Longtime readers here know I have a real bug in my ear about line twist and spinning reels. All such fixed-spool reels twist line; it’s the nature of the beast. The trick is to minimize that effect and thereby reduce aggravating line tangles. It’s an interesting and multi-faceted problem, which is why I think about it often.

Happily, there’s a way to minimize twist that will save you money at the same time. That is to use a motor-driven line winder for installing fresh line. The device shown in the photo is one such, made by a company called Triangle. It’s too expensive to be found in many home shops, but such machines are common in independent tackle shops that will spool your reel from a bulk line spool.

The advantages are two-fold. First, you pay for only the exact amount of line that you need. You are not, for instance, buying a 300-yard filler spool of mono when all you need to fill your reel is 200 yards.

Second, and in the case of spinning reels, the machine holds your line spool in a device much like a 3-jaw, self-centering chuck. Line comes off the bulk spool and on to your reel spool from the side–absolutely straight and with no twist whatsoever.

If you’re installing line at home and following the line maker’s directions, you are most likely twisting the line. That’s because your reel spool is of substantially smaller in diameter than your line spool. Even as you bring line off the top of the filler spool and onto your reel–being careful that the line is going on the reel in the same direction that it’s spiraling off the filler spool–the line is twisting. It might take 3 or 4 spinning reel wraps to equal just one wrap coming off the large-diameter filler spool. Line twist in this case is inevitable, which means your line is screwed up even before you start fishing.

So there’s yet another reason for visiting an independent tackle shop. Save money. Less line twist. Most larger chains don’t offer a line-spooling service. And that’s just one of many reasons why I often root for the little guys.