Common Spinning Reel Problems (And How To Fix Them)

We all have exciting hobbies that keep us occupied during our free time. These hobbies are not only for keeping us busy, but they are also ways to distract us from our daily routine. In this article, we are going to discuss a particular hobby in specific. Fishing! If you are a fishing enthusiast, you would have come across many spinning reel problems and other fishing-related problems. This is where we come in to save you. In this article, we will solve all your fishing-related issues and improve your experience.

Common Spinning Reel Problems


Fishing Reel Repair:

It is very common for your fishing reel to get a little rough now and then as they are exposed to different types of water and sand. The sand often gets collected in your reel or slightly damages it. Apart from that, there are several other reasons such as the spool becoming worn out and so on. However, it is not impossible to fix these small problems.

The first step is to identify the problem, and you can easily do it according to the type of reel you have.

  • If you have a fly fishing reel that is not working properly, just replace the spool that is broken, and you will be all set.
  • If an open-face spinning reel’s bail breaks, then you will have to replace the parts with new ones.
  • If a bait-casting reel is not working, then you will have to replace the springs and the drag washers to have a functioning reel.

Some of the common tools you need for replacing or repairing fishing reels are lubricants, pliers, wrenches, and screwdrivers. These are readily available tools that will aid in repairing the tools.

To repair an open-face spinning reel, you have to unscrew the nuts and the bail that holds the spool down. After that, remove the locknut that secures the bail arm and then remove the bail spool. Once you have done that, you can look at the parts and replace or fix the damaged parts accordingly. Mostly, you would find that the spring is damaged. If it is manageable, you can just slightly fix and put the reel back together, but if it is fully damaged, you might have to buy a new spring and replace it.

To replace other parts like the drag washers and springs on a bait-casting reel, you have to start with the common step of unscrewing. You have to unscrew the nuts and remove the handle. You will have to be careful during this step, as you do not want to loosen the drag washer as you try to loosen the handle. Once you are done with that, remove the plate screws, plates, bridge screws bridge, main gear, spring, ratchet, and spool. Clean the reel and the other parts thoroughly and change the worn-out parts and rebuild the reel again.

To replace the spool in a fly fishing reel is very simple and involves only three steps. You have to remove the axle cover and the V-spring in the old spool and replace it with a new V-spring against the catch. Make sure to align the spool screw holes, cover, and tighten the axle catcher.

My Spinning Reel Is Hard To Turn!

We are sure this is a constant trouble every season. It is so disappointing to catch something big, but your reel is stuck, and you don’t know how to make it more smooth. To overcome this, you just have to follow some steps and tricks to maintain your reel well. As already mentioned before, the difference in the salt content of the water you fish in would significantly influence how easily the reel would spin.

If there is a high level of salt built up in the main parts of the reel, it will stop it from working smoothly. To avoid this, you will have to dismantle your reel and fully clean all its parts regularly. However, if you are not so nifty and feel like you will not be able to reassemble, then just visit your local tackle shop and tell them your concerns and get it cleaned professionally.

Another way to help to get a smoother spin in your reel is to use lubricants and loosen the parts a little. This will oil the parts well and make sure that it is smooth. However, this will also only work best when your reel is clean and has no built-up.

Do note that you should only grease the parts that need it, and if you randomly add the lubricant all over the reel, you may damage the parts.

After you are done cleaning thoroughly once, make sure to wash it down every time you use it lightly. With the help of a light spray, you can remove any dirt or build-up that was collected during fishing. This way, your reel will be well maintained and will not require regular cleaning at the tackle shop.

Also Read: How to Clean a Spinning Reel for Better Performance?

Noisy Spinning Reel Troubleshooting

It is surely a mood killer when you are trying to have a quiet time and just fish, but your reel makes this high-pitched annoying noise every time you try to reel in. As soon as you hear this noise, you might think it is because of a damaged bearing. However, that is not the case, as a damaged bearing would make it really difficult for you to reel in, and it would be a clicking sound rather than a squeak.

You get that high pitch, squeaky noisy it probably has something to do with the plastic parts that are inside the reels; that is, your reel’s breaks. Inside your reel, you will have a plastic or a fiber tab that would have been rubbing against each other or on a dry surface in your breaks. This is what causes that noise. To overcome this problem, simply oil the parts and keep them well lubricated.

It is very important that these parts are not rubbing on a dry surface, as it creates a lot of friction and will melt the parts in the longer run. You can just rub some oil inside the brake ring every month. This will endure that your reel breaks smoothly and does not make any annoying noises.

Let us move on to answering some of your frequently asked questions. You might have some more doubts and questions, or who knows; it might also answer things you did not think about before.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How to adjust the bail on a spinning reel?

To either adjust or replace your bail on a spinning reel, you will need some pieces of equipment and some knowledge about bail and reels. However, do not worry; we will take you through it step by step with all the tools that you will need.

Step 1: Loosen the screw that holds the bail arm’s base using a #1Phillips screwdriver.

Step 2: Pull out the bail arm away from the reel slowly using a twisting motion.

Step 3: Once you have removed that, you can easily remove the worn-out part now. Remove it by pushing down on the spring and pulling it outward from the reel.

Step 4: Replace the broken bail spring with a new one by separating the pin from the spring and then just placing the original pin in the new spring.

