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Updated Mar 20, 2023 9:55 AM
The best fishing line spoolers are the first step in landing the fish of a lifetime. When targeting big fish, nothing is more important than good fishing line. If the line holds tight, you will catch a trophy. If the line breaks, say goodbye to success.
Sun, salt, and slime cause the material in fishing line to break down. And fishing causes abrasion and stretching along the line. To avoid losing your favorite lure or your next personal best, it is important to replace the line on your fishing reels regularly. Monofilament fishing lines should be replaced each season, more often if you fish hard. If it is stored inside, braided fishing line can last for a couple years. Fluorocarbon is susceptible to sun damage and should be replaced a couple times each season. After each fishing trip, it’s a good idea to cut back a couple feet of line and retie knots.
Always inspect your line for abrasion, stretching, and discoloration—test monofilament by yanking on it to see if the line breaks. Braided line is prone to fraying. Look for the braided strands to separate and the color to fade. As fluorocarbon breaks down, it will turn milky-colored and stiff.
If you see any of these signs, it is time to change your fishing line. To change the line on a couple of small reels, use a pencil to hold the spool and ask a friend to help. Bigger jobs and bigger reels require the best fishing line spooler.
How We Picked the Best Fishing Line Spoolers
To evaluate the best fishing line spoolers, we compared each product to other tools in their category. Whether we were assessing full-featured line spoolers or portable units, we looked for the strongest, smoothest, and easiest to use model at the lowest price. I considered the following when making my selections.
- Twist: The most important quality of a spooler is that it fills a reel without twisting or tangling. The best fishing line spoolers allow the line to flow in the correct direction for whatever reel you’re filling—baitcasting, spinning, or otherwise.
- Pressure: Pressure must be kept on the line to fill a spool properly. I looked at how well each applies pressure to the filler spool, so the reel is packed tightly with line.
- Durability: Transferring hundreds of feet of line to a reel with enough pressure to ensure the line lies correctly creates tremendous stress. I only considered spoolers with sturdy construction and a solid connection to the base.
Best Fishing Line Spoolers: Reviews & Recommendations
Best Winder: Penn Fishing HD Line Winder
- Weight: 6.75 pounds
- Dimensions: 14 x 4 x 4.5 inches
- Materials: Steel
- Heavy-duty construction
- Adjustable spool tension
- Accepts both filler and bulk spools
Sturdy construction and simple operation make the Penn Fishing HD Line Winder the best fishing line winder spooler one of the most popular choices for pro anglers. It will solidly hold spool sizes from filler to bulk while applying adjustable tension to tightly pack the line on the reel. Not only does the steel frame resist corrosion and damage, but the heavy metal station provides a solid base for holding a spool of line. Finally, the HD Line Winder will hold a small filler spool or a huge bulk spool to fill one reel or 100. Adjusting the filler-spool tension allows you to wind the line tightly to avoid tangles and backlashes. At the end of the day, the HD Line Winder folds flat to fit anywhere.
Best Portable: Berkley Portable Fishing Line Spooling Station
- Weight: 1.37 pounds
- Dimensions: 19 x 8 x 3 inches
- Materials: Plastic
- Tabletop winder
- Fills spinning or baitcasting reels
- Compact design
If you don’t have space for a full-powered line spooler, Berkley’s Portable Line Spooler is the best portable fishing line spooler and the next best thing. It can quickly and easily replace the line on a pile of fishing reels, anywhere. Attach a spinning or baitcasting reel to the base and load a spool of line onto the thimble. The bobbin will hold small to medium-sized spools of line and apply pressure to the spool while winding. The table-top station provides a solid base to apply pressure to the line. The lightweight, low-profile design allows the line spooler to fit in a tackle bag so you can take a full-feature line spooler wherever you fish.
Best with Counter: Rapala Digital Line Counter
- Weight: 4.25 ounces
- Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inch
- Materials: Plastic
- Bright, backlit digital display
- Line count alarm
- Easy to mount/remove
- Metric or standard measures
Accurately filling a reel with line requires a line counter to measure the amount of fishing line added to the reel. For example, some reels require a backing of one type of line and a top shot of another type of line. Filling each reel with a precise amount of backing will ensure enough line when a big fish takes off for the horizon. Rapala’s Digital Line Counter, the best fishing line spooler with a counter is accurate and easy to use. Just attach it to the fishing rod, thread the line through the wheel and start cranking the reel handle to measure the line in feet or meters. The line counter’s backlit digital display is easy to read in addition to displaying line count in metric and standard units. My favorite feature is the alarm that alerts me when the reel is full.
