Why Does My Spinning Reel Click? (For Beginners)

If you have laid your hands on several spinning reels, you will find that the reels give off a clicking noise during a drag.

In this article, you will find an explanation of the primary reason why your spinning reel clicks.

Here Is Why Your Spinning Reel Click:

Thanks to the drag clicker and the reel gear, a spinning reel clicks to show that the fishing line is pulled out from the spool. The clicks can serve as a great indicator that you have a fighting fish underneath the waters. 

What Makes The Reel Click?

The basic reason your reel clicks is because it has components that produce this noise. The components responsible for this sound are the drag clicker, the clicker spring, and the reel gear. 

The drag clicker is a small pin that rubs against the gear in motion and prevents the latter from going in the opposite direction. You will find a spring on the clicker that bounces as the clicker moves. On the other hand, the gear is a part with teeth that sits on the shaft. 

The reel gives a clicking sound when the clicker touches the gear as it moves. 

If your spinning reel suddenly stops clicking when you drag the line, it indicates an issue with the reel. 

It is crucial to identify the basic reasons for no drag click on a spinning rod and how to fix it. For instance, the issue may arise from an improperly spooled line. 

Also, there could be a build-up, and all you need to do is clean up the reel. You can follow these easy steps for clearing such build-up:

  1. First, take your reel apart. Remove the spool from the main fishing reel and take the end cap off.   
  2. Then set aside some clean tissue or other appropriate material for cleaning the reel. A reel cleaner will also go a long way in helping to clear off excess grease.
  3. Wipe off the inside of your spool. You will find all the greasy build-up in there. You should clean the underside of the spool too.
  4. Also, you can use the opportunity to clean other areas like the end cap and the bearing.
  5. Oil the parts you have just cleaned and put the reel back together.

What Is Drag?

Drag is a set of fiction plates you will find inside the reel. 

This drag is responsible for the amount of line let out when you pull on the line. 

Also, it is safe to call the drag a ‘line saver’ because the feature keeps your line from breaking at the instance of any pressure. 

For example, when you fight a fish and it pulls on your line, the force would cause the reel to rotate back and release more lines. Then this release will reduce the fish’s pressure on the line. 

Your line will not only be more resistant to breakage, but you will also have more chances of winning fish fights.

Why Should I Need A Drag?

A drag is pretty essential for hassle-free fishing. Catching a fish becomes even easier if your reel has more drag. 

However, you only experience the benefits from a drag if it is set just right. You should not set the drag too tight or too light.

If you set the drag too tight, the line may break. This situation commonly happens when you catch a fish, and it suddenly runs from the very tight drag. Furthermore, a high drag limiting the line released during a fish fight can tear big holes in fish with thin mouths.

On the other hand, if the drag is set too light, then the entire line can strip off from your reel, especially if you hooked a specie like a shark. 

Thus, it is essential to keep the amount of pressure on the reel balanced. You will find how to set the drag on a spinning reel below.

How Do You Fix Drag On A Spinning Reel?

It is essential to fix the drag on your spinning reel correctly. Otherwise, the wrong setting can affect your fishing experience. For instance, you may break your line or even lose a good catch. 

You can follow these basic steps to set the drag.

  1. Use a drag scale

A drag scale is a device you can use to measure the amount of pressure you use to pull out the line from the spool.

If you do not already own a drag scale, you can purchase one in a hardware store. 

Attach the scale to your fishing line. Then pull the fishing line to gauge the force you apply when pulling. The average gauge is between twenty to thirty percent of your fishing line’s breaking strength.

The good part of this device is that you can get it at an affordable price.

  1. Set the drag with your hands

Using your hands is an easy method since you do not require any tool. 

Simply wrap the line around your hand. Then drag the line to test the pressure. When it feels like you have to use so much pressure to pull the line, that indicates that the drag is tight. 

However, if you pull with just a slight force and the line still moves freely, your drag may be too light.

A drag correctly set will move with moderate pressure, leaving some form of indentation on your hand as you pull.

How Do You Fix A Squeaky Spinning Reel?

If your reel proceeds from the usual clicking sound to making an extra noisy one, that can get pretty annoying. 

To solve this issue, you can examine the bearing of the fishing rod. In many cases, such sounds usually come from a faulty bearing. 

The bearings are mostly in areas on the reel that spins or rotates, like a rotating wheel. A bearing looks like a tiny nut with an aisle at the center.

Take the wheel apart and fish out the bearing. You should note that how you disassemble your reel to locate the bearing will vary from different reel types. Your best bet will be to check the reel’s model so you can figure out the bearing’s location accurately.

You can tell if this object is the cause of the noise if you notice that it is rusting. You should not resort to oiling the bearing since that will hardly make any difference. The appropriate step is to replace the bearing with a newer one.

Why Is My Reel Not Clicking?

It is normal to hear the clicking sounds when you pull the line on your spinning reel. If the click is absent, you may need to check your reel.

One of the reasons you may not hear the clicking sound can be the braided line. There will be no drag click if the line is spinning freely without the spool moving.

Also, the drag clicker and the reel gear may be in bad condition and need replacement. Not only that, the issue can arise from grease build-up on the inside of the reel.


You can increase your expertise and become a better angler by understanding how your fishing gear works. It is also great to know how a fishing reel works, including why a spinning reel makes the clicking noise.

Clicking is a known feature for spinning reels. However, it is noteworthy that the click feature is now less common with newer spinning reel models, thanks to advances in technology.