Line twist is can be caused by several things. Two things that will create line twist, no matter how well you cast are:
- improperly loading the line on your reel (please refer to How to Load line on a Spinning Reel)
- an imbalanced fishing outfit (please refer to “How will you know if you are a buying a balanced outfit?” Scroll down the post.)
If your line is loaded correctly and your outfit is properly balanced then look to the following line twist culprits:
- Swivel Too Big
Your swivel wire diameter should be about the same as main line on the the reel. If the swivel is too big for your main line, then the line cannot produce enough torque to turn it.
- Cheap Swivel
Use a high quality ball-bearing swivel – some cheap swivels just don’t swivel smoothly or at all.
- Using Swivel as a Stopper
A common mistake is to use and oversized swivel as a stopper. You would do better to use the correct sized swivel and a glass or plastic bead between the main line and the swivel to keep your sinker from moving up the line.
- Retrieve to Fast
If you are using a spoon or a spinner, remember that they are designed to wobble from side to side to varying degrees. They should not be spinning widely. If you retrieve these too fast, the rotation of the lure will be too much for the swivel to cope. It only takes a few of these casts to quickly twist your line deep into your reel. Test the retrieval speed before you start fishing. If you are trolling on a boat, run your lures next the boat so you can see how the lure react to your speed. If you are on the bank, retrieve horizontally to the bank a few times and watch the lure until you figure out how to elicit the right action.
- Snagged Debris
Check your lure for debris after every cast – Weeds, bark or other debris caught on your lure will cause your lure to stop running properly and start to spin widely. If you pay close attention to the feel of your retrieve and watch the rod tip carefully, you can usually tell when something has interfered with the lure. Remove it immediately.
- Turning the Reel When a Fish is Running
You must never reel in against the drag when a fish is taking out line. If you turn that handle when a fish is taking line out you can expect to put 4 to 6 twists in the line per turn before the fish breaks off (and it will break off.)
- Engaging the Bail Automatically
Always use your hand to close the bail. When you are ready to retrieve use the index finger of the line holding the rod to capture the line between your finger and the rod. Then use your free hand to manually close the bail and turn the handle until the line gets on the bail roller. Now you’re ready to retrieve. Do not use the handle to engage the bail. This usually reduces line twist significantly.
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