How to get the best out of your fishing line

(Image credit: Angler's Mail)

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Here is some top advice on how to load your reel and get the best from your fishing line.

Everyone has their preferred method of loading up with fresh fishing line, whether it’s a pencil through the centre of the spool or placing the spool of line in water.

Generally, line should exit the spool in the same direction it goes on the reel.

Reel new line on under slight tension, stop after a few dozen turns of the handle and make a quick check. If there’s any twist I’ll flip the spool around and commence winding.

Reel line on correctly and it should peel off and remain in nice loose coils. 

(Image credit: Angler's Mail)

Load a spool correctly and you’ll greatly enhance line flow and casting distances.

Under fill the spool and the added friction as it exits the spool will hinder performance considerably.

Wind on too much line and it will spill off the spool, resulting in constant tangles.

Above is how a correct spool of line should look, it’s about 2 to 3 mm from the spool rim.

Braided lines are slightly different. You shouldn’t load as much on as you would mono, leaving a gap of perhaps 4 to 6 mm from the spool rim to avoid tangles.

(Image credit: Angler's Mail)

Even with lines loaded on spools in the correct manner, line twist can still occur.

Prolonged fights from lively fish through a loosened clutch will soon add twists which can cause horrid tangles and drastically weaken the line.

A bunch of twisted, tangled line can even snap delicate float and feeder tips as it flies through the rings and suddenly jams at the tip.

(Image credit: Angler's Mail)

Removing line twist can be tricky, especially in severe cases.

Sometimes it’s safer to admit defeat and re-load with some fresh line, but there is a method of removing the early stages of line twist.

The easiest method for removing twist from finer monofilament line is to make a cast over grass, remove the end tackle and retrieve every last inch through slight tension. The twist is undone as it is retrieved through the grass.

WATCH: Steve Collett talks fishing lines

This video, below, shows you how to free your line.

Angler's Mail

Running from 1964 until 2020, Angler's Mail was the UK's leading weekly magazine devoted to coarse fishing, telling readers everything they needed to know about which fish to catch, where to catch them, and what kit they needed to do it. Now, loads of the magazine's expert advice can be found on, as a helpful resource for angling newcomers and experts alike.