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Pro Tips: Why you should start closing your spinning reel bail by hand


If you’ve fished long enough with a spinning rod, chances are you’ve had to deal with tangled line. Snarls and bird nests can ruin a day on the water and cost you both fish and money. Some tangles are unavoidable, but getting into the habit of closing your bail by hand, rather than reeling, can greatly reduce your chances of a snarl, give you more control over your line and help prolong the life of your gear.

Close your bail by hand

As you cast, keep your non-casting hand above the spool, flip the bail closed when your lure hits the water and transition your free hand back to reeling.

Closing the bail by hand allows you the opportunity to make sure the line is properly aligned on your line roller before reeling. One of the most common causes of tangles are the loops that form from reeling in slack line. In the same motion as closing your bail, pull the line tight into the roller bearing before starting your retrieve. It will only take a split second and can go to great lengths of saving you the headache of a birds nest.