It may sound like a simple task, but running a new line into a closed faced reel isn’t as easy as most would expect. Most people know that catching a fish is a challenge, but if your reel isn’t lined right, with the correct monofilament product, you are likely to simply be drowning worms or donating expensive lures to the lovely weeds and various snags.
Whether you are looking for dinner, just trying to get out of the house, or you are new to fishing, let an experienced fisherman tell you that setting up your equipment and having the right pound test monofilament is step one to avoiding a frustrating day. Fishing is supposed to be relaxing and rewarding. That said, it can also be frustrating if you don’t set out with the right stuff.
Experienced fisherman will talk about light conditions, smell, and really technical bait ideas. We are going to start here with the basics; how to put the line in a closed faced reel and give you some straightforward guidance on monofilament lines and reviews.
Lining Closed Faced Reels
The beauty of closed faced reels is that they are simple to use once you have the line installed and the pole set. They are protected from the elements, the reel of choice for most new fisherman, and are most often used in freshwater environments. They are designed to be “push button” and a simple way to fish. Once they are set up properly, they generally perform well with minimal maintenance. Here are the basics on how to do that.
- Picking the Monofilament
- The Lasso
- Threading the Line
Picking the Monofilament
Selecting the right line is a combination of reel capacity, fishing environment, and “test.” We’ll keep it simple here. Read the rules provided by the reel manufacturer. They are often found on the bottom of the reel but are always in the instructions if it’s new. If you inherited or bought a used reel, you need to decide. The most important factor is always the “test.”
This is simply the way that companies rate the strength of the monofilament they manufacture. The rule of thumb is, if you want to catch a 5-pound fish, you probably need a ten to twenty-pound test. If you are catching perch or small fish at the shore of a pond, virtually anything will work. The bigger the “test,” the lest your reel will hold and the more likely fish will see it. It’s a balancing act.
We always recommend that people take the time to look at the line and bait reviews before making a decision. Local fisherman knows the local conditions, and can usually make great recommendations. Look for “monofilament fishing line reviews,” “average fish weight,” and “local hot fishing spots.” You will get the right information to make an informed decision.
The hardest part of fishing with a closed reel is really just setting it up. Most new reels come with a small amount of line on the reel, so you will need to remove that to start. Take the top of the reel case off. It is usually threaded, so right tight and left to loosen. You will need only patience, a line cutter (scissors will work), and 10-15 minutes to do this.
The famed “lasso” is really just a double knot. The challenge comes because fishing line manufactures work hard to make the line really skinny and really hard to see (better to catch fish obviously). Most reels will have what looks like a bell covering the spool once you take the top off. You need to start with a simple knot on the spool protected by that “bell.” It’s like step one for tying your shoes.
The line and reel are both designed to slide easily, so the challenge is to make lasso with a second knot that holds well before you fill the reel. Do a second basic knot like were worried your shoes would come untied, with one difference; run that second knot through the first. It’s technically a lasso that with getting tighter when pressure is placed on the line. There are hundreds of videos on youtube about this seemingly simple task, many of them sincerely funny.
Threading the Line
This is where you will know if your lasso is fastened correctly. With your reel now attached to the pole, and the cover of the closed face reel back on, thread it through the first eyelet. Don’t put the whole pole together until the reel is lined completely. Use one hand, usually your thumb, to create tension on the line as you literally reel in the spool of line.
Start slow. Reel it in until you have met the capacity of the one you selected. 75 yards is usually plenty for freshwater fishing, and a medium closed face reel will usually handle that much without a problem. Clip the line when you meet the reel’s capacity, and pull through the rest of the pole’s eyelets.
That’s it. It sounds simple, but remember, there are hundreds of instructional videos for a reason. Take your time. Experienced fisherman will tell you, there are few things more frustrating than having a big fish on your line, and the reel tangles.