How Much Line Do You Put On A Baitcaster?

The amount of line you should put on a fishing reel has been a pretty controversial topic over the years. Some people say you should fill it completely while others say you should only put half on. After doing the research, how much line should you put on a baitcasting reel?

The general consensus says to put enough line on your reel until there’s a 1/8 inch gap between the line and the top of the spool. You don’t want to fill it up completely because you’ll never really use all of it and you don’t want to fill it halfway because it didn’t seem to cast as well. Combine that with a high-quality line and that should give you the best results.

I’ve tried filling it halfway and I’ve tried filling it completely and found the sweet spot to be around 1/8 of an inch. For my reel, it was somewhere around 120 yards. I used a braided line for my main so if you’re using a fluorocarbon or monofilament line then it could be slightly different. Just go based off the 1/8 inch rule.

What Line Should You Use On Your Baitcaster?

You pretty much have three different choices when it comes to the fishing line:

  1. Fluorocarbon.
  2. Monofilament.
  3. Braided.

It’s mainly going to depend on what you’re going to be fishing for, but in my opinion, your main-line should be braided. I almost always have a leader on the end though and if you want your leader to float then you should use mono and if you want it to sink you should use fluoro. Braided line floats and that’s why I use fluoro as my leader line.

Braided line is tough, lasts longer, and is more sensitive. That’s why I use it. If you’re going to be fishing on top of the water then that’s where mono comes into play. If you need the line to sink a bit then go for fluoro.

Why You Should Put A Braided Line On Your Baitcaster

The main fishing line I use on my rods is always a braided line. It’s a bit more expensive but it lasts much longer. It doesn’t get tangled as easily and it’s not going to snap if you get your hook caught up in a tree on in the weeds (unless your knot-tying skills are subpar).

A lot of people don’t like the braided line because it was pretty junky when it first came out. It was almost like wire and was pretty hard to deal with. It’s come a long way though and I personally think it’s much better than anything else.

Here are the main reasons why I use a braided line:

  • It seems to cast smoother than anything else.
  • It doesn’t bird nest as easily.
  • It’s not going to break if you get snagged on something.
  • Fish can’t really bite through it.
  • It’s much more sensitive and will make your rod feel like a higher-end model.

Some people do use a straight braided line but I prefer to have it in the middle. I’ll use a normal fishing line as my backing and I’ll use a regular line as the leader. I’m not saying it’s the best setup but it’s what’s worked for me.

Do You Need To Put Backing On Your Baitcaster?

The backing is the line that goes directly on the spool that’s underneath your main fishing line. If you’ve ever used a fly fishing rod then you’ll know that regular line goes on first and then you attach your fly line to that. You can do the same thing with a baitcaster or pretty much any other reel.

I’ve tried putting braided line directly on the spool and it did work but I noticed it slipping a little bit. It seemed to work much better when I put a backing on. Just any ordinary line will do the job because you’re never going to be using it. Here’s a video on how to connect backing to your braided line:

Why put it on then?

I only put a couple of wraps on the spool so that it was covered. Then I attached my braided line to that and filled it up. Braided line is a bit slippery and it has a hard time digging into the metal spool (it digs into the fishing line much better). Now that you know what you need to do, let’s talk about how to actually do it.

How Do You Put Line On A Baitcaster?

The first thing you’ll want to do is put a little bit of oil on your bearings. Always be sure to keep your reel in good condition and that’s why you should always give it a clean every now and then. Then tighten up your drag and spool tension.

The next thing you’ll want to do is put on your backing. Simply use any old fishing line for this. Put the line through your lowest guide loop, stick it through the small hole on your reel (the one that moves side to side), put it above the metal bar (if you have one), and tie it on your spool (make sure the line goes on the spool the same way it was in the package). Hold the line tight and do a couple of wraps (just enough to cover the spool).

After that, you’ll want to tie your braided line to the backing. Make sure your line is fed through the bottom guide so it goes on straight, and then fill your spool until there’s a 1/8 inch gap (be sure to keep tension on the line as it goes on).

The final step is to attach your leader line to the braided line. Anywhere from 6-9 feet should do. I like to have it so the knot doesn’t quite go into my spool. I’ll have it so the knot is somewhere between the lowest guide and my reel when I’m ready to cast. This makes sure there’s no friction or nothing gets caught up when I’m making a cast. Here’s how to connect braided line to your leader:

That’s pretty much it. I’ll also attach a clip on the end of my leader so I can quickly change lures on the fly. This is what’s worked best for me and is a great setup if you’re going to be fishing for a wide range of things.

Happy fishing. There are plenty of fish in the sea.

Let me know your thoughts and any questions you have. Like this article? Feel free to give it a share!

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Jon Webber

I'm by no means an outdoors or fishing expert, but it's something I've been interested in for over 20 years. I created this site to test out different gear and techniques to see what actually works.

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