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Twisting The Night Away

So I'm changing a reel from a full fly line to a shooting head last week, using Henry Abrams handy, linewinder. I looped a shooting line that I had stored on an old fly line package spool to the backing, got ready to mount it on the linewinder, and Sproing! The two halves of the plastic spool come apart and I spent the next thirty minutes taking knotted loops out of braided monofilament.

Fly shop dealers are used to this happening so often that their expletives have been reduced to sighs of acceptance. For the rest of us, it is one, major, lower back pain, and I do mean low.

There turned out to be an upside to the predicament of the 90 feet of knotted braided monofilament laying at my feet. I realized that the line was twisted from a season's worth of casting. Obviously, I'd neglected to push the twists out before storing the line. It doesn't damage the braided monofilament, but it would have made for a mess the first time I stacked the line in my stripping basket. It would have most certainly fouled on the first cast, and if a gamefish happened to hit, a knotted loop could have crashed against a snake guide, possibly causing serious damage.

The best way to remove twists from a braided monofilament shooting line is to remove the shooting head, and strip off all of the braided mono. Grasp the mono firmly where it attaches to your backing, and pull it through your fingers. Don't let go of your hold until you reach the end. A line-straightener or a patch of rubber inner tube helps to stop your fingers from burning, and let's you put more pressure the line. As you pull the line through, you'll see the twists pushing out ahead of your fingers.

You can't do as good a job on the water, but if you notice all sorts of nasty loops starting to knot your shooting line, leave the shooting head attached and push the twists out in the same way. It will help until you have the time to do a better job.

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