By Grant Foster

Also known as spinners, thread lines, or eggbeaters, a spinning reel is the most common of all fishing reels. Its operating mechanism is simple enough that most novice anglers find it suitable for lure casting and bait fishing.

Here are the major components of the spinning reel.


An important component not only of a spinning reel but also of all fishing reels, the handle allows an angler to retrieve the line and the fish after a catch easily. It is designed to let anglers operate with either hand (left or right), wherever it may be fitted to the sockets of the body.

Some are made with rubber grips to be resistant to slips, but most are made of aluminium, graphite, or other metals that can withstand torsion and pressure. Most fishing reels, such as bait casting reels, have handles on either side of the body, but on spinning reels, single handles are more common.

Your fishing reel’s handle should be comfortable and smooth to the touch, as you’d want it to be dependable when you rotate it by hand to retrieve the line back after casting, to stand up all weathers, and to let you exert minimal effort when rotating. Handles can be bought separately from your reel and are easily replaceable when worn out.


Just like the handle, the body of a fishing reel can also be aluminium or graphite, but most are made out of plastic. It is a reel’s central component as it holds all other features together. Robust metal-bodied reels tend to be the top choice for most anglers as they are more durable and last longer compared to reels made out of plastic. Although metals will rust in the long run, they’re still more suitable for a fishing reel’s body as they’re less likely to warp, bend, or fall apart when overused.

Drag Adjustment Knob

The drag adjustment knob is the button to press when the need for increasing or decreasing the amount of drag or friction on the line arises. It’s a standard feature, especially in spinning reels where it’s usually positioned near the handle and is easy to access when you need to make a sudden change during casting and retrieving. For this reason, most beginner anglers opt to use a spinning reel.


In terms of importance, the spool comes next to the handle. It is mainly responsible for holding the line in place and rotates when retrieving but turns on its own when casting. The line should be properly woven around the axis because when not spooled correctly, it tangles and becomes a pain point when fishing.


The bail is a semi-circular feature of a spinning reel and is designed to ensure the line won’t run off the spool. It reduces the backlash seen on other types of reel, like the bait caster. It flips forward when the line is released during casting and flips back to its original point during retrieving. This unique feature makes spinning reels’ casting mechanism a whole lot easier.

Anti-Reverse Switch

This feature prevents your spinning reel from rotating backwards and is hugely important when the fish fights and pulls the line out, as a line that’s forced back can cause issues concerning snags, tangles, and breaks. You can switch the anti-reverse on and off depending on your preference. When it’s disabled, it engages a drag and allows the line to go forward, thus, loosening tension.

Line Roller

The roller eliminates line twists as it is the contact point of the line and forces a potential twist forward towards the end of the line. The line of your reel passes through the line roller then through the rod. This feature requires a lot of maintenance on your part as, without proper care, it could cause issues with your reel’s line twists instead of eliminating the problem.


Now that you know the main parts and features of a spinning reel, you’re all set to use it and be able to care for it more appropriately. Never forget to keep watch of water getting into the insides when cleaning your reel. Also, avoid the habit of leaving your reel from the rod for extended periods as this will cause corrosion. Finally, prevent impurities from setting into the reel by regularly spraying moisture repellent.