Take a few moments to check your line before each outing by stripping a few feet off of the reel. If it coils up or is very stiff, it needs to be replaced. Take your thumb and index finger and pinch the line between your fingers, running your fingers down the line several feet. If the line leaves a chalky residue, or you feel nicks or rough spots, replace the line.

It’s not always necessary or practical to replace all of the line on your reel. Start by striping half the line off the reel then using a uni knot or a blood knot to tie the two lines together.

Then make sure the line is spooled onto the reel in the correct manner. For baitcasting reels, the line must come off of the top of the filler spool and wind onto the reel in the same manner. Spinning reels are a little different. Position the filler spool in a manner that the line comes off counter clockwise. Wind onto the spinning reel in the same manner. This will help insure that the line does not get twisted, which could cause problems later on.

As a rule of thumb, the heavier the line, the more often it will have to be replaced. Heavier line retains “memory” that causes a coiling effect. To help extend the life of the line, try stretching it by attaching the end to a stationary object, then back off the distance of a cast. Hold the line tight for a few seconds, then reel back. Do this a few times and you’ll see the coil relax. I also use Kevin VanDam’s Line and Lure conditioner, which relaxes the line and helps prevent the coiling effect. Find more tips at http://chadmorgenthaler.com