Fishing line is the most important link between you and a fish. It routinely takes a beating, so regular maintenance and attention to detail is paramount for those chasing angling success. Here are some tips to ensure you get the most out of the string you choose.
Know When to Change It
There are no steadfast rules when it comes to changing line, but there are some recommendations that should be taken to heart. Monofilament and fluorocarbon lines should be changed at the minimum once per season. If you fish more than average or especially snarl-infested waters, twice per season generally gets the nod. When talking about braid, I like to get two full seasons before swapping it out. To increase the life of braid even greater, unwind your line onto a makeshift spool and rewind it on starting from the opposite end. You will now be fishing with the fresh line that was already on your reel, enabling you to get another season or two out of it.
I like to check my line after every fish, snag or routinely when fishing heavy cover. The slightest nick can decrease your line strength considerably; inevitably leading to line failure — most likely when you're fighting that big fish.
Get in the habit of checking your line regularly. The two best ways are by running it through your fingers or your lips. If you find the slightest nick or imperfection, cut above this weak spot and tie again.
Condition Your String
Commercial line conditioner is a useful product for increasing the suppleness of your line, alleviating memory, increasing cast distance and taking care of its condition. A few squirts on your spool before each outing will be a beneficial exercise.
Know Your Knots
Line failure is often a result of incorrectly tied or weak knots. Learn the mechanics behind a few of the most trusted knots in conjunction with the line you use. Not all lines hold up best with the same knot, so do some research into which work best.
I put a lot of faith into the palomar knot. So far it has yet to let me down.
A Penny Saved Could be a Fish Lost
Although it can be inviting to buy bargain bin line, my suggestion is not to scrimp out. Quality lines undergo more stringent testing, use better components and ultimately stand up better to abuse. Choose a line that has good reviews and is well known. It will be worth it in the end.