How To Untangle Fishing Line

How To Untangle Fishing Line – Eliminate The Problem

Argh, once again, I am dealing with tangled and wound-up fishing lines.

Professional fishermen and those just catching a bite to eat on the weekend all agree on one thing.

Fishing lines never stay would up nice and neat.

Sometimes we think about that big catch we have set eyes upon and forget about all the yards of a reel that we have piled on.

Most fishermen end up with the same problem of putting too much line on their spool.

Let’s help you figure out how to deal with this problem efficiently.

How To Untangle Fishing Line        

To untangle the fishing line, always have a pair of pliers with you. Your pliers need to hold the biggest knot. You can risk breaking the line if you squeeze the pliers too hard. You need to slowly pull on the loose line, and then you can find where it leads to and pull the knot out. You will need to pull until the knot has gone. It is best to start with one end and thread it back through the knots till you eventually have no knots left.

Got A Tangled Bait Caster Reel?

For this type, you are going to need to have your spool within easy access.

Holding your reel at the bottom, you are going to apply pressure and push down, which will allow the spindle to move.

You now need to find the mainline this is the one we are working with next.

This is the line that is coming out of the spool.

Using a pair of needle-nose pliers like above, hold the main knot that has all the tangled lines around it.

Once you get the grasp of it, the messy lines will be easy to pull out.

You just need to follow them and backtrack the line through.  

Just keep at it until there are no knots left. The alternative is to cut the line if you feel you cannot get the mess untangled.

Once everything has been untangled, you can then reel the line in.

You want the coil to sit tightly against the spool so ensure you keep things a little firm when reeling in.

Giving In And Cutting The Line

First of all, you need to loosen the drag a bit so it will come off easily.

This will allow you to access the gear and then take the line out.

Once you have managed to get the drag off the reel, you can cut the line that is still connected to the spool.

You need to pull the tangles away from the reel if you can, allowing you to cut the knots away.

You need to make sure that you don’t cut too much good line off.

After you have eliminated the tangles, you will need to ensure you have fitted the spool back correctly onto your fishing reel.

Why Do Fishing Lines Tangle?

Overfilling the fishing spool can cause tangles.

Most people do this to get more line off it, but it just causes more problems than it is worth.

Your spinning reel, just like baitcasting, doesn’t actually have the function to stop your line from coming off.

So taking off too much line is just going to cause a mess.

Another reason for tangled lines is when you don’t take any care when filling the spool.

Expert advice says that you need to reel in slow and gently but try to keep some pressure, so the line doesn’t slack.

Make sure that when filling the spool, the fishing line can slide through the indicating lines on your fishing pole then you can tie a knot that will anchor it in place.

Using Cheap Fishing Line

Sometimes knots, tangles, and other fishing line mess can be caused by using an incorrect line.

If you have a spinning reel, you should steer clear of fluorocarbon and monofilament fishing lines as these lack performance with spinning poles.

These types of lines will curl due to their large diameter and line memory.

They also don’t sit comfortably well due to the larger size.

For spinning reels, aim for braided lines as they have a smaller diameter that is well suited.

You Rods Brakes Are Loose

The line can come out if you don’t have your drag correctly set.

This will lead to twists which can eventually turn into knots.

The main goal is to go for a line that has a breaking point strength at 25 percent.


It doesn’t matter whether you are new to fishing or you have been fishing for as long as you can remember.

You are going to get knots and tangles etc.

You will most likely even get them no matter how well you look after your line and do everything the right way.

It is important that you know just how to untangle a reel so when it does happen, you are prepared.

Not only do you need the know-how, but you also need a good deal of patience to get through the untangling process.

Frequently Asked Questions About Fishing Line

What Line Is Preferred For Spinning Reel?

Braided line is best for spinning reels as it has nearly no memory and is strong and durable. The line also has no stretch and has a small diameter making it the preferred type of line to use for spinning reels.