What is a Closed Face Reel and How to Use it?

If you are a beginner to the wonderful world of fishing, a closed-face fishing reel may look alien when compared to other reels on the market. 

These reels are simple yet cleverly designed and once you break it down, they don’t differ that much from conventional fishing reels.

What is a Closed Face Reel?

A closed-face reel is also known as a “Spincaster” reel and in many ways is similar to an open-faced fishing reel. 

The two major differences is the closed-face reel features an aluminum or plastic cone, which covers all the external working components. There is a small hole on the top of the cone that allows the line to pass through freely. 

Secondly, a Closed Face Fishing Reel doesn’t feature a bail arm. A bail arm allows for long casting and assists in line and fish retrieval. 

I find fishing with a bail arm boosts my confidence when I’m fighting for larger fish, and it gives me a sense of control as well. 

Are Closed-Face Reels any Good?

Yes, closed-face fishing reels are very good, but only if they are used for their intended purposes. 

When it comes to children and beginners they are fantastic, they enable these types of anglers to get outdoors and have some fun without too much complication. 

When compared to open-faced fishing reels which can be tricky to cast, this clever design eliminates this issue and makes fishing fun, instead of being frustrating.

Closed-face fishing reels cannot be used to target large sport and game fish, but are extremely popular amongst Bass and other types of freshwater fishermen. 

They offer a slick and compact design, fit comfortably on the boat and allow for a quicker casting time, this is great when fishing Bass tournaments. The cone protects the spool, line, and external working components, even in extreme conditions. 

On the downside, generally these reels are made with inferior components and the quality is at times lacking. They have a significantly shorter lifespan because of this.

How do you put fishing line on a Closed Face Reel?

Filling the spool of your closed-faced Reel is simple, and can be completed in just four easy steps:

  1. As with all fishing reels, the first order of business is to check the manufacturers’ specifications. It is imperative to ensure that you are using the correct pound-test line on your closed-face reel.

    Not adhering to the specifications can result in reduced efficiency and shortened lifespan due to excess stress on the gears and bearings. There is usually a stamp with these specs between the reel seat and the button. I like to check these specs before I commit to purchasing my fishing line.

  2. Next, you will need to attach the line. Unscrew the protective cone from the reel and remove all the old fishing line. While the line is off, it is good practice to lubricate the internal mechanisms.

    Run the new line through the hole in the cone but don’t screw it back into place just yet, attach the line to the spool with a simple cinch knot and tighten it around the spool. It is recommended that you tie an additional overhand knot for extra security.

  3. Now it is time to spool the reel, re-attach the protective cone to the base of the reel. Slowly turn the handle to allow the line to wind around the spool. It is important to keep the line taught throughout this entire process, this will reduce excess line and tangles.

    I advise holding the line between your index finger and thumb, approximately six inches from the hole of the cone. This will ensure there is sufficient tension on the line between these two points. Continue reeling until the specified length is required, it is important to not overload the spool. 

  4. Now that the line is on it is time to finish up. Cut the line above the smallest eye on your rod, and tie on a rig, snap, or artificial lure. If you have line leftover, store it in a cool dry place until you’ll need it again.

How much line should you put on a Closed-Face Reel?

When replacing line on any type of fishing reel, it is important to check the manufacturers’ specifications, even more so when filling the spool on a closed-face reel. 

Overfilling the spool can cause the line to come off. When this happens inside the cone, the result is a huge knotty mess that can ruin your day’s fishing and potentially cost you a trophy fish. And yes, I am talking from experience here.

Can you put Braided Line on a Closed Face Reel?

Unfortunately, Braided Line is not an option when using a closed-face Reel, and manufacturers strongly suggest using this type of fishing line on their products. 

The rationale is that Braided Line can cause excessive wear on pick-up pins. 

Additionally, Braided Line drastically reduces casting distance and can cause the line to dig into the spool, particularly when snagged or hooked into a large fish. This is a major disadvantage for me as I really enjoy the direct feel and long casting abilities that braided fishing line offers.

How do you cast a Closed-Face Reel?

Close face reel

To cast a closed-faced or Spincast reel is easy, this is why they are a great choice for children and beginners. The most important thing to remember is that when you are not pushing and holding the button in, the line can come out or off the spool.

Start by dangling your rig or lure about two feet from the end of the rod, turn your body feet to face the direction that you would like to cast, and push the casting button in. 

Now hold the rod over your shoulder horizontally pointing behind you, flick the rod forward to the twelve o’clock position, and release the button when your rod reaches the ninety-five-degree mark. This will allow the rig or lure to fly forward towards your target.

When progressing to an open-faced reel, instead of pushing the button, you will flip over the bail arm and hold tension with your finger. When casting you will release the line with your finger at about the same point (95 degrees).

What is a good Closed-Face Reel?

When choosing a closed-face reel you should consider the Pflueger President Spincast Fishing Reel. This is not just a good reel, it is one of the finest available.

This quality reel features a rigid and durable aluminum design and a premium stainless steel four-ball bearing system. This system ensures strength, durability, and a silky smooth reeling action. 

The protective front cone and sturdy handle are also machined from aluminum, and the handle features a comfortable and ergonomic knob for extra grip.

The Pflueger President Spincast Fishing Reel is an affordable option for beginners, offers an exceptionally smooth reeling action, and is seriously durable and strong. On the downside, like all closed-face reels, Braided Line is unfortunately not an option. 


Closed-Face Fishing Reels are fantastic reels if they are used for their intended purposes. They are great for children and beginners and make fishing easy if you are new to this wonderful sport. 

I recommend the Closed Face Fishing Reel for beginners, but also bass fishermen. When I am out on my kayak targeting big game fish, the closed reel will not be a part of my arsenal

They feature a protective cone that protects the external working components and also reduces wind knots and crows’ nests. They do not feature a bail arm and casting is simple, when casting you need to utilize the casting button which is positioned on the back.

It is important to check manufacturers’ specifications and to not overfill the spool when putting on the new line, this can cause the line to come off the spool.

Braided Line is not a great option on these types of reel, and they are not suitable to target large sport or game fish. Closed-face reels are extremely popular amongst bass fishermen and freshwater anglers.

The Pflueger President Spincast Fishing Reel is a great option when purchasing, and offers a design that is sturdy, durable, lightweight, combined with a smooth reeling action.

string(10) "freshwater"
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