Why Does My Fishing Line Keep Coming Off the Reel

You should avoid a tangled fishing line or the line coming off the reel to enjoy your fishing trips the most.

That is why you must learn how to avoid lines coming off your fishing reel.

This is not just a beginner fishermen’s problem. It can happen to anyone.

Even big-game fishermen experience this at some point.

In this article, we will look closely at how to avoid bird nests in your line to improve your experience.

We will invite amateur fishermen and all levels of experienced anglers out there to read and find out how to prevent twisted lines.

A fisherman with a fishing rod on the river bank checking line


Reasons Why the Line Comes Off From the Reel

There might be several reasons why the line suddenly comes off from the reel when you want to use it.

We will list some of the reasons and look at preventative measures so this does not happen again to you.

Spinning Reel

If the reel you have on the rod is spinning, it might be that the line is rolled up too tightly.

It might also be that there is simply too much line on the reel.

It might cause the line to pop off.

Nylon Lines

Nylon monofilament lines tangle easier if used with open-face reels on your fishing pole.

Line memory can cause a loop in the line when you reel it back, and that causes it to tangle and come off.

The next time you cast, that loop is caught in the outgoing line, which may result in an entanglement.

Too Tight

This might happen if you roll the fishing line tight and do not give it time to settle before using it.

Cheaper spinning reels on the market may also cause the line to pop off if it is too tightly rolled on.

The Line Is Twisted

A line that is not rolled onto the reel the correct way may also cause it to tangle when you cast.

It may also tangle or come off even when you are not using it or when you have just added a new line on the reel.

Casting Issues

If you cast into the wind or directly in the opposite direction the wind is blowing, it may cause the line to tangle.

That is because the speed of the line between that nearest to the reel and the part that already left the rod is inconsistent.

This may happen to all fishing lines and even between lighter and heavier lines used for different purposes.

It is best to try and avoid casting into the wind to prevent any line from tangling and coming off the reel.

Fisherman catches fish at dawn with proper line setup


There are a few good ways to get this sorted out when it happens to you, and they are all quick and easy remedies.

You can just cut off that part that got tangled when it gets tangled, and the rest should mostly work fine.

It is good practice to break the line before using the fishing rod for actual fishing by casting a few times.

Cast a few times with a heavy sinker and reel it in until the line feels easy and sits comfortably on the reel.

It would be best if you never allowed the line to slack at any time when you’re reeling it in.

This is a sure way to cause loops.

If you find it difficult to hold on to the line, you can always use a band-aid on your fingertips to prevent line burns.

Furthermore, if you don’t let go of the line, there will be no slack and a lesser chance of tangles and the line coming off.

Other Preventative Measures

There are ways to prevent your line from coming off your fishing reel:

  • One good piece of advice is to keep the fishing line tight when reeling it in and not allow any slack.
  • When adding a line to the reel, you should try to prevent any twists while rolling it onto the reel.
  • You should never wrap the line onto the reel spool by hand as this will cause the line to twist.
  • Broken fishing reels should be fixed or replaced before you add the line to your fishing rod reel.
  • It would be best to allow a little tension when you spool the line. Too much or too little tension may cause problems later.
  • When you add a new line to your fishing reel, give it some time to relax after it is spooled onto it before fishing
  • Use extra limb line to prevent any entanglement with the line on your cast reels.
  • There are several liquids and treatment sprays you can use on your line to keep it steady.
  • Always use a reel with a larger circumference than what you need to prevent too much line memory.
  • Just before you engage the reel after casting, pull the fishing rod up to create some tautness in the line.
  • The auto engagement feature of a spinning reel is not such a good idea when you want to prevent the line from coming off.
  • When you are playing the fish, it is best to pull the line towards you before you start reeling to prevent a twist.
  • You should never fill the spool with line. Leave about ⅛ of an inch open at the top.

How To Prevent a New Line From Coming Off

When you spool a new line on the reel, it can keep coming off because it can not conform to the spool.

So you need to find a way to help it form loop memory to rest on the spool without coming off easily.

This can be done by keeping it in hot water so the heat can make the line a bit more pliable.

Doing this will help keep the line from twisting and tangling later.


Hopefully, this will help prevent the line from coming off your reel and causing frustration, and you will not lose the catch.

These handy tips will help make your life much easier and you will have more fun fishing.