Wind Knots: How To Remove & Prevent Them (When Using Braided Line)

By: Joseph Simonds on January 16, 2020
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how to fix and prevent wind knots

Nothing can dampen your spirits on the water like a wind knot, right?

It takes a lot of time to untangle them (time you’d rather spend fishing), plus if you have to cut it out you could be wasting a lot of line…

In the two videos below, we’re going to show you how to prevent them and how to fix them, so you can have frustration-free and knot-free days on the water.

Enjoy!

How To Prevent Wind Knots [VIDEO]

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Wind knots primarily happen because of two reasons:

  1. The line is coming off of the spool faster than the line is passing through the rod tip
  2. The line is twisted

Below are 13 tips on how to prevent wind knots caused by both of these instances.

The first 10 are to help you prevent wind knots attributed to line speed, while the last three are to help you prevent wind knots caused by twisted line.

1. Don’t cast your leader knot through the guides. The knot can hit the guides, cause the line to slow down at the tip.

2. Don’t cast into the wind. Yes, this is why they’re called wind knots and the wind can slow down your line coming out of the rod tip.

3. Don’t cast too hard. Casting is about technique, not brute force.

4. Don’t use rods with flimsy tips. If the rod tip is bouncing up and down as your line goes through it, it can slow it down.

5. Make sure the line is snug before retrieving. Pull the line tight with your hand to make sure you’re not reeling in any slack and putting loose coils on the spool.

6. Don’t slap or reel the bail closed. If you do this, loose line can be put on your reel.

7. Stop the cast by hand. Once the lure is about to hit the water, stop the line with your finger and then close the bail by hand to make sure the line is tight.

8. Avoid overfilling the spool with line. Coils on the edges will be too loose and can easily overlap and tangle themselves.

9. Make sure line is evenly dispersed on the spool. If braid is bunched up at top or bottom it can cause knots. This can be fixed by either adding or removing washers underneath the spool.

10. Avoid using heavy leader with light line. For example, don’t go over 40 lb leader with 10 lb braid. Heavier leader has more wind resistance, which can slow it down.

These next tips will help you prevent wind knots due to line twists.

11. Rig lures properly to avoid helicoptering. Make sure the hook point comes out of the middle of the body and the lure isn’t bunched up on the hook or jig head.

For tips on how to rig lures properly, check out this article.

12. Use swivels in heavy current. Heavy current is one of the culprits that cause your lures to spin and swivels can help ensure the entire line isn’t spinning.

13. Lubricate your line. Lubricating your line with a product such as Real Magic can help your line come untangled if a wind knot does happen.

And speaking of fixing wind knots, in this next video, Capt. Tyler Kapela will show you how to fix your wind knots the easy way.

How To Remove Wind Knots [VIDEO]

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When wind knots happen, a lot of people try to pull out the line with the bail open to fix it.

That often just adds more line to the tangle and it comes out in a big clump.

Instead, when this happens, close the bail, loosen the drag, and pull out the line.

This will help sort out the wind knot and not make it worse.

P.S. To book a trip with Capt. Tyler hit him up on Instagram @captain_tyler_kapela.

Conclusion

wind knot fishing reel

Wind knots can be one of the more frustrating issues you run into while out on the water, but if you follow these tips to prevent and remove them, you can have a knot-free fishing trip.

Have any questions about preventing or removing wind knots?

Let me know in the comments below!

And if you know someone who gets too many wind knots, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Tony AcevedoJason BrownRuss LacosteR LittleRobert Cirulnick Recent comment authors
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Jason Brown
Member

Great Video. I learned two things. I try to over muscle my casts and dont cast with leader in the guides . It was nice meeting you Saturday in Ruskin. Thanks for letting us check out your kayak.

Tony Acevedo
Admin

Thanks Jason! It was nice to meet you as well!

Russ Lacoste
Member

Wonderful tips on wind knots thanks guys. Russ @ Kayak Fishing Charleston

Tony Acevedo
Admin

No problem Russ!

RICHARD LITTLE
Member

Good video. The key I find is the manual bail close/line check after each cast. You’ll stop 90% of potential knots by doing this. As far as the video on knot removal, it was so simple it was elegant! Been fishing seriously in the Louisiana marshes for over 20 yrs, and I was amazed none of my buds had ever seen this.

Tony Acevedo
Admin

Thank you for the awesome feedback Richard!

Robert Cirulnick
Member

Chapstick works great!

Tony Acevedo
Admin

Definitely helps!

Michael Collins
Member

If you throw enough lures you will eventually get a difficult wind knot. I found that using a jig hook to assist removal was unsatisfactory because often it will fray the braid and weaken the line. I purchased from Harbor Freight a hook and pick set for under five dollars. These tools have sharp points and get wide relatively fast so once you get the pic into the line knot it will help loosen the knot. It is very important to avoid tension on the line when working on the knot. Patience is often rewarded with salvaged expensive line.

Your excellent explanation of why I get these darn knots is much appreciated.

Tony Acevedo
Admin

Thank you for the great feedback and tip Michael!

