I’m loading up some spinning reel spools soon but had several hours on a flight today to think about how to minimize wind knots when I do. Spinning reels easily develop “wind knots”. As most everyone knows, these knots are caused by an accumulation of twists in the line, leading to the line literally tying itself up in knots at times like slack line at the beginning or end of a cast. If such a “wind knot” has to be cut out and the line is then tied back together, the line is permanently weakened, unless it is hollow core line and is spliced. The conventional causes of line twist: spinning bait or lures; reeling against the drag; a foul-hooked fish; etc., can be fixed by letting out line behind a moving boat or dropping the line in deep water with a weight, and letting the line untwist itself. Once the line is untwisted, it gets reeled back onto the spool, laying on the spool with one twist per revolution of the bail. For new spools there are two primary methods: Method 1: Machine winding, rotating spool to rotating spool against drag. This system does a neat job and can be used to put the desired pressure on the line. With this method, the first time you cast the line (say 80 yards) (or drop a jig), there are about 360 twists in the line that’s in the water—one twist per coil of line that’s come off the reel. If you keep tension on the line, nothing bad happens. But if the line goes slack and some of the twists “stay behind” between the reel and stripper guide, you can easily get a wind knot. Also, as you wind the line back onto the reel, some of the twists can stack up outside the tip guide, leading to the chance of a wind knot near the tackle. Both have happened to me. Method 2: Use the spinning reel to wind line onto itself from a rotating spool (Shimano’s recommended method, they nearly insist on it). This technique results in one line twist per revolution of the bail as line is loaded but it involves extra steps if you want to tension the line (or it can unless you have a line dispenser with a drag feature, or use another reel, etc.). The twists on the reel are in the opposite direction of the twists that occur from casting and as a result, when the line is cast (or a jig is dropped), it lays in the water with no twists (other than the ones that get in it from the causes in the second paragraph). Method 2 is best until you hook a fish that can pull line against the drag with the bail closed. The twists that are on the reel do not untwist as the line is pulled off and those twists end up in the line that is outboard of the tip guide. As you reel the line back in, a lot of extra twists get created. Some of those extra twists go onto the spool and some are in the last 10-20 feet. I don’t know the exact distribution. (Of course if you turn the reel handle, pointlessly, while the fish is pulling line against the drag, that makes the problem worse.) What I do know is those twists are lurking, waiting to turn into a “wind knot”. How many twists get created if you pull 200 yards off a Stella 20000 against the drag? About 1,000! If the fish (or multiple fish) were to make 2 or 3 runs, the twists keep adding up. Hybrid Method: For new spools, my plan is to use Method 1 but wind the last 80-100 yards onto the reel by using Method 2. This should result in minimal line twists, at least initially. Untwisting the Line after use: I’ve noticed, even if the reel is fully loaded by Method 1, if I can get through the first couple days of use, the line seems to sort itself out. But it doesn’t always work out that way. In my pre-Bluefin life, even big Striped Bass didn’t take all that much line, and my bass jigging reels are conventional so they don’t really have the twist problem. It is now my thought that I will untwist the top 100 yards of my big spinners periodically if I’ve had a lot of line pulled against the drag. From time to time, I will untwist all the line at least as far into the spool as a fish has taken me. One line twist per bail revolution is my new plan. Your mileage may vary.