How to Untangle a Fishing Line

How to Untangle a Fishing Line
Line tangles can occur for any number of reasons including excess drag---or slack---along the line when casting and retrieving. If the fishing line on your reel becomes tangled, take immediate action and free the tangles to save your line. It's possible to prevent future snarls and tangles by checking your fishing line regularly and wetting it if it becomes dirty.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Take a visual survey of the fishing line to identify the location of the tangle. Avoid turning the reel handle to "run" the line for a better view of the tangle.
Step 2
Set the fishing reel down on the ground. This will allow you can untangle the fishing line more easily. Make every attempt to prevent accidentally tugging on the line or tightening the tangles, which could prevent repair.
Step 3
Isolate the tangle in your hand without placing pressure on the line. If the line is tangled along a rod guide, attempt to work the line back through the line guide and free the tangle by gently tugging on it.
Step 4
Pull a trapped loop away from the tangle to unravel the section.
Step 5
Cut away damaged or severely tangled areas. Cut just above the tangle. Cut off your hook, bait and sinkers. Re-rig the line. Release the drag to unspool line from the reel spool on your fishing reel, which will allow you to re-rig the reel with new line.

Tips & Warnings

Fishing line should never be left for a long period in direct sunlight.
Don't yank or forcefully pull on your line, as damage could occur.

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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