Step 5: Once you place it, push the spring back to its original position.

Step 6: Realign all the parts and tighten the reel back to its original position.

That is all you need to fix or adjust your bail on a spinning reel. If you are not very good at removing and fixing things, then just visit your local tackle shop and ask them to do it for you. Remember, in this case, it is essential to work smarter, not harder.

How to put a new line on a spinning reel?

Using a spinning reel makes life so much easier for a person interested in fishing. To change a new line on a spinning reel is a simple process, and we will clearly walk you through it.

Before learning how to add the line, then you need to select the right type of line. ​​Braid is the way to go if you’re spooling a medium-sized spinning reel and your fishing style needs something heavier than a 12-pound test. Start with a small amount of mono on the spool as a backup if you’re going with braid. As a result, the braid will not slip off the spool. Using a Uni Knot, you have to attach the braid to the mono when the backing is in place, then spool up as described below.

Step 1:

When the reel is connected to the rod, installing a fishing line on a spinning reel is much easier. So first, attach the reel to the rod.

Step 2:

Once you do that, remove the end of the line from the spool and feed it towards the reel through the first guide—the large one closest to the reel seat.

Step 3:

It’s critical to remember to release the bail. It’s incredible how many people ignore this step. After carefully hooking the line to the spool, they return to this stage and realize the bail won’t pick it up. To save time, remember to open the bail exactly before attaching the line to the spool.

Step 4:

It’s relatively simple to learn how to knot a line to a reel. Wrap the line twice around the spool of the reel and secure it with an over-hand knot. Trim the tag’s end to a close fit.

It is your choice; you can leave part of the old line on the reel as a backup if you’re restringing your reel because the line on it is worn out. You may simply tie a Uni knot to join the old and new lines if you do. When relining your reel, this technique can help you save money by requiring a less new line to fill the spool.

Step 5 :

You can now close the bail and start carefully turning the handle. As you crank, the spinning bail will place a line on the reel spool in equal wraps. Come to a standstill after a few cranks.

Step 6:

Hold the rod parallel to the floor while standing up. Place the line spool in front of you on the ground, with the label facing you or the floor.

Start cranking the reel while applying a little stress on the line (with your hand, between the reel and the first guide). Watch the line near the spool on the floor after about ten cranks, then lower the rod to provide slack.

This is the decisive moment, and you’ll either see one of two things. The slackline will either lay in pleasant, relaxing loops on the floor, or it will twist over itself into coils that don’t appear to be relaxed at all. At that time, you should see relaxed coils; if not, simply flip the spool over and repeat the test.

Step 7:

Now, all you need to do is a reel with a line. Standing up and facing the spool on the floor, parallel the rod, apply some tension to the line by grasping it between the reel and the first guide, and slowly crank. Pick up the pace and keep going until the line is between 1/8 and 3/16 inches from the spool’s lip. Once you do that, cut the line and thread it through the remaining rod guides before tying on a lure.

Even though these look like many things to do, they are fairly simple steps if you actually do them.

What causes a spinning reel to stick?

There are several reasons why your reel might get stuck or stick together. As already mentioned several times, the salt content in the water that you fish in matters a lot. We know that we probably sound like a broken record at this point, but you need to keep your reel clean in order to avoid minor problems like this. In the future, make sure to clean your every time you come back from fishing. Ensure there are no salt or other particles deposited in the reel and the inner parts.

To solve this issue of your reel getting jammed, you need to dismantle your reel, clean all the part and grease it up. It is a relatively simple process if you are well aware of the elements of the reel and how to put together the reel. If not, it is our best advice to just visit your local tackle shop and let the professionals handle it for you.

How do I make my spinning reel smoother?

Again, some of the reasons why you reel might be because of corrosion, salt deposits, old bearing, and over or under lubrication. The only way to make your reel smooth is only possible by removing all the parts, cleaning it, and lubricating it. That is all that you need to do.

For almost most of your reel-related problems, you might have to dismantle your reel and put it together. However, you should know your reel well. You need to make sure you align the parts, and bearings and you should also ensure that you only oil the parts that need to be done. If you are not aware of these, we can not stress enough that you should get it done by a professional.

How do I stop my spinning reel from twisting?

You just need to follow some simple tricks and tips that will help you!

Make sure your reel isn’t overloaded. Leave a 1/8″ space between the top of your line stack and the spool’s lip. If the space is too small, the line will bounce off the reel. If you use too little, it can cause extra drag when casting.

Hand-wrapping line onto your spool will almost certainly result in a twist.

When spooling the line, don’t put too much tension on it. You’re pinching too hard if the line starts to feel heated in your fingers. When the fishing line is stretched too far, it behaves like a rubber band, retracting and unspooling when the strain is released.

When spooling, don’t use too little tension on the line. You’ll get a lot of tangles if the line is packed carelessly onto the spool. Apply just enough pressure to ensure that the line stack is snug and even, but no more.

We understand that the article was packed with a lot of information and if you are a beginner, you will indeed feel overwhelmed about not knowing much about your own hobby. However, we all have so many fun hobbies that are near and dear to us. You have to understand that no one is born a master of a craft, and only continuous practice, passion, and effort will help us succeed in anything and understand it better. We hope this article helped debunk all of your spinning reel problems.

Additional resources:

Leave a Comment