Im using an amp(line 6 spider 3) that does not have an effects loop, would using an equalizer just straight into the input jack do me any good or does an equalizer need to be placed in the effects loop to do the full function. I want to clean up the sound and make the distortion a little better would this help?
To really do that, you need a new amp. An EQ pedal won't do anything besides re-EQ your amp. And yes, it would make a difference before the amp, but not the one I think you're wanting.
Hmm, it sounds to me like an EQ pedal is not what you are looking for. EQ's work fine infront of an amp, but they can't be used to clean up the signal or thicken the distortion. It sounds to me like you might want to look into a compression pedal.