As Spring swings into full gear, many anglers are organizing and preparing their tackle for a busy season on the water. A big part of that involves stripping old line. If you count yourself as a braided line aficionado and your braid has reached the end of its life, don’t be too hasty to toss it in the trash. Braid's high strength and thin diameter are useful for more than just fooling fish, and you can reuse the line various repairs and jobs on the water as a thread or twine replacement. Today we’ll take a look at some ways you can recycle and repurpose your old braided line.
First and foremost, if the braid in question has only been on your reel for a season or two, it isn’t necessarily time to recycle it, unless you have a bad wind knot deep in the spool. Remember that emptying a spool and then winding it back on in reverse is a great way to get another season or two from your braid.
One great way to reuse thin braid is sewing thread for ripped tackle bags or other gear. If you notice a torn seam, take a few yards of braid and a sewing needle, and stitch up the tear. This repair takes about five minutes and can help you get several more seasons out of a bag that you might otherwise have thrown out. By keeping a sewing needle on hand, you can easily repair fabric tears, stitch seams, and reattach buttons on outdoor gear and apparel. It may not always look the prettiest, but it will get the job done nonetheless.
Braid can also be used as a stand-in for twine. Heavy braid (50 to 80-lb test) from your flipping or muskie set-up can be used for many tie-down tasks on the boat, at the campsite, or even around your garage. Be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands from thin diameter when you’re pulling or tightening down the braid.
When it comes to storing your spare braid, it’s easiest to use old reel packaging spools. Smaller lengths of it can be wound around your fingers and secured in bundles. It also helps to record the line strength on a piece of masking tape.
Although your braid may be ready to be replaced, it still has lots of life left in it. Save some and you'll find many ways to reuse the strong string, on and off the water. A big part of the outdoors is thinking outside the box and finding new ways to use familiar gear. It helps, too, that the tips outline today can save you some money.