Changing Your Line

Jun 04 2019

Tom Dillon


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Changing Your Line

Steve posted this in a reply to a fishing report almost 3 years ago:

When we see fish that are significantly below their ideal weight (Relative Weight) it can be a myriad of reasons. Usually it is a lack of forage issue. However, it can be that the fish has a soft plastic stuck in its intestinal track. This happens on occasion, especially in lakes with lots of cover (brush piles, timber, trees).. Some members come ill prepared and get "broken off". We hear this at Timber Lake. Bringing light test line or fishing line that has been on your reels for 6 months or longer to a lake like Timber Lake, Heartland 10-10, Hat and Star, or Indian Hollow to name a few, is like bringing a knife to a gun fight. You are going to loose. We recommend a minimum of 17 lb Monofilament/Fluorocarbon test or 50 lb braid. And just importantly, change your Monofilament/Fluorocarbon at least every 6 months; especially if you store your reels in the garage, boat or storage facility. Personally, I store all my reels inside my home and still change out at least twice a year. If you store your reels in the garage; you should change more often. The way I look at it is, you are paying $50 to $150 to fish, another $50 on gas, and spending a day doing what you love. Don't let being broken off on a fish, because of old fishing line ruin your trip when you can spool a high quality line for under $10 per reel. Seth and I often talk about how many times we read fishing reports where members get broken off. Many members think they lost a state record or double digit fish. While it is possible that you may have lost a double digit fish it is far more likely that a 5 lb bass fooled you around a log because of a knick in the line or old fishing line. If you are getting broken often multiple times in a single day of fishing, it is probably time to change your line.

This is as true today as it was when penned, and I'm as guilty as anyone. I do store my rigs in my hot garage, and although I try to change my mono and fluoro several times a season, I sometimes do get lazy and skip that important step. Even worse, I often forget to re-tie my line/leader to hook knot after catching a nice bass. It's amazing just how much those tiny teeth on a bass' tongue can weaken  20# or even 30# line. Run yours lightly between your lips, and you can feel every flaw. I have never had this problem with braid, for it's pretty easy to see where braided line has been roughed up. For that reason, I seldom replace an entire reel's worth of braid. I do cut off the last 10 o 20 feet and retie before going to lakes like Steve mentioned above. I highly recommend you take a close look at the line you have spooled on your reels and take action to replace what's old or worn. Not doing so could cost you the 'fish of a lifetime.'

Thanks for the reminder, Steve.

Jun 05 2019

Larry Maupin


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A great reminder. Thanks, Tom. I’m kinda like you - I know about this and I do it when I feel in my gut it needs to be done, but I don’t have a consistent plan for managing my line. Need to work on this. Thanks again!