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Best Fishing Line Spoolers and Tools for 2022

Written by: John B
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Loading a reel with line is an important step that’s easy to do wrong, and unless you’ve got a buddy - and a pencil - to create tension as you wind line on your arbor, you're going to do a bad job with that initial attempt.

The solution is a line spooler, a tool that pros and reel techs swear by.

If you’re looking to up your spooling game, we’re here to help, and below, you’ll find reviews of some of the best fishing line spoolers on the market.

Quick glance at the best fishing spoolers:

Related: Best Fishing Knot Tying Tools

Best Fishing Line Spoolers Reviewed

Piscifun Fishing Line Winder - Best At-Home Fishing Line Spooler

Piscifun Fishing Line Winder Spooler Machine, Portable Fishing Spooling Station for Spinning Reel & Baicasting Reel

Amazon  | Piscifun

Piscifun’s fishing line winder is simply the claw-end of the Speed X with a rod adaptor and suction cup mount.

Just like the Speed X, the claw’s arms hold large spools, accommodating widths as large as 5.5 inches, making it great for large refills. Pressure is good, and the line winds smoothly onto your arbor.

I like this model more than the Speed X because I can mount it to my rod with my reel in place. The clamp that accomplishes this has both convex and concave sides, and Piscifun recommends that you use the convex surface of the locking lever if your fishing rod blank is between 0.2 and 0.6 inches (or between 5 and 15mm) in diameter. Use the concave surface if your rod is thicker than that.

This clever design is mountable above or below your blank, making it compatible with both spinning and casting reels.

Durability is excellent, and this tool should last a very long time.

I’d skip the suction cup mount, however, as it just doesn’t hold as well as it should, even if you wet it first. It’s simply too easy to attach this to your rod with your reel in place.

Pros:

  • No need to mount to a table or remove your reel
  • Excellent durability
  • Easy to use
  • Works with spinning and casting reels
  • Accommodates 5.5-inch spools

Cons:

  • ???

Berkley Mini Line Spooler - Best Portable Fishing Line Spooler

berkley portable fishing line spooler

Bass Pro

I’ve had to replace a spool of line on the go, and even the best table-top line spooler does you no good when it’s at home and you’re on the water.

Berkley’s Mini Line Spooler is a great tool to keep in your tackle bag, as this no-nonsense device is small, light, and compact.

It slips over your rod, allowing you to attach a spool to its side. Pressure is applied by a large plastic nut that’s easy to turn and tighten.

Berkley says that it accommodates up to a ¼-pound spool, and for emergencies, that’s plenty.

I wouldn’t choose this device in preference to the THKFISH or Piscifun, but this is truly a stop-gap measure when you need to get the job done on the run.

For its intended purpose, it’s plenty durable, too.

Pros:

  • Portable, compact, and light
  • Good durability
  • Easy to use
  • Works with spinning and casting reels

Cons:

  • Can’t accommodate larger spools
  • Doesn’t perform as well as the other options

Rapala Digital Line Counter - Best Fishing Line Measuring Tool

Digital Line Counter

Amazon 

Rapala’s digital line counter is the perfect tool for measuring backing and main line. 

For anglers who prefer to back expensive fluorocarbon and braid with strong but inexpensive mono, this little device is a must.

It attaches to your rod, just above your reel. As you run your line over the free-spinning wheel, it measures the length in meters or feet, allowing you to spool precise amounts of backing and removing any guesswork or the need to pace-off distances. 

Of course, it also works in the other direction as a line counter for trolling.

Battery life is excellent, and this little tool is a great buy for fishermen who like to know exactly how much backing they’re running.

Pros:

  • Reliable and accurate
  • Great battery life
  • Easy to use
  • Easy-to-read screen

Cons:

  • Doesn’t measure in yards, but conversion is easy

THKFISH Fishing Line Spooler

THKFISH Fishing Line Spooler Fishing Line Winder Spooler Fishing Accessories Adjustable Stable Portable Fishing Line Spooler with Clamp A-Long Style

Amazon 

THKFISH tabletop line spooler is available in two versions: a long option to fit large spools of replacement line and a short version for the standard sizes. It’s also available with a de-spooler that attaches to a cordless drill, and that’s a really useful tool for stripping line.

Please note that the maximum spool width is 3.15 inches, so 4-inch, 1000 yard replacement spools won’t fit!

A large plastic knob spins a screw with a padded head, gently but powerfully securing this unit to a tabletop. Used carefully, it shouldn’t scratch a dining room table, but use common sense!

The upper part of the unit uses two wing nuts to hold a pair of spring-loaded clamps. By adjusting the position of the clamps, you increase or decrease tension on the spool, allowing it to spin more or less freely as you wish.

This system works really well, preventing twist and delivering line at a precise speed. It’s also completely compatible with spinning and casting reels, so it covers all your angling bases.

You’ll get a very nicely filled arbor very quickly, and this line spooler will last for years.

