Here are five great hacks to make sure your mainline is in tip-top condition by combating line twist, helping it to sink and keeping it well lubricated and performing to the max.
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The best thing about this quintet of hacks is that they probably won’t cost you a penny, as they make use of products you might already have lying about the house.
1) Take out twist
Line twist can be a nightmare, compromising your casting distance and even leading to crack-offs and lost fish as the line wraps around the tip ring.
An effective and speedy way to eliminate twist completely is to put a few stones into some PVA mesh stocking, cut off your leader and tie the PVA bag of stones directly to the end of your mainline.
Next, cast it out as far as you can and let the bag sink to the lakebed.
Wait 30 seconds or so for the bag to melt, then reel in your line. With no weight on the end, you are essentially reeling in just the line itself, and this action serves to remove all the twist on the way in.
2) Make it sink
A well-sunken mainline will be far less conspicuous to the carp and will result in you catching more fish in the long run.
Going ‘old skool’ and giving your spool a squirt with washing up liquid is all well and good, but it often leaves a residue on the line that makes it more visible, thereby negating the whole reason to do it in the first place.
A better, more covert way to achieve the same effect is to reel the last 30 or 40 yards of your line in through a lump of tungsten putty. It’s invisible on the line and makes it sink far quicker than a dose of Fairy Liquid will.
3) Lubricate your line
A smooth-flowing mainline will add serious yards to your cast.
There are a couple of ‘lubricants’ on the tackle market that are used by tournament-standard casters to ramp up their distance, and the ‘active’ ingredient of these products are light silicone oil.
This is used in all manner of industries, none more so than the car valeting business.
So, have a root around in your garage and see if you have a can of Flash Dash, or a similar product that’s used to buff up car dashboards and interior plastic trim areas.
Rather than spraying it directly onto your reel spool, it’s better to spray some onto a rag and then wind in your line through this. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes to your casting!
4) Stretch your fluoro
Fluorocarbon mainline has an awful lot going for it. As well as its brilliant sinking qualities, it is also remarkably abrasion resistant.
On the downside, it need a little TLC to get the best out of it.
The main problem with fluorocarbon mainline is its springiness: it can retain too much memory and therefore begin to coil up and become springy.
To counteract this and keep your line performing to the max, before or after each session simply tie the end of the line to a fencepost or small tree, and walk backwards, pointing your rod towards towards the tree/post, for about 50 or 60 yards to stretch the line out.
The result is a lovely limp line that performs to its best.
5) Camo your braid
Ever more anglers are using braided mainlines these days, encouraged by the lack of stretch, low diameter and direct contact it affords.
After prolonged use and exposure to the elements, however, all green braid starts to ‘bleach’ and lighten in colour, rendering it far more visible running along the bottom of the lake.
To counteract this, simply take a permanent marker and ‘mottle’ the last 20 or 30 yards of line.
By breaking up its outline in this way it becomes virtually invisible among the detritus of a typical lakebed.