect catch.