How do I Check Fishing Lines?

How do I Check Fishing Lines?
Whether it's the start of the season or nearly the end, it's wise to check fishing lines for damage, abrasions and general wear and tear every two to three months. Nicks and roughness that remain on fishing line can lead to line breakage, which can cause your fishing reel to spin out, or, worse, cost you a big catch.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fishing gloves
Step 1
Un-spool the fishing line. Tie the tag end of the fishing line to a standing post. Walk the fishing line backward off the spool. Make sure the fishing line is flat and in a straight line--free of tangles. Return to the standing post and clasp the fishing line between your closed hands. Run your hands from one end of the fishing line to the next, checking for crimps, grooves, cut, welts and other line damage. If damage is isolated to a tag end, cut off that section.
Step 2
Check fishing line strength manually. Grasp an arm's length worth of line between your gloved hands. Pull against the line to test its integrity and strength. Improper storage, exposure to the sun's heat or direct sunlight as well as contact with moisture, humidity and water can diminish the efficacy of fishing line. If the fishing line breaks under the strength of your pull, test a different section, say 15 to 20 feet from the section you just tested. Replace entirely if both sections break. If the second area doesn't break, re-spool the fishing line and you're done.
Step 3
Evaluate the condition of your fishing line after each cast-and-retrieval process--unless executing successive cast-and-retrieval patterns; in this case, you would check your line after the final retrieval of the pattern. Visually scan the section that was dropped in the water for signs of damage. This tip is especially useful for braided lines, which can obtain a rugged edge after several applications.
Step 4
Cut one to two feet off the bottom of your line after several uses. Remove line that has been previously dropped in the water to prevent general wear and tear--which can occur during the cast-and-retrieval process--from extending into cuts and abrasions that can cause your fishing line to break.

Tips & Warnings

Fishing line is rated for strength based on the weight it can accommodate before breakage occurs.
Replace fishing line that is damaged to avoid breakage at an inopportune time, such as when you have a large catch on your line.

Article Written By Charlie Gaston

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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