Success leaves a lot to the discretion of the fish gods. Wind, weather, bait availability, hungry fish… these are all things that conspire at times to ruin a fishing trip. The wise angler takes great care to make sure things within our control are attended to properly. Knowing how to spool your line is one of them. At first glance, you might think to yourself, Really? Who doesn’t know how to spool line on a reel? You would do well to take a few minutes and read this article through.

Spooling your line incorrectly can lead to shorter casts, more tangles, precious time on the water wasted, and (in a worst-case scenario) lost fish. Wth the advent of braided line, the number of things that can go wrong has increased.

The following Wired2Fish article reveals the four things to keep in mind in order to properly spool line on your reel.

birdnestSecure the fishing line

The first part of the process is taking the tag end of the fishing line on the spool and attaching it to your reel. The best way we’ve found to secure monofilament or fluorocarbon line to a reel is with an arbor knot. An arbor knot is basically a half knot tied around the main line with a half knot in the end of the line that acts as a “catch” when you pull the line tight. Here is a quick tip on how to tie the Arbor Knot.

For attaching braid we like to just tie a couple knots and then tape the braid to the spool with a small slice of electrical tape. Because most braids have a coating on them, an arbor knot just slips and other knots just keep getting loose. If you’ve ever had that sensation that your drag is slipping under light pressure when using braid on a reel, it’s probably not your reel but how you attached the braid to your spool.

Now if your spool has holes in it (called wiffling), you can pass the line through a hole and back out another and tie off a simple knot. But not all spools are wiffled so it’s a good idea to learn the arbor knot or use a small piece of electrical tape to give you a secure connection to the spool.

Photos: Wired2Fish (top); Field & Stream (above)

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Joe is an avid saltwater angler. He grew up in Washington State on the south end of Puget Sound where he first started fishing as a boy catching perch, flounder, rockfish, and occasionally salmon. Today, Joe lives in Southern California where he fishes off beaches and jetties, kayaks, and sportfishing boats. Joe writes about his saltwater adventures in the SoCal Salty blog, and for Western Outdoor News.