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Spool Your Own Reels vs. Tackle Store

Old 03-17-2019, 09:26 AM
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Default Spool Your Own Reels vs. Tackle Store

First my confession: I fish mostly for speckled trout, use only spinning reels, and spool with fluorocarbon. I've toyed with the braid with flouro leader, but to me the time and effort to re-tie just hasn't proven worth it yet to me. I usually fish in a bunch of structure and get hung up and break off often. All that said, I go through a considerable amount of line per year for myself and the 1-3 other guest reels that I maintain.

I've never been happy with my own spooling jobs, so I always get it done at my local tackle shop. Never really price compared, but obviously it's more expensive. Seems like it's about $10-12 per reel for 12-15# flouro on Shimano Stradic 3000.

Should I be spooling my own? Should I buy a machine to keep it "tighter"?
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:55 AM
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If you're never happy with your own work and don't mind paying to have it done, why change?
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by mikie View Post
If you're never happy with your own work and don't mind paying to have it done, why change?
Fair question.

I'm just wondering if I should invest a little more time or money into the process.
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Old 03-17-2019, 10:14 AM
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Personally, if you enjoy doing the chore and take pride in your accomplishments, do it! Otherwise, if you don't have the spare time and it's not going to give you any degree of personal satisfaction, keep paying someone else.
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Old 03-17-2019, 12:21 PM
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We normaly spool our own (Power Pro) and always use Me & My Son whoever holds the spool of new line applies some tension to the new line spool.
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Old 03-17-2019, 12:23 PM
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i made a little jig for when i spool my braid, (yea you can buy one but i like the things i make) and i would never dream of having anyone else touch my tackle. I have a built in distrust for people doing outside work for me just because over the years i have been burned so many time by other peoples shoddy work. I also would never want to think i could lose a catch due to equipment failure. I have to have trust in my equipment and that why i do it myself. just my 2 cents.
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Old 03-17-2019, 12:37 PM
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Not sure that a machine is required. I always just stuck a pencil or a screwdriver through the spool and handed it to someone to hold with a rag so they didn't burn their hands on the spool when they held pressure

Lot faster that going to a tackle shop!

Last edited by DreamWeaver21; 03-19-2019 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 03-17-2019, 12:52 PM
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A good tackle store w a good machine will
put line on tighter, without the twist that you put on when you crank it on. The other reason I like using the store is they charge me by the yard so when they spool my reel and they use say 220 yards, I don’t have to buy more than I need (300 yards) or have to guess exactly right with backing and use a 150 yard spool. I really don’t understand why anyone would buy small (150-300 yard) spools and do it themselves
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Old 03-17-2019, 03:20 PM
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If you do it properly you get no twist, how long does it take to do it yourself? 10mins? surely no one is that short of time they cant do it at home.
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Old 03-17-2019, 04:43 PM
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It's not hard as other's have mentioned. The biggest issue people have with braid when they spool it themselves is not having enough pressure on the spool of line and improperly connecting the line to the spool. Your buddy should be holding the spool on a towel or something and pushing down to create a decent amount of resistance. If you put the line on loose it will dig into itself and you will completely lose drag (and break the line on a big fish), you won't be able to cast it good either.

You can't use the regular arbor knot when tying directly to the spool. If you do, the entire amount of line of the spool will slip when fighting a fish and it will feel like your drag running. Some people will put electrical tape on the spool so the line doesn't slip. While this will prevent the line from slipping, it is still a no-no IMO for one very important reason. The last two reels I purchased used from THT had electrical tape on the spool and when I pulled it off the spool was corroded under the tape. Luckily there is a knot you can use to tie braid directly to the spool that will never slip.

Everyone has their own way of doing things but this is how I spool my reels and it is tried and true. All you have to do is tie a modified sand diego jam knot. It's very easy and there's a video showing exactly how to do it. This way you tie the braid directly to the spool and it will never slip. I fish over 30lbs of drag with my reels and nothing slips. Here's the video for how to tie braid directly to your spool....





And here's a video of someone who spooled braid and didn't have a clue what they were doing. They spooled it with no tension on the line and it went on very loose. At 00:40 the line looks pretty good because the top bit of line is tight from him casting, retreiving, and reeling in fish. But the fish pulled a bunch of line off and it got down the hideous spooling job. At 01:00 you can see how loosely the line is spooled. At 01:14 the line digs down into the side of the spool and the reel locks up. He's lucky he didn't break that fish off...…



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Last edited by mdees88; 03-17-2019 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 03-17-2019, 10:38 PM
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mdees thank you for showing that modifed san diego!
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Old 03-18-2019, 04:20 AM
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Originally Posted by noelm View Post
If you do it properly you get no twist, how long does it take to do it yourself? 10mins? surely no one is that short of time they cant do it at home.
if you are reeling it on with a spinning reel, you are putting twist in the line
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Old 03-18-2019, 05:12 AM
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What tackle store charges you to put line on? That's crazy!!! At the shop where I work, line off bulk spools is charged by teh yard and there is no cost for putting it on a reel. If you check the price on the150 or 300 yard spools, I think it is $.01 more than the yardage coming off a bulk spool. That's not $.01 per yard, it's one cent for the spool.
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Old 03-18-2019, 05:21 AM
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The angler, aka broken line(!), is using Shimano Static....which is a spinning reel NOT a conventional. I too have found some spinning reels do not lay line on spools properly.