Michael Tomberlin
Member

Loved the tip about pulling out the line with the bail closed and the using the drag. I have had several instances of pulling out the line and getting that huge knot. I will definitely try the drag trick next time. I also liked the chapstick tip in the comments. It’s amazing all the cool things you learn when you get around like minded people.

Tony Acevedo
Admin

Thank you for the great feedback Michael!

Robert Bigelow
Member

Great info Tony, as always. Definately some tips I’ll take with me in the future. I’m plagued by wind knots somewhat regularly and it has always seemed like there’s something simple I’m missing to prevent it, I just didn’t know what it was, now I do. Thanks again you’re the man!

Tony Acevedo
Admin

Thank you Robert and no problem!

Scott Schram
Member

Great info Tony. Thanks. Never thought about the effects of a slow action rod before but the physics makes sense related to creating waves in the line. I suspect the same holds true when casting baits heavier than what the rod is rated or large light baits. Your thoughts?

Tony Acevedo
Admin

Thank you Scott!

I haven’t noticed with relation to weight ratings. Mainly with the action.

Gary Hotchkiss
Guest
Gary Hotchkiss

Best wind not explanation ever

Tony Acevedo
Admin

Thank you Gary!

Sean Shimmel
Member

As Shakespeare observed, “Oh, what a tangled web we weave.” But your clear explanation was anything but tangled. I learned so much in such a short time. Thank you! (and to the commenters who mentioned the chap stick)

Tony Acevedo
Admin

No problem Sean and thank you for the great feedback!

Dave Waller
Member

As Trey Senterfitt says below, a little dab of chapstick on the wind knot, massage it in, and pull out the knot! Good to go!

Steve Anderson
Member

I agree Dave, I’ve been using Chapstick for years and it rarely fails. I have chapstick in my bags, boat storage , pockets, everywhere. It also works well on zippers.

Mel Crissey
Member

Tony, that tutorial on preventing wind knots was very well presented and helpful. Thank you. Fishing along the coast of Texas, wind is always a factor for inshore anglers. I learned some things I didn’t know from your video.

Tony Acevedo
Admin

Thank you for the great feedback Mel!

Jon Hood
Member

I get everything Tony said except the part about the leader to line knot – if you have an 18” leader – do you guys cast with the leader knot outside the tip? With 18+ inches hanging?

Tony Acevedo
Admin

Hey Jon!

Using a slimmer knot such as an FG knot will help if casting through the guides. I make many casts with almost 2 ft of leader hanging off. Just takes some getting used to.

Paul Katen
Member

On Line twist, one of the best ways to twist a line is to reel in while drag is going out. Best way to untwist, and a good habit to do periodically, is to cut off the hook and leader and let out a hundred yards behind your boat on a slow troll. It will unwind quickly when reeled in.

Tony Acevedo
Admin

Good stuff Paul!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Only way I knew of until watching this video.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Great tips. Thanks!

Tony Acevedo
Admin

No problem!

Team Arnold
Member

Definitely dislike wind knots! Thanks for the tips!!!!

Tony Acevedo
Admin

No problem Team!

Gene Doebley
Member

Thanks guys. Good information. One other thing I noticed when fishing with my wife is she gets more wind knots. When I cast I try to shoot bullets from the rod tip to my target. I want that lure to take a straight line trajectory as much as possible. She tends to cast like a pop fly ball with a big rainbow arc. That lets a lot of loose line out there subject to the wind. Just something to think about.

Tony Acevedo
Admin

Yep the rainbow casts also lead to knots. Very similar to casting into the wind.

Ed Librick
Member

Taking wind knots off the reel is easy. I find removing wind knots that make it through the guides and are in between your lure and top guide. The sma,ler the diamond of the braid, 10 to 20#, the more difficult and time consuming removing the knot becomes. Cutting the line is not an option in some cases because of the amount of line that will be lost. Any tricks of the trade in removing these types of knots will be a real help. They don’t happen often to me but when they do they hit with a vengeance. Thanks

Travis Taylor
Member

Just recently I watched a video from Capt. C.A. Richardson talking about this. I’ve yet to try this, but in a nutshell, if you put some chapstick on your finger and lightly coat the area that is knotted, you can pull on both sides of the knot and it pulls out.

Truett "Trey" Senterfitt, III
Member

Smear some chapstick onto tangle BEFORE trying to pull it out. Sometimes it works.
Also, know that not all braided line, of equal breaking strength, have the same diameter. For instance, Power Pro #15 has a slightly smaller diameter than Suffix 832 #15. So, in my mind, the larger diameter comes off slower and is less likely knot up. Give each tip a try and let me know how things turn out. Tight lines and good times to you!!

Tony Acevedo
Admin

I would also recommend minimizing the tension as much as possible once you notice/hear/realize there is a knot. The tighter it gets the harder it is to fix. I try to be as gentle as possible when untangling them. We can get frustrated really quick and try to yank them free. Definitely take your time!

Michael Palmieri
Member

Thank you Tony and Tyler!
Was fighting wind knots all day today, super frustrating!
Now I understand what’s causing them, how to prevent and fix them without making them worse.

Tony Acevedo
Admin

No problem Michael!