How To Untwist a Spinning Reel

A spinning reel is a great tool for fishing.  We use them for casting distances and pitching lightweight baits and lures.  One of their only negatives is that the line can get twisty after a long fight or if the angler reels against the clicking drag. The line is both stressed by this and becomes troublesome for the next fish encounter.  Make sure the angler is not grinding against the drag, as this can eventually lead to line break.

It is a simple process to untwist the line after a fight.  It does require a moving boat and a minute of down time, but it is well worth it.  Usually, you can drag it on the way back to a spot after the fish has pulled you off.

The process is simple, cut off the lure or hook from the leader, and then let the line pay out behind a moving boat.  Let out the amount that was out during the fight.

If you hold the line slack in front of the reel and it doesn’t jump into a twist, you are back to fresh, untwisted line.  This is how I check to see if the line is untwisted enough while reeling it back in.

Drag the line for about a minute or so.  You can do it while running, but tighten the drag and pay attention because there will be a lot of pressure on the line.  (Don’t forget to reset the drag or else “zing pow.”) Hold your rod tip near the water, and pump the rod to facilitate the untwisting.  Reel back in under tension and do the slack line test earlier mentioned at various intervals as you bring it in.  Then retie your hook and you’re ready for another round.

If a spool of line gets extremely twisty, it’s best to set it aside, or pop on a spare spool of fresh line that is ready to go.  We check our lines on the way out in the morning and after each big fish fight.  You don’t have to do it after most small fish unless there have been a bunch of them.

With braided lines becoming more common the problem is lessened, but we still like mono for many types of applications.