But if it were me I'd do it myself. $10 a reel is a no go zone! Load it up then go fishing. Let the line all the way off the spool and retrieve while boats is under way. You might put a snap swivel or small weight on line. Don't go too fast! It should pack on nicely
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Re-Bait View Post
The angler, aka broken line(!), is using Shimano Static....which is a spinning reel NOT a conventional. I too have found some spinning reels do not lay line on spools properly.

But if it were me I'd do it myself. $10 a reel is a no go zone! Load it up then go fishing. Let the line all the way off the spool and retrieve while boats is under way. You might put a snap swivel or small weight on line. Don't go too fast! It should pack on nicely
This^^^^^^^^^^^^

Note; the below is for light tackle spinning reels the OP asked about.

Lets see, spool it at the shop or at home and cast it out the first time out. From then on it's getting put right back on the spool by the reel every time. The same way it would go on at home.

I buy bulk and spool my own. I fish with braid top shots on my set of 6 4000 size shimano spinners on my flats charters. I top shot with a 100 yards of braid to my flouro leaders. Every 6 months or so I repeat as I lose line or it starts getting worn looking. Wash rinse and repeat.

Your only using the top 100 yards at most to fish with and most inshore fish ain't gonna run off more than a 100 yards of line and your not gonna make a 100 yard casts either. If the fish does take off a bunch the backing will handle it.

With thin diameter lines the reels hold a ton of line. 2/3rds of it sits at the bottom of the spool, never leaves the reel and rots. Why pay for high dollar braid or flouro/ mono or any other line when 2/3rds of it never come off the reel spool?

Top shot is the way to go to keep full spools for long casts and quality line that your actually using to fish without breaking the bank.
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:28 AM
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I made my own line winder and spool tensioning devise. it saves so much time versus hand cranking 500+ yards sometimes... I strip all my reels for the winter. It works with a normal drill. Keeping tension on the line is the biggest thing, spinning reels take the spool off and wind it directly to the spool in the winder, no twist!
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by 20biminitwist View Post
This^^^^^^^^^^^^

Note; the below is for light tackle spinning reels the OP asked about.

Lets see, spool it at the shop or at home and cast it out the first time out. From then on it's getting put right back on the spool by the reel every time. The same way it would go on at home.

I buy bulk and spool my own. I fish with braid top shots on my set of 6 4000 size shimano spinners on my flats charters. I top shot with a 100 yards of braid to my flouro leaders. Every 6 months or so I repeat as I lose line or it starts getting worn looking. Wash rinse and repeat.

Your only using the top 100 yards at most to fish with and most inshore fish ain't gonna run off more than a 100 yards of line and your not gonna make a 100 yard casts either. If the fish does take off a bunch the backing will handle it.

With thin diameter lines the reels hold a ton of line. 2/3rds of it sits at the bottom of the spool, never leaves the reel and rots. Why pay for high dollar braid or flouro/ mono or any other line when 2/3rds of it never come off the reel spool?

Top shot is the way to go to keep full spools for long casts and quality line that your actually using to fish without breaking the bank.
yeah I missed the spinning reel part. So your topshot is braid? What knot do you use for your braid to braid connection?
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Old 03-18-2019, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by mdees88 View Post
yeah I missed the spinning reel part. So your topshot is braid? What knot do you use for your braid to braid connection?
I don't. I put on roughly 2/3rds of regular mono and then tie the braid as the top shot with an improved Bristol. Usually 15 lb cheap trilene mono to 10 to 15 lb spider wire of which there is roughly 100 yards on top. Then I double via Bimini the braid and tie around a 3 foot flouro leader "using an improved Bristol" of 20 to 40 lb to the hook depending on specie and situation. I am primarily using this set up for snook, trout and reds back country fishing. I on occasion have a smaller tarpon or a cobia get me into the backing and have never had it fail. Keep in mind that mono backing needs changed every now and then as it will rot and fail the time you do need it.

I am a firm believer in braid used like this and I have for nearly 20 years or so when braid first came out. It was a life changer not to have to look at the mono filled spools every afternoon that when you opened the bail the line didn't jump off like a slinky. That's what happens when your customers wind against the drag going out no matter how many times I tell them not to. Damn, did that old mono take some memory.

This cut the cost of using braid by a 3rd for me and I use a lot as I keep my spools filled with good line. If I went full spool braid I would be burning 300 yards a fill on a 4000 series.

One of the few things I can control when running trips.
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Old 03-19-2019, 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Brokenline View Post
First my confession: I fish mostly for speckled trout, use only spinning reels, and spool with fluorocarbon. I've toyed with the braid with flouro leader, but to me the time and effort to re-tie just hasn't proven worth it yet to me. I usually fish in a bunch of structure and get hung up and break off often. All that said, I go through a considerable amount of line per year for myself and the 1-3 other guest reels that I maintain.

I've never been happy with my own spooling jobs, so I always get it done at my local tackle shop. Never really price compared, but obviously it's more expensive. Seems like it's about $10-12 per reel for 12-15# flouro on Shimano Stradic 3000.

Should I be spooling my own? Should I buy a machine to keep it "tighter"?
Bass Pro doesn't charge extra to spool your line if you have one near.
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Old 03-19-2019, 06:43 AM
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I put mine on running the line through a book to create some tension.
Then first time out i run the line, without any lure on, behind the back of the boat. When you reel it in it naturally packs the line on tight and takes away any line twist.
Real easy to do and your line will be nice and tight on the spool. I do this regardless of where i got the reel spooled. Running the line behind the boat will guarantee you are good to go.
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