Avoiding Line Twist On Spinning Reels
Written By: Bill Adelman, March 13, 2013
Last time we took a gander at the new sturgeon regs, which appear to have a few serious questions. Mainly, the one day angler and under age angler. Do the kids need the card and do one-day anglers have to buy a card, and then remember months later to mail it in? Just asking, Moving on.
As the sturgeon angling has been in a status quo mode for the past few weeks, let’s move on to a few generalized tips, mostly very basic stuff. As I watch many of the fishing shows, the most notable “mistake” is made with a spinning reel. We’ve all dealt with line twist.
The two easiest ways to fix this problem is by trolling just the line behind the boat or, if on a river, just let line out, downstream, and twitch the heck out of it. Eventually, most of the twist will disappear. However, why do we get it?
With a level wind reel, twist doesn’t occur, except for angler error. With a spinning or push button reel, it occurs constantly when the angler reels against the drag.
Say what? When you reel against the drag, line is not retrieved onto the spool. Every turn of the handle puts 1/4th of a twist into the line. The lighter the pound test, the worse the problem.
Is there a cure? The most obvious is this. When you hear or see the line being pulled off the spool, don’t crank. Perhaps lower the rod tip more parallel to the water to allow the drag to work more easily. The more severe the bend of the rod, the harder it is for the drag to work.
If using a lighter line against a larger fish, back reel. Most spinning reels have a knob that allows you to wind backwards. As the fish runs, just crank backwards to keep up with the pressure, and when the pull lightens up, crank forward again.
Should the pressure suddenly surge past the comfortable maximum, actually pull the line against the drag by hand as you lower the rod tip at the same time. Another method for assisting the drag is to use your fingers to control spool speed when the spool is back spinning at an unreasonable speed. Just allow the fingertips to apply pressure on the spool until the fish slows down. This works a bit better than trying to tighten the drag during this maneuver.
So, how do you fix the twist problem? Pump, lower and crank. As the fish is hooked, a tight line is a must. If the fish is stable, lift the rod tip to change the direction of the fish.
The tip is now high in the air. Then lower the tip at the same speed that you’re cranking. Don’t just lower the tip, allowing slack line, then crank. Fish off. When the fish runs, let it go without cranking.
Drop shotting is a very popular and productive method for success in our overly clear lakes. There’s a hook out now that has two small swivels on each end, allowing the hook to freely spin. BPS refers to it as a swivel shot and Cabela’s calls it a spinshot drop shot hook. It works.
The main line should be braid, as the feel is extremely sensitive. One way to eliminate the tying of a suspect knot with braid is to tie a small black swivel on the braid with a Palomar knot. Then add a length of fluorocarbon, tie on the hook, add another length of fluoro, then a sinker.
Length of fluoro is a personal choice. The one thing that requires some attention, is reeling the black swivel through or against the rod tip. Could happen.
Your worm can be head centered or wacky style. Hold a slightly tight line after the cast as it isn’t uncommon for a fish to grab the worm on the sink, especially when fishing through suspended fish, especially smallmouth.
Here’s one for the fly guy. Can you get your hands on an old 35mm film canister? This is a great drying utensil. It seemed that the drying attachment on my vest was always on the right side.
Being a right-handed caster, I was always knocking a few flies off the vest, which were the ones that got bit right after hitting the water. Take your punch and jab a bunch of holes all around the canister. Then punch a hole in the bottom and lid, centered.
Monofilament line, say 20 pound is then pushed through the bottom and lid, then tied off at a length where you can attach it to your vest. As you remove a fly from your leader, just pop it into the canister, which is dangling in the air. At the end of the day, remove the sorta wet flies and dry them on a towel, overnight.
Next time we’ll get back to fishing. Seeya then and Tight Lines!