One of the more frustrating things in fly fishing is a twisted fly line or running line. There are many ways that line twist occurs, most of which can be fixed. However, the most common culprit of line twist occurs right from the start, when it’s wound onto the reel!
Here are some tips when winding on your fly line and/or running line to avoid line twist from the get-go.
- Always rig bottom to bottom. Most fly lines exhibit some sort of ‘memory’ that is created during the manufacturing process. Therefore, when rigging a fly line to your reel it’s important to rig in a manner in which the fly line is wound off of the underside of the spool, and onto the underside of the reel. By doing so, the line is wound in the direction of its natural memory (i.e. the direction in which it was originally wound onto the spool). See the photo below for clarification.
- Never rig top to bottom. Opposite of the method mentioned above, rigging fly line so that the line is passed from the underside of the line spool to the top side of the reel (or vise versa) is a great way to create line twist. Doing so causes the line to fight its own memory while on the reel causing it to twist up.
- Never pass line around the outside of the spool. We’ve seen this many times before.. The fly line is looped or knotted to the backing, the spool of fly line is placed on the ground, and the line is wound onto the reel by passing around the outside of the fly line spool. This causes more line twist than any other method and often times takes a good amount time to remove.
- Never remove fly line from the spool. The fly line is wrapped onto the spool in a particular direction on purpose. Removing it from the spool before spooling onto your reel is a great way to end up with a nest of line.