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Fly Line Gremlin

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa
I know, without a doubt that this creature lives wherever I am. I think it is like the little black cloud that hangs over the unfortunate guy in the cartoons. The worst of it is that the fly line gremlin hates me with a passion. This only happens with fly line, not the backing or with any leader material.

While I was at the Hawkeye fly Fishers Meeting I found a reel on sale and it is going on the 3 wt that I just built. I did goof on this rod and have the ring on the reel seat epoxied. I did not get the end cap glued on securely and the epoxy came out and I am working on it now.

That happened because of my own stupidity. I just did not check to make sure the epoxy was not coming out. Also, I did not move the bottom ring up the real seat. But the line trouble is due to the Gremlin.

I have line on 10 rods now. This has happened on every rod that I have put a reel on and tried to get the line onto it. The backing goes on with no problem. I then attach the fly line and the problems start.

I try to make sure that the line will come off smoothly. What happens is that I get about 10 feet of line on and then I have a knot. This is still in the part of the line that I know was just going to wind onto the reel. Then it is into the thing of undoing the knot. The trouble is that as fast as I undo one I know the Gremlin is forming two or three more.

It becomes a contest, I get about 5 feet of line clear of knots and put it on the reel. If I did not then I would have another knot formed in that part. Once on the reel it is safe. Then it is time to work a few more feet of line free. I do this several times and then think of a brilliant solution.

I find the free end and start undoing the knot from there. By this time it is one huge knot. The Gremlin is waiting for me to do this. He needs unknotted line to work on. I get much of this done and get to where I can put some more line on the reel. I put it on the reel and find that the Gremlin has struck again. I have knots in the line. So I go through the untangling sequence again. I even try to lay the line out so it is not close to any other part of it.

I get another 5 to 10 feet of line on the reel and the knots are there again. The line is all tangled up again. I finally get down to the last few feet and manage to get it on the reel without having any more tangles.

But I know that the Gremlin is still there, plotting and waiting until another fly line has to be put on. If any of you are going to replace a line please let me know so I can try to interest the Gremlin in moving to help you. He might decide to live elsewhere. I can hope.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick ziegeria@grm.net

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