How Much Line To Put On A Baitcaster (All Sizes)

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Baitcasting reels are one of the most popular types of fishing reels, due to how well they function and the many features the reel offers. One thing that particularly beginners get confused about is spooling the reel correctly. So, how much line do you put on a baitcasting fishing reel?

It really depends on the exact size and weight of the reel in question, as well as the type of fishing line that is being used. For example, a size 400 baitcasting reel may be able to take up to 330 yards of 12 pound test monofilament fishing line.

Here is a good general guide for both low profile and normal baitcaster reels;

Reel SizeLine lbLine TypeCapacity
10012 lbMono100 - 170 yards
20012 lbMono100 - 170 yards
30020 lbMono120 yards
400 20 lbMono190 yards
400012 lbMono150 - 175 yards
500014 lb Mono200 - 230 yards
600014 lb Mono250 yards
700020 lbMono250 yards


Baitcaster Line Capacity Explained

spooled baitcaster reel
What we want to do first is to explain what factors will determine how much fishing line a baitcasting reel can handle.

Generally speaking, what it all comes down to is the type of baitcasting reel and the size of it.

For one, you have your normal rounded baitcasting reels and then you also have your low profile baitcasting reels. As you can probably tell, low profile baitcasting reels are smaller and can therefore hold less line.

Below we will give you some examples of exactly how much fishing line a baitcasting reel of a specific size can hold.

Keep in mind that for the purposes of this article, we are going to be talking mainly about monofilament fishing line. Let’s go over some examples right now.

**Keep in mind that the larger the reel in question, the higher pound test the line that should be used with it, which is why in our examples below, the fishing line sizes (test) are not the same. Moreover, different brands of reels will differ in terms of their specs and capacities, so the best we can do is to provide you with rough estimates.**

Low Profile Baitcasting Reel Line Capacity

  • 100 and 200 size baitcasting reels are the smallest ones out there and these can weigh anywhere from 5 to now 9 ounces but can be as lightweight as under 4 ounces. This size of baitcasting reel can usually hold anywhere from 100 too 170 yards of 12 pound test monofilament fishing line.
  • The next size up of low profile baitcasting reel is the 300 sides which can weigh anywhere from 9 ounces to 12 ounces. If we’re talking about 20 pound test monofilament fishing line, you can expect it to hold around 120 yards.
  • The next size up of low profile baitcasting reel is the size 400 and up. These generally weigh anywhere from 15 to 18 ounces. Generally speaking, if we’re talking about 20 pound test monofilament fishing line, you can expect this size of reel to hold up to 190 yards or more.

Normal or Rounded Baitcasting Reel Line Capacity

  • If we’re talking about size 4000, normal rate casting reels and lower, they usually weigh anywhere from 8 to 12 ounces. If we’re talking about 12 pound test monofilament fishing line, you can expect these sizes to hold anywhere from 150 to 175 yards.
  • The next size up, perhaps the most common size of baitcasting reel out there is the size 5000. These can wait anywhere from 10 to 15 ounces. If we are talking about 14 pound test monofilament fishing line, the typical line capacity of this size reel is anywhere from 200 to 230 yards.
  • Yet another size up the 6000 size baitcasting reel, which weighs anywhere from 11 to 17 ounces, if we’re talking about 14 pound test monofilament fishing line can hold around 250 yards.
  • Finally, we have the big boys which are size 7000 and larger and can weigh up to 23 ounces. These are designed for big fish and when it comes to 20 pound test monofilament fishing line, they can usually hold well over 250 yards.

What you really need to remember here is that not all baitcasting fishing reels are the same, and this is true from one brand to another.

Moreover, exactly how much fishing line that the reel in question can handle does depend on the test rating or the size of the line in question, as well as what type of fishing line is being used.

For all of these reasons, it is extremely hard for us to give you an exact number when it comes to how much fishing line you can put on a baitcasting reel.

What Happens If I Put Too Much Line On My Baitcaster?

There is one huge problem that definitely will occur if you put too much line on your baitcaster reel.

This problem is that when you go to cast the line and when you go to retrieve it, big chunks of the line will come off the spool.

If you have big sections of fishing line coming off of your spool, it is going to end up leading to knots, tangles, and big headaches.

Simply put, if you have too much fishing line on your fishing reel, it is going to come off and make a heck of a mess that may be impossible to clean up.

If line gets wrapped around the spool, the handle, and more, you will have no choice but to cut the line and throw it out.

Related: 6 tips to prevent backlash on your reel.

What Type of Line Should I Use On A Baitcaster?

One important fact to remember here is that baitcaster reels are not designed to hold very small and thin line, which automatically means that you should stick to 10 pound test line or more.

Monofilament Fishing Line

If you are a newbie, and you want something that is very easy to handle, then you should stick with good old monofilament fishing line.

Generally speaking, slightly thicker line is better than line that is too thin. Line that is too thin will have problems coming off the baitcasting spool, and it can also get overrun.

Therefore, as a beginner, using mono line that is between 12 and 20 pounds test is ideal. This type of line is also not very expensive, and it has a bit of stretch to it too.

That said, do keep in mind that monofilament fishing line is much thicker than braided line, which means that you will be able to fit less of it.

Braided Line

Braided fishing line certainly has some advantages over mono line, including the fact that it is much thinner.

Now, due to its thinness, you do need to select quite a heavy (high test) braided line for this purpose. However, braided line, because it is much thinner, does allow you to put way more of it onto a baitcasting reel.

Therefore, if you have the money to spend on expensive braided line, and you aren’t too worried about impact resistance, but want something that will allow for maximum distance and depth, then braided line is the way to go.

Related: Can fish actually see braided fishing line? 

How To Put Line On A Baitcaster

Now that you have chosen the exact type of fishing line that you want to use for your baitcasting reel, you now need to actually put the line on the spool. To put line on your baitcasting reel, refer to the step-by-step guide as outlined below.

  1. We do recommend using braided line on your baitcasting reel as you will get more distance out of it. However, with that being said, braided line is hard to tie to the spool directly because it tends to slip around on the spool. Therefore, you want to use a short length of either fluorocarbon or monofilament fishing line before tying the braided line on.
  2. If you already have the reel attached to your rod, you can now pass the line through the fishing rod guides from the very tip of the rod down to the reel seat. We recommend doing this, as this will help prevent loops and knots from forming on the spool.
  3. What you need to do now is to use a knot called an Arbor knot in order to tie the end of the mono of fluorocarbon line to the spool. Remember that you only need a short length.
  4. Use an Albright knot to tie the mono or fluorocarbon line to the braided line. Trim the tag off as closely to the knot as possible.
  5. You can now turn the handle of the reel to put line on the spool. Run the line between your fingers and thumb so that it stays straight wile spooling.

Related: 10 great reel lubricants reviewed

How Many Yards of Braided Line on a Baitcaster?

How many yards of braided line you can fit onto your baitcaster depends on the size of the baitcaster and the size of the line in question.

Generally speaking, the rule of thumb is that you want to leave 1/8 of an inch of space between the top of the line and the edge of the spool.

If you’re using very thin braided line and you have a large reel, then you may be able to fit over 300 yards of braided line onto it.

On the other hand, if you have thick braided line and a small reel, you may only be able to fit 100 yards or less.


There you have it folks, everything you need to know about what kind if line and how much of it to put on your baitcaster reel. We do apologize for not being able to be more precise, but exact numbers are hard to come by due to all of the factors that are in play here.

Jason Downs

I created Fishtackly to share my 30 years of fishing experience and knowledge with others with the aim to help, and hopefully get more people involved and educated in this fantastic hobby that I love.