Bail Not Closing On Spinning Reel – What to do?

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So, what will happen if you have set your fishing reel but the bail will not close? The last time I went fishing I encountered such a problem. I found a nice place, set my reel, and began to cast fish. But imagine what has happened!

The bail was not closing. So, how am I going to cast my fishing reel? Then after gathering knowledge, I wanted to share with you what to do if the bail is not closing on the spinning reel. Better be prepared.

If the bail is not closing on your spinning reel, then of course some damage has happened to the reel that is stopping the reel. Also, it’s possible that the reel is misplaced. As long as the instruments are misplaced instruments, we can fix them by replacing them. So, first, let’s see how the bail works.

How It Works and Why It Sometimes Doesn’t Close?

The bail in the fishing reel works as the gate of the fishing line. When the bail is closed, the fishing line stops from unwinding from the spool. But, when the bail is open, the reel releases the line to cast.

But during retrieval, the bail turns back the line. You can open and close the fishing bail manually. But, in an automated reel, the bail can be closed down automatically.

If the bail is not closing automatically, then there might be some problems that keep it running. The problems may be in the bail spring or in the bail wire. The bail spring can bring problems by breaking down.

Then you need to go to the nearest shop and buy it. But it also happens that the bail spring is misplaced. Then you need to place it as per the guidelines. 

Again, the problem can be in the bail wire. It can be cut down or bent over. Then you need to fix it to work with the bail. 

You can’t be sure what caused the bail spinning not to work as per requirement until you have a check. Once you start to have problems, the best you have to do is have a real check on the bail reel. Then whatever the problems – in spring or wire, you can find it.

What Closes the Bail On Spinning Reel?

So, we know now how many causes can stop the bail to do its job on a spinning reel. But, how to identify the real cause is the question. To identify the causes that are stopping the bail on the spinning reel we can follow the procedures as per the below sequences.

Step 1: Check the bail wire

We can start by checking the bail wire. The bail wire works as a lever that opens or closes the bail to release the line or stop the line.

If you see the bail wire is damaged or bent down, then it has caused the problem on the spinning reel. But if it is in its original view, then there is no problem. We have to go for a bail arm.

Step 2: Check the bail arm

With the check on the bail wire, we need to check on the bail arm too. The bail arm is connected to the rotor. And when we wind the handle, the bail arm rotates and fills the spool with a line.

Many reels have automatic bail arms. The automatic bail flips back into a winding position with a turn of the handle. But if you have a manual one, you need to flip back the bail arm by hand to engage it for winding. 

If the bail arm is bent down it can’t hold the lineup. The shape will stop the bail to close the spinning reel.

Step 3: Check the spring of the spinning reel

The spring of the spinning reel helps the bail to close or open. Automated reels, it’s a great help. But if the spring is damaged, then it will resist the bail to close. The spring can be misplaced or bent down also. you never know. And if such things happen, you need to fix them immediately. 

Step 4: Clean and lubricate the reel.

If the bail is out of lubricant, then it will stop spinning. The lubricant plays an unneglectable role in your fishing reel. Again, the sticky grease can also stop the reel from spinning. You need to clean the reel after 7-10 uses if you use grease as a lubricant.  

Step 5: Check for damage.

You are working with a fishing reel in an open area. Remember, the reel is not a superficial thing, damages can be in any part of the reel at any time. the bail can be broken and can be out of lubricant. or the bail arm, bail wire can be misplaced or bent down.

Again. If the reel itself is broken down, you cannot be fishing with it by changing the bail arm or wire. The rotor, the gear will resist the reel from performing.

How Do You Fix A Spinning Reel Bail That Won’t Close?

To fix your bail problem, first, you need to identify the problems. As we have known from above, it can be in a bail arm or bail wire or spring, or any other problems in the reel.

So, first, we can identify the real causes that have been stopping the reel from spinning. If once we have identified the problem, we can solve it too.

Let’s see how to fix the problems if it has been caused by a bail arm, bail wire, or bail spring.

Install new spring:

It’s the first thing to fix if the spring is damaged. We need to install a new spring if the previous one is damaged. Or we can fix it by reshaping it or setting it in the right place. Then it will be both time and money-consuming.

Fix bail wire: 

If the bail wire is bent down, we can reshape it. Then it will work just fine. But if the wire is damaged in a non-reshaped form, then we need to go for a new one.

Fix the bail arm: It is not necessary to buy a new one yet. You can fix the bail arm by bringing it back to its original shape. To bring the bail arm to its original shape, try to release the bail arm by unscrewing it, and then use a wrench to gently bend it back into shape.

Use Lubricant:

It must be done at work. Never forget to lubricant your reel. It will keep the bail in its working posture. You can use oil or grease as a lubricant. Better to find one that is perfect for your reel.


The main job of the bail on a spinning reel is to cast the line. But, in salt water, it often happens that the salt water resists the bail from doing its job. The user of course doesn’t want to lose their bailing arm or wire or anything as they are costly.

So, better be prepared to fix any sudden problem that arises the time when you are casting your luck.

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  • Daniyal

    I have been fishing for over 10 years and have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience in the sport. I am passionate about sharing my love of fishing with others, and helping them to improve their own skills. I have a large following on social media, where I share tips, advice and photos of my catches. I also write regular blog posts on all things fishing-related. If you're looking for someone to help you learn more about this great hobby, then look no further than me!

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