Quick Tip: When Fishing for Big Fish, “Restart” Your Stripped Line

This guy doesn’t care how many tangles you have in your line…

A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of fishing for tarpon in Key West with a new line from Scientific Anglers. It’s called the Chard Salt Water Grand Slam Line and is in their Mastery Textured Series of lines. I fished 10-weight and 12-weights with it. The line was simply amazing for throwing larger flies on a super heavy leader in a stiff wind.

The problem was, for someone like me who’s not used to doing this all day, is that I had the propensity to cast half of the line I had stripped off my reel, then strip the line I had just cast back into the casting basket on top of line that was already there.  I’d do this a couple times.  Cast, strip off more line, cast, etc, etc….  While this is all fine and dandy for trout fishing, it’s a different story if you hook up with a 100-plus pound fish.  The problem is that you are creating different layers of line every time you do this, and if you do hook up and that fish screams off a couple hundred feet of line there’s a good chance the line in the stripping basket will tangle on its self and—POP—your fish will be gone.  This is especially true for textured line like I was using. It casts amazingly well, but has propensity to “grab” itself if given the chance.

Solving this problem is easy.  One, don’t cast unless you are absolutely sure there’s a fish you can reach and present a fly to well. Two, every time you do throw the line at a fish either reel it all back up and start over again by shipping off fresh line off (or be doubly sure that the line you are stripping back into the basket is on top of the line you’d already stripped off)—basically “restarting” the pile in the stripping basket and keeping it from tangling on itself if a fish takes a huge run.

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