How To Prevent Spinning Reel Problems

Since spinning reels are ideal for long casts with smaller lures and with today’s finesse methods, more fishermen are switching to them.

However, spinning reels sometimes have issues with loops and line twists, and since we’ve gotten several requests from people asking for assistance in this area, we’ll use this article to provide some tried-and-true solutions to reduce spinning reel issues, so that fishing will be more pleasurable.

What is the main cause of spinning reel line problems ?

The majority of spinning reel issues arise from extended casts with light baits, which causes the line to bow rather than straighten out at the end of the cast.

Photo of spinning reel with fishing line
The majority of spinning reel problems are caused by line issues

And because of this, once you begin reeling in line, a loop forms on the spool and the line is not drawn taut below the level of the spool. You will ultimately need to respool the reel or stop using this rod if you fail to notice this loop before making your next throw.

The first thing got do is manually shut the bail rather than reeling it in to prevent a loop from occurring. Once the line is tight against the spool, pull on it to prevent a loop from developing. Only then should you begin reeling.

By manually closing the bail, you may be able to avoid reeling the loop into the spool and are reminded to pull on the line since your hand is still in place.

If you just continue casting without addressing the loop, this is the worst thing you can do. We’ve discovered the easiest technique to stop more twisting or other issues is to remove the spool and pull line off from the rear until the loop emerges.

How to prevent spinning reel problems by minimizing line twist 

Another factor that contributes to loops is line twist. Utilizing in-line spinners, certain soft plastic baits, or a spinning misaligned bait may cause line twist. Line twist will be eliminated by using a swivel and correct rigging, which will prevent any looping.

Photo of spinning reel mounted on a fishing rod
If you treat your spinning reel correctly, it will serve you well when you need it most

While fishing, line twist can be avoided by taking your bait or lure out of the water and carefully pulling your line through the water without anything attached to the end of it. This will straighten your line as you reel it back in. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but it works.

Prevent spinning reel problems with correct spooling 

Incorrect spooling on fresh line may also cause line twisting. When spooling on fresh line, place spool level on table, retain pressure on line, and after roughly six handle rotations, check for line twist.

Normally, this twist will wrap around the end of the rod. If this happens, pause, switch to the fresh spool, and then keep going while checking again. Just keep in mind that it’s crucial to check for twist early to ensure proper spooling.

Other tips for spooling line include using proper line weights and avoiding overfilling the spool, which will result in looping.

This means that if your reel is rated for 4 to 8 pound test line, do not spool on 10 or 12 pound line since coiling will result. If you want to use stronger line, you may want to purchase a bigger reel.

Use monofilament backing to prevent spinning reel line slippage 

Spool some monofilament on the spool first when using braided main line, or the braid will slip around on the spool so that you can’t set the hook or set the drag.

Keep in mind that stiff line will loop more, so select a line that says it is limp and castable within the pound-test guidelines on the reel. 

Also, in order to avoid line twist, check and adjust the drag often, and stop reeling while battling a fish as the drag is dissipating. To fight the fish, place your hand on the spool or, if necessary, tighten the drag.

Prevent spinning reel problems by cleaning it regularly

Finally, make sure that you lightly oil your reels and keep them clean at least once every fishing season.

The new generation of spinning reels have a highly user-friendly design that considerably reduces twisting and looping issues. If you use these suggestions, you’ll spend considerably less time dealing with spinning reel problems.

What to do if your spinning reel is locked up

If your spinning reel is locked up, there can be several underlying causes, some of which are easy to fix, while others are much harder to take care of (and may require professional help).

The best thing to do is to open up the reel by removing the sideplate, and check if the gears are out of alignment, or if there is corrosion or any broken parts.

In some cases, corrosion of the bearings is the problem, or sand jamming the bearings and preventing rotation. The best way to fix this is to remove any parts that can be taken out, and then to degrease and clean them.

After cleaning them, put the parts back and lightly grease them with a good reel oil. If you don’t want to do this yourself, most spinning reel manufacturers have a service allowing you to send in your reel, and they will check it and clean it for you.

What to do if your spinning reel bail won’t close

The most common reason for a spinning reel bail that doesn’t close or stay open is usually a bent bail arm. You can fix this by bending the arm back into the correct shape, for which you need to remove it from the reel.

If the cause is not a bent bail arm, it’s probably a disconnected or broken spring inside the attachment of the bail arm. Unscrew the bail arm and look for the spring that helps to put tension on it. If it is disconnected, try to reconnect it, but if it’s broken, you’ll have to replace it with a new one.

Once again, this is something you can get the spinning reel manufacturer to do for you, and some tackle shops also offer spinning reel repair as a service.

Visit our homepage at Larry’s Fishing Hole to get more up-to-date fishing reports, angling advice, as well as information on current events in the local world of sport fishing.