When fishing in adverse weather, a big problem can be getting your line twisted, curled up, and knotted around you or the lure smacking you in the face if you are fly-fishing. Thinking about it now is funny, but I can speak from experience here, and trust me, it’s not only unpleasant but frustrating. So how to keep the fishing line tight in wind, current and more?

Keeping your fishing line tight in wind, current, and more requires proper line attachment and correct drag setting on the reel. Regularly changing line, right lure weight, correct lure position, casting downwind, casting with the current, and keeping excess line off the reel as short as possible.

Twisted and curled up line makes it very difficult to fish correctly. It not only increases your chances of not setting a hook properly, but it can be a hazard causing you to get snagged, and you could fall. There are a few simple reasons why fishing lines could be loose, and we will explore how to keep the line tight in all adverse conditions in this article.

How to keep fishing line tight

Reasons That Can Prevent Your Fishing Line Being Tight

There are a few distinct reasons for the fishing line to become loose, snaggy, and knotted up while fishing. Let’s look at a few common reasons;

#1 When The Line Attachment Is Incorrect

One of many reasons your fishing line may become curly, knotty, or loose is that the line’s attachment to the reel is incorrect. This usually happens if you do a DIY line attachment at home.

How To Make Sure The Attachment Is Correct

  • Let your local fishing tackle shop attach the line for you with the help of their spooling machine.
  • They will ensure the line gets attached the same way it was on the original spool to reduce line memory.
  • If you have a home system to put the new line on, always ensure the new line’s label on the spool faces upward, so it attaches the right way and prevents tangling or loose lines during fishing.

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#2 Why Is There Line Memory?

Too much memory in the line could be due to incorrect attachment. The memory is the amount of shape it keeps when off the spool. The more time the line spends on a spool, the more memory it will retain, especially if it is a monofilament line.

How To Make Sure The Line Memory Is Kept To A Minimum

  • Let your fishing tackle shop fit the new line on your reel using their machines.
  • If your fishing line seems dull and worn with kinks, it is probably time to replace it.
  • Buy a fishing line with low memory.
  • Always reel your line incorrectly and pay attention to the tension.


How to keep fishing line tight

#3 When The Reel Drag Is Too Tight Or Too Low.

The drag on the reel determines how tight or loose the line is wound around the reel. This is crucial in helping you control a fish when it’s on the hook. If the drag setting is too tight, it can stretch the line, and if it is too loose, the line will become curly with loops appearing in between.

How To Keep The Correct Drag Setting On Your Reel

  • Keep the drag setting on the reel slightly above what is recommended if you hook a heavy fish, and the drag will keep the line tight at all times.
  • A quick adjustment can be made while fishing to tighten or lower the drag if needed ensuring the line stays tight.
  • Heavier reel drag prevents a fish from pulling too much line off, which is one of the biggest causes of loose, curly, and knotted lines.

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#4 Keeping Fishing Line Tight When Using Unweighted Lures With Heavy Line

A quick way to get your line twisted or completely curled up is when you try to cast a light or unweighted lure attached to a heavy line. You will notice that the line spills off the reel before the bait hits the water. The weight of the lure usually helps to straighten out the line on the cast and presentation. Because fish have excellent eyesight, they can easily spot a curled-up messy line in the water.

How To Keep Line Tight By Using Correct Lure To Line Weight Ratios

  • Most lures are weight classed and have a line weight or class recommendation.
  • You can add a small crimp or small weight to the front of your lure for bottom fishing or midway on the leader line to create better lure movement.
  • You can purchase a lighter line if your lures are all in the light or unweighted class.
  • You can use the wind direction to deliver a better cast ensuring the line stays tight instead of battling to cast into the wind.
How to keep fishing line tight

#5 Keeping Fishing Line Tight When Using Multi Hook Lures

There hasn’t been a fishing day where I haven’t encountered at least one good lure snag. You think it’s going to be the perfect cast, and as you flip the rod forward, you just know the treble hook caught the line, and it’s too late. This inevitably causes a cast that is sub-standard, and the line goes all spaghetti.

How To Prevent Multi Hook Lures Snagging Your Line

  • Make sure the line weight is correctly matched for the lure
  • Before you cast, check to see that the lure is hanging straight; give a pause and cast.
  • After the cast, wait a few seconds, then start to reel in any excess line as quickly as possible until you feel the drag of the lure.

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#6 When You Have To Cast Into Wind Or Against A Current

This is usually the main issue when you are restricted in an area and have to cast upwind or upstream. You will find that the wind whips the bulk of the line, and you cannot present the lure where you know the big one is hiding. The same for casting upstream or into a current, you cover very little water that way, and the line is always a mess.

How To Keep The Line Tight When Casting Upwind Or Against Current

  • Use a heavier lure
  • Cast at a sharper, 45-degree angle or as close as possible to the water surface
  • If possible, cast with the wind to help keep the line tight and get a better distance.
  • Casting against the current will require a medium-weight lure that will give you distance while helping to get as much line reeled in as fast as possible.


While many more scenarios can contribute to a curly, loose line that’s prone to snagging, always make sure your gear is maintained well. Like any sport, you need to practice different methods that work for your particular way of fishing.

Of course buying decent quality products is going to help, you don’t have to break the bank but a little extra quality can save you a lot of time once you get out on the water.

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