Friday, February 11, 2011

Fishing Lines : Part 2

Yesterday I wrote an article about some of the pros and cons of the different types of lines available. In continuation of that train of thought , today I'd like to discuss how to spool up and how to take care of your line.

In my opinion , the absolute best way to spool any reel is by using a line winder. This especially true for spinning reels because you can remove the spool and wind the line on without the twisting that is normally caused by cranking the line onto the reel. Many tackle stores offer this service if you purchase line from them or for a small fee. As an added bonus , some of these tackle shops sell line by the foot or yard so you don't end up with excess line.

If you don't have access to a line winder , that leaves you with the task of cranking it on by hand. Simple enough , but there are a few things you can do to make it easier. Casting reels are by far the easiest to spool with line. Most everyone has cranked line onto a reel while a friend held the spool of line on a pencil and applied tension. This works perfectly for baitcasters and conventional reels , but I do not recommend it for spinning reels. For spinning reels it's best to lay the spool on the floor , label up. As you crank the line on , watch for twisting and turn the spool over as needed.

With monofilament and fluorocarbon lines it is very easy to attach the line to the spool. A simple Arbor Knot is all that is needed. When using braided line the Arbor knot will not hold securely to the spool , causing braided line to slip on most spools. I've seen some crazy ways people have tried to prevent this , such as Super Gluing the line to the spool or using duct tape to hold it in place. I do it a little differently. I tie a 5-6 ft. piece of 30 pound mono to the braided line using an Albright knot and then tie the mono to the spool using the Arbor knot. This has always worked quite well for me because the Arbor knot works just fine with mono. Another option that I have seen used on larger reels is to use monofilament as backing and then put the braid on top. I never do this because the braid will cut into the mono when you have a big fish on.

After I've filled the spool , I always like to stretch the line. I do this by attaching the line to a snap swivel and then clipping the snap onto a swivel I have on a key ring. This puts two swivels at the end of the line and lets any twists in the line work their way out. You can have a friend hold the key ring or you can hang it on a nail. I always try to get at least 60-70 yards of line off of the spool and then I pull back on the rod to put a good bend in it. This stretches the line and eliminates the memory in the line. After I've stretched it , I keep pressure on the line with the rod as I reel it back onto the spool.

Lately , I've been using Reel Magic on my spool after I've stretched the line. It seems to help with memory and it seems to help the line last a little bit longer. I give the line a good soaking with this product and set it aside to dry. It may or may not actually be doing anything , but it seems to work for me. I'd love to hear anyone's experiences or opinions about Reel Magic.

When I used to fish for Striped Bass almost every day here on Smith Mountain Lake , it was nothing for me to have to change line on my best reels 2 or 3 times a week. Catching big fish can be hard on your line! It's best to keep a close eye on your line for nicks and abrasions that can cause you to lose fish. Sunlight also destroys fishing line , so it's best to keep your reels out of direct sunlight when not in use.

I always like hearing other people's tips and tricks for handling and using fishing line , so if you have anything to add put it in the comments below!

Have a great weekend!

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