Why is my Fishing Reel Spinning Both Ways?

Fishing can be quite fun and adventurous. As is often the case, you can enjoy seamless and stress-free fishing ventures when you have the right tools and equipment at your disposal. Beyond having the right tools, it is essential that you keep them in good condition. And if you have ever been wondering – why is my fishing reel spinning in both ways? Now might be the perfect time for you to find answers to what you seek.

Since the fishing reel happens to be one of the most crucial tools for fishing, double-sided spinning might negatively impact your activities on the waters. If your fishing reel is therefore spinning in both ways, it might be as a result of wrong or faulty anti-reverse. If that is not the case, it means something is wrong with the drag. Beyond these two factors, a faulty bail could also be responsible.

Why is my Fishing Reel Spinning Both Ways?

Regardless of the problem, you should be ready to find long-lasting solutions to it. And these solutions come in handy in this comprehensive piece. Apart from that, you will also be exposed to the different factors responsible for each of the causes of a fishing reel spinning in both ways. If you are curious enough, you won’t mind reading this guide to the end.

Article Summary

  • Generally, an anti-reverse system that is not in good shape can cause double-sided spinning in fishing reels.
  • A broken bail or improperly fixed drag can also contribute to your fishing reel spinning in the wrong direction.
  • Check the anti-reverse system, drag, and bail to get the fishing reel back into shape. Perhaps any parts of these components are broken; ensure you replace them.

Why is my Fishing Reel Spinning Both Ways?

Thanks to technology, there are new and easy means of going about all activities that characterize human life. With the aid of technological advancements and improvements that have plagued the whole world, every aspect of human endeavor, fishing inclusive, has been positively affected.

For instance, the fishing reels, which used to attract no attention previously, have witnessed significant updates and improvements recently. Designed with the latest technology, this equipment makes fishing a great experience.

Why is my Fishing Reel Spinning Both Ways?

These improvements do not entirely rule out instances of complications. The more complex they become, the harder it gets to function optimally. So, there might be cases where your fishing reels spin in both ways. The good news is that you are not alone, so you shouldn’t feel bad if you have this problem. It is a common issue that you can easily address and get your device back into action with just a few steps.

The basic cause of double-sided spinning is anti-reverse. Here, it is either something is wrong with it, or its components are not in good shape. Also, you can have other factors, including broken or improperly fixed drag and faulty bail. More details have been given below to provide a comprehensive analysis of each of these causes.

1) The Anti-reverse

Suppose you notice your fishing reel spinning in both ways. In that case, there is a problem with the anti-reverse. The basic reason for designing and attaching an anti-reverse to the fishing reel is to prevent it from spinning in the wrong direction.

It comes with a readily attached switch to control the rate at which it spins and prevent it from heading in the wrong direction. Whenever the switch is turned on, it prevents the spool and handles from spinning backward, preventing the line from getting off the spool.

The Anti-reverse

Whenever you fail to engage the anti-reverse properly, there’s a double-sided spinning of the spool and handle, depending on the actions. Thus, each time your fishing reel is spinning in both ways, start by checking whether the anti-reverse switch is engaged or not. If engaged, the reel should stop spinning in both ways.

Perhaps this does not get your fishing reel back to its optimal function and purpose; it means the switch or the entire anti-reverse system is having an issue. Perhaps this is the case with your fishing reel; you need to set all its components, especially the anti-reverse system, apart. Check all the components to see if there’s any damage. The fault might be a result of a broken component or misaligned ones.

2) The Bail

Without mincing words, fishing reels follow a simple design process that makes it easy to spin in both directions. However, this shouldn’t occur in an instance. The reel’s spinning largely depends on the bail: a U-shaped rigid cable that allows movement from one direction to the other. Casting the line becomes easy and quick as long as the bail remains in the open position. This automatically prevents the handle and spool from spinning in reverse.

The Bail

To reel the line in, all you have to do is set the bail in the closed position. Whether you are retrieving or casting the line, you should ensure that the bail on the spinning reel is held in the right position. Once placed in the right position, whether when casting or retrieving, and the issue of spinning in both ways is still evident, the problem can only be from the internal mechanism, the bail inclusive.

To address the issue, begin by taking the bail off. Go ahead to unscrew it, and check its interior parts carefully and thoroughly. To avoid future breakdown and prevent double-sided spinning, all the components that make up the bail must be in good condition and one piece. Perhaps the issue lies behind the broken components; get them replaced.

The problem with the bail is one you should be able to do all by yourself. It requires little or no technical expertise. Your fishing reel should be ready for use once again after all the bail components have been checked to solve potential problems.

3) The Drag

The third and one of the most evident causes of double-sided spinning in fishing reels could be broken drag. If the drag is not set in the right way, it could also spell difficulty in your fishing reel’s mode of operation, resulting in spinning in both ways.

The drag in this context refers to a component attached to the fishing reel to regulate the amount of pressure a fish can place on the line. This pressure is often in the reverse direction and does not pull the line out.

The Drag

There are cases in which the drag might not be able to put up with the pressure that a fish applies. In such cases, the handle and spool are released to let the line out. This is highly beneficial in that snapping of the fishing line can be avoided. The reverse will be the case if the drag settings are extremely low. The fish can easily pull the line out, making the spool and handle spin in both ways.

This issue is quite easy to address. Since the pressure of the fish determines the drag pressure, ensure that both pressures correlate or that of the drag exceeds that of the fish you intend to catch. If the fish is pretty large, increase the pressure settings to meet its standard. It’s that simple. You should know that this might not always work. And the reason for that is not too distant to infer – the fishing reel could have broken.

