Fishing Secrets Revealed: How to Use the Mysterious Line Keeper

There are times when I feel like the dumbest angler to ever wet a line. Like the time I anxiously threaded a dry fly on my tippet during a heavy hatch and started casting while forgetting completely to actually tie a knot. So where'd my fly go? Duh!

The worst, though, is all the years I've wrestled with that little tab on most spinning-reel spools that's designed to hold the line end in storage. The tab is recessed in the spool's side and hard to reach. For the longest time I struggled with both hands to get the line into the recess and under the tab where it clearly belonged. Never have I seen any directions as to actually how this is to be done.

Then I had an "ah-ha!" moment. As the close-up photo shows, the answer is this. Slide your right thumbnail under the plastic tab. Then use your left hand to bring the line up against your thumbnail. The line will then slide against your right thumbnail and under the tab easy as pie. This takes about two seconds. No fumbles. No struggles.

So why did it take me 20 years to figure this out? And why aren't there directions for this in the reel's short manual? Am I the only stupid one? Could be. It wouldn't be the first time...