Ever had your fishing line tangled and all messed up? That happens from time to time. In the worst case, simply getting rid of the line altogether and replacing it with a new one is the way to go.
Or, if you want a new line, removing the old line is the first step. So, how do you get a fishing line out of a reel? The most basic way to remove a fishing line is simply pulling it out of the reel by hand.
But that’s boring and can get messy. A more sophisticated way is to use a power drill to reel it on another object, unreeling it from the spool in the process. If a power drill is not available, you can get the job done nice and clean if you have a spare rod and spool.
Fishing rods and lines get exposed to water, dirt, and other kinds of environmental elements all the time. They do get damaged and weakened. Sometimes, the line simply gets beaten down due to repeated use and needs a replacement.
Sometimes, the line can get tangled and unusable. Hence, removing the line becomes necessary. Here are a few ways to get the fishing line out of the reel.
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It Depends On How Damaged The Line Is
How you are to approach the task depends on the state of the line. If the line is not tangled or stuck and is in a strong condition, then you can get a little rough on it to finish the process nice and fast.
If the rod has not been used for a while, and the line is weak, then being careful is the key. However, none of the processes will work if the line is stuck. So, take some time and evaluate how you should approach it.
If The Line Is In Good Condition
If the line is in good condition, and it simply needs some routine maintenance or replacement, the process to get the line removed will be simple. There are many ways to do this, but I found the following procedure the perfect balance between simplicity and efficiency.
Take your electric screwdriver or power drill and attach a screwdriver bit to it. Take a somewhat long block of foam; we’ll be reeling the line on this foam. We’ll also need a thin and long screwdriver or something similar.
Take a knife and cut a notch on one of the edges of the foam. The notch is nothing special simply, we will be attaching the end of the line to it.
Remove the spool from the fishing rod and separate the reel from other parts. Insert the screwdriver through the hole of the reel. Make sure that the screwdriver is thin enough so that the reel can spin freely.
Take the foam and push it on the drill bit. The bit should dig a hole and enter into the foam. Because of the structure of the screwdriver bit head, the foam should be loosely attached to it and rotate with the drill bit.
Take the loose end of the line and push it through the notch or you can use tape or glue or simply tie a knot. The setup is done.
Hold the screwdriver with the reel in one hand and the drill with the foam block on the other hand. Turn on the drill. It should make the foam spin. Since the line is attached to the foam, it should start reeling the line on the foam.
As long as the setup is stable, you should go through the full line fast. If you are having any issues, you can ask someone else to hold the original reel and stabilize the foam with your other hand.
- Super simple setup and super-fast operation.
- Clean working process and no mess is made.
- The line is still somewhat organized after removing. You can either repurpose it, recycle it, or stash it.
- Requires a power tool.
- Not 100% consistent, as the drill bit may wear down the foam, resulting in the foam not spinning with the drill.
If The Line Is Withered Or Weakened
If the fishing rod has not been in service for a while, the line may wither away or be weakened. In which case, the above method may prove to be problematic. When the drill starts spinning, the sudden acceleration may stress out the line enough to cause it to snap. In that case:
Take the fishing rod from which you want to remove the line. Take a spare water bottle, and make two holes on it, one at the cap, and the other at the bottom, on the center.
Insert a stick through the holes. The stick should be long enough so that both ends of the stick sticks out from the bottle.
Take the loose end of the line and attach it on the side of the bottle, either by glue, or by tape, or in any other method that suits you. We are essentially making a kite reel to reel in the line from the fishing rod reel.
Put the fishing rod reel steadily. It is better to ask someone to assist. Or you can get the rod stuck somewhere, where it will be steady enough.
Start reeling in the bottle reel. Start slowly so that the line does not snap. Later on, when the deeper portion of the line starts coming out from the fishing rod, you can pick up speed because the line there is usually sturdier than the outer part.
Soon enough, you will have the whole line on the bottle.
- Does not require any particular tool.
- Relatively fast and clean. The rejected line is organized.
- The old line is reusable, recyclable, or stash able.
- Takes a decent amount of time.
- It may prove to be an issue to find a suitable bottle and then to dig holes in it.
If The Line Is Tangled Or Stuck
Sometimes, although unlikely, the line may get tangled, stuck, or jumbled around the handle or other mechanisms of the reel, making it impossible to rotate the reel, or to remove it from its position.
You can take a sharp knife and cut off the tangled parts. That should free the reel. If it does, then follow either of the above methods to get the damaged line off of the reel. The downside is the line is often no longer usable.
A fishing rod is one of the tools that go through a lot of abuse. Not necessarily intentional abuses. It’s just the nature of the tool. Each time you are using the fishing rod, you are exposing it, especially the line, to water, dirt, mud, and other elements. If not cleaned and cared for properly, they will degrade soon.
Oiling the fishing reel regularly is an important part of its maintenance. So, you must learn the proper way to lubricate the fishing reel.
Even if cared for properly, they will still degrade slowly but surely. Hence, changing the line is a task that every angler has to go through at some point. So, knowing the proper ways to remove the old line goes a long way. With some practice and experience, it will feel pretty generic. Peace!