Fishing is a peaceful pastime for many, but there’s nothing peaceful about dealing with a tangled fishing reel. It can transform a serene afternoon on the water into a frustrating ordeal. If you’ve found yourself in a twist, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to untangle a fishing reel.

Understanding the Tangle

Before you begin, it’s important to understand what caused the tangle. Tangles often occur when line is loosely wound on the reel, or if the reel has been overfilled with line.

Detangling the Reel

Getting rid of those pesky tangles involves patience and a gentle touch. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Identify the Tangle

First, identify where the tangle is. It can be on the spool, in the reel, or even near the rod tip.

Step 2: Loosen the Line

Gently pull on the line to see if it will loosen. Do not yank or pull too hard as it may worsen the tangle or break the line.

Step 3: Untangle the Line

Using your fingers, slowly untangle the line. If the tangle is severe, you may need to use a needle or thin piece of wire to help.

Step 4: Reel in the Line

Once you’ve untangled the line, slowly reel it back in, ensuring it is tightly wound on the reel.

Preventing Future Tangles

Prevention is the best cure. Here are some tips to avoid future tangles:

  • Make sure the line is tightly wound on the reel.
  • Don’t overfill your reel with line.
  • Use a line that is appropriate for your reel and target fish.
  • Regularly check your reel for loose line.


Tangles are a common nuisance for anglers, but they don’t have to ruin your fishing trip. By knowing how to untangle a fishing reel, you’ll be able to deal with tangles effectively and get back to fishing in no time. Remember, patience is key—rushing the process can lead to more tangles or even a broken line. Happy fishing!

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