Save That Braid

News & Tips: Save That Braid

If you're putting away open-water gear and planning to strip reels, consider saving some braid to reuse for various repairs and tie-down duties. It's amazing how functional superline is as a thread and twine replacement. Braid's high-strength and thin diameter characteristics are useful for more than just fooling fish. These are just a few suggestions on how to repurpose braid.

SaveThatBraid blog
In a pinch, braid line can be used to sew up fabric tears, stitch seams and reattach buttons.

Superline Sewing

I got into the habit of keeping braid years ago. I was storing gear, but getting ready for ice fishing too and discovered that my nylon ice rod bag had a ripped seam. It was DIY repair time. I stripped off a few yards of 20-pound-test braid, grabbed a sewing needle, and stitched up the tear. The repair took about five minutes and let me get another two seasons out of the carrying case. The rewards of having a boy scout sewing merit badge and growing up watching MacGyver, I suppose.

Since this time I've used braid to fix fabric tears, stitch seams and reattach buttons in outdoor gear and apparel. Most repairs occur at home, but when going on a trip I carry a sewing needle and a bundle of braid to be prepared. Admittedly, my stitching technique isn't eye-pleasing, but it gets the job done.

Stand-In for Twine

Braid can be reused for more than just sewing patchwork. Fifty- to 80-pound-test line salvaged from bass flipping combos and muskie set-ups has replaced twine for many tie-down tasks, such as securing the winter cover on my air conditioning unit. Wear gloves for hand protection from thin-diameter line when pulling or tightening it.

Storage Tips

Store long sections of braid on old reel packaging spools. Smaller lengths can be wound around your fingers and then secured in a bundle. The process goes quickly once you get the hang of it. If you prefer, record the line strength with a piece of masking tape and a permanent marker.

Although braid may be ready to retire from fishing, it has lots of life left in it. Save some and you'll find ways to reuse the strong string. Consider too that new spools rarely fill up reel perfectly and these tips work just as well for new line left-overs.

One last tip: before putting on new line, remember that emptying a spool and then winding it back on in reverse is a great way to get another season or two from a reel spool of braid.