Why Does My Spinning Reel Spin Both Ways?—Possible Reasons 2024

Technically speaking, spinning reels are designed to spin both ways, just not at the same time.

Unlike older reeling systems, modern reels prevent the handle from spinning in both directions at the same time.

So, the reel will spin in one direction while casting the line and then you can use the anti-reverse mechanism to prevent backspin, and reel in one direction only.

Why does my spinning reel spin both ways? because of problems in anti-reverse, bail, or drag, the reel can spin in both directions at the same time.

why does my spinning reel spin both ways

These problems are easily fixable at home. All you need are some basic tools like a screwdriver and socket, and you can fix these issues yourself.

To fix the problem, you must first identify one. Let’s discuss how you can identify the problem in your spinning reel that spins both ways.

Possible Problems 

There can be 5 problems that would prevent your spinning reel from spinning in one direction only.

  • 1. There is dust or debris build-up in the reel that is causing the anti-reverse or bail to not function properly.
  • 2. You might have not turned on the anti-reverse or the drag settings are not accurate.
  • 3. The bail is broken or not flipping properly to the other side.
  • 4. The anti-reverse clutch is broken or not working properly.
  • 5. There is rust in drag’s metal discs or broken mechanism.

Check Why Are Spinning Reels Left-Handed?

Check if Everything is Set Right of Spinning Reel

When you cast the line on a spinning reel, the bail automatically shifts to the other side. The bail is a U-shaped metal ring that switches to the other side to allow you to reel the line back in.

If the bail is not switching automatically, that is maybe because of a worn-out spring. Until you purchase a replacement spring, you can just switch it to the other side manually.

Check if Everything is Set Right

Similarly, just make sure that the anti-reverse switch is turned on while reeling in. In this way, the reel won’t spin in both directions.

Also, you must accurately calibrate the drag. Test the drag a few times by pulling the line with your hand to test the pressure limit. You may like to check What Size Spinning Reel For Bass?

You can also use weights to adjust and calibrate the drag settings.

If all of these are set right and the reel is still spinning in both directions at the same time, then it is because of a mechanical issue.

There can be three possible mechanical issues.

Anti-Reverse Clutch is Broken of Spinning Reel

If the anti-reverse switch is not working properly or if turning it on doesn’t stop the reel from spinning in reverse, there might be a mechanical error.

You can open and fix the anti-reverse switch on your own. All you need is a screwdriver and a socket.

Anti-Reverse Clutch is Broken

We have shared a detailed guide on how to fix an anti-reverse clutch in another article. You can also watch step-by-step videos on YouTube if you are confused.

The process is a bit complex, but nothing too complex. Just make sure to clean the components properly and put them in the right place. You may also like to check Why Spinning Reels Are Better?

Bail Spring is Worn Out of Spinning Reel

A worn-out bail spring will prevent the bail switch from automatically shifting to the other side. Replacing it is extremely easy.

All you need is one screwdriver and a replacement spring. Simply remove the screw at the base of the bail, remove the spring and replace it with a new one.

Bail Spring is Worn Out

We have shared a detailed guide in our other article. Replacing the bail spring only takes a couple of minutes, so you can easily do it at home.

The drag of Spinning Reel is not working properly

Another reason why your reel might be spinning in both directions is that the drag is not functioning properly.

You can fix that problem yourself at your home without needing help from any professional.

The drag is not working properly

Just unscrew the drag knob at the bottom of the reel, and pop out the spring. Then remove the drag discs. There will be two types of disks, metal, and soft discs.

You should look for signs of rust on the metal discs and clean them using sandpaper properly.

After cleaning them, soak both discs in a cleaner liquid for 10 minutes. Clean the inside of the drag space and also put some oil in the knob.

Then put the discs back inside the drag area and lock it up. You are good to go.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, technically the spinning reel is supposed to spin in both directions, just not at the same time. So, all you need to do is make sure that the bail is working properly, the anti-reverse switch is on and the drag settings are calibrated correctly.

The bail and anti-reverse switch are responsible for stopping the reel from spinning in both directions. The drag settings adjust the line pressure. These three mechanisms stop the reel from spinning in both directions.

Fixing the anti-reverse switch is a bit complex but you can do it at home using a screwdriver and a ½ inch socket. Simply, take the anti-reverse clutch assembly apart, replace the broken components, and put it back together.

Wrapping Up!

Spinning reels are supposed to spin in both directions, just not simultaneously. So, if your reel is spinning in both directions, you must make sure that you have adjusted settings accurately.

By reading this article, you will be able to narrow down the problem and find out why your spinning reel is spinning in both directions. We have also shared detailed guides on how to fix each of these problems.

Let us know in the comments if you were able to find and resolve the issue.

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