WARNING: Read This Before Spooling Up with Braided Fishing Line!

warning read this before spooling up with braid

Good morning, brothers.

This is a warning.

It’s also not as dramatic as that just sounded…

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“Clickbait… clickbait EVERYWHERE!”

These days… everything is a code red… but I want to warn you about a problem with fishing line. Specifically, spooling with braid.

The Benefits of Braided Fishing Line

Braided fishing line is strong, slippery, limp & easy to work with. It doesn’t stretch or become water-logged, and it has a super-small diameter when you compare it to monofilament of fluorocarbon with the same strength rating. For example:

Berkley 30 pound Big Game mono has a diameter of .55 millimeters.

Berkley 30 pound X9 braided line has a diameter of .20 millimeters.

That’s significantly less than half.

This is rather impressive! So… what’s the problem?

don't act like you're not impressed gif
What a nice way to make friends.

Disadvantages of Braided Fishing Line

Monofilament has some stretch, braid has none. This can be advantageous with certain techniques, like crankbaiting, where you want to give the fish a bit more time to engulf the lure, or help prevent ripping sticky treble hooks out of their mouth.

Fluorocarbon is invisible underwater, and it has better abrasion resistance than braid – meaning it is less likely to get frayed around rocks and timber.

Caught this fatty around shallow rip-rap using 10lb fluorocarbon and a jerk.

Ultra-thin diameter braid can also get “buried in on itself”, where the line near the top layer will slip through the lower layers of line on the spool as you put pressure on the other end of the rod with a hookset, or boat flippin’ bass.

Plus, you know… copolymers

There just isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for fishing line… and we all have our preferences.

BUT… here is something to watch out for… it’s an issue you can easily avoid:

Inadvertent “Free Spooling”

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Jump to the 4:00 minute mark in the video above.

Laugh at my incompetence!


It’s funny now… it was not funny then… when you spool up braid (especially tiny diameter braid) without using monofilament backing, you run the risk of losing fish as the entire mass can spin freely, allowing more line to come off the spool even with your drag absolutely cranked down.

Inadvertent free spooling.

Note: a “free spool” is any spool that can move freely on the reel without any interreference from a gear or drive mechanism, etc. Line comes off (you guessed it), freely. Some fishermen will compare this to “neutral,” and when you skip backing your braid, you will enjoy this “feature” whether you intend to or not!

Is this “spinny braid” problem technically free spooling?


Is the end result pretty darn similar?

Accidentally, yes.

This has been an issue with me for spinning rods, however, I have not experienced the same issue with baitcasters – but – that’s because I will usually tie my line through one of the holes in the spool on my baitcasters, which allows my braid to “lock” into place and not free spool.

If this is not an option on your reel, get some mono backing for your baitcasters as well – and hey, if you have any tips or tricks that you use for better fishing line management, comment & let me know!

What do you think?

Life is full of things we can't control. This is just the truth. Truth matters. That said, it's always a good idea to be mindful of the things that we can control. This will reduce headaches on the bank, in the boat... and bigger picture - throughout life in general.

Tight Lines & Godspeed, Patriots.

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