Nylon monofilament line, the kind used by most anglers, is manufactured by first drawing the nylon into a thread while in a semimolten state and then straightening out the molecular chains by drawing it out a second time. Its value to the angler lies in its great strength, fineness, and resistance to kinking. All these qualities are supplemented by nylon’s natural elasticity.


It should be mentioned that the elasticity which aids strength also has a definite disadvantage in that a strike is softened by the line stretching, especially if it is of low breaking strain. This must be borne in mind and a strike over long distance made correspondingly forceful if the fish is not to be missed. Braided nylon, which stretches less, is sometimes used in sea fishing to overcome this difficulty. Manufacturers claim that their clear nylon lines are virtually invisible in water, but even so, camouflaged varieties in blue, green or brown can be bought. Some enthusiasts even dye their lines themselves to match water conditions.


When nylon is retrieved onto the spool under pressure, as when playing a large fish or drawing a heavy specimen up through perhaps 30 fathoms of heavy sea, it winds back very tightly, especially with a multiplier reel. After fishing, the birds’ feet, especially as they will often investigate the remnants of bait that anglers also leave nearby. Birds are even hooked occasionally on discarded tackle. The consequences of careless jettisoning of line are all too often fatal for birds and so it should be taken home and disposed of.

Line in reserve

It is always advisable to have a good reserve of line on the spool in case a fish should make a long run, taking a good proportion of your line. A fish can easily be lost through lack of line on which the angler can play it. Backing lines, available from tackle dealers, are used to pad out the spool, on a fixedspool reel to within £in of the rim.