Put braid to bed
Braid-bite is the scourge of multiplier users. Here we show you how to spool-up professionally and reduce the likelihood of ‘biting’.
The swing to braided lines in recent years has been massive. Boat anglers, on the whole, agree that braid’s advantages more than compensate for any slight disadvantages, but niggling problems like ‘braid-bite’ persist. Braid-bite, braid-bind or braid-jam as it is sometimes called, is the common complaint whereby the top layers of the braid infuriatingly dig in and become embedded in those below. The result is an ugly ‘grooved’ surface line profile, which in turn leads to spool snagging, or jamming to a dead-stop as the line tries to leave the spool. Biting is also the main reason why braid carries its own set of nasty casting problems when using multiplier reels in particular.
Ironically perhaps, braid-bite is an inherent problem that has much to do with its lauded and applauded lack of stretch – the same lack of stretch which provides us with that superior feel and vastly enhanced bite detection that diehard mono users can only dream about. Part of the problem is how the braid is wound onto the spool in the first place. Typically, an underlay of mono backing is first wound onto the reel spool to fill it out. The backing is simply knotted to the braid, which is then wound fully onto the spool in readiness for fishing. But herein lurks a problem… because the braid is sitting atop an infirm and uneven base layer, and because of its lack of stretch, the taught upper layers habitually pull into the coils below.
Things get even more ugly when fish are being caught, and a few slack turns of braid are inevitably ground into the mix. At this point it’s worth mentioning that a good quality, large fixed spool reel with a profile-perfect, oscillating line-lay system will counter and eliminate much of the braid hassle associated with multipliers. If casting with braid is on your agenda, then I would strongly suggest you look at a suitable fixed spool. For multiplier users there is however, a simple trick that will go a long way towards kicking braid-bite into touch. The key is to ensure that the braid is sitting on a solid and fairly even base layer. In the same way a firm mattress can sort out a bad back, a solid foundation does much to cure badly behaved braided lines. Lock the backing down securely with a few tight turns of electrical insulating tape, and you are well on the way to beating those biting braid demons.
Follow the step-by-step tutorial gallery below.