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How Fishing Reels Are Made? (Step by Step Guide!)

If fishing counts as one of your pastimes, then you are probably familiar with fishing reels or even have used one at some point. But have you ever been curious about how they make fishing reels? If yes, then you are in the right place.

How Are Fishing Reels Made?

The fishing reel is made by making the reel frame prepared at the beginning. The slide plates of reels, along with the other parts like a spindle, spool, clutch plate, plunger, rotating clamp, are assembled to form the reel for fishing. Finally, the knob and switch are added after placing the spool.

What are fishing reels made of?

The fishing reels are made out of different materials like Brass, Aluminum, Stainless steel, Graphite, Fiberglass, and many more.

But Aluminium, fiberglass, and graphites are the top most popular materials for making fishing reels.


Brass is the most common material to be used to make fishing reels. Brass reels have been in use for a very long time as they are less prone to rust.


Aluminum reels are lightweight and give a stronger hold. As it can take more pressure, aluminum is being used to make most of the fishing reels nowadays.

Stainless steel:

As stainless steel is more prone to rust easily, it is less used to make fishing reels. But you can find one of these in the market if you want to try.


Graphite fishing reels are the most lightweight reels in the market. But they are also prone to break easily if there is too much pressure on the reel.


Fiberglass reels are more on the expensive lists in the market. They do not rust. So, they are quite familiar among people who go fishing occasionally.

Different parts of the fishing reels are made out of these materials to make the reels sustain pressure and give service for a longer time.

The reel is not a single-part device of fishing. Instead, it has a crucial mechanism of different parts coming together to form a proper reeling system. As it comprises of many different components, the components are-

  • Foot
  • Handle
  • Spool
  • Body
  • Bail arm
  • Drag adjustment knob
  • Line roller
  • Anti-reverse switch, etc.

These are the basic components of a fishing reel. But as there are different types of fishing reels such as Spincast, Baitcasting, Spinning, Fly fishing, Offshore, Trolling, Surfcasting, the components or the parts may vary due to the different operations of the reel.

How do you make a fishing reel?

Fishing reels might be fun to use, but producing them can be fairly stressful. There are a lot of things that need to be well taken care of.  There are a number of steps and rules that you need to stick to meticulously, making sure each of the steps was carried out successfully.

These are the steps that you need to follow to make your own fishing reels.

Making the frame of the reel:

At first, the frame has to be prepared. You will be needing a computer-guided router to make cuts in four different sides of an aluminum-based cylinder to make the frame.

Making a spindle:

You will need to make a spindle out of stainless steel with a cutting machine.

Curving gears:

Two main and pinion gears are to be curved using a cutting machine.

Making small indentations:

Small indentations have to be made on the reel.

Setting drags:

Drags are set using a  cutter.


The slide plates are anodized using a chemical to dye them golden.

Preparing the spool for the frame:

To have the spool prepared, you have to follow some steps. At first, apply waterproof grease and lubricant on the safety catches.

It is important because the safety catch will prevent the person fishing from putting in too little or too much line tension. Next, you will need a bearing to which is set to support the spindle in the spool.

After that, you have to set a clutch plate. A stainless steel spindle sleeve, drag plate, and a sturdy synthetic washer- all of these things need to be installed, respectively.

Right after completing these steps, you have to make sure to set the spindle and pinion gears to the pool. The spool is now prepared to be set inside the frame.

After that, you need to apply some grease on the gearing and the plastic cover so that the spool gets assembled. It is then when the spool gets to go inside the frame.

For this, you need to use a fighting harness. The fighting harness is used so that the fish cannot drag the rod out of the hands of the angler.

Adjusting the side plates of the reel:

The left side plate is installed using six screws. Next, a metal spring and a plunger are needed to be placed.

These two things are used by the angler to change the speeds, that too, just using one button. This whole mechanism is made possible by a metal clip.

Now you need to focus on the right side plate. Here the drag setting needs to be adjusted correctly. But to attain this, you will need a liver and a knob.

The knob is used for growing and reducing tension. If you turn the knob clockwise, it will create more tension. And if you turn it anticlockwise, this will make it tensionless.

Preparing the reel to attach it to the rod:

In this step, you need to use a rotating clamp so that you can have the reels in a steady position. Now a stainless steel fixture needs to be installed. The fixture is what attaches the reels to the rod.

In the end, stainless steel and plastic knob have to be adjusted. These things are used so that the angler can reel in the line.

After the making process is over, you have to make sure the fishing reel runs smoothly without any technical difficulty. The safety catch also needs to be checked properly at this stage. 

Where are fishing reels made?

The making of the reels is widespread all over the world. Countries like the USA, United Kingdom, China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, and Indonesia are in the making of the fishing reels.

China is known to be the very first country to have ever made and used fishing reels in history. Even to this day, China is regarded as the largest exporter of fishing reels in the world.

Even though not pioneers in making fishing reels, a few Japanese companies have earned a whole lot of reputation for the production of fishing reels. At the same time, several other countries are now making them and gaining fame for providing good quality.

Other than Japan, countries like Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc., are now considered to be competitors in making fishing reels.

Though The Chinese were the first ones who owned the idea of a fishing reel, United Kingdom made quite some remarkable changes in this field.

The English is believed to be the mind behind the development of a fishing reel. They developed some features of fishing reels to make them much easier to use.

Then the Americans made some further changes to the fishing reels and shaped them into what they are today. There is a good deal of American companies that are producing fishing reels today.

What fishing reels are made in the United States?

There are bunches of companies in the United States that are currently making fishing reels.  They are mentioned below.

  • Douglas
  • Ross Reels
  • Aspen
  • Avet
  • GRProto
  • Abel
  • Nautilus
  • Innovative Reel Technologies
  • Lamson
  • Bauer Fly Reels
  • Penn
  • Accurate Reels
  • IRT Reels
  • Golden Scout Ltd.
  • Productive Alternatives
  • Seigler
  • Tibor Reel
  • Galvan Fly Reels

Where are 13 fishing reels made?

13 Fishing reels is a company that is famous for making fishing reels. The company started its journey in Florida, USA. But the company grew popular as it created several other segments for the fishing reels, eventually leading them to expand their business.

To cope up with the increasing demands, they teamed up with a company of a different country alongside the USA. Hence at present, the development teams of the company are both in the USA and in Taiwan.

Where are Lew’s Fishing Reels made?

Lew’s reels is a company owned by a USA- based supplier named ‘ DO OUTDOORS, INC.’ But the fishing reels of Lew’s are not made by the supplier. Rather a Korean-based manufacturing company called ‘Doyo’ makes all the reels for the company.

Where are Penn fishing reels made?

Penn is a USA-based fishing tackle company. But they make just a very small amount of their reels in the USA. And the rest of the reels are made in different countries. For example, China makes a large amount of the reels of Penn.

But this change in the place of production does not mean that the quality of the reels is somehow compromised. This is because the engineering specs that are used in making the reels are from Penn, the company itself.

Whatever brand you go for your fishing reel, make sure you take good care of it to make it last for a longer time. 

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