It doesn't need to spin loosely, but you want it to roll when your hull hits it loading so you don't get skid marks on your bow. It should be installed with a wax nut/jam nut that will allow it to hold tight without cinching the fork together causing the roller to stick. Tighten it until the roller does not turn easily by hand then back off one whole turn. It should then turn by hand without being loose. I always have a Stoltz clear bow roller installed to keep the hull nice and clean. Hope it helps.