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Ultimate Guide To Spooling a Spinning Reel With Braid
Whether you just bought a brand new spinning reel or you just need to replace your old line and spool it with braided fishing line, this article will tell you all you need to know.
And don’t worry, you’re not the only person asking how to go about doing it. Putting braided line on a spinning reel is a little different than if you were to put mono on it. It’s not necessarily more difficult, it just requires a few more steps than you might be used to.
Other than having to make a few decisions before you begin, such as, should you spool your entire reel with braid or use a mono backing, it’s pretty much the same process as spooling it with mono.
In this article, I’m going to walk you through the entire process for spooling your spinning reel with braid. I’ll cover everything from the pros and cons of spooling the entire reel with braid, to the best color of braid to use. We’ll even give you a few recommendations on the brands that we like the best.
Before Spooling Your Reel With Braid
Before you actually begin the process of spooling your reel, there are a few things that you’ll need to decide on. We’ll cover each one here, followed by a video and detailed instructions on how to spool your reel with braided fishing line.
Before actually spooling your reel, you first need to decide on which braid to use. I have tried many different brands of braided fishing line throughout the years, but always seem to come back to Power Pro.
Out of all the braided lines that I’ve tried throughout the years, the Power Pro seems to hold up the best to the saltwater, which is where I do most of my fishing. I prefer the aqua green since it seems to match the color of the water the best.
One of the biggest ways that I determine the quality of the fishing line is how fast it loses its color. The Power Pro Super Slick 8 does not lose color at all. I’ve purposely left it on one of my fishing reels for over a year and it still looks the same as it did when I first put it on.
You can see more reviews and check out the price on the exact Power Pro that I use and recommend here on Amazon.com
My Recommended Braided Line
Should You Spool Your Entire Reel With Braid
If you are primarily targeting fish that are known to go on long runs, such as King Mackerel, I would definitely spool my entire reel with braid. However, if you are fishing for inshore species, such as snook, redfish, or even bass, I would use a mono backing.
The reason is that an inshore fish such as a snook is not likely to take all of your line, since their runs are short. However, King Mackerel is another story! The last thing you want is for a big fish to take enough line so that it reaches where you’ve connected the braid to mono.
If this were to happen, there is a very good chance that you’ll lose the fish, not to mention all that expensive braid that you just bought.
Another thing to consider is that it costs about double the money to spool your entire spinning reel with braid. This can get expensive, especially if you like to change the line on your reel several times a year.
Why You Should Use a Mono Backing
The biggest reason to use a mono backing when spooling your reel with braid is cost. As previously mentioned, it costs about double to spool your entire reel with braid instead of using a mono backing.
150 yards of Power Pro 20 lb braid (our favorite brand) is about $15 on Amazon. If you were to buy the 300-yard spool, which is what you would need to spool most medium size inshore spinning reels, you can expect to pay about $30 bucks.
That’s not too bad for one reel when you only change out the line once a year, but add another 2-3 reels and it can start to get a little expensive.
The price will go up even more if you like to change out the line more frequently.
What Pound Test Should You Use
I personally use 20 lb braid on most of my spinning reels, since I do most of my fishing inshore.
I find that this pound test gives me the casting distance that I need, while at the same time, provides me with the strength I need to haul in most fish.
If you’re in doubt as to which size braid you should use, I recommend that you go with the recommended line size listed on the side of your reel’s spool.
What’s The Best Color of Braid
I honestly don’t think that it really matters as to what color of braid you use. I’ve caught fish using low and high visibility colors of braid, such as green and yellow.
With that being said, if you’re not catching fish, it can be easy to blame the color of your fishing line. For this reason, I recommend that most fishermen use low visibility braid such as green.
It’s the color that I most often use and the color that I recommend if you fish bays, lakes, rivers, and estuaries. It matches perfectly with the nutrient-rich waters that flow through inshore waterways.
If you are more of an offshore fisherman, I recommend that you use a high visibility braid, such as yellow. It will stand out much better than green and will allow you to see your line at greater depths, which can be really important when trying to determine where your line is in the water.
How Often Should You Change Your Fishing Line
How often you change out your fishing line will depend on a few things including personal preference, how often you go fishing, whether or not you fish around lots of structure, and what type of fish you are fishing for and hopefully catching.
I personally like to change out my fishing line at least once every six months or so!
With that being said, if I notice a discoloration in my line or fraying, I’ll change it out as soon as possible. The last thing that I want to do is lose the fish of a lifetime due to my fishing line.
I know some fishermen who like to change their line out more frequent, but that can get a little expensive, especially if you’re using a good quality braid and are changing the line of a half-dozen fishing reels.
Step by Step Instructions for Spooling Your Spinning Reel With Braid
Step 1: Determine if Your Reel is Braid Ready
Most of today’s spinning reel come braid ready. This means that the spool is made in a way that the braid won’t slip when spooled. This is another reason why some fishermen opt for a mono backing.
If your reel is not “braid ready”, a simple trick for making it so, is to wrap a small piece of electrical tape around the bare spool. This will prevent the braid from slipping and allow you to spool your spinning reel entirely with braid.
Step 2: Determine How Much Braid Your Reel Will Hold
If you’re spooling your entire reel with braid, then you can skip to the next step.
For those of you using a mono backing, here’s where it can get tricky. In order to maximize the space on your spinning reels spool, you need to determine how much braid you can fit on it while using a mono backing.
While you can play the guessing game and go ahead and spool the reel with your mono backing and hope that you left enough room to put your braid on, I highly recommend that you don’t.
I tried this and ended up only leaving enough room for about 100 yards of the 150 yards of braid that I wanted to put on my reel.
I’ve found that the easiest way to get this right is to first spool the reel with all of the braid. Next, make a mark on the spool with a Sharpie, where the braid ends. This will show you exactly how much mono backing you need.
Once this is done, unspool the braid from your reel and put it back on the plastic spool it came on.
Step 3: Apply the Mono Backing
Now that you know where the mono backing should stop and the braid begins, it’s time to select the right size of mono.
Spool the reel with a mono that’s similar in diameter to the size of braid that you’ll be using. So, for a 20 lb braid, you’ll want to use a 6-8 lb test mono.
This is just for backing, so there is no need to spring for the expensive stuff. The cheap Walmart brand will work just fine.
Next, you’ll want to spool it to the line that you marked with your Sharpie.
Step 4: Connect The Braid to Your Mono
Finally, attach the braid to the mono backing with a knot and finish spooling your spinning reel.
I’ll leave the type of knot that you use up to you. However, I will say that I love the double uni-knot. It’s one of the strongest braid to leader knots that I’ve ever used. I even use it for tying my braid to my leader.
If you want more information on how to tie this knot, check out this video.
Learning how to put braid on a spinning reel is a pretty simple process, especially if you have a braid-ready reel and don’t plan on using a monofilament backing. Hopefully this guide has made the process of spooling your reel just a little bit easier.
If you still haven’t bought your braided line yet, consider using the braid that I use. I use this stuff in both freshwater and saltwater and it’s held up perfectly. I’m confident you’ll like it too.