Do You Need To Soak The Fishing Line Before Spooling?

A correctly spooled spinning reel gives you the best chance of catching more fish, on the other hand, a poorly spooled spinning reel is more prone to twists and tangles which hinders your fishing performance. You don’t need to worry though, simple methods such as soaking your line in water can help you avoid this kind of hassle.

So, do you need to soak the fishing line before spooling? Yes, you need to soak the fishing line before spooling as soaking your fishing line in a bucket of warm water will help when you come to wind the line on your spool. This will reduce tangles and ensure better casting performance.

Keep reading to learn how to soak your lines before spooling to avoid line twists…

How to Soak Your Lines Before Spooling?

hand holding fishing line to show why you need to soak the fishing line before spooling

The most recommended method is to soak the majority of the spool in a bucket of warm water. This will allow the water to saturate the line, and it will bend effectively when you are wrapping it without the need for additional pressure. 

Using warm water instead of hot water is best, as it means you can add some tension to the line with your finger and thumb when you’re spooling it up without burning your skin from the friction heat.

You can also add a little bit of soap to the warm water to reduce the friction.

Mostly you only need a few hours of soaking time, but some experts recommend leaving the line to soak overnight for the best results.

What Is Line Twist and Why does it Happen?

Line Twist is one of the most common problems that any angler can face. It leads to tangles and eventually causes severe damage to your line.

Line twist basically happens when your fishing line spins around in a tight spiral. When the line is rigid it can be unnoticeable to the eye, but when you let the line loose, it will be much more apparent. 

All types of fishing lines can twist; however, some are easier to manage than others:

  • Monofilament and Fluorocarbon lines are known to have high memory, so they’re easier to tangle. 
  • Braided lines are considered to be the best type of line to be used on a spinning reel. It doesn’t have high memory which makes it easier to manage.

You can check the best monofilament lines here and the best fluorocarbon lines here. If you have trouble picking your fishing line, you can check out my guide on picking fishing lines here as well.

Getting The Twists Out

If you are on a boat and need to remove the line twist quickly, simply cut off the lure, let out your line, and troll the empty line behind the boat for a few minutes. 

The best method to avoid getting line twists altogether is learning how to properly spool your reel.

How to Spool Your Reel?

Understanding fully how to spool your reel can help you avoid a lot of problems.

Here are the steps you need to take to correctly spool your line onto a spinning reel and avoid line twist:

Loading the reel

  1. Determine if the reel turns clockwise or counterclockwise by holding it the same way you would if you were fishing and turning 2-3 times.
    1. The way the wheel turns is the way the line will be spooled onto the reel, while the opposite direction will be the way the line will peel off the spool when you cast.
  2. Open the bail by flipping the small handle up.
    1. The bail is a little wire handle that flips up and down to open and close it.
  3.  String your line straight through the guides and secure it. 
    1. The guides are a sequence of small circles that line the bottom of the rod and keep the line in place. 
  4. Secure the line to the spool by using an arbor knot. 
  5. Cut any extra line with line cutters or scissors.
    • Ensure that you leave at least a 1⁄4 in of additional line from where you tied the knot.

Spooling the reel

  1.  Close the bail and lay the spool on the floor with the label facing up to make sure that the line enters the reel properly,
  2. Pinch the line lightly, about 8-12 inches above the reel, then pull the line tight. 
  3.  Crank the reel slowly, about 20 times, and then allow the line to slip through your pinched fingers. 
  4.  Apply light pressure while you’re loading the line, otherwise, the line will go loose and end up becoming tangled later
    1. Continue loading the line slowly and stop every 20-30 cranks to check your line for twists.
  5.  Fill the spool until it is 1⁄8 inch away from the edge. This will give you plenty of excess line to use, even if you have to cut off a large part of the line when you’re changing lures.
    1. Remember to never fill the spool to the very edge. 
  6. Cut the line close to the supply spool, while leaving a small amount of excess line
  7.  Secure the line on the spool. 
    • Use a lure, swivel, or a clip to secure the free end of your line. This will stop the line from slipping through the guides. You can also tie a rubber band around the spool.
    • If your spool comes with a tab in it, you can tie the end of the line around the tab.

Related Question

Is Braided Line Good for Spinning Reels?

Yes, you can use a braided line for a spinning reel, if you spool your reel with a suitable backing. The most effective way to achieve this is by using a monofilament backing.

How Often Should You Re-spool Your reel?

If you’re using a braided line, it’s recommended to re-spool every 1 to 2 years on average. If you’re using monofilament or fluorocarbon, it’s recommended to re-spool every 3 to 6 weeks.

Can You Soak Your Reel in Water?

No, it’s not recommended under any circumstances, to soak the reel in water or wash it under high pressure because this forces water into the gearing and drag systems and can have very damaging results.

How to Tie an Arbor Knot?

The method to tie an arbor knot is by wrapping the line around the arbor and tying an overhead knot in the standing line. Then, tie a second overhead knot in the tag end, just about 1 inch from the first overhead knot. Finally, pull the standing line to slide the first knot down to the spool and slide the second knot down to the first.

Is There Any Such Thing as a Tangle Free Fishing Line?

No, all fishing lines can tangle. However, several brands are known for being better than others. A good braided fishing line that is considerably tangle free is PowerPro. A monofilament line that tangles less than others is Berkley Trilene XL. As for the fluorocarbon line, Seaguar InvizX is one of the softer, more flexible brands out there. 

Helpful Resources 

Fishing Lines Explained

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