By Montana Grant

Posted: March 21, 2020

Tangling happens when we are Angling. If you put line on a reel, it will get tangled into what we call a Bird’s nest. Anyone who has fished knows them well. If you take kids fishing, you know them better. Birds don’t nest in these Bird’s nests, but they could.

Prevention is the best prevention of Bird’s Nests. Start with quality line. You get what you pay for. Yes Fluorocarbon, Stren, and Trilene are more expensive than the Cheapo Brands. Cheap line is often brittle and inconsistent. Every yard or so is a different pound test and there will be little resistance from solar damage or abrasion. It may be 10 cents for 100 yards but its not worth a dime!

Reel Maintenance is Real important. Keep your eye on your line and spool after every cast. If you see a loop form, deal with it immediately. When applying new line, set the spool onto the label side and reel the line on until it the center of the spooled line is the same height as the top edge of the spool. Too much or too little line causes tangles. After adding new line, run warm water onto the spool to set the line to its new home. The line will spool off more smoothly and consistently.

If you line keeps breaking and tangling, it may not be the reel. Check your guides. Use a Q-Tip to probe each guide, especially the tip top. If a nick, groove, or rough spot is on the guide, it will catch on the cotton. Replace it or smooth it out if you can.

The best de-tangling tool is a safety pin. Use this tool to pick away at the tangle. Keep the tangle loose. If the knot tightens up, it will crease or crimp the line. Now the line will be weaker and damaged. In this case, cut it off and start over.

I believe in the 5-minute rule. If it takes longer than 5 minutes to resolve the tangle, don’t waste another second. Some reels have quick replaceable spools. Simply break out your backup and reload. If the knotted tangle is not too big of a deal, simply sacrifice the section that is ruined. Take the wasted section with you and dispose or recycle properly.

If you get any kinks, abrasions, or inline overhand knots in your line, deal with them immediately. They tend to fail when the fish of a lifetime is hooked up.

It’s your choice, do you enjoy “Angling” or “Tangling”?

Montana Grant

For more Montana Grant, tangle with him at