Best for Spinning Reels: Piscifun Speed X Fishing Line Spooler
- Weight: 8.32 ounces
- Dimensions: 10.32 X 6.29 inch
- Materials: Graphite
- Spinning or casting reels
- Fills and removes line
- Folds to fit in a pocket
- Braid or monofilament
- Does not accommodate large filler spools
The best fishing line for spinning reels the Piscifun’s Speed X Fishing Line Spooler rotates to eliminate twists and ensure even line lay with spinning, baitcasting, spincast, and casting reels. The Speed X works equally as well with monofilament or braided line.
Removing old line from a fishing reel is almost as tiring as filling it with new line. And piles of used fishing line creates a big mess. Piscifun Speed X Line Spooler makes the chore quick and clean. First, attach the reel to the base and tie the line to an empty filler spool. Then, turn the un-winding handle to rapidly remove the line. Once the reel is empty, place a new filler spool into the clamp, tie the line to the reel, and fill it back up.
Best Budget: THKFISH Fishing Line Spooler
- Strong, padded clamp
- Materials: ABS Plastic
- · Adjustable tension
- Versatile clamp works on table, chair, or workbench
The THKFISH Line Spooler is the best budget fishing line spooler and the perfect solution to fill a few reels quickly, at home or on the go. It offers the versatility of a full-size line spooler in a portable package—it fits easily in a tackle bag but can handle bulk spools with ease. Clamp the line spooler to a table, chair back, or workbench and insert the filler spool in the clamp. Tighten the tension knobs to hold the spool in place, adjusting it to provide enough tension to pack the line on the reel tightly. Run the end of the line through the guides, and tie it to the reel spool. Then, use the tension from the line spooler and the guides to fill the reel with line. The THKFISH Line Spooler is simple and easy to use, and the small size means it’s ready any time.
What to Consider When Choosing a Fishing Line Spooler
Before buying the best fishing line spooler, the most important thing to consider is how many reels you need to fill. A portable line spooler is easy to use without taking up space to change the line on one or two reels. For bigger jobs, like changing line on a dozen reels or filling large reels with line, ask for a full-size line spooler capable of handling a bulk filler spool.
Most people only use the spooler a few times per year. So, the line spooler should be easy to store between jobs, whether it’s full-sized or portable. Stashing the spooler out of the way reduces clutter and protects the spooler from damage.
Finally, the cost can be an important factor. A full-size line spooler carries a full-size price tag, which may be too expensive for casual anglers. For occasional use, you can get great performance out of a less expensive model.
Q: How to spool fishing line?
The first step is to securely attach the line to the reel arbor. Then, make sure the line goes on the reel in the correct direction. Finally, use enough tension to pack the spool tightly.
Use an arbor knot to attach the line to the reel arbor, so the line doesn’t spin on the spool. For braided line, add a piece of electrical tape to the arbor to keep the line from slipping.
To check if the line is winding in the correct direction, add slack to the line to see if it twists and loops after making a few dozen turns of the reel handle. If the line twists, spin the filler spool so the line leaves in the opposite direction.
Apply enough tension to the line so it fills the spool evenly. The tighter the line is on the spool, the less chance of twists and tangles.
Q: Why does my line keep unraveling?
If the line twists while filling the spool, the line will loop and tangle while you are fishing. On a spinning rod, this will cause wind knots. Loose line on a baitcasting reel will produce a backlash tangle.
Q: How do I use a line spooler?
To use a line spooler, ensure it is securely attached to the base to produce enough tension to pack the reel with line. Then, insert the filler spool in the line spooler and attach the line to the reel. Tighten the tension knobs on the line spooler to tightly wind the line onto the spool.
Final Thoughts on the Best Fishing Line Spoolers
Filling your reel with one of the best fishing line spoolers is the quickest way to land the fish of a lifetime. The heavy-duty, full-size PENN Fishing’s HD Line Spooler is the best way to fill a reel with line. The heavy steel base sits securely to provide tension to the line. To fill large reels, the HD Line Spooler fits the largest bulk spools.