Sticks, rocks and other debris in the water or shoreline can damage a fishing line. Most lines are resilient enough but after much use weak spots are eventually going to appear. Avid anglers know the importance of regularly replacing their fishing line with fresh new spools to keep their fishing in tip-top shape.
- Check your line. Let out most of your line on the water and slowly reel it back in (be sure to remove the terminal tackle first). As you're taking it back, touch the line with the fingertips of your free hand and feel for small nicks, cuts or knots. You can also inspect the line visually. If majority of the line has scrapes on it or if the weak spots are near the reel then it's probably time to replace it. If the weak spots are few and are only located near the tip but most of the line is okay then you might get by with just cutting off the bad part. Just keep in mind that you now have a shorter line and might encounter some difficulty doing a long cast. Most experienced anglers recommend replacement after 150 to 200 uses of shore casting and even less if often used in trolling.
- Slip the new line from the rod's tip and through the eyelets. You will also need to tie the new line on the reel. This will prevent accidentally losing your brand new line if you have to let it out and drag on the water to remove some twists.
- Put a pencil through the center of the new spool (closed reel). If you have a closed reel then you need to ask for someone to help you out. You helper will hold the new spool through the pencil so that it can unwind freely. As you reel in the new line your helper will also need to keep adequate tension on the line. The new line shouldn't be stretched to tightly. This could weaken it or cause twists.
- Place the new spool on the floor (open-faced reel). With open-faced reels, you can do the replacement on your own. The reel by itself can maintain the right amount of tension. Be sure that the new line is coiling out of its spool in a counterclockwise direction as you're reeling it in. You will also need to let the new line pass through your pinched fingertips as it winds on the reel to monitor if it's twisting. Fill the reel with the new line up until you have an allowance of 1/8 inches from reel's edge.
Keeping your fishing line fresh by replacing it on a regular basis can prevent such unfortunate incidents as for example the line breaking just when that spotted trout you've been stalking all day finally bites.