The Problem Fishing with Braided Lines!
By Tim Surgent
As new braids continue to come out, I'm finding that under certain circumstances, the new braids will work on reels I thought they never would work on. Case in point...my Penn 650SS and 50# Whiplash episodes. I put the Whiplash on this reel to throw jigs. I anticipated problems with it...had none. The reason? Retrieving the braid under tension. Throwing plugs is a different story...they must be retrieved under some pressure or the braid will go on too loosely, causing problems on the next cast. The issues with braids are that they MUST be put on the reel each cast with some load on the line...not a lot, but more than the standard bomber dead slow slack line retrieve that the bass so enjoy. If you are fishing in current, rough water, or throwing lures that will be retrieved under some tension, go ahead, give the Whiplash a try on the old spinners. If you are planning on throwing bombers/swimmers and crawling them back on top...don't. This is where the newer reels that lay line flawlessly will compensate for the tension, they lay the line on well enough that even if there's a little slack line, the precise wraps will allow you to get away with it.
The biggest problem I'm seeing with guys new to braids is what some guys have given the misnomer of "wind knot". It's not a wind knot at all...what happens is this: You cast, close the bail, retrieve...many, many times per night. Along the way, there will be casts when you close the bail, the VERY limp braid will come across the spool instead of going around the spool. Now when you retrieve the 50+ yards of line on top of this loop, your next cast will be met with a knot...a bad knot. Not a wind knot, just a buried loop of line that will cause problems when you cast. How do you get these out? Easy....reel in the line, even with the loop still on the spool. This will ensure that your lure is not getting tangled up in the rocks...or in the wash. Put the lure/leader/rig on the sand a few feet from you...loosen your drag...now pull line off the spool perpendicular to the spool...letting the line come off the spool with the drag, not off the top as if you were casting. Place this line next to you somewhat neatly...taking care not to pile it on top of your plug, that would be a disaster! Now, when you pull off enough line to reach the loop, the loop will just come out, not a problem. Tighten up the drag, reel all the loose line back onto the reel under finger pressure and you're back in business.
How do you prevent this from happening? It's easy...very easy. When you cast and close the spool, make sure the braid is not crossing the top of the spool. You can do this by looking, or by running your finger around the edge of the spool before you reel any line up...or, as I just learned to do with my new Mitchell Neptune, which is bigger than all my other spinning reels, I close the bail, then I pull the line hard enough to make the drag slips just an inch or two...that way, if the line was crossing the spool, it's not anymore but is now right on the spool. These little tricks will make your changing over to braids painless! Good luck.