Line twist problem

Date added:
Monday, 31 January 2011
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Hi Wil,

This question came to me while I was out fishing deep water with a 1/4 oz jig and my line became all twisted and coiled. I could not detect any bites with it this way and obviously it was a real pain. How do you get rid of the line twist? I had on 8lb mono. I switched to 6lb mono and soaked the bail in warm warter for 1/2 hr. Any suggestions?




Hi John,

Yes, line twist is a pain – summer or winter, but when it’s particularly cold out it becomes even more irritating. Unfortunately there is no-sure fire guarantee that will prevent it each and every time.   There are some things you can do to minimize how often it will occur though.

Begin by ensuring you are putting the line onto a spinning reel properly.   To do this, feed the line thru the guides, open your bail, tie the line around the spool, close bail and begin reeling in.  It’s critical to place the spool on a flat surface like the floor- not so the spool is standing vertical or a pencil is placed thru.  This way the line goes onto the spinning reel same way it’s coming off the spool...  Usually- label side up. Drop the rod tip every once inwahile to make sure there’s no twist – if there is, flip the spool around.  For baitcasters- ok to keep spool vertical- ie by putting pencil thru spool.   Reel either in under tension.  I do this by holding a spinning outfit reel side up and squeezing line with thumb and forefinger while reeling in.  Next, for winter, I don’t put as much line on spool as for summer – leave just over 1/8 of an inch from outside edge of spool.

I use a variety of lines for ice fishing. With some of my ice rods I am using a Suffix Floro (4-6 lb), others HT Ice Red Co-polymer, and lately the new HT Ice Black Line. This comes in very specific line categories – like a 7.4 lb test that I love for whities and lakers. It’s very soft, supple, and has a low memory so is resistant to coiling and I haven’t had it twist on me yet.  I also carefully watch my spool – if there is a tiny little loop in it and you try reeling overtop – guaranteed that loop will come back to haunt you in a big way.  Take the time to pull it out and straighten.

Jigs can be especially prone to twisting thru the ice .. so I will often add a small black bearing swivel to main line, and add a 1metre or so Suffix Floro or HT Ice Black leader before tying on the jig.  Keep in mind too, that over active jigging can add to line twist – and for jigs, is seldom required.  Twitching or gently working that jig, often pays bigger dividends. For tubes, ensure the line is tied directly on centre of line tie as well- not off to side. 

Finally - I do like and use line conditioners - like the KVD brand and Blakes ... sold at Bass Pro Shops in Vaughan – this does seem to help as well.

Take care and hope you enjoy a tangle free ice fishing season for the rest of the winter John.



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