7 Tips for Preventing a Bird’s Nest

Spring is not far away. There will soon be flowers in the yard, I’ll be sneezing, and there will be a “bird’s nest” in my baitcaster reels. As Bill Dance says in his latest Bass Pro Shops commercial, “Don’t do that.” Here are a few tips for preventing a tangle:

  1. Practice. Even with the high-tech, magnetic braking system baitcaster reels, it takes a well-practiced thumb to avoid a bird’s nest. Bassmaster Elite angler Rick Clunn shared, “Yes, even pros get backlashes.”

  2. “Don’t ‘load’ the rod.” In a recent seminar, Bassmaster Elite pro angler Tommy Biffle warned that the added flip of a bent fishing pole during a hard cast could send the inner spool rotating at an unexpected, uncontrollable rate.

  3. Rather than attempt to readjust a baitcaster setting with every different weighted lure, if you have the means (and the understanding spouse) dedicate a different baitcaster rod reel combo to each lure type.

  4. When spooling a spinning reel with new line, lay the spool flat and wind on several feet of line, then open the bail. If the line uncoils like the foam snakes out of a fake peanut can gag toy, take the line off and try again with the new line spool flipped over.

  5. Don’t over fill the spool with line. Loading the reel too close to the spool lip is asking for trouble.

  6. Pay attention. A spinning reel should feel smooth. If there is a little tic or flap sound or feel while retrieving, look down and catch that potential pileup early. If the drag is slightly loose, pull on the line and even if the loop is down in the spool, it may slip free. Another tact is to cast it out, casting further this time and then winding back between two fingers to feel any possible remaining line issues.

  7. Superlines don’t have “memory.” That is, they do not recall that they were once tightly wound around a spool and thus will straighten flat when casted. Once I started throwing Fireline my kinks almost disappeared. However, if you do get a small kink with braided line, pinch it hard and roll it between your fingers and it will loosen.

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Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy is an outdoor writer (http://www.justkeepreeling.com/) and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to takemefishing.org since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.