In this instance, the components that make up the drag system should be removed from the reel. Clean them properly and get them back into position. If you find any broken one, replace it.

Fixing a broken drag system might require technical expertise. Unless you’ve solved such problems before or are well acquainted with the processes, you shouldn’t attempt it. It would be best if you hire a professional to do it.

How Does a Spinning Reel Work?

1For every individual who is new to the fishing venture, fishing reels can be a big deal. Due to how indispensable they are, you have no other choice than to use them to make your fishing experience worth the time and energy.

Regardless of what is at the other end of your fishing line, fishing reels help you bring it back with safety. Apart from this, they make pulling easy no matter the weight of the catch. However, you cannot enjoy all these benefits if you do not know how they work.

So, if what is at the forefront of your mind is “why is my fishing reel spinning in both ways?” you need to begin with the basics, and that borders around knowing how the spinning reel itself works.

First off, many components make up the spinning reel. Such components include the handle, body (usually made of steel, plastic, or any metal), gearbox, spool, drag adjustment knob, and the bail. Each of these components works hand in hand with others to give you the best fishing experience.

Whether it is your first time as an angler or you’ve been at it for a relatively long time, how spinning reels work is quite relatable and easy to understand. Among the various components that make up the spinning reel, the fixed pool and open face remain crucial to its effective operation. The spool stays in position during casting while the fishing line unwraps from it.

How Does a Spinning Reel Work?

Generally, reels are more compatible with fish of smaller size. They work perfectly well with smaller baits. But if you want to catch a fish of a big size, there are also spinning reels for such a task.

The small line roller and bail wire attached to the spinning reel enable smooth and unhindered reeling of lines. The bail is extremely vital. It keeps the line in position and limits the chances of knots. When casting, simply flip the bail up. This will release the line and allow it to unwrap quickly. For retrieval, ensure the bail is closed and rotate the handle.

You should know that there are many types of spinning reels and the line release, spoils, and methods of retrieval constitute the major differences that exist among them.

What Does it Mean if a Fishing Reel is Spinning Both Ways?

The word “complication” might sound familiar. If yes, the meaning of a fishing reel that’s spinning in both ways is not far from it. A complication arises from the fishing reel spinning in the wrong direction. When this happens, fishing becomes difficult, and the once smooth and fun activity leaves little to desire.

The complications that arise from the fishing reel spinning in the wrong direction can be due to many reasons. At the top of these reasons is faulty anti-reverse. Other complementary reasons include a broken drag adjustment knob and the inability of the bail to move easily from one direction to the other.

How to Fix Anti-reverse on Spinning Reel?

It is no new news that the fishing reel is bound to spin in the wrong direction when the anti-reverse is not in good shape. You do not have to worry about how to get your fishing reel back into shape if you’ve experienced double-sided spinning. In fact, it requires no technical skills.

All you have to do is follow some step-by-step processes. Adhering to these processes will help you make the necessary adjustments as early as possible. It will also equip you with the necessary techniques to resolve such issues; perhaps they will occur in the nearest future. You should hire a professional if you deem it fit.

The steps you should follow are contained in the paragraphs below.

  • Begin by checking the position of the anti-reverse switch, making sure that it is not permanently fixed in the off state.
  • If the switch is permanently fixed in the off state, or it fails to engage when turned on, you have to remove all the components to check if there’s something wrong on the inside.
  • Unscrew it and take the housing cap off. Find the rotor nut and spool washer. Locate the clutch bearing after taking off the rotor assembly. The screws fixed round about the rim close to the bearing cap should be unscrewed.
  • Remove the entire clutch assembly following the removal of the screws. You will find an essential piece in the clutch assembly referred to as a pinion. Ensure you do not move or adjust it.
  • Check the diameter bushing to see if the roller clutch sleeve is well-positioned. If well positioned, it is nested properly inside the diameter bushing. Readjust it if it is not well-positioned. In a more relatable term, this means you have to move the clutch bearing into the anti-reverse clutch. The solution comes in handy with these simple steps.
  • Any component of the anti-reverse system might have been broken, which can render the previous processes useless. In this case, you have to replace the broken parts.

Frequently Asked Questions

There’s no doubt that the internet is home to myriads of questions. Such question as “why is my fishing reel spinning in both ways?” have become increasingly common on the internet that you will find some other questions attached to it. Some of these questions and their corresponding answers have been highlighted in the paragraphs below.

Why do Spinning Reels have reverse?

The reverse attached to spinning reels enables the fish to slip the drag easily. It also allows the reel handle to be rotated backward whenever the angler holds it.

Why are Spinning Reel Handles on the left?

Having the handle on the left side allows you to hold the spinning reel firmly. This is quite crucial, particularly when you catch a large fish. In such cases, while the weaker arm turns the handle, the stronger one can be used to pull the fish.

Does the Reel Go on Top or Bottom?

The side a reel goes largely depends on the type or model. While some (the spin-cast reels, for instance) go on the top of the handle, other types mount on the underside.

Why is my reel not Locking?

There are cases in which the reel will not lock. When this occurs, there are likely two factors responsible: either the spool is broken or an issue with the bail wire.


So, if by way of wrapping up, you are still trying to find your way around the question “why is my fishing reel spinning in both ways?” the answers can be simply inferred to be one of the following – faulty anti-reverse system, broken bail wire, or wrong setting of the drag adjustment knob. The solutions to these problems come in handy and require little or no technical expertise.

James Smith

Hi , i'm James Smith Author of Fishuntgear.com. I am a Blogger & Love to Reading Book with Learning and Shareing. Persionally, i'm very interested in Fishing & Hunting . In personal life, I am a father of two cute kid and loving husband of a beautiful wife.

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