Fishing tips from Gord Pyzer: Know your line
Over the course of the season I get to fish with a lot of interesting folks.
After I drive up to the dock and the anglers jump into the Kingfisher with me, usually clutching one, two or three rods in their hand, we normally idle for a few minutes and plan the day’s activity. When we’re doing this, the first thing I always ask them is what pound test line they have spooled on their reels, how fresh or old the line is, and whether it’s fluorocarbon or monofilament, if it’s not an obvious braid. Invariably, the folks look at me like I’m asking them for their savings account number. In other words, they don’t have a clue what the answer is to any one of the questions, and that is a big mistake.
As a general rule, I have at least seven or eight rods laying on the casting platform at all times, and at least another half dozen rigged and ready in the rod locker. It doesn’t matter if they’re spinning outfits or baitcasters, I can tell you immediately what line is spooled on every rod and how fresh it is.
The reason this is so important is that you always want to use the right rod and reel—spooled with the proper line—for the job. And you always want your line to be fresh. Here’s why: Let’s say you’re out fishing and all of the sudden you hear a splash, turn around and see a wolf pack of large smallmouth bass herding a school of smelts to the surface. There are two medium action spinning rods laying on the deck at your feet, but you can’t remember which one is spooled with 10-pound test fluorocarbon line and which one is spooled with 10-pound test monofilament. This is such a game changer because you want the one with mono that floats, not the one with fluorocarbon that sinks.
Here’s another scenario: You have only one rod on the deck and you know that it’s spooled with mono, so you quickly grab it, tie on a topwater lure and throw it to the schooling fish. A giant smallie immediately rolls on your lure, you set the hook and your line breaks because it is three or four years old, and you forgot to replace it with fresh line.
None of those things will ever happen to you again, if you follow this tip and are sure to practice it religiously.
Simply take a permanent marker and write the information on the side of your reel.
I’ll normally write something like “10 – 12 – M” on the side of the reel so I know I spooled it with 10-pound test monofilament in 2012. The “10″ represents the strength, the “12″ represents the year and “M” or “F” signifies either mono or fluorocarbon. I don’t worry about braid as it is so easy to see.
Using a system like this (you can also develop your own code) is especially important when you are carrying more than a couple of rods. Still, it is every bit as important if you only have one because you always know what size, strength, type and freshness of line you have spooled on it.
By the way, when it comes time to replacing the line, simply take a paper towel soaked with rubbing alcohol and swipe it across the permanent marker. It will remove it lickety-split, so you’ll have no problems updating the information. To see how simple this is, check out my tip on this week’s Fish N’ Canada Television Show. Simply slide the adjustment bar below to the 10 minute mark.
Catch Gord on the Outdoor Journal Radio Show live every Saturday morning at 8:00am EST on 590 AM.