Any angler who’s been around for a while has spooled up a reel with braid line. And, he or she has undoubtedly also experienced the braid spinning around the spool of the reel. This can be extraordinarily frustrating, and most people address the issue by adding a layer of monofilament under the braid. So, what the heck is going on? Why is a reel spooled with braid perfectly functional one day, then non-functionally spinning freely the next? Contrary to popular belief, it has nothing to do with the slippery nature of this type of line nor spooling it up too loosely. Rather, this happens because of temperature variation in aluminum spools. As they cool off they shrink, to a minute degree. (We’re talking thousandths of an inch). The braid, however, does not shrink. Thus, the braid spins around the spool as though it were put on too loosely.
If you don’t believe it, there’s a very simple way you can prove it to yourself. Take any reel with an aluminum spool, fill it with line and no backing, and test it to make sure it works fine. Then, stick it in the fridge. After 15 or 20 minutes take it out, and the braid will be spinning freely.
This is interesting info, but not particularly helpful for us anglers, right? Wait a sec – there are several things we can learn from this. First and foremost, regardless of what type of line you’re using or what kind of reel you’re dealing with, metal can and does react to wide temperature swings. Taking a reel out of your house, putting it in the truck, and then loading it into the boat, you’re likely to experience some temperature changes. And, your drag settings are likely to have changed. In short, prior to casting on each and every trip, be sure to check and re-set those drags. Secondly, while adding mono under braid will prevent the spinning phenomenon, if your reel doesn’t have an aluminum spool, it’s unnecessary. And finally, spooling over a rubber band will also eliminate this issue, as it always gives the line something to grip against even as the spool contracts a bit.