Spinning Reel Parts & What To Look For When Buying A Reel

It’s important to know how a spinning reel works and the parts of a spinning reel when you’re learning how to fish. Many spinning reels are called open-faced reels. These are the reels most commonly used by beginners. Their ease of use and lower tendency to tangle make them very popular among beginners.

Therefore, understanding how their system is essential for being able to identify quality products. In this guide, we have explained all the parts of a spinning reel in complete detail. Continue Reading.

Spinning Reel Parts


Parts of a Spinning Reel

On a spinning reel, there are visible external parts and invisible internal ones. However, both are equally crucial. And, having the knowledge and good understanding of these parts is very crucial in the whole fishing game.

The following parts are present in Spinning Reels:


Handles are a critical component of spinning reels. A spinning reel is mostly known for its handle, which is the part that everyone is most familiar with. Naturally, this is the area of the spinning reel that the user can control and manipulate the most. This is why it is essential.

In order to bring the line back in, the user rotates the handle once the bait has been consumed. A spinning reel must possess a smooth, comfortable handle that is easy to grasp.

In addition, the reel’s handle should not be too big or too small. It will give everyone a good grip no matter what their hand size is. The handle is also suitable for both left- and right-handed individuals. Users hold the handle of the spinning reel with their non-dominant hand. Therefore, it doesn’t matter whether you are left-handed or right-handed.


The reel’s focal point and central component bind all the features together. The body of the spinning reel is comprised of the foot, the support arm, and the gearbox. However, manufacturers may also include other elements depending on their design.

In general, most anglers prefer reels that are made of aluminum, graphite, or plastic. They are durable, long-lasting materials. But, in spite of the possibility of rust, metal oftentimes proves to be more reliable than plastic. And also, this reel is much less susceptible to warping, bending, or falling apart over time.

There are obvious differences in the shape, size, and composition of reel bodies. There are also a lot of variations within the spinning category.

The lures are also very easy to manipulate. Therefore, you’ll also see the colors and finishes of certain manufacturers on the body. Another factor is weight, which is highly influenced by the main material used to construct the body.


It is vital to consider this component. You will have a much better chance of catching fish if you give importance to this part of the reel.

Spools are the parts of reels that hold the line you cast to try and catch something. Spool design is extremely important. You might not be able to catch a fish if there are minor defects in its design.

Spools for spinning reels are generally of metal. Within the spool, the line is then woven around one axis. From there, the line is connected to other reel components to enable easy casting.

However, many people overlook the spool. Nevertheless, it is very vital. Your fishing abilities may be significantly limited if you purchase the wrong reel. So, before purchasing a spinning reel, you need to consider its length, size, and material.

Also Read: Spinning Reel Sizes – Choose The Best Size Reel For Your Purpose


Rod and reel are connected by the reel foot. For both reel components to remain stable during the quick action of casting, they should fit the reel body snugly. In order to fit the reel foot on the rod, it is rectangular in shape. And most often, the reel foot extends from the reel body.

It is usually made from the same material as the reel body, such as graphite or aluminum. In spite of the standards, there is often room for flexibility in the fit between reels and rod frames.

Novices should realize that the best test to ensure reels and rods match is to buy both items together and ensure that one fits with the other.

Rod seats are where the reel foot sits on the rod. This is easy to mark by metal fittings that hold the foot in place, or by a hollowing on the frame of the rod. The design of reel seats will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. So, this part of the rod is usually different.

Drag Adjustment Knob

The drag adjustment knob may technically be another spool component, but it is an important one for spinning reels as well. Drag adjustment knobs are normally present in the spool as a set of buttons. By pressing it, the friction of the line is increased or decreased.

Bass fishermen should pay close attention to the drag adjustment knob. Because reeling them in is quite difficult and they are often resistant.

Drag adjustment knobs affect spinning reels’ drag abilities directly. Depending on which type you choose, it may be better or worse. Most drag systems consist of metal washers lining the spool. Mastering this system can be a challenge. Particularly for those who are new to fishing.

Open-faced spinning reels are common. This enables you to watch the spool turn with the line. This makes the drag system more difficult to master.

Due to this, it is not easy to learn to use the rod and reel together in less time. But, it is incredibly easy for your fishing trips to succeed once you have the drag system under control.


