How to Put Line on a Baitcaster

Mark Rose • January 31, 2023

What's up, MidwayUSA fans? I'm going to share with you guys right now a tip on putting line on a baitcast reel. I get asked a lot: "What kind of knot do I tie onto the spool? What kind of knot do I tie from my backing to my main line?" So I'm just going to go from scratch. This is a brand new Lews Custom Pro seven 7.5:1. I'm gonna put it on a Signature Series Lews rod, getting ready to use this for a lipless crankbait in Florida, so I'm taking this right out of the box for the first time. Now one thing I like to do, right when I get it out of the box, is I like to take the spool tension knob and I like to take it down to where it's just kind of snug and then back it off about a half a turn and then I like to take my drag and pull it down to where it's just, you know, nice and snug. Don't forget this for when you go out there first-time fishing because you'll need to readjust it.

I keep a spool, a big bulk spool of a monofilament that is totally different color line than my fluorocarbon line and I do that on purpose so I know when I always get down to my leader. Just get you a good spool of 14, 15, 20 pound test, something like that, in green or high-vis yellow, pink, blue, whatever.

I always like to take my reel and put it on a rod first. Then the first step is running your line through the first guide on the rod. That's to make sure you have good alignment going into your reel all the time. Take off just a little bit of line to work with, then put it right through the line guide and then I always take some pliers and you can kind of form it so it doesn't get out of out of place on you. Then just get it where it comes underneath the spool, then get it on top of the spool and that way you can get a knot tied. Make sure you get plenty of backing off so have plenty to work with, just tie two overhand knots, that's all you got to do. Cinch it down on the spool. Take your scissors, cut it down to where your tag is as close to the spool as you can.

You can use anything to attach your spool to to get it going, but I like to use the DD26 Spool Stix. Then all you need to do is start reeling. I'll give the reel a good 10 or 12 turns, I like to have a little less than half the reel full with the monofilament backing. Then, once you get it where you want it, just cut your line off there and take your spool off off the Spool Stix. Now, I'm rigging this up for a lipless crankbait, so I'm putting 15-pound Seaguar Tatsu on here. You might like InvisX, Red Label, whatever you like. Then, all you got to do is just tie again, overhand knot. Don't try to get real fancy with it. You can, but you'll never get down to this knot. Just one good overhand knot, get it good and tight and cut it kind of fairly tight down to that knot and that's all you got to do.

Get your slack, if any has pulled out of the reel, get it down to where it's nice and smooth. And then, whenever you got the Spool stix, it's nice and simple; you just reel it right up on there; you don't have to go chasing your line or anything. It's just nice and smooth. And I like to reel it up to the very top of my spool. It doesn't take but just less than a minute. Slow down once it gets up there near the top of the reel spool. Then all you got to do is cut it off, thread the rest of your guides. But don't forget; set your drag and set your magnetic brakes to where it's got a little tension on it, then you're ready to go fishing. Hope this helps you out. Good luck out there on the water.

--Mark Rose