|Make Sure The Line Is Conditioned
Zebco pre-spools many of our reels and combos with monofilament line as a convenience to our customers, allowing you to get on the water quicker. We use quality monofilament line in weights that are appropriate to both the size of the reel, and the type and size of fish that you will most likely be targeting with that reel.
Here are some quick tips on making sure that when you do make your first casts, the line flows from the reel as expected without tangling, and retrieves smoothly.
1.) Monofilament nylon line has a tendency to develop "memory". That is to say, when line has been wrapped around a spool, it will tend to retain some loops. This is a normal attribute of monofilament but there are ways to reduce the amount of "memory" in the line so that it behaves better. After tying on your lure or bait, let the line play out about 40 to 50 feet in the water, then slowly reel the line back in while applying tension by pinching the line with your fingers at it re-enters the reel. This process "wets" the line allowing it to become more flexible, while also putting tension in the line to help straighten the loops. There are also several chemical products available that are specially designed for softening line. Remember, your first few casts are helping to "relax" the line, and the more casts you make, the easier the line will flow from the reel.
2.) Setting the drag correctly will also help keep the line in good condition. The drag is the mechanism that provides resistance when reeling in a fish. Don't over-set the drag, there should always be a little play in the drag to prevent breaking the line when a fish pulls hard. We recommend a tension setting of about 1/3 of the breakage strength of the line (ex. 10 lb. = 3 to 4 lbs. of drag). To set the drag correctly, first start by releasing the drag tension. Then as you pull line from the reel, slowly increase the drag tension to the proper setting. The best way to measure the setting is to use a fish scale tied onto the line, but you can also simply use your experience in feeling how much tension is best as you pull on the line. Remember, you should always be able to pull line through the tension of the drag to prevent line breakage.
All Zebco products are designed for a long life of fishing, and using these two tips will increase your chances of hooking, and landing, the lunker of a lifetime. Stay safe on the water, and if you need assistance with any Zebco product, you can contact our Customer Service Department.