The gears on spinning reels are usually not the first thing that an Angler thinks of while purchasing a Reel. They do, however, play a crucial role in improving the smoothness of the reel’s action. Gears are mostly of zinc or aluminum. Stainless steel is also present in them.

The manufacturer is often responsible for gear cuts. Some brands have been cutting their gears in the same way for ages. Though gear cut to shape and material is not extremely important when it comes to the performance of reels, it’s still better to consider these factors when trying to improve the overall performance of reels.

The gear ratio is also usually related to the gear itself. Anglers are keenly aware of this. Gear ratios for spinning reels typically range from 4:1 to 7:1.

Stronger gear mechanisms require thicker gears. This will allow the load to go over a larger surface area. Keeping that in mind is important when fighting fish whose weight can vary greatly. Many anglers prefer to target big bass and thin, narrow gears may not be powerful enough to bring them in.


In spinning reels, this component is essential to the drag system. A drag system will not reverse back when the anti-reverse is activating. Your fish will have a better chance of breaking free if they are able to fight against the line.

A spinning reel usually has an anti-reverse function that engages when needed. A switch is present to activate it. This allows users to turn it on whenever they need it.

Anti-reverses have the main goal of preventing the line from turning backward and releasing fish. In addition, they keep the line intact. The line is easy to tangle or break if you will force it backward. By preventing the line from moving backward, anti-reverse also makes sure your line is safe.

This also allows the user to use their line in a very flexible manner. For experienced anglers, this is crucial. As their techniques are refined over the years. Using this component will enable them to maintain that refinement.


Another important feature of spinning reels is the bail. This makes casting easier. This device helps in moving lines onto and off of the spool. Having the bail arm set down is crucial for preventing the line from freely running off the spool, thus reducing backlash. The bail is located anteriorly to the spool on the reel body. You can flip it up and down manually.

Nowadays, bail arms are of thin metal. The reel body is in a connection with the bail arm. Bail arms are easy to use on the reels which have good ergonomic designs. However, their resistance should be minimal. In addition, they should be strong enough to withstand repeated use.


The spinning reel’s seat is also a critical component. Your spinning reel cannot function without the seat. It acts as a link between the reel and the reel frame.

Seats on reels will mostly be rectangular. This makes it easier to attach the reel to the fishing rod. It is also typically a small addition to a reel. Moreover, its appearance will differ noticeably from other spinning reels.

This may seem like the most important part of the spinning reel to some people. Because it all depends on the rod seat and whether the reel will work with your rod.

Those who are new to fishing should purchase their rod and reel simultaneously. By doing this, you can ensure the components will work together before making your purchase.

A spinning reel’s seat varies according to the manufacturer, just as its body does. You will therefore see a variety of spinning reel seats.


Being the contact point of the line, the roller adds to the overall feeling of spinning reels. There is a tendency for anglers to want to avoid the friction caused by bad surfaces. This is especially true if you want to prevent the line from getting weak.

Line rollers allow the line to move freely without catching and sticking and are highly effective. Another benefit of a line roller is that it helps eliminate line twists.

Spinning Reel Parts Diagram

If you have never seen a spinning reel and want to have a quick look at its system then here is a simple spinning reel parts diagram.

Spinning Reel Parts Diagram

These are the basic components of a spinning reel that help to set it up correctly. Each of them is very important.


What are the internal parts of a spinning reel?

Ball Bearings, Gears, and Drag systems majorly form the internal parts of a spinning reel. However, some custom reels also have some other parts.

What is the lever on the back of the spinning reel for?

The lever is the anti-reverse switch. It is a feature that is easy to turn on and off depending on the situation.

What is the knob on side of the spinning reel?

It is the drag adjustment knob that is very important while catching big fish. As it is the one that helps in generating drag to handle the fish.

Final Words

This is all about the parts of a spinning reel. A spinning reel contains a lot of moving parts. However, they are essentially simple machines. They are mostly for holding lines. They are also easy to cast and retrieve.

Therefore, beginner anglers often choose them as their first choice. This is because they are easy to handle. However, it is their accuracy that they lack. Even so, many professionals still prefer them to other popular options.

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