Team Starcraft

How To Spool Up

How To Spool Up

Sometimes nothing beats a live nightcrawler, whether you’re after smallmouth bass, walleye, catfish, panfish or trout. But rather than just heading straight to the lake, you’ll do better if you prepare your bait in advance by getting your worms into top shape.

Whether you buy them from a store or pick them in the yard, store your worms in a proper worm container that’s been filled with a good commercial worm bedding. Sprinkle a bit of worm food on the bedding surface, then add your crawlers and keep in a cool, dark place overnight. Discard any worms that haven’t buried into the bedding the following morning. By following the directions for keeping the bedding moist and feeding the worms now and then, you can keep them almost indefinitely this way, so they’re always ready to go at a moment’s notice.

After a few days in the bedding and munching on the powdered worm food, your crawlers will develop a smooth, thick skin and super-juicy appearance, making them irresistible to fish. They’ll also last a whole lot longer in the boat. 

Sometimes nothing beats a live nightcrawler, whether you’re after smallmouth bass, walleye, catfish, panfish or trout. But rather than just heading straight to the lake, you’ll do better if you prepare your bait in advance by getting your worms into top shape.

Whether you buy them from a store or pick them in the yard, store your worms in a proper worm container that’s been filled with a good commercial worm bedding. Sprinkle a bit of worm food on the bedding surface, then add your crawlers and keep in a cool, dark place overnight. Discard any worms that haven’t buried into the bedding the following morning. By following the directions for keeping the bedding moist and feeding the worms now and then, you can keep them almost indefinitely this way, so they’re always ready to go at a moment’s notice.

After a few days in the bedding and munching on the powdered worm food, your crawlers will develop a smooth, thick skin and super-juicy appearance, making them irresistible to fish. They’ll also last a whole lot longer in the boat. 

One of the most common questions pro anglers face is how to put line on a reel. A properly spooled reel is a joy to use, while one that’s not been spooled properly can quickly become a tangled, frustrating mess.

Reels with revolving spools, like baitcasting reels, are easy to spool. Simply thread the line up the rod and onto the reel, and then have a helper punch a pencil through the spool that the line comes on. Hold the rod about a foot up from the handle and pinch the line between your thumb and forefinger to provide tension, while cranking it on steadily with your other hand. As long as the line rolls off the one spool and onto the other one directly, it won’t twist and will play out evenly when you cast, giving you greater distance and accuracy.

Spinning reels, which use a fixed spool that’s mounted in line with the rod, are even easier to load. Simply lay the line spool on the ground, thread the line through the rod guides then, once again using your thumb and forefinger for tension, reel it on. After a few rotations, stop and gently lower the rod tip toward the ground. If the line begins to twist and coil around the rod tip, flip the line spool over so the other side faces up, and try again. This time it should go on without kinking.

When you load reels, make sure you have enough line. You should keep reeling it on till it comes to within about one-eighth of an inch from the edge of the reel spool. Too little line will rob you of casting distance, while too much will lead to tangles.