Now is the time of the year when lots of us start putting away the ice gear and getting the long rods ready for open water. Want to cast further this year? More accurately? And keep backlashes and tangles at a minimum? Here are the simple tricks and tactics to keep you casting longer.
LINE-How long has it been since you put on new line? Last year? The year before? If you answer yes to either of these, then new line should be your first priority. Either have it spooled on at the shop or do it yourself. Monofilament line has a fair amount of stretch, which has its pluses and minuses. Make sure if you do it, to let the line spool spin free on a pen or spindle with a little resistance. Once they are full, take the full spool off the reel and soak it in hot water to let it relax on the spool. Also make sure to store your reels away from direct sunlight as UV exposure will ruin your line pretty quick. Braided line has very little stretch, which gives you better contact to your lure in deeper water. Make sure to spool about 10-20 yards of monofilament backing to keep it from relaxing and not gripping the spool!!! For level wind reels, also keep the line from building up more on one side!!!
KEEPING THE TWIST OUT- I cannot stress this enough, make sure to not tie directly to your lure!!! Most spinners and spoons naturally spin and wobble as you retrieve them twisting up your line!!! Use good inline swivels and/or a snap swivel!!
SEE THAT LITTLE LOOP- When you cast out, make sure to close your bail with a little tension on the line. If you don’t, this is where that little loop is formed. Two casts later it becomes a tangle!!! One trick is to wait for your lure to hit the water, then lift your rod tip and stop your line from coming off the spool with your finger tip pressed against it and close the bail.
DON’T PULL IT TIGHT- So no one can ever really keep their line from tangling up once in a while, but the first few seconds matter the most!!! Don’t just yank on it, all that does is cinch it into a knot that is never coming undone. Relax the tension and take your time to see which way the line has wrapped itself up. Mono is pretty easy to untangle if it is relaxed. Braided line is a little different as it has texture that grips when it tangles. Again keep it from tightening up!! Also, keep a stick of unscented chapstick handy. Smear a little on the knot and you will negate that grip from the texture!!!
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT- Start with short casts and gradually add more energy to cast further and further. You will find pretty quickly how far is too far!! Also match up lure weight and use heavier lures for longer casts. Don’t swing for the fence!!! If it feels like you are a little out of control, then you ARE out of control!!! Here’s a thought, use your legs, or boat and get closer to your target. Just like in golf, “you drive for show, but you always putt for dough!!”
Hopefully this helps you this season, and when in doubt, bring your reels in to the store and let us take some of the hassle out of your next fishing season!!! Good luck out there!!!