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Forgive me if this is a crazy question.  I'm going off a suggestion I read years ago.  Someone suggested not to completely replace your whole spool of line, but only a certain amount, corresponding to how far you typically cast, and perhaps a bit more.  At the time it did seem to make sense that I not buy 330 yards of line each season, only to use perhaps 50 yards the whole season.  I think I also read about someone who used tape or something to partially fill up the spool, but perhaps I'm just making that up in my head.  It's been a lot of years.

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I fill my spools halfway with cheap mono as backing then fill the rest of the spool with the good line. The braid and fluorocarbon lines I use aren’t cheap and this method cuts my cost of respooling in half.

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The tape thing you're thinking about is wrapped once around the spool to give braid something to dig into and not slip.  I use teflon plumbers tape.

Not layers of it to take up space.

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1 hour ago, LonnieP said:

I fill my spools halfway with cheap mono as backing then fill the rest of the spool with the good line. The braid and fluorocarbon lines I use aren’t cheap and this method cuts my cost of respooling in half.

I use Berkley Big Game, it's good and cheap.  It also makes good leader material.

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What's the expiration date of line?  I mean, if I buy 300 yards of whatever, and keep the spool out of the sunlight and weather, how long would you trust using it?

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13 hours ago, LonnieP said:

I fill my spools halfway with cheap mono as backing then fill the rest of the spool with the good line. The braid and fluorocarbon lines I use aren’t cheap and this method cuts my cost of respooling in half.

I do similar on all my baitcaters that I use Sunline Sniper, put on partial mono then 100yds Sniper on top so I can get 2 reels done with one 200yd spool. On spinning reels I use Power Pro Slick V2 and since most are 150yds I spool enough mono on first where I can finish it with the whole spool of braid. 

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I put, depending the reel, 20 - 50 yards of 20# Big Game on for backing on every reel.  I spool braid over that on every rod, regardless of its use.

 

Long cast rods; Square bills, topwaters, Carolina rigs, Alabama rigs, jerkbaits, etc.  get 50 yards of line over the braid.  My big crank bait rods get 75.  That's it.  Can't cast any farther than that.  Don't care what Van Dam can do.  I can't throw anything 100 yards. 

 

Short range rods - Flipping sticks, etc get 30 yards.  You'll never pitch that far.

 

Braid basically lasts forever, so I don't change line until I've cut off enough that it's too short.  I typically use mono or fluoro leaders, so not an issue to me.  I've got reels with 2 year old braid.  Never a problem.

 

If I was still using mono, or fluoro, I'd change line almost every day.  Certainly every tournament day. 

 

One thing that makes it easier if you're just starting out is a line counter.  Berkley makes one that clamps to the rod so you can see actually how much you're putting on the reel.  Once you've got it figured out, you don't need the counter, just strip the line off to the knot and retie.

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On a low profile baitcaster, I fill it to the top with only one line, no backer no tape. I think extra knots and other things in the spool throw the balance off and cause wobble that reduces casting distance and causes more overruns. I can feel the overruns always happen over the bump, so I do everything I can to reduce the bumps. Once I lose 1/8 to 1/5 or so of a spool to snags, I throw out the line and respool.

 

If you’re talking conventional reels with way more line capacity than you’ll ever possibly use, there’s no reason to fill it and it’ll probably cast better under filled. If you are casting less than 100’ it probably doesn’t make any difference what you do with your line unless you’re going for total BFS shallow spool, then you’ll have no choice but to fill the spool.

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5 hours ago, billmac said:

What's the expiration date of line?  I mean, if I buy 300 yards of whatever, and keep the spool out of the sunlight and weather, how long would you trust using it?

A loooong time. Multiple years for sure. I have a spool of 4lb trilene that I've had since I was a kid (I'm in my twenties now) that is exactly the same as a brand new spool. Store the line inside (like, in the house, not in the garage to be safe) to be sure, but essentially no sunlight or extreme temperatures and it should be good practically forever.

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1 hour ago, CrankFate said:

On a low profile baitcaster, I fill it to the top with only one line, no backer no tape. I think extra knots and other things in the spool throw the balance off and cause wobble that reduces casting distance and causes more overruns. I can feel the overruns always happen over the bump, so I do everything I can to reduce the bumps. Once I lose 1/8 to 1/5 or so of a spool to snags, I throw out the line and respool.

 

If you’re talking conventional reels with way more line capacity than you’ll ever possibly use, there’s no reason to fill it and it’ll probably cast better under filled. If you are casting less than 100’ it probably doesn’t make any difference what you do with your line unless you’re going for total BFS shallow spool, then you’ll have no choice but to fill the spool.

The bump tends to work itself out after a few long casts, then the line lay levels out.  My reels have a synchronized level wind though so this may play a part in my experience.

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11 hours ago, redmeansdistortion said:

The bump tends to work itself out after a few long casts, then the line lay levels out.  My reels have a synchronized level wind though so this may play a part in my experience.

