How to Hold a Musky (and other info)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Don't let that muskie get away - spool your line correctly

Okay, you have all the gear to land the big muskie. The last thing you need to do is put new line on your reel. Let's go through a few steps to make things go smoothly.

Avoid line slip on the spool

With the micro fibers in lines today, a big problem is the line will not grip to the base of the spool causing the line to slip when pulled. There are a few ways to eliminate the problem. The most common method to eliminate line from slipping on your spool is to attach 50 to 100 yards of monofilament line as a backing to your preferred dacron line. The monofilament line grabs to the spool better than dacron will. Next, attach the dacron line to the monofilament with a blood knot (see figure A) and fill the spool up.

Another solution that many of my friends use is to put a strip of electrical tape on the base of the spool. This allows the line to adhere to the backside of the tape rather than the smooth metal spool. Double-sided tape would work as well.

FIGURE A: Blood Knot - Joining lines of different diameter

Place the two lines parallel to one another with the ends facing in opposite directions.

Twist the end of each line around the main portion of the other.

Run the ends in opposite directions through the loop between twists.

Wet the knot and pull until tight. Leave about a quarter inch of each line.

Spooling your reel with line When you fill your reel with line, have someone hold the spool of line with a pen through the middle of it. Attach the line to your reel spool with a normal slipknot that you would use when attaching a leader/lure to your line. (See Figure B) Have the line spin off the spool rather than spiral sideways off the spool onto the reel. This will help in eliminating twists and knots in your line. The person holding the spool of line should hold it tightly.

FIGURE B: Improved Clinch Knot

Pass the end of the line around the reel spool or through the hook, lure or swivel. Pull about six inches of line through and double it back against itself. Twist 5 times.

Pass end of line through small loop formed just above the reel spool or eye then through the big loop you've just created. Be careful coils do not overlap.

Pull the end and main line so that coiled tightens against the eye. Again, be careful coils haven't overlapped. Trim excess.

Fill your reel to the proper level Fill your reel so that the line is even with the top of your reel spool. Cut the line at the reel, by the time you put the line through the guides on your rod you will have the perfect length. Failure to fill your reel with the maximum amount of line will shorten your cast and reduce your gear ratio drastically. Overfilling your reel will cause excess line rubbing on the reel frame, which will increase the odds of getting a backlash.

Free line of twists

Over time your line may become twisted. If this happens while you are fishing, here is the easiest way to remedy the problem. Cut of your lure/leader and place the end of the line in the water. While driving/riding in your boat, thumb your spool until about 90% of the line is off the reel. When re-reeling your line in make sure you hold the line between the thumb and forefinger of your non reeling hand, this will help assure your line goes back on tightly, and without twists.

Ready to Start Fishing

Attach your leader with a good knot. Put your favorite lure on, check your drag and tighten your cast tension. You may want to tighten your casting tension a little more than normal for the first few casts to get your line acquainted with the reel. After you break it in a little, you are ready to loosen up the cast tension to your desired pressure and let it fly. Hopefully, that 50-incher is waiting at the next spot The hot spots at night may be different than during the day. You could fish a hump a hundred times during the day and not see a thing, but at night... WOW! Rock bars are especially good after dark along with main lake flats and bars.