Don't spool up your braid/Spectra by yourself

jigstrike

SCUBA Spearing Daddy
Feb 28, 2004
1,244
483
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Sabre Springs
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Tom McKinney
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Pacific Option, a 2006 Tiara 3000 Open
Almost had a trip busting cluster muffin on my hands yesterday because I spooled up my spectra alone.

As I have read, and now experienced. Spectra needs to be put on tight. If you can compress spectra on your reel by pushing with your finger, its not tight enough. I spooled some on a reel by myself and reeled it through my fingers, thinking I had enough pressure on. I was wrong

I spooled up my Avet SX with some 40Lb braid and went fishing, planning on using a short 6 ft of flouro. But after the mother of all spectra tangles I listened to Capt. Marcus of the New Lo Ann and spooled on 100yards of 20lb mono, which I had room for and went back to fishing. And I hooked up and this one ran down to the spectra. And then . . .
As I reeled in the pressure of the fish pulling on the mono pushed it down and into the spectra until there was a 5mm deep divot in my reel and spectra all squeezed around itself, just waiting to roll over and massively tangle itself every which way and basically ruin my go to set up for the trip.

luckily I landed the fish without a problem and was able to run the reel behind the boat as we trolled (OK by the crew as stayed to the side) and used the drag through the water to get a lot of pressure and really pack the spool down. trip saved. 6 more fish landed and no problems.

So if you spectra alone, make sure you have a great system to pack it down. Had I knonw of my error in advance would have done the trolling a bare line behind the boat trick on the way out (after speaking with crew of course). If you've never dragged a bare line behind a boat you will be amazed. After a few hundred yards at 8 knots you cant thumb the spool and have to use the drag.
 
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Delta Mike

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Feb 18, 2013
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I use something like this screwed into an old table at home. Have had no problems with it in the past year and a half.

mfk-WsKfJAWIYL84CghcQVw.jpg
 
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J.AkuHed

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Jul 5, 2003
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I've done it and still do with no problems. I used a glove and drag hammered.
 
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mullet

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Jan 10, 2006
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mike
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19"Gregor
Get yourself a piece of 1/2 metal rod and 2 tennis balls a set of vicegrips and a bench vice to hold it.
Put holes thru the balls.Chuck up the rod in the vice ,put on the first ball,load your spool of line on add second ball.
With the vice grips you can adjust the pressure to whatever tension you want.As the reel spools up you will actually have to loosen the tension.
Been doing it like this for over 40 years it works great.Simple but very effective.You can pack it on trips (minus the grips & vice)if you have a buddy hold it.You can get more tension then you need out of the tennis balls.
tuna 006.JPG

Mike
 
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short-range

Independence
Jan 3, 2010
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Independence
I have a cheap fishing line spooler I got years ago that has a spring and wheel to hold the mono tight only good for mono spooling
I put a dumb bell on the back of it that applies presure to the wheel and it is super tight works great puts spectra on like a rock
 
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azbaseball

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Apr 2, 2007
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mike de vito
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20ft nitro
interesting post as if you toss a bait and reel it in empty the spectra is not really under pressure. I spool all my reels with power pro. When I go on the boat no matter which reels I take I set them on the rods and release the line into the water while the boat is moving and reel in the line under tension, I do this with braid or mono every trip every reel
 
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maxpowers

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Jul 25, 2007
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someday a 23' Striper
If you have an old trolling reel like a penn 114H etc, they make great line spooler/winder. Find yourseld a nice wooden window rod. Mount your old trolling reel on it and spooled on the braid under a little bit of tension, ie 5-6 lbs. Now mount your intended reel on the other side and tie the end of the line to the spool. Tighten the drag on the trolling reel to about 12-15 lbs and reel away. Your braid will be put on the the reel tight. The nice thing is you can also use the setup to wash the line by having a trickle of freshwater on the line as you reel the line off your reels. With the 114H you can do 2-3 penn 500 size reels easily. I also have the the tennis balls and rods tensioner. It can put the line on stupid tight, Like 30 lbs of pressure.
 
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conchydong

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Jun 5, 2008
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If you have an old trolling reel like a penn 114H etc, they make great line spooler/winder. Find yourseld a nice wooden window rod. Mount your old trolling reel on it and spooled on the braid under a little bit of tension, ie 5-6 lbs. Now mount your intended reel on the other side and tie the end of the line to the spool. Tighten the drag on the trolling reel to about 12-15 lbs and reel away. Your braid will be put on the the reel tight. The nice thing is you can also use the setup to wash the line by having a trickle of freshwater on the line as you reel the line off your reels. With the 114H you can do 2-3 penn 500 size reels easily. I also have the the tennis balls and rods tensioner. It can put the line on stupid tight, Like 30 lbs of pressure.

This, I have a old Penn International 50 that is my dedicated line winder reel. It takes a little extra work but I load the International under decent tension and then spool whatever reel I am loading under more tension. I check it with a scale and it depends on the pound test that I am spooling. If I screw up, I can blame myself, bur unless I send a reel off to a trusted pro Like Basil, I trust myself better.
 
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c-goat

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May 4, 2004
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I like the tennis ball way....good idea.
 