I hate to threadjack, but why don’t more reels have a synchronized levelwind???

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23 minutes ago, CrankFate said:

I hate to threadjack, but why don’t more reels have a synchronized levelwind???

Reels with a disengaging level wind tend to cast further because there is nothing but the spool rotating.  With a synchronized level wind, an idler gear must turn the worm gear while the spool is spinning and this cuts down on distance a bit.

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1 minute ago, redmeansdistortion said:

Reels with a disengaging level wind tend to cast further because there is nothing but the spool rotating.  With a synchronized level wind, an idler gear must turn the worm gear while the spool is spinning and this cuts down on distance a bit.

A little, but it almost completely eliminates any birds nesting and makes the drag smoother than anything.

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I back my casting reels with braid to save weight and so it’s there as emergency line if I ruin my mainline. I use my nail or a blunt-tipped needle to bury the connection knot. 

 

Or spinning reels I usually fill up about half to 3/4 of the spool with plumbers Teflon tape and tie my line around that.

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Been using backing on my spinning and bait casters for over 15 years  with a tiny piece of duct tape holding down the end of my backing and another tiny piece holding down the end of the new line I am spooling and I have never seen a "bump" anywhere on the spool.   Regarding the life of fishing line...stored properly forever.  MY 20LB mono jumbo spool is 18 years old and doing well.  It is my plastic swimbait line and even frogs at times.

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On 2/17/2019 at 10:44 AM, Dens228 said:

The tape thing you're thinking about is wrapped once around the spool to give braid something to dig into and not slip.  I use teflon plumbers tape.

Not layers of it to take up space.

If it works, great, but I'm not sure that teflon tape is the best choice. If I'm not mistaken, teflon's co-efficient of friction is almost the lowest of all known compounds which makes it a poor choice for something that needs to "grab". Just saying.....

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15 minutes ago, Crow Horse said:

If it works, great, but I'm not sure that teflon tape is the best choice. If I'm not mistaken, teflon's co-efficient of friction is almost the lowest of all known compounds which makes it a poor choice for something that needs to "grab". Just saying.....

It works.  It wasn't my idea, I read it somewhere.  Plus it's incredibly light. 

 

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All you're looking for is something for the braid to dig into.  Electrical tape, teflon tape, even a base later of mono serves that purpose.  Back in the day, PowerPro even supplied little foam stickers you stuck on th4e spool to keep it from slipping.

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The decision is easy for all my reels with braid.  Every two years I buy a new 150yd roll of Sufix 832.  Year one I put it on my reel with no backer.  Turns out I can't yet cast 150 yards so year two I pull it off the spool and reverse it.  

 

I haven't gotten into fluoro yet so all of my other reels are Yo-Zuri hybrid or Big Game (with Trilene on two spinning reels).  All those are so cheap that replacing it causes no stress. 

 

@J Francho is giving good advice again.  I use electrical tape under the braid on a couple spools and it works beautifully to prevent slipping, but my Daiwa spools don't need it because they have holes in them so you can tie the braid through the middle of the spool = no slipping.  

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Here is a tip for those of you who use a mono backer - buy the cheapest colored mono you can for this purpose. I can tell when I am running out of braid as the orange or lime green start to show up at the end of my cast.

12 hours ago, OnthePotomac said:

MY 20LB mono jumbo spool is 18 years old and doing well.  It is my plastic swimbait line and even frogs at times.

 

My filler spool (1200 yards?) of Stren Clear Blue Fluorescent 10lb is still brand new after 30 years. I am pretty sure the box does not say "original" on it either. I keep all my fishing gear indoors and not in the garage as it is the UV rays that have a detrimental effect on mono line.

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On February 17, 2019 at 5:40 AM, billmac said:

Forgive me if this is a crazy question.  I'm going off a suggestion I read years ago.  Someone suggested not to completely replace your whole spool of line, but only a certain amount, corresponding to how far you typically cast, and perhaps a bit more.  At the time it did seem to make sense that I not buy 330 yards of line each season, only to use perhaps 50 yards the whole season.  I think I also read about someone who used tape or something to partially fill up the spool, but perhaps I'm just making that up in my head.  It's been a lot of years.

It's called backing not padding.

The center of the spool is called the arbor and some spools have a small diameter arbor to increase line capacity, some have a larger diameter arbor sometimes called a shallow spool to reduce line capacity. 

Lif your reels spool holds 200 yards of 12 lb mono and you want to fill it with 60 yards of 12 lb mono you need to add backing 140 yards of backing line line the size as the 12 lb mono.

Tom

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Mono does have a "shelf life" and does dry out. Old mono might be ok for backing but that's about it. I have several spools (10 pound spools of 20# test & 10# test) that are 30 plus years old. I won't use them for anything but backing.....

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Mono has a shelf life if exposed to elements.  If it's stored in a dry, cool, dark place, it's fine for years.

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