How Many Yards of Fishing Line Do I Need for a Reel?

Fishing line is an essential piece of equipment for any angler. The right type and amount of line can make the difference between a successful fishing trip and one that ends in frustration. But how much fishing line do you need for a reel?

The amount of line you need on a reel depends on several factors, including the size of your reel and the type of fishing you’ll be doing. Generally speaking, the larger your reel, the more line it requires. Spinning reels typically require more line than baitcasting reels, as they have larger spools. The type of fish you’re Targeting also plays a role; heavier lines are required for larger fish such as salmon or steelhead, while lighter lines are best for smaller fish such as trout or bass.

A good rule of thumb is to fill your reel spool no more than two-thirds full with line.

If using braided or monofilament lines, the total yardage should be marked on the packaging; if using fluorocarbon line, divide its breaking strength (also marked on the packaging) by 10 to arrive at an approximate yardage per pound test. For example, if you have 20-pound test fluorocarbon line, it will contain approximately 200 yards per pound (20 X 10 = 200).

It’s also important to consider the diameter of your fishing line when filling your spool; too thick a diameter can cause backlashes in spinning reels and may interfere with casting distance in baitcasting reels. As a general guide, 6-8lb test should be used in spinning reels and 8-12lb test in baitcasting reels.


Knowing how many yards of fishing line to put on your reel can help ensure a successful day out on the water! Reel size, type of fish being Targeted, and diameter all factor into how much line should be used. As a general rule of thumb, fill your spool no more than two-thirds full with line that corresponds to your type of reel and Target species size. With these tips in mind, you’ll be ready to tackle any fishing adventure!

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Daniel Bennet