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AlanTa425

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Aug 1, 2013
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Whats the point of packing it tight? When you fly line the bait out and reel it back in with no fish everything is loose again. I mean ya its nice to have it tight but its pointless after all
 
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jigstrike

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Feb 28, 2004
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Tom McKinney
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Whats the point of packing it tight? When you fly line the bait out and reel it back in with no fish everything is loose again. I mean ya its nice to have it tight but its pointless after all

It's not about the 100 yards on top, it's the 400 yards under that I'm talking about.


If you don't pack the initial base of the spectra in tight, the as you wind in on a fish, the pressure of fighting a fish will try to compress the spectra and push down on it. In response to the force of the line under pressure the loose spectra will move around and create the divot I described which can lead to a total cluster muffin of tangle in the middle of your reel. With the top of the line buried under the middle of the line.

The situation you describe is not the same thing nor is it a problem.

The line your bait takes out will go back on loose if you don't catch a fish and that will be fine. Then when you send your next bait out and you get bit, most of that will be pulled out by the fish running off with your bait then as you reel in it will be packed tightly.

The problem is tight packing of line over loose line, especially layers and layers of loose line.
 
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Bottom Line

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Jul 9, 2006
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I wind it on as tight as I can and then when heading offshore run it out behind the boat - it's amazing how much tension you can get with 300-400 yards of line behind the boat!
 
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salty brain

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Sep 25, 2012
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what ever floats
Jigstrike is right you have to get the bottom foundation of the spectra tight, it should not feel spongy at all that way the loser part ( from flylineing bait and not getting bite ) can not dig into the rest of the line on your reel.
 
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?? fisherman

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Feb 27, 2003
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I wind it on as tight as I can and then when heading offshore run it out behind the boat - it's amazing how much tension you can get with 300-400 yards of line behind the boat!


Yep, and that's the reason to also back off on the drag when a fish is taking lots of line out. It feels strange & wrong to do it, but the added amount of pressure from all that line being peeled out creates a ton of drag. Resist the urge to tighten, and back off a little and get that fish turned.

The unknown fisherman:p:
 
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Hoopnet

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Dec 12, 2013
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Wet cotton patch or cut piece of shirt and pinch down the line, no probs here. I spooled all my braided line that way and they're all nice and tight.
 
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sneeb

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May 26, 2008
176
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sneeb
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10' raft
I tried the tennis ball method and just squeeze it between my knees like a Suzanne Sommers thigh master and reel away.
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1407176762.358034.jpg
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1407176775.478456.jpg
 
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Wendell Fox

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Aug 3, 2006
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If you have an old trolling reel like a penn 114H etc, they make great line spooler/winder. Find yourseld a nice wooden window rod. Mount your old trolling reel on it and spooled on the braid under a little bit of tension, ie 5-6 lbs. Now mount your intended reel on the other side and tie the end of the line to the spool. Tighten the drag on the trolling reel to about 12-15 lbs and reel away. Your braid will be put on the the reel tight. The nice thing is you can also use the setup to wash the line by having a trickle of freshwater on the line as you reel the line off your reels. With the 114H you can do 2-3 penn 500 size reels easily. I also have the the tennis balls and rods tensioner. It can put the line on stupid tight, Like 30 lbs of pressure.
I do pretty much the same thing with an old junk 113H. Takes a bit of winding but works great.
 
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jim isbell

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Jun 25, 2015
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Jim Isbell
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19' Campion/115 4 stroke Yamaha
Almost had a trip busting cluster muffin on my hands yesterday because I spooled up my spectra alone.

As I have read, and now experienced. Spectra needs to be put on tight. If you can compress spectra on your reel by pushing with your finger, its not tight enough. I spooled some on a reel by myself and reeled it through my fingers, thinking I had enough pressure on. I was wrong

I spooled up my Avet SX with some 40Lb braid and went fishing, planning on using a short 6 ft of flouro. But after the mother of all spectra tangles I listened to Capt. Marcus of the New Lo Ann and spooled on 100yards of 20lb mono, which I had room for and went back to fishing. And I hooked up and this one ran down to the spectra. And then . . .
As I reeled in the pressure of the fish pulling on the mono pushed it down and into the spectra until there was a 5mm deep divot in my reel and spectra all squeezed around itself, just waiting to roll over and massively tangle itself every which way and basically ruin my go to set up for the trip.

luckily I landed the fish without a problem and was able to run the reel behind the boat as we trolled (OK by the crew as stayed to the side) and used the drag through the water to get a lot of pressure and really pack the spool down. trip saved. 6 more fish landed and no problems.

So if you spectra alone, make sure you have a great system to pack it down. Had I knonw of my error in advance would have done the trolling a bare line behind the boat trick on the way out (after speaking with crew of course). If you've never dragged a bare line behind a boat you will be amazed. After a few hundred yards at 8 knots you cant thumb the spool and have to use the drag.

I believe trailing the line back is the only way to go, especially for a spinning rod. Don't even bother trying to put it on tight; on the trip out, let it ALL out, then use a rag or other way to keep tension, though as you say, after a bit of line, it is plenty tight. Wind it in wet and tight and you have it. Here is another reason, this way, line as it comes in spins and spins as you wind. But the far end, the furthest behind the boat, is NOT tied to a spool, so it keeps spinning, never getting eighty thousand twists like it would if you were trying to apply it, from a fixed spool. THAT MUCH twist DOES hurt Braid, it will curl and tend to lap on itself and make knots. Conventional is totally different, you can put it on without any twist, let it out and reel it back in wet and tight.
 
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