Tuesday, June 3, 2014

ReSpooling - 6 Tools that will make your life easier

With only 17 sleeps until the start of Bass Season in Ontario most anglers are furiously buying up new gear as well as getting their old gear tuned-up. This of course includes the re-spooling of your reels.. yes you really do need to do this, and to help you along the way here is a list of 6 important tool that will aid in getting your reels and line ready for the 2014 season

Line Spooling Station:

Other then the line itself, there is not a more important re-spooling tool then a spooling station. These come in a variety of sizes and options including the one pictured above, my personal preference the Berkley Spooling station. This handy tool is portable and will work on almost any flat surface making re-spooling your reels a breeze.

This Berkley station is pretty universal and allows you to re-spool reels both on the rod, or clamped down directly to the spooling station. You can also adjust the tension allowing you to properly spool both casting and spinning gear.. no more fooling around with the pencil trick or spools flipping and dancing on the floor. I also like that it comes with a line stripper which is  #2 on my list of tools of the trade

Line Stripper

Depending on why or how often you re-spool your reels there is a good chance you will need to remove old/damaged line first. This can be a long an tedious chore when done by hand, and that's where a line stripper comes in. As mentioned above my line stripper came with my spooling station, but if you use a different brand or have a makeshift station at home, you can buy line strippers like this Rapala model from most major retailers.

Line strippers can be tricky to use, and can bird nest up pretty badly if your not careful. So take the time to read the instructions and set it up properly, you will be happy you did

Line Storage Box

A line storage box has a few separate uses when it comes to re-spooling your reels. First and foremost it is a storage box, and is great for holding partial spools, keeping them organized tangle free and ready for use. They also work very well for adding leaders on to your already spooled reels

As you can see in the above photo, I have my line box set-up behind my spooling station. Once I have filled my reels to my preferred level, I cut the line and often add a 3-9ft leader depending on what technique the reel will be used for. Once the main line has been cut, I give the line a pull from the storage box, and tie a crazy Alberto knot to attach the leader to the main line. Finally I then proceed to add my leader to the reel.. but how do I know when to stop? well that's why tool #4 makes this list

Line Counter

I bet many of you saw this and wondered what the hell a line counter is doing on my list of key tools for preparing a reel for bass fishing, well let me tell you..

first off as mentioned above it is great for use when measuring out your leaders. Sure you can eye ball it, but a small counters like this Rapala unit  work great and fit right on your spooling station or rod.

The second and more important use is for checking how much line you are spooling onto your reel. Again this comes in to play in two situations, first off, knowing exactly how much line is on your reel means you know how much is left on the spool, this allows you to make the call on keeping or discarding the excess line.. how many times have you grabbed an old spool and started re-spooling only to come up well short.. i know I have.

Lastly this helps with a new technique I have been using when spooling a reel with fluorocarbon. It was sent to me by pro angler Michael Murphy and I have been using it ever since. The idea is that instead of filling you entire spool with expensive fluorocarbon,  you instead fill it up half way with old or cheap (similar diameter) line and then attach your fluorocarbon and fill the top half of the spool with your good line. This insures you are not damaging line that never hits the water and makes your spools last twice as long.

Tips I can give you would be that I like to use a red line (like Cajun) as the cheap backing, so it is easier to spot when your getting low. Depending on reel size I use the line counter to help spool-up  50-60yards of backing and then attached my Toray SuperHard Upgrade fluorocarbon and fill the remainder of the spool. A cool thing about Toray SH Upgrade is that they mark the halfway point with red so I know exactly when to stop. Try this, I think you will be impressed with how much longer your spools last

Line Cutters

A good line-cutter or more importantly a good braid cutter is often overlooked, but are again huge time savers both on and off the water. I have tried a bunch and in my opinion the Xtools cutter was the best around, I say "was" because the company has gone-under and the products are no longer available (unfortunately their other products were crap). There are other options available so try some out and find that one that works for you, you will thank me later

Line Conditioner

This is the last tool on this list mostly because it is still new to me. Anglers have been singing it's praises for years now, so this past off season I grabbed some KVD Line and Lure condition and gave each reel a spritz once spooled. The idea behind this conditioner is that it adds a coating to the line helping it repel water and thus not bringing as much water back up onto your reel. This will reduce wet line drag and the coating also improves the line durability by making it more abrasion resistant

Alright, get out there and start re-spooling

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