I use an ultralight pole, spinning reel and spinners from the canoe and fish for either trout or smallmouths. Problem is the 4# test line typically ends up in a big tangle despite line and reel changes.

Berkley ultalimp is not a cure. Tried spraying Armor-all on the line, not sure if that helped.

How do you avoid tangles on ultralight poles with 4# test line? What combo works best for you?

there are equiptment things …

– Last Updated: Jun-02-09 7:07 PM EST –

..... that can cause your line to tangle up , but it's doubtful any of those are the problem , especially using 4 lb. test .

Seems you're using a good quality line , so not that .

Most any reasonable quality small reel , especially a light or ultralight would work fine , unless the line guide roller is sticking or fouled .

You are using a spin rod with the spin reel , right ??

Inline Spinners tend to twist the line a little after many cast , but each successive cast tends to untwist it again .

So that brings me to the way you cast .

Light and ultra-light rods don't have a lot of backbone , and many people throw the cast out way to fast (overspeed the line) ... they try to bull whip it as hard as they can to get more distance , which in fact is really "counterproductive" !!

If you slow the cast speed (arm speed) down just a little and aim just a tad higher , you will achieve a greater distance , than casting as hard and fast as you can whip the rod .

Casting the line out too fast , does cause the line to tangle up sooner or later .

What happens is , instead of the line "gently" being guided by the line guides at proper cast speed ... an overspeeded line (casting speed too fast) , rubs hard against the line guides on the way out , this causes much greater friction which in turn "shortens" casting distance , leaves flattened sections on the line and eventually , line fouling .

Don't know if you are casting that ultra-light to fast and hard , but if you suspect you are ... just slow it down , more of a finesse thing than a power cast , and you get more distance too .

The only other two things that come to mind is a spool that is "too full" will tangle up the over amount , you'll cut that off as it happens and eventually the line will find the correct fullness on the reel ... and ... if you are spooling the reel backwards . By that I mean , the line coming off the "filler spool" is opposite the the way the reel is recieving it .

Line is put on the "filler" spool at the factory in one direction , and you may not be unwinding it off the filler spool properly ... the way to find out is (installing new line), reel up some line off the filler spool (say 50 feet to start) , then pull some back off your reel and hang a 2'-3' loop down somewhere between larger guides , if it twist around itself more than once or so ... you're spooling backwards ... just turn the "filler spool" over and do another 25' , and check it the same way , shouldn't be any twisting in that 2'-3' hanging loop this time (a half + twist is norm) .

Could be something else , but nothing is coming to mind other than what's said ??

Spool to full
I agree with the above post, to much line on the spool. I use Stern original line on my ultra light with no problems and I also whip my pole to get distance from time to time although I agree it is counter productive for gain distance.

I doubt it is your rig probably just to much line I often add a little more to mine and find myself with tangles till I get rid of the excess.

Be safe

Eric G

food for thought
Thanks for your well thought out responses!

I hadn’t been paying attention to spool direction though I was aware of it I discounted the effect it might have. I’ll focus on this aspect. Good explanation, thanks.

Casting style is a mix of delicate tosses and distance stretches. I mostly use panther martins, phoebes, rooster tails attached by the smallest ball bearing swivels I can find. Same lure for smallies but add a 1" curly tail grub to the spinner.

Careful not to overload the spool as that has demonstrated a direct relationship to tangles.

Have you streched the line after you put it on the reel? I know that always helps me out I will tie the line off to a tree and strech out about 50 ft or so and pull it tight to stetch it out and will take out hte curly q’s

You could also go to a good bait/tackle shop and they will spool your line to the proper tension and correct yardage.

It matters how you load the line

– Last Updated: Jun-09-09 2:29 PM EST –

Which way the line is coming off the spool and the tension it is under when being spooled makes a difference. When you respool, be careful to read the instructions that come with the line. Believe it or not, there IS a wrong way to load line on a reel and if you do it that way (which many do) it leads to line twist.

Also, the bait twisting in the water will cause line twist. Every so often, say maybe every fifth or tenth cast, pinch the line as you retrieve and help to stretch the line just a little.

Finally, I find that superline twists a lot less than monofilament. I like the Fireline Crystal in the 4/10 size (4# diameter/10# test) for the application you describe.

If you get relatively serious, you may want to consider picking up one of the Berkeley spool stations for lining your reels. They work wonders with both spinning and baitcast reels by controlling how the line goes onto the reel.

Edit: Another thought - trip the bail by hand. Don't just recover line and have the spool automatically trip the bail. That's fine mechanically, but it leads to having loops of line caught on the spool and causing poor results more often than tripping the bail back into place by hand after you cast. I don't think this has to do directly with your line getting twisted up, but it does make a difference with overall performance of a spinning reel.

In general, with spinning reels you get twist. With baitcasting you get birds nests. Much of the debate between the two types comes down to picking your preferred problem.

- Big D

many ways to twist line - here are 4
The first is from loading the reel exactly backwards - as described by pilotwingz and bigD. If you have tangles from twists right after loading new line, then this is likely to be the problem. Its made worse by adding a little too much line, but usually the excess will be lost when you cut off tangles. If new line continues to twist when loaded to the “right” spot on the spool, then try loading it exactly the opposite way off the spool next time.

The second way to twist line is from the natural action of the lures you are using. Swivels help, but don’t completely eliminate twisting from lures. If your twists are from the action of your lures, you can save a fishing trip by removing the lure and swivel and then letting out a lot of line behind your boat, closing your bail, and “trolling” the line along for a while. You can do this in any boat or standing in a river and letting the current do it.

The third most popular way to twist line is by fishing with a drag that is too light. Occasionally, I’ve managed to land a fish far more than 4 pounds on 4 pound line - but the drag was screaming. After landing such a fish, its best to remove the lure & swivel (good time to check line for abrasion) and drag the line behind the boat as described above. But try telling that to yourself when you find yourself in a school of very large fish!

Some fish will twist your line because they fight in a way that spins around. The best example of this is the American eel. They are notorious line twisters! I’m sure there are many other ways to twist line, but these 4 were at the top of my mind.

soooooo funny Patuxent …
… I had forgotten all about the notorious American eel !!!

Haven’t hooked one of those in quite awhile now , but you have reminded me of the nasty nasty mess they make of your line , yukkie sticky gooie buggers they are , and never stop wiggling and twisting !!!

Use to use the smaller ones for bait (pemcil eels) in the bay during the early spring time … to use them for bait without problem it is best to keep them iced down in the bait bucket until put on the hook … they fall asleep in the ice water bucket , and come to life again after becoming bait in the water .

hello again pilotwingz
Good observation about not catching eels lately. They are at a low point and nobody really knows why. There are plenty of “theories” - that don’t have enough evidence to even qualify as theories - let’s call them guesses.

They used to be common enough to be considered “pests”. I too dreaded catching them when out bass fishing at night. Invariably, the crude headlamps and batteries of the 60’s would fail or get real dim, you’d hook something powerful, to realize it was an eel. Nothing like having a 3’ long twisting slimy maniac on the line in the darkness. Many people would step on them to remove the hook and others used a towel or rag to get a grip. I was always concerned about hurting the fish, so I often snipped off the line and hoped they would rust away. If this happened too often, I just gave up and went home.