Merwin: Keep Them Rolling

If you're putting tackle away for the winter, a few minutes spent now in taking care of your spinning reels will save you major headaches later. I don't mean a full maintenance and cleaning job-- although that's a good thing--just cleaning under the line roller on the bail and making sure that line roller rotates easily.

Line twist is endemic to spinning reels. There's just no way to avoid it because of the way such reels work. But a line roller that doesn't roll makes things worse. If the line roller isn't moving, the friction created on the line forces more line twist toward the front of the line where it's most apt to tangle when you cast or start to retrieve.

Some line rollers have one or two ball bearings inside. On cheaper reels, there will be a simple bushing instead of bearings. In either case, undo the little screw or nut that holds the bail to the rotor arm, thereby freeing the line roller. Clean the inside of the roller and the bushing/bearings with a light solvent, then add no more than one or two drops of oil. Reassemble, making sure the line roller moves freely, and you're good to go for another year.