Pros:

  • Secure, scratch-free mounting
  • Excellent durability
  • Available with a de-spooling tool
  • Easy to use
  • Works with spinning and casting reels

Cons:

  • Can’t accommodate a 4-inch, 1000 yard spool

Piscifun Speed X Fishing Line Spooler

Piscifun Speed X Fishing Line Spooler Machine with Unwinding Function - Fishing line Winder Spooler Fishing line Spooling Station Works with Spinning Reel, Cast Reel and Spincast Reel

Amazon 

Piscifun’s Speed X is an excellent no-mount option for spooling and unspooling line. Compatible with spinning and casting reels, it’s a great choice for anglers who don’t have a convenient place to mount a unit like the THKFISH.

The Speed X features an adjustable aluminum shaft with a reel seat. On the other end, you’ll find a cradle that holds a replacement spool and a simple handle.

The adjustable shaft allows you to control the distance of the spool from your arbor, giving you more control over the lay of the line as it comes onto your reel. And the cradle accepts widths up to 4.13 inches, allowing you to use large replacement spools that hold 1000 yards of line.

The pressure on the clamp is good, and you’ll end up with a well-filled arbor in no time.

To reverse this process, simply open the bail or release the spool and unwind with the handle. Keep in mind, though, that this can be a tricky process with just two hands!

Pros:

  • No need to mount to a table
  • Excellent durability
  • De-spools as well
  • Easy to use
  • Works with spinning and casting reels
  • Accommodates a 4-inch, 1000 yard spool

Cons:

  • A little tricky to handle when de-spooling

KastKing Kalibrate Line Spooler

Thermal Copier Life Basis Tattoo Stencil Transfer Copier Printer Tattoo Transfer Machine with 10 Free Stencil Sheets for Tattoos Black Update Version

Amazon 

KastKing is known for a lot of great fishing accessories, and their Kalibrate line spooler is an innovative, awesome product.

Mounting to your rod blank via an easy-to-use, universal clamp, there’s no need to remove your reel from your rod - something we all appreciate. And whether you’re filling a new baitcaster or your favorite spinning reel, the Kalibrate works with both by rotating the spool holder and altering how you run the line through the guides on your rod.

It works well to load an arbor without twist or over-run and includes a line counter which is ideal for measuring backing.

Accommodating a ¼-pound replacement spool, the Kalibrate gets the job done well, but it’s a little more complicated to use than the other products on our list.

For that reason, be sure to read the instructions carefully.

Pros:

  • No need to remove your reel; fits all rods
  • Good durability
  • Line counter for measuring backing
  • Works with spinning and casting reels
  • Accommodates large spools

Cons:

  • A bit complicated to use

What We Look for in a Fishing Line Winder

Capacity

Line winders need to accommodate a large range of spool sizes, from small spools that are just over an inch wide to big replacement options that can measure as much as four inches.

Replacement spools vary a lot in size.

We like a winder that can take anything you need, and that was one of the things that made Penn’s HD Line Winder the king of the hill.

The THKFISH is pretty good on this front, but a four-inch spool is just a bit more than it can handle. The Piscifun Speed X can take a spool as large as 4.13 inches, and the rod mounted version is capable of holding a 5.5-inch replacement. 

KastKing’s Kalibrate can hold a pretty big spool, too, but I think the Piscifun has it beat.

Durability

Like you, I hate it when a tool breaks.

A good fishing line winder will hold up for years. To do that, it needs to minimize plastic parts and stick to metal where it counts.

Both the Piscifun and THKFISH units are built to last, and even the Berkley will last a lifetime if you don’t misuse it.

Ease of use

Loading line on an arbor by hand is really a two-man job, and the whole purpose of a fishing line winder is to make this process manageable with just two hands.

Each of these products accomplishes that goal, though unwinding or recycling line can be a bit more of a handful.

The exception is the KastKing Kalibrate, which can be a little complicated the first few times you use it.

Performance

To get the best performance from your line, it needs to be wound evenly, with minimal twist, to within about ⅛-inch of the lip of the arbor.

Good line winders make this a lot easier, and each of the tools on our shortlist works well.

Proper Reel Set Up

We’ve discussed before how to set up a spinning or casting reel in depth, leading you step-by-step through the process. And if you’d like a quick refresher, we’ve got your covered:

How To Set Up a Spinning Reel: A Step-By-Step Guide

How To Set-Up a Baitcasting Reel: Easy Step-by-Step Instructions

For spooling line onto your arbor, the most important points to keep in mind are the knot - we prefer the Uni - and how much line to load.

The general rule of thumb is to leave about ⅛-inch of the lip of the arbor exposed. This will maximize casting performance.

Don’t overfill your spool! Leave about ⅛-inch of the lip exposed, whether you’re preparing a spinning or casting reel.

Final Thoughts

Our shortlist includes three different kinds of products: a line counter to help you measure backing, line spoolers for use at home, and an emergency spooler you can keep in your tackle bag and carry with you.

Each of these products works well in the task for which it was designed, and until the Penn HD Line Winder is available again, these are the best options on the market.

As always, we’re here to answer any questions you might have, so please leave a comment below.

About The Author
John B
If it has fins, John has probably tried to catch it from a kayak. A native of Louisiana, he now lives in Sarajevo, where he's adjusting to life in the mountains. From the rivers of Bosnia to the coast of Croatia, you can find him fishing when he's not camping, hiking, or hunting.
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