Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
March 19, 2013

Andy Whitcomb

Professional Overrun: 7 Tips for Preventing a Bird’s Nest

Spring is not far away. There will soon be flowers in the yard, I’ll be sneezing, and there will be a “bird’s nest” in my baitcaster reels. As Bill Dance says in his latest Bass Pro Shops commercial, “Don’t do that.” Here are a few tips for preventing a tangle:

1) Practice. Even with the high-tech, magnetic braking system baitcaster reels, it takes a well-practiced thumb to avoid a bird’s nest. Bassmaster Elite angler Rick Clunn shared, “Yes, even pros get backlashes.”

2) “Don’t ‘load’ the rod.” In a recent seminar, Bassmaster Elite pro angler Tommy Biffle warned that the added flip of a bent fishing pole during a hard cast could send the inner spool rotating at an unexpected, uncontrollable rate.

3) Rather than attempt to readjust a baitcaster setting with every different weighted lure, if you have the means (and the understanding spouse) dedicate a different baitcaster rod reel combo to each lure type.

4) When spooling a spinning reel with new line, lay the spool flat and wind on several feet of line, then open the bail. If the line uncoils like the foam snakes out of a fake peanut can gag toy, take the line off and try again with the new line spool flipped over.

5) Don’t over fill the spool with line.  Loading the reel too close to the spool lip is asking for trouble.

6) Pay attention. A spinning reel should feel smooth. If there is a little tic or flap sound or feel while retrieving, look down and catch that potential pileup early.  If the drag is slightly loose, pull on the line and even if the loop is down in the spool, it may slip free. Another tact is to cast it out, casting further this time and then winding back between two fingers to feel any possible remaining line issues.

7) Superlines don’t have “memory.” That is, they do not recall that they were once tightly wound around a spool and thus will straighten flat when casted. Once I started throwing Fireline my kinks almost disappeared. However, if you do get a small kink with braided line, pinch it hard and roll it between your fingers and it will loosen.


Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad living in Pennsylvania. Visit him at

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Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”. One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”... To the point it could be classified as borderline illness. Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie." Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up. Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US. He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well... And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to since 2011.                                                                                Find out about the rest of Take Me Fishing Blog Authors.

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4 responses to “Professional Overrun: 7 Tips for Preventing a Bird’s Nest”

  1. Johnny gaik says:

    Where are the best fishing spots in Illinois

  2. Terry Landis says:

    Good info. Thanks!

  3. Terry Landis says:

    Good info thanks!

  4. […] awareness of others aboard this floating island. When casting, allow ample spacing behind to avoid tangles, snapping off lures, and […]

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