Monday, December 29, 2008

Dang Level Winds and Braided Line

It was a beautiful day in the Bay yesterday. The guys caught plenty of fish including several sharks that they wanted. They also missed quite a few nice fish. The power pro got bound in their level wind reel so tight we couldn't get it out. The picture above isn't that clear, but if you look close you can see the bind on the left and the wind guide is to the right. Level winds and braid are great for losing big fish.

Some people love their braid and level wind reels. Here is some advice from a braid devotee:


I have used braided lines for years and used to have some of the same issues you seem to be facing. Here are a few things I have learned about braided lines over the years:
1. Braided lines must be spooled on the reels very tightly. A good test is to press down on the spool with your thumb. If it feels at all soft, then the line is not tight enough. When respooling braided lines, I have someone hold the spool with enough tension so the rod bends. That way the line goes on tightly and the spool feels hard. No digging in that way.
2. Use braided lines based on line thickness and not strength rating. For instance, 65 lb braided line typically has the same thickness as 14 lb mono. So, if you normally use 14 lb mono, then use 65 lb braided line. 12 ln mono typically equals 50 lb braid and so on.
3. Braided lines need maintenance. Watch it for frays especially when fishing around weeds or rocks. I imagine this will apply more to in-shore fishing.
4. Its important to put at least 10 yards or so of mono backing on the spool before spooling with braided lines to keep the whole spool from slipping. A similar diameter usually works well and a blood knot does the trick.

When Muskie fishing, I use 80 or 100 lb braided lines, which typically are in the 18 to 20 lb diameter range. I put the lines on tight and check for frays before every outing. The heavier line allows smoother and longer casts, less dig-ins, and much better durability.

Based on your picture, it may be the line on your reel just needs to be re-spooled tighter.

Good fishing. =)

I still say level winds and braid sucks.
Marathon in the Florida Keys should be your next fishing vacation destination. Join us for charter fishing, fishing guide trips or our fishing 101 so you can fish on your own with better success.

Tight lines,

Capt. Dallas

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