Ike: How to avoid line twist with spinning tackle

Last week I said we’d catch some fall bass this week. We’re going to do that with a shaky head. Before we start, though, I want to talk about spinning tackle. This is what I use about 75 percent of the time with a shaky head.

A lot of anglers have trouble with line twist on their spinning reels. Some of them have so much trouble they won’t use spinning tackle. That’s a shame because it’s very effective and efficient with some techniques.

So, we’re going to talk about how to avoid it. There are four steps to the process…

One: Put the line on correctly in the first place. Forget all the nonsense about the label on the filler spool facing you, facing away from you, the line coming off the top of the spool or coming off the bottom. All you have to do is think clockwise and counterclockwise.

If you hold the rod in your hand and look down at the reel, you’ll notice that when you turn the handle the spool rotates clockwise. Set the filler spool so the line comes off counterclockwise as you look at it. That’s all there is to it.

I have a nail in my garage wall. I stick the spool on it and face it with the rod tip. I double-check to make sure the line is coming off counterclockwise before I start cranking. It works perfectly.

Two: Take some line dressing and spray it on a piece of soft cloth. Let the line slide through the damp part of the cloth as you wind it on the spool. This will soften it a little and it’ll remove the chalk-like residue from the manufacturing process.  

If you want to save a few bucks, buy a can of generic silicone from your local hardware store. It’ll work just as well.

Three: Never, not ever for any reason, overfill your spool. I’m saying you shouldn’t even think about doing such a thing. I can’t tell you how bad that is, or what kind of a mess you’ll have when you get to the lake and start fishing with your shaky head.

If you do overfill, your line will jump off the spool when you cast and you’ll have a mess. Leave at least a 1/8 inch gap between the line and the lip of the spool. A little more would be even better.

Four: When you cast and your bait hits the water do not close the bail by cranking the handle. Close it manually and make sure the line is resting under the roller before you even think about touching the handle, much less cranking with it.

If you do otherwise, you’ll put a loop in your line on every cast. After 10 or 12 times you’ll cast and a huge bird’s nest will snag on the first guide of your rod. That means wasted fishing time cutting it out.

Ok, our spinning reel is in good shape. Now, grab a jig head and a flat-tail worm with a flat side so you’re ready for next week’s column.

Mike Iaconelli's column appears weekly on Bassmaster.com. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter or visit his website, mikeiaconelli.com.