Pond Hopping – Avoid birdnests

Pond Hopping – Avoid birdnests

Jul 22, 2012

Tangles are for the birds! Spinning Tackle Tips to Avoid Birdnests

By Mike Pehanich

Thanks for the many emails and calls regarding last week’s launch of SWF’s Outfit Matches and Misfits series with Dan Johnston of St. Croix offering an in-depth look at the tools of crankbait fishing and their application to specific lures and conditions. We’ll hear more from Dan and other top pros and tackle designers in this comprehensive study of matching rod, reel and line to specific technique. — MP

Some of the best tips in all of fishing are very simple pieces of advice.

Dan Johnston, regional account manager with St. Croix Rod, reminded me of that during our interviews for the opening Outfit Matches & Misfits series on crankbait fishing when we touched on the often overlooked area of casting very light crankbaits on spinning tackle. (We’ll be posting this segment soon!)

Check out the Outfit Matches & Misfits series on crankbait tackle, beginning with interviews with St. Croix's Dan Johnston.

Of course, throwing light lures of any type on spinning tackle conjures an instant image of a “birdnest,” the mess of tangled line that is the bane of spin-fishermen everywhere. Dan relayed a valuable tip to those who would like to leave birdnests to the birds!

Said Dan: “Shaw Grigsby, whom I would say has his Ph.D. in spinning tackle, told me he did two things to alleviate the vast majority of what my dad called the “hangy downs,” the big birdnests that come off a spinning reel when you cast.

1)   Close the bail manually — The first thing to do after you cast is close the bail with your hand instead of turning it over with the reel handle.

2)   Tug the line — Immediately afterward, give the line a little tug with your left hand (right hand, you are left-handed) to tighten everything up before you start reeling.

Fishing the reeds is no place to sing the spinning reel blues. Cut your 'nests' to a minimum with Shaw Grigsby's tips.

“Shaw is absolutely correct. A little loop often forms on the spool when that bail mechanism automatically snaps back on slack line.  This two-step procedure alleviates that problem. Do this often, and pretty soon it will become second nature.

“I have spread this message to hundreds of kids in fishing clinics. It’s one of the first things I teach them about using spinning tackle. If you throw the bait on a spinning reel and snap that bail back on slack line, you are asking for trouble!  Pretty soon, the whole world is going to come out with that line when you cast.

“That was great advice. “

Check out the entire Outfit Matches & Misfits interviews with Dan Johnston of St. Croix on crankbait tackle. Part I Overview and Misfits;  Part II Lipless and square bills;  Kevin Short on Rod Length and  Squarebill Crankbaits 

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