Can You Use Braided Fishing Line on a Spincast Reel?

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Written By Russ Egan

Russ is a professional fisherman with over 20 years of experience. He has fished all over the world for more than two decades, primarily for saltwater game fish but also for local trophy fish. Russ comprehensively tests and reviews all his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. There is nothing he prefers than heading down to his local tackle store, buying the latest fishing reel, and taking it to the water to test.


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You can’t use braid fishing line on a spincast reel because it can damage the internal components. You should always use a mono backing prior to braid.

Spincast reels are favorite among beginners for a few different reasons. They are easy to use, lightweight, and perfect for catching small panfish. However, the simple design means that spincast reels, by necessity, come with a few tradeoffs. You are limited in terms of casting distance, fish size, and even the type of fishing line you can use.

Most spincast reels are not suited for braided fishing line, and using braided fishing line will cause damage to your reel. The only exception is some higher-end models that are more durable and may even come with pre-spooled braided fishing line.

I always recommend using a high quality mono fishign line for spincast reels, to avoid damaging any of the internal components. The Berkley Trilene Mono is one of my personal favorites:

Berkley Trilene Mono
  • Available in Up to 10,800 Yard Spools
  • From 8 to 200 Pound Strength
  • Extremely Powerful
  • Shock Resistant

Here is an explanation of why you can’t use braided fishing line on a spincast reel in most cases. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions for your particular reel when in doubt.

kastking brutus spincast reel sitting on a bench before testing

Why Can’t You Use Braided Line on a Spincast Reel?

You can’t use braided line on most spincast reels because it will damage the mechanism of the spincast reel. The damage can occur to the internal gears as well as other parts of the reel. 

However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. You can use braided line on a spincast reel if:

  1. The reel is high-end
  2. The reel comes pre-spooled with braided line
  3. You loosen the drag

1. Using Braided Line with High-End Reels

Most spincast reels have very low prices. That is because they are designed to be used for a season, then thrown away. The idea is that you will use it to teach someone, often a child, how to fish and then upgrade to a different type of reel and rod combination. The very low-priced spincast reels are not designed to hold up to wear and tear because manufacturers will not invest much in reels that won’t yield them profit.

However, the days of all spincast reels being treated as disposable are long gone. Some spincast reels are high-end and designed to last, especially as more anglers are catching on to the idea that they can use spincast reels even when they’re advanced. These high-end reels are designed to last, even when you use them in combination with braided line.

Always check the instruction manual because manufacturers will specify whether you can use braided line with their reel. However, it’s a good assumption to make that if you pay more for a spincast reel, you can use any type of line on it.

2. The Reel Comes Pre-Spooled with Braided Line

You don’t have to bother reading manufacturer instructions to see if you can use braided line if the manufacturer already pre-spooled braided line onto the reel when you buy it in the store. Pre-spooled reels are increasingly common as a way to make buyers’ lives easier and show which fishing line works with which reel.

3. You Loosen the Drag

Even if your spincast reel says you can use braided line with it, there still is the potential for damage. You want to take as many precautions as possible to extend the lifespan of the reel. To use braided line with spincast reels, lighten the drag as much as possible. 

If you use too much drag, the braided line will bury into the spool once you hook a fish. Since this line is so thin and strong, it buries into the reel parts and can cause lasting damage. Loosening the drag reduces the risk of the line burying into your reel, making it worth the extra effort it might take to haul your catch in.

Why Does Braided Line Damage Spincast Reels?

As mentioned above, you can’t use braided line with most spincast reels because it damages the internal gears. However, how can a simple fishing line do so much damage to a reel?

Braided line is tougher than other types of line, such as monofilament and fluorocarbon. It causes more wear and tear where it rubs against the spool, eventually causing the internal gears of your reel to break down.

The normal wear and tear that braid causes on spincast reels gets even worse during situations where it digs into the reel parts. When you’re reeling in, if you didn’t adjust the drag properly, the braid will dig into the spool. Another problem is when the line tangles or snags. Spincast reels don’t get backlash but are still prone to tangling, which causes the braided line to dig in deeper and cause more damage. 

Even if you’re not that worried about damage to your reel, braided line won’t perform as well on spincast reels because you’ll have less line capacity.

Final Thoughts

Unless your manufacturer’s instructions specifically indicate that you can use braided line with your spincast reel, avoid this type of line because it causes more friction and damage with the reel parts than other lines.

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