How much line for carp fishing?

how much line for carp fishing

So you have your new reels and so next comes getting your main line of choice loaded on.  One thing for me when I started fishing was understanding how much line for carp fishing was needed on the reel.  

Well there are variables to consider and it does depend on the type of fishing you will be doing however, on average, I’d say about 250 yards is a good starting point. This is mainly because most bulk spools of line that are available have about 1000 yards and so this way you have sufficient to spool multiple reels. On an assumed 250 yard usage you will then have enough for 4 reels.  Some manufacturers put a tab in the line at 250 yard intervals to make the equal split easier.

Getting your line up to the lip of the spool can significantly improve how the line is released when casting.  Big pit reels can hold a significant amount of line.  To load these up with main line could work out very costly so you will also need to use a backing line or a spool reducer so that your main line caters for your maximum fishing range only. I always end up over filling my reel slightly as I know, over time, the line will tighten down a little which causes it reduce on the spool a bit.  Also, you can’t add more line if you under fill but you can always take some off!

Obviously if your fishing at long ranges, you may be using bait boats, then you would want to make sure you have enough line to get you to the range. For example, if fishing at 200 yards, I would make sure I have at least 300 yards of mainline on my spools.  This is to cater for your initial fishing plus the distance you would expect a carp to run plus any loss of line over time.

How to spool a reel without line twist

The best way I’ve found that has worked for me when spooling a new reel with main line is to soak the line in warm water for 20 mins.  You then leave the line in the bucket of water while you are loading the spool.  I then make sure the new line spool is sat in the bucket with the label up.  I attach my reel to the rod and just use the butt eye section to run the line though keeping some tension on the line.   Take care with this and consider using a damp flannel to hold the tension as running the line through your fingers can cause injury!  After a few turns on the reel, I check to see if there is any line twist.  At this point if there are some twists I turn the spool over in the bucket so the label is facing down.  This will see the line coming off the new line spool in a different direction.  I then put some more line on the reel and check again.  The key is to determine which direction you need to pull the new line off the spool on to your reel.

A good way to get the right amount of line on your reel with backing is to use a spare spool, so with some bulk lines you have tabs at 250 yds, so what i do is put the line on the new spool up to the 250yd tab that comes with some spools of line then if it’s under filled i then tie on my cheaper thicker backing line untill it reaches the lip of the spool, a good tip is to count how many turns you need of backing to reach the lip of the spool. ( obviosuly at this point the line is on the wrong way round) you then attached it to the other reel with an empty spool and wind it off one spool on to the other so your new line is on top. If you want to also put line on the spare spool add the backing line first with the number of turns you counted before, then tie your mainline to the backing line you should end up with exactly the same amount of line as you added to the other spool.

How to stop line twist carp fishing

One of the most annoying things is line twist even more so if you’ve only just put on your new line. If you’ve followed the steps above when putting new line on your reel you shouldn’t have any problems. Line twist can happen over time from using the clutch instead of back winding. When using the clutch to pull line off or when catching a fish the line is pulled off effectively in a straight line.  This causes line twist.

Back winding is a way to get over that problem because the line only comes off and goes on the same way in a circular motion. That said, I like a lot of anglers, find back winding difficult when playing a fish.  Its a worthwhile skill to master and I do believe it will certainly extend the longevity of your main line.

Another thing that causes line twist is when you’re setting up your rods.  You have cast to the perfect spot, and are settling your rods down on the rest.  If you are like me you will want your reel handles nicely lined up.  I open the bail arm and take some line off then wind it back on rather than using the clutch. It can be a bit more time consuming to do it this way but I have found I don’t get any line twist.

There is a contraption by Gardner called a spin doctor.  The idea with this is that you attach it to your mainline and cast it out.  As you retrieve the line it spins it in the opposite direction to the line twist so un-twists the line.  With about 3 casts you should get the line straight again.

Lastly, another way to remove twists is to stretch the line.  This is a method I have used in the past to remove line twist which has worked. The key is to stretch the line very tight.  Get someone to walk up the bank with the line and get them to pull it nice and tight!

How to spool a carp reel with braid

When spooling braid on a reel I have found the best way is to get the braid wet first.   Also, it’s a good idea to put some mono on the spool first.  This is because braid can slip on the spool which can cause problems in getting the braid on the reel in a tightly packed way.   The mono also acts as backing and is the far cheaper way to load up your braid.

I have found using an Albright or a double grinner knot to join the braid to the mono. When winding on the braid make sure it’s under good tension.  Be sure to use a glove or a towel to hold the line as braid cuts through fingers easily!

How often should you change your fishing line?

So how often should you change your mainline. This very much depends on the type of lake your fishing.  Some lakes have gravel bars that can be very abrasive to your line whilst some lakes have muscles or crayfish.  You, therefore, might be changing your line more often as a result. For me it’s about every 2 years I change my line as the lake I fish do not have too many nasty features that damage my line.  More often than not I end up changing my line because it’s dropped down a bit too low on the spool which can happen due to losing some line from snapping off on the cast or snapping off playing a fish in weed.

A good way to check your line is when pulling your line around your marker sticks.  If you run your fingers gently over the line as you wind it back on the spool.  If you feel any rough sections then you should cut that off.  This is assuming you have sufficient line on your spool. You should be able to get away with cutting a little off, a few times, from a fully loaded reel.  Once the line drops too low on the spool this is a good time to replace your line.

How often should you change fluorocarbon fishing line

How often you should change your fluorocarbon line is the same for me as mono line, however, I do find flouro mainline a little bit more prone to line twists that mono.  So for me I’ve ended up changing fluorocarbon more often than mono again though you should check the line for any nicks that you feel when your winding back on to the reel. Flouro can be a little bit more resilient to any rough features like gravel bars etc. Some people use a fluorocarbon for leaders for that very reason. I’ve also found fluorocarbon is a little bit sensitive to cold weather it can feel a bit more wirey when it’s being used in winter.

How often to change braided fishing line

I would say with braid you do not need to worry about replacing it regularly like you would with mono or flouro.  This is because most braids are extremely tough. If you noticed some strands are frayed then cut that section out, otherwise, I wouldn’t think about replacing it just for the hell of replacing it the only time I’ve had to replace braid is when the level has got a bit low on the spool. This is mainly due to wind knots when casting or when it pulls of the marker sticks and gets in a right mess!