A sure sign that warmer weather is on the way: Spring spooling

Mike SchoonveldWhat’s your sure sign of spring? Is it wedges of geese flying north? Do you get excited when you see a robin in the yard?

Where I live it’s seeing me sitting in a lawn chair outside the garage door where my boat and fishing tackle are stored, spooling new line onto my reels. Sure, I could have trudged through the snow, taken all the reels off the rods, hauled them inside and had them ready to go by the end of winter. I’m not into unnecessary snow-trudging and by waiting for spring, I don’t have to remove the reels from the rods.  I just take one rod at a time off the rack in the garage and carry it outside where I’m not going to whack anything and go to work.

It’s a simple process. There are tools available to help do the chore, but I’ve always been too cheap to buy them and my improvised methods work just fine.

I start with a handful of pole barn nails. These are like regular nails, but are eight inches long. To remove the old line, slip the pointed end of the nail in a drill, make a few wraps of line around the shank of the nail and pull the drill-trigger. The line will wind semi-neatly on the shank and depending on how much line is on the reels, expect to get two or three reel-fulls on each nail.

I’ve tried some of the gadgets invented to hold spools of line while respooling a reel. They work, but not much better than just punching a screwdriver through the arbor of the spool and clamping the screwdriver between your knees.

With bulk spools it’s even easier. Once I’m ready to crank on the new line, I just toss the spool into a five gallon bucket. The bucket keeps the spool in check as the spool spins in the bottom of the bucket. I only run the line through the line guide closest to the reel. I’ve leaned if I use the entire length of the rod, the tip will load-up and then pop straight pulling the line off the spool extra fast, over and again. There’s not much flex in the rod by the first line guide so the line will wind on smoothly.

It’s simple work, but not boring. Since it’s so easy, it doesn’t take much thought, leaving my mind free to wander. With each turn of the reel’s handle, I’m thinking of the fish I caught with this particular reel in the past and ponder what successes the reel and new line will bring in the months ahead.

Categories: Blog Content, MicBlogs, Michigan – Mike Schoonveld

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