How Much Line To Put On A Baitcaster (Detailed Explanation)

how much line to put a baitcaster

If you have been fishing for quite a while, you must be no stranger to the term baitcaster. A baitcaster reel is considered among the strongest angling gear reserved mostly for professionals.

A baitcaster prides itself on the rotating spool attached to top of the reel, essentially increasing the speed, reach, and accuracy of each cast. Doesn’t it sound wonderful?

However, given the complicated build quality of a baitcaster, mastering its use calls for frequent practice and plenty of effort. Thus, if you want to make the best out of a baitcaster reel, you must first be able to understand its most fundamental aspects.

In this article today, let’s have a look at one of the elements contributing directly to the performance of your reel: how much line to put on a baitcaster.

How Much Line To Put On A Baitcaster

Generally speaking, the length of line needed to put on a typical baitcaster should leave an ⅛ inch gap between the top of the spool and the line surface itself.

If you fill the entire spool with a fishing line, the reel itself can seem a bit bulky and more challenging to move around flexibly. That is not to mention that overstuffed spools are more inclined to jam since the line cannot wrap comfortably around the center.

On the other hand, having too little line may prevent you from landing a fish, as it would limit your ability to cast properly. That being said, the amount of fishing line mounted on a reel also depends on another element, which is the size of the fishing line.

Many fail to take this into account, but the truth is, lightweight lines would never work well with baitcaster reels.

This fishing tool is designed specifically for heavy-duty lines that exceed 10 lbs, with a big diameter. There have been endless debates over which type of line is the best for baitcaster reels, and anglers never seem to settle on one answer.

Because monofilament, fluorocarbon, or braided lines all have unique characteristics and can affect the length of line needed, do not hesitate to consult with the seller for more detailed advice over this matter.

Recommendations From The Manufacturer

At this point, you have probably already known a rough estimation of how much line to put on a baitcaster, right? Still, this number can vary slightly based on the design of each reel and its size.

For example, the line available for a spinning reel size 1000 would not be identical to that of a baitcaster reel size 100.

If you want to know a bit more about how the manufacturers evaluate the ideal line capacity of different baitcaster reels, let’s have a look below.

Low-profile reels

Low-profile reels

Low-profile reels are a smaller version of the standard baitcaster reel, with a less impressive spool, and cannot hold as many lines. They are available in four sizes, namely 100, 200, 300, and 400.

  • Reels that are 100 and 200 in size are meager, weighing anywhere from 3-4 ounces to 9 ounces maximum. It is best that you stick to a 12lbs monofilament line that is under 500 feet. 
  • Next up, we have 300-size reels with a weight of 9-10 to 12 ounces. Here, you can level up to the 20lbs monofilament line and keep the length at approximately 360 feet.
  • The biggest size for low-profile reels is 400 and beyond, which should weigh more than 15 ounces and below 18 ounces. For those intending on keeping the 20lbs monofilament line, feel free to increase the capacity to at least 570 feet.

Normal reels

Normal reels

Normal reels are bigger than low-profile ones, which means they are capable of holding longer, heavier lines. This reel type mostly comes in four sizes, including 4000, 5000, 6000, and 7000.

  • 4000-size baitcaster reels are roughly the same as 100 and 200-size low-profile reels. If you use a 12lbs monofilament line, anything from 450 feet to 525 feet will suffice.
  • The most popular size of baitcaster is 5000, weighing from 10-11 ounces to 15 ounces maximum. You can slightly increase the weight of the line by 2lbs compared to the previous one, and the length can be extended to 690 feet.
  • For 6000-size baitcaster reels, the weight can be up to 17 ounces for the biggest model. Using a 14lbs monofilament line, you can expect 750 feet wrapping neatly around the spool.
  • When it comes to reels size 7000 and beyond, bear in mind that these can be as heavy as 23 ounces. Since they are all used to catch big fish, you need to double down on the capacity of a 20lbs monofilament line, 750 feet in length.

How To Spool A Baitcaster – A Detailed Guide

After picking out the type of fishing line and the desired duration for your baitcaster reel, it is high time you learned how to spool a baitcaster. If you have no experience in the field before, try following these step-by-step instructions for the best result!

  • Step 1: Check up your baitcaster reel and see whether it is still in top condition. Oil the bearings, tighten the drag, and pick a suitable spool tension. Make sure everything is ready to use.
  • Step 2: Tie the line directly to the spool for those of you using monofilament or fluorocarbon line. But if you use a braided line, it being slippery means you have to fill the reel with a few feet of monofilament or fluorocarbon first.
  • Step 3: Now, whatever line type you want to use, it is important to attach the reel to the rod beforehand. Next up, slowly pass the line through the guides (loops) placed on top of the rod. Make sure the line stretches from the back end of the rod all the way down to the real seat. 

This way, the tension on the line is evenly distributed when you start spooling, essentially lowering the  chances of jamming and birdnest. 

  • Step 4: Perform a knot that secures the fishing line to the spool. You should start with a simple, larger overhand knot, which keeps the line in place.

Next up, tie another overhand knot near the back end of the line. Make sure the length between two knots is not too wide. Now, all you have to do is to pull the line, effectively “merging” two overhand knots into one Arbor knot. If there is any excess line, cut it off as close as possible.

  • Step 5: Here, if you use monofilament or fluorocarbon line solely, you can skip this step and go straight to step 6. But if you use braided lines, you have to take an extra step and do a knot called Albright, which ties the two lines together.

You have to form a loop using the main line, be it monofilament or fluorocarbon. Using a thumb and a forefinger, hold it up in the air so that the braided line can pass through the loop with ease. Start twisting the braided line around the main line at least 8 to 10 times. Tighten the braided line. Once again, pass its tag end through the original loop.  At this point, you can see two tag ends standing in opposite directions, one from the main line and one from the braided line. Pull the end of the braided line to form an Albright knot. Make sure both lines are attached firmly to each other. Trim the extra lines if needed so that the knot does not tangle around.

  • Step 6: Place a finger on the fishing line to exert more pressure. This helps to keep the line reeling in smoothly, minimizing the risk of twists or jamming.

Start rotating the handle placed on one side of the reel. The fishing line would subsequently be pulled in. And remember, the gap between your line and the top of the spool must be around ⅛ inch.


Before you leave to start training with your baitcaster reel, why not have a look at a summary of what you have read so far in this article?

Firstly, you are introduced to baitcaster reels, a powerful angling gear that works wonders with hefty, big fish and is famous for its limitless capacity.

Then, you get to know how much line to put on a baitcaster is regarded as sufficient. Though the exact number would change from time to time depending on various factors, most experts agree that you should fill the spool until there is ⅛ inch left at the top.

You also learn about how the size of a reel can affect its line capacity, as well as a comprehensive guideline on how to spool a baitcaster.

Now that you have understood the theory of using a baitcaster reel, do not shy away from applying it to real life!

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