How To Straighten Fishing Line: All Line Types

A picture showing the line memory in fishing line. It's good to know how to straighten fishing line.
Line memory in mono lines can be a big problem but don’t worry, you can straighten fishing line.

If you are reading this you probably need some tips to straighten fishing line.

Fishing line tends to coil when left on the reel for a long time especially if it wound on tight or if it’s left in the sun or heat for too long. These are two easy and effective ways to straighten fishing line and some tips to prevent it.

How To Straighten Fishing Line: Method 1

Even good fishing lines can have some line memory if left for a long time or if left for too long in the sun or if it’s exposed to heat.

Very cold weather can also cause problems with line that is coiled from the reel. I’ve seen clients come to the river to fish with me with line so coiled up that it was impossible to fish well.

Line coils, line twist, and line tangles are the result of lines that are not straight.

The easiest method to straighten the monofilament fishing line is to stretch it by tying it to something stationary and then walk back about 1.5 times the length you could normally cast and then pull slowly to stretch the line.

Just be careful not to pull too hard or it could break the line near the reel and you will lose a lot of line. This method often works on good quality lines but not so well on cheap lines.

Straighten Fishing Lines Method 2

Applying some gentle heat will straighten out badly coiled fishing lines. How I do this is by pulling about 2 casts length of the line off the rod and reel, trying to keep it in a straight line so it doesn’t tangle. You will need some space for this, like a big backyard or a park.

Then grab a dry towel, a cloth, or a piece of soft leather, just something soft and not abrasive. Then with one hand squeeze the line near to the reel in the towel and reel it in at medium to slow speed. This will cause some friction and heat which will warm and stretch the line at the same time.

NOTE: Some line is just cheap and will not respond to these methods. If you are using a cheap line, it’s time to go buy a new line.

Store Your Line Properly

Reels for spin fishing for steelhead
These are some of the reels that I use for spin fishing for steelhead. Some have yellow mono and some have braided lines and there is a reason for this.

Storing your line properly does help prevent line coil. Store somewhere dry and dark.

Do not leave your line in excessive heat or cold and do not leave it exposed to the sun for long periods of time.

Do not leave your line in wet or damp areas.

Fishing line should be changed every 2 to 3 years since it will naturally degrade and become weaker, which can result in weak knots and you losing some big fish.

Avoid Cheap Fishing Lines

This a big tangle which is more common with thick Centerpin line
This is a thick Centerpin line that was causing multiple problems for my client, but his partner was using my rod and reel with 8-pound line and he had no issues. A thicker line is not the best option.

One of the tips I provide my clients is to avoid cheap lines since they tend to twist and tangle much more than premium lines do.

As a fishing guide, I only use premium fishing lines because they tend to work better and last longer, with fewer issues.

If you are not sure what lines to use for the type of method or the type of fish you fish for you can check out these articles:

How To Straighten Fishing Line Q&A

These are the two proven methods to straighten fishing line and it works on mono, fluor and Copolymer lines.

If you have a question, tip, or some advice on how you straighten fishing line, let us know in the comments section below.

Tight Lines,


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