8 Essential Parts Of A Spinning Reel


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Choosing a good spinning reel is a challenge due to its complex structure. To do this you must know about parts of a spinning reel. Yet, never should you underestimate the importance of a spinning reel since it plays a critical role in helping you catch your desired amount of fish.

For those who want to spend money wisely, this article will provide some helpful information and insights into 8 parts of a spinning reel, so you know how to choose the best one.

What Is A Spinning Reel?

A spinning reel is a fishing rod device used in stowing and winding lines. It is perfect for the fisherman at a beginner’s level because of its easy use and versatility. 

They work well with lures and smaller baits and are suitable for many species and habitats. However, their performance drops noticeably when you load spinners with heavier lures and lines.

Related post: How To Use A Spinning Reel

8 Main Parts Of A Spinning Reel

Having a good understanding of these parts can help you when trouble arises. Outer reel parts include a handle, body (frame), spool, drag adjustment knob, bail arm, line roller, foot, and anti-reverse.


One of the most crucial parts of a spinning reel is the reel handle. The handle’s purpose is to hold it whenever you use that device. Most of the reels have both options, left-hand and right-hand, so it is comfortable for everyone.

Some handles have rubber grips to avoid slippage, yet most reel handles are made from aluminum or graphite (the same materials as the housing). As a result, all of them can bear the turning pressure.



The reel body is a central part that can hold all features together. Usually, it is made from graphite, aluminum, or a combination of those materials. The one made from aluminum is stronger and more resilient, while a graphite reel body is lighter.

Furthermore, here is a tip: choose the lighter spinning reel that is more comfortable to hold for a long time.


The spool is a spinning reel part that holds the fishing line. It’s also the part that can affect the success rate of bringing fish in. Generally, like handles and bodies, spool reels are frequently made from aluminum or graphite.

However, you should notice the friction created when the spool is too rigid. That situation will inevitably cause the breakage of the fishing line.

Drag adjustment knob

The drag adjustment knob is a spinning reel part near the handle. This knob allows the angler to turn it to increase or decrease friction (drag) on the line.

This component plays a significant role when fighting a fish trying to swim away. Therefore, choosing a sound drag system will let you adjust it quickly, and the line will go out evenly and smoothly. Learn how to set up a drag adjustment system

Bail arm

The bail is a wire-like part next to the reel spool having a semicircular shape. Its purpose is to help the fishing line to reel in or release from the reel spool. In addition, you can quickly flip up and down the bail for casting and reeling positions by hand. That is why spinning reels are suitable for beginners.

Line roller

Overall, the line roller is a small, round part on bail. When reeling, the fishing line will touch this part. Therefore, the roller is essential to lessen friction and make that line move gently. Another use of the roller is eliminating line twists by pushing possible twists toward the line’s working end.


The reel foot is the reel’s upper part made of the same material as graphite or aluminum. It is also the bridging point connecting the spinning reel with the rod.

Moreover, the reel foot must completely fit its body to withstand the vibration and pressure while fishing. However, there’s sometimes leeway regarding how tight the actual is. So before deciding to buy a spinning reel, you should ensure the one you choose will fit your rod and read the instructions carefully.


The reel part engages the drag and prevents it from turning backward, called anti-reverse. When you turn this switch off, you can reel in reverse instead of relying on the drag system for line tension. Anti-reverse works more effectively with lighter fishes than a drag system.

Some manufacturers ignore this feature on their reels, significantly more expensive ones. Because it can be a weak point for water and dirt to enter the device, and it does not help fight large fish.


3 Internal Parts of A Spinning Reel

Ball bearings

Ball bearings are an internal part of a spinning reel placed in the reel body. They feature reduced rotational friction and guarantee the reel can run smoothly.

Many respectable manufacturers will provide excellent parts, including at least four ball bearings. However, keep in mind to avoid low-cost and entry-level reels with too many ball bearings because the quality is likely to be poor.

Drag system

The drag system allows you to modulate line pressure on a fighting fish. To achieve that, it creates more friction among itself to slow down the spool. Composite or carbon fiber are two common materials to make it. A shoddy drag system might make a fishing line get stuck and brake, or it could release the line too fast.


Gears are usually overlooked, yet they play a critical role in smoothing out the movement and preventing line breakage. Gears are circular-metal components that sit inside the reel body. Moreover, they are commonly made of zinc, brass, or aluminium.

What Is The Lever On The Bottom Of A Spinning Reel?

The lever on the bottom of a spinning reel is the anti-reverse switch mentioned above. Anglers can set the switch in the On (enable) or Off (unable) to adjust the anti-reverse function.

What Is The Anti-Reverse On A Spinning Reel?

We have briefly described the anti-reverse system in the previous section. In short, instead of depending on the drag system, the anti-reverse allows you to back reel.

This feature goes well with small fish but is useless when anglers need to fight a big one.

However, backwards-forced lines can result in tangles, breakage, and snags. Furthermore, an anti-reverse switch is a weak point for water or dirt into the reel. That’s why most pro anglers prefer to use the drag mechanism.

How To Maintain A Spinning Reel Correctly


Before lubrication, this cleaning step is critical. Here are some quick steps:

  • Spray your reel with water.
  • Use a soft cloth or a towel to wipe away any dirt or salt deposits on the surface. A damp cloth (freshwater) will be better for a spinning reel used in saltwater. You can disassemble the inside parts to clean them carefully.
  • Then, let it dry.


You must lubricate some reel parts to maintain smooth operation, especially ball bearings and metal bushings. These parts accumulate water and salt, which will cause seizure and corrosion without lubrication. Remember to use the high-quality oils advised by the manufacturer. Depending on your use frequency, you can do this once a year or more frequently if necessary.


Always keep the reel in a dry, room-temperature environment. Prevent direct sunshine and extremes in temperature. You should also avoid knocking or putting heavy objects on it, as this will cause your items to distort or break.


You should consider the list of 8 main parts of a spinning reel before buying one to catch some fish. Under any circumstances, remember to look through their features and choose products from reputable manufacturers. Happy hunting!

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