How Do You Spool Up?

That's redfish pro Kris Culpepper on the left, and redfish pro Greg Watts on the right, spooling two of at least 60 outfits that need line before we head out to the mouth of the Mississippi River. I sat there watching this unfold at Paradise Plus Lodge last night cringing, because while spooling reels is an unavoidable part of fishing, I hate it, and having to line that many in one clip without an electric spooling machine would drive me bonkers.

It's my own fault that spooling is such a hideous chore. I'm a real stickler for packing line super-tight, and nothing aggravates me more than making a cast and having line dump off in coils at high speed. It's always easier to achieve a tight-packed spool when you've got a buddy to help out and keep proper tension on the line as you wind. But 99% of the time, my spooling buddy is my wife, who hates the job more than I do. I've burned her fingers from reeling too hard and ruined perfectly good dish towels by using them to keep pressure on braid. So most of the time I suck it up and spool solo.

The best trick I've learned for spooling sans help is to lay the line inside a phone book and put a brick on top of it. Then you wind away and the spool packs pretty tightly. Skip the brick and I promise the line will pull loose. Luckily, the guys at the lodge here are pros, so I'm sure they're highly capable spoolers. Have any tricks for lining your reels? --Cermele