Anglers always ask me whether they should change their line when storing open-water rods for winter. Before specifically answering that questions, let’s talk about changing line in general.
I change line regularly, at least three times during the summer open water season. So, right now, if you’re planning for a lot of fall fishing, replace your monofilament line if you haven’t all summer. You don’t want to lose a thick fish because your frayed or weakened line breaks.
(This is less of a concern for braided or certainly lead core line. Remember, mono line floats and fluorocarbon line sinks.)
As for color, I’m usually spooling up with green line. Fish are sensitive to colored line, however, so in clear water, I stick with the clear stuff. Remember, however, that no line is 100 percent invisible.
If you’re done with your long rods, wait and change your line for 2015 in the spring. Another tip: Before throwing your rod in a corner with the existing line, make sure to loosen up your drag for winter. Backing off that drag relieves pressure on the gears and other internal parts of your reel.
Old line on your reel, or line on an overfilled spool is more prone to retaining memory. (Putting it on too loosely is another factor.) To avoid overfilling a spinning reel, I fill my line to within about 1/8-inch of the edge of the spool. When in doubt, fill the spool less.
How much line? Depends on the rod and its use. If casting or trolling, you’ll want a little more. If you’re jigging, you don’t need 300 yards of line!
Keeping quality line on our rods eliminates a solid percentage of missed fish, so make replacing it part of your personal fishing protocol.