Line Twist

Fishing Line Twist the Mystery Resolved

Line Twist

Now we all suffer from a little line twist these days particularly if using heavier lines together with a fixed spool or spinning reel and it can be quite frustrating to have the fishing line all spill off with loops and twists all over the place.

I have personally read many an article blaming today’s baitrunner or freespool reels for the problem but none have really solved the problem or explained the mystery to my satisfaction.

Line Twist Resolved
A bad case of Line Twist


Well, I decided to do a little investigation of my own and as a lifelong engineering type reckoned I could work out whats going on. From my own fishing a few years back I noted that even though I was blanking all weekend on my local Long Reach Lake I was still suffering from line twist. Therefore it was unlikely to be related to the freespool device. Remember no runs equals no freespool activity!!

For the purposes of this blog we can assume that the line has been loaded correctly when new.

My simple logic established the following two activities occur:-

1. That winding on the line by turning the rotor with the spool stationary is what you do winding in.

2. That releasing line by turning the spool with the rotor stationary is what you do when getting a run from a fish.

These two activities are in fact opposites and achieve the same thing thus cancelling each other out. There is no actual difference between holding either rotor or spool still and turning its opposite number.

My next test was done using some rope and mimicking the rotor and casting action.What I did was to draw a line along a length of rope and then wind it on to a spool where I noted that the line I had drawn remained central ie no twist.

Next I turned the spool to mimic a modern fixed spool fishing reel and drew off the line in the same manner as when casting. The line now clearly showed that the twists were present and equated to one twist per coil.

This shows that in actual fact line twist is generated by the action of casting and the only solution is to use one of Gardner Tackles Spin Doctor leads which I have found to work very well in the smaller sizes or switch to a multiplier type reel. (highly impractical) This lead basically works by putting opposite twists in the line as you wind in after casting it out. Its not a bad idea to bank some extra twists in your line to delay the onset of line twist while fishing.

Gardner Twist Buster
Gardner Spin Doctor


So to sum up casting causes line twist not free spool or winding in.

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