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Thread: Braided Line Question

  1. #1

    Braided Line Question

    What's a good rule of thumb for changing braided line? I've been told that you can use it twice by cranking it onto another reel, so that you use both ends. Can you do something like one season per end (depending on how often you fish), or is it better to go by when it loses its color? Do you simply cut off the faded section and respool when it looks like it's too low?

  2. #2
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    I've been using braided superlines for quite a few years now, and have had issues with some breaking, and NEVER had failures with other brands. Obviously, the line performance varies by brand as well as rated lb test.

    That said, I remember fishing with guides at a famous Canadian resort on Eagle lake who told me they fished a reel all year and didn't worry about their Stealth line failing!

    I've been fishing that line (and a few others too) for many years without any line failures. I use quite a few rod/reel combos, but fish several times weekly throughout most of the musky season, and seldom change line more than once annually, and often once every two or three years.

    I've been using mostly 80 or 100 lb test Stealth, 65 lb test Spiderwire Ultracast and 80 lb test Fireline. FYI, my experience with one of the original and most popular braided superline brands was not nearly as good.

    I have reversed line, and have no problem with doing that, noting I typically spool about 100 yards (I know many say less is fine, but I can cast 60 yards or more and want some reserve in case I get a strike when the lure hits the surface) of superline over maybe 25-50 yards of 30 lb test mono, which performs as backing, and prevents problems with drag slip, which may be an issue without backing.

    Also, something I learned the hard way... slightly overfill your reel with line, assuming you like a full spool... then perform the following simple steps before using it.

    Go to the lake, using a surface lure or shallow running lure over open water, let out most of your line. Then reel the lure in. You will find that your reel will no longer be over capacity. If it is, simply cut off the reduced amount of excess.
    Last edited by BLL_BIGFISH; 01-21-2016 at 10:45 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Steve Heiting's Avatar
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    First, faded braid is not an indicator that the line is bad. All line companies try to darken/camouflage the manmade fibers (usually Spectra) used in braids, but they all eventually return to their "natural" color, which is a light tan.

    As Bruce says above, use some old mono to fill your spool about one-fourth to one-third of the way, tie on the braid, then spool up the rest of the way. His tip about overfilling the spool and then "packing" it on under tension is excellent. I use a large-lipped floating/diving crankbait for this because it pulls harder and thus packs the line even tighter.

    I never reverse the line because I never get to that point. I cut off the last foot or so of line and retie my leader every morning, when a fish rolls in the line, or when I see the line has become abraded. Once such cutting and retying reduces the amount of line on the spool to the point that it affects my casting distance and retrieve speed, I respool with new braid.

    BTW, that's one of the biggest mistakes that guides see from their clients -- they show up with their own rods/reels and don't have enough line on the spool. Many try to get by with a reel that's only filled halfway or so, which results in shorter casts and slower retrieves.
    Steve Heiting

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Heiting View Post
    First, faded braid is not an indicator that the line is bad. All line companies try to darken/camouflage the manmade fibers (usually Spectra) used in braids, but they all eventually return to their "natural" color, which is a light tan.

    As Bruce says above, use some old mono to fill your spool about one-fourth to one-third of the way, tie on the braid, then spool up the rest of the way. His tip about overfilling the spool and then "packing" it on under tension is excellent. I use a large-lipped floating/diving crankbait for this because it pulls harder and thus packs the line even tighter.

    I never reverse the line because I never get to that point. I cut off the last foot or so of line and retie my leader every morning, when a fish rolls in the line, or when I see the line has become abraded. Once such cutting and retying reduces the amount of line on the spool to the point that it affects my casting distance and retrieve speed, I respool with new braid.

    BTW, that's one of the biggest mistakes that guides see from their clients -- they show up with their own rods/reels and don't have enough line on the spool. Many try to get by with a reel that's only filled halfway or so, which results in shorter casts and slower retrieves.
    Funny, I recall using Cortland Musky Master dacron, and would "fill" my reel nicely, then noticed that after casting for a day or so that my line level was less than I wanted and what had originally been the level after filling. I usually buy the 300 yard spools or longer when available, and find that I get my original and 2 refills that way. The problem is figuring out how much backing will allow me to use 100 yards of superline. More than once I've stretched out my line across the back lawn to see how much superline I had spooled before cutting it off from the filler spool, then removing some more of the backing so I could add more superline.

    I usually retie at my leader after removing a foot or so of line once or more daily, but have been told by some guides that they don't bother and have not had issues. But, as as old dacron user, I recall retying my knot every couple of hours, especially using anything less than 36 lb test Cortland Musky Master. We have a lot fewer line failures than the old days!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Steve Heiting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLL_BIGFISH View Post
    But, as as old dacron user, I recall retying my knot every couple of hours, especially using anything less than 36 lb test Cortland Musky Master. We have a lot fewer line failures than the old days!!
    Bruce, I think we dated ourselves! In the old days with mono and dacron I would retie several times each day, but now, I agree, we probably could go several days without retying. I ... just ... can't ... do ... it!
    Steve Heiting

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  6. #6
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    Ah yes, the backyard method is what I use. Measure the width of the yard. Walk back and forth letting out your super line until you have 75 to 100 yards (your choice). Spool the line onto your empty reel. I use electrical tape around the bare spool to keep it from sliding. Now take the mono backing line and spool it on top of the super line until the reel is just a bit over filled. Now take all of the line off and put it on in reverse. This is how you know exactly how much super line you are using on any given reel. Then, like Steve said, you just replace just the 75 to 100 yards of super line once you have cut off so much that the spool isn’t full enough.

    So, I usually replace the 75 to 100 yards each season unless I didn't use the reel much and the spool is still full enough. Or, let’s say on the very first cast you get a horrible bird’s nest. Oh well, at least it’s only 75 to 100 yards that goes in your live well when you replace it.

  7. #7
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    like the Downy commercials, the appearance of fading due to fuzz is no good. Every little hair sticking out is a filament that has failed.

    Once I figure out how much mono backer to put on the spool gets marked with a sharpie for next time.

  8. #8
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    I've used the Cortland spectron 50 and 35lb for years and never had a failure. My leaders wear out far quicker than the line. I have some 35lb that I moved to bass flippin stick for frog fishing and it's all of 10 years old and still performs flawlessly.

  9. #9
    Thanks for some good advice. I've been using tape around the spool, simply because I don't have any mono around that is stronger than 10#. I've only had one set of line (50# Stealth) that's been around for more than one season so far, but it started on an Abu 6500, and I transferred most of what was left to a low-profile reel with a smaller spool, which I use for bass lures and smaller bucktails.

  10. #10
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    I wanted to add a note to this thread about what lb braid incase others need it in the future. This year I rigged one rod with 65lb braid and the other with 86. Fishing in October with some mornings and evenings in sub freezing temperatures. The 65 did NOT fair well when ice began to freeze on line guides. It may be fine for summer but if someone is fishing in Oct or Nov I'd suggest going 80lb and heavier. The ice forming in the line guides trashed the 65. Every moment the line wasn't moving the ice would freeze to the water in the line and the next movement of the line would rip a layer of braid from that spot in the line. After a couple of failed reties I just took it off and used the 86lb braid I was using.
    luckily I changed it before catching my fish. Tight lines.

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