How do I stop excessive line twist while fishing?

A small brass swivel, when properly used, is a very inexpensive and efficient way of keeping a fishing line in good condition. Besides side casting, curls and twists can appear in a line from many causes. These can be quickly alleviated by the correct use of a swivel.

The swivel must be on the line, above any rig or attachment to the line. That is, the first item on the line, after it passes through the rod runners is a swivel. It must be as small as practical.

Suggested swivel and line combinations:

  • No. 14 swivel - up to 5kg line
  • No. 12 swivel - up to 5-8kg line
  • No. 10 swivel - up to 8-15kg line
  • No. 8 swivel - up to 15-20kg line

While the sizes may seem small to some fishermen, they are manufactured from a brass wire with a diameter in excess of the diameter of the nylon monofilament to which they will be matched, and consequently have a far greater breaking strain than the line.

Many Anglers use a mistaken theory that a large swivel will perform better, however, in practical use it is just the reverse. When light lines are matched with heavy swivels, there is insufficient strength in the line to cause the swivel eye to spin freely, and a build-up of twist occurs in the line.

Similar trouble exists when the swivel is fouled with seaweed or sand, or has been allowed to become corroded and hard to turn. Using a swivel under the lead sinker as a stop on the line will also restrict its action, and this rig should be avoided, unless a second swivel is attached to the line in a workable position.


How do I tie the line off when storing my reel?

The Alvey Reel does not have a line clip but this simple knot works well.
Is easily tied while the reel is still on the rod.

Wind a loose coil of line over your finger and around the reel's line
surface so the tag end comes back to your finger.
Tie a half hitch around the line that is over your finger, pull up and
the knot will tighten on the line surface.
Pull down and the knot will release.

Please do not clip the line under your release lever. This may damage the rivet causing the lever to become loose.

What is the most suitable line for an ALVEY?

A stiff line is better than a soft line because it does not tend to absorb the twist from the casting action. This can be checked by winding some line around your finger and releasing it , a stiff line will unwind quickly back to a semi straight format where a soft line will not unwind easily and will retain some of the coiling from being on your finger.

A smaller diameter line will always cast better than a thick line so always use the thinnest line you can get away with. If fishing around rocks you will need to use a thicker line to avoid damage from sharp rocks and oysters etc.

Breaking strain of your line is dependent on your rod size and action and the weight of rig you are casting. Most rods usually are marked with the maximum breaking strain of the line recommended by the manufacturer. It is also common to use a "leader" which forms your rig of a heavier grade line than your line on the reel basically to protect the rigs near obstacles on the bottom where you are fishing and from the fish's teeth should they bite above the bait.

When casting very heavy weights on a strong rod some times a "shock leader" is used which means the first say 10 meters of line off the reel will be a heavier line to get the cast away but after that you go back to a thinner line to get the best distance into your cast.

Please also read our comments on the web site about the correct use of swivels to avoid excessive line twist.

How do I wind line on to the spool?

Always take the line from the front of the dispenser, never the side.

Wind line firmly and evenly onto the spool, spreading the line with your fingers to give a smooth casting base.

Never stretch a nylon monofilament onto a spool; when it goes back to its original length it will exert strong enough crushing action to damage your spool.

Never allow loose coils to develop on your spool through careless uneven winding.

Adopt the habit of applying light finger tension when retrieving line and spread evenly over its bed.

Can I use braid on an Alvey reel?

Braided lines can be used on Alvey Reels, but due to their ferocious ability to slice fingers, they should always be used with caution! Pumping and winding is imperative when winding line to reduce the line pressure across the guiding finger.

The following points are also worth considering if using braid lines on Alvey Reels:

  • Braid can be very difficult to tie, especially when night fishing.
  • Because braided lines tend to hold water and are lighter than monofilament lines, they often catch the breeze making a large ‘bow’ when used with long surf rods. This can make feeling bites even harder than with ‘mono’ line.
  • Tying a good length of monofilament line as a wind on leader avoids the braid cutting fingers when casting. This will also make knot tying easier when changing rigs.
  • An alternative to braid is the new Platypus Lo-Stretch monofilament line, which has very little stretch and an extremely fine diameter.
  • Braided lines are best used on non-cast Alvey boat reels. Because these reels have a straight edge spool to maximize line capacity, the line does not need to be guided on when retrieving.
  • We strongly recommend the use of a finger stall if using Braided lines.