Cut It Out

Fishing is a great stress reliever. But it also causes stress: on your fishing line. This then, could lead to creating stress for the angler when the line breaks. Here are 3 ways to uses your senses to detect if the fishing line has been damaged and is weak.

1) Feel. Let the line slide between thumb and finger. Is it smooth or rough? If you are casting around rocks, check the line constantly and catch any issues in the nick of time.

2) Look. Does the line curl or loop around the rod tip between casts? Monofilament can stretch when under a load. Couple this with the twisting action of a spinning reel and you’ve got a lost whopper waiting to happen.

3) Listen. Do you hear anything? Braided line makes a noise; monofilament should not. I recently heard a scraping noise on one rod and discovered the line was heavily damaged. I replaced the line but still heard the noise and was able to track down the culprit to the end guide insert that had chipped or was faulty and worn.

Many avid anglers remove 6 feet of line or so (rod length) when they retie to ensure they get back to line that hasn’t been abused by rocks or brush. Bassmaster Angler of the Year, Greg Hackney removed and respooled entire reels between days of practice and competition for the Bassmaster Classic on rocky Grand Lake in Oklahoma. Maybe it was over kill, but he “wasn’t taking any chances.”

When you remove line, recycle it. There are PVC receptacles for this at many boat ramps and piers around the country. Or, reuse it. If I get a long enough undamaged section, I’ll tie it as part of a 3 way swivel rig. Or, attach it to that broken rod tip in the corner of the garage and help the cat get some exercise.

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Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to 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.