When To Change Out Your Braided Fishing Line (Top 2 Reasons)


There are many things to like about braided line…

It’s strong and thin, it allows you to feel your bait or lure well, has little to no memory, and is very durable.

Now one mistake people make that costs them time and money is that they replace their braided line way more often than they should.

Unlike monofilament, braided line can stay on a reel for years without losing any performance.

However, there are two reasons, in particular, that would cause you to want to replace your braided line.

I’m going to share those two reasons with you in this video, as well as what causes them.

Let’s dive in!

When To Change Out Your Braided Line [VIDEO]

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Since braided line is so strong and durable, you usually won’t need to change it out more than every couple of years.

However, there are two reasons when I definitely recommend putting new line on your reel:

  1. The line is frayed
  2. You don’t have enough line left on your spool

Change Your Line When The Braid Is Frayed

When your line is frayed, that weakens it significantly.

In the conclusion section below, you can see how the line on the left side looks a little fuzzy compared to the line on the right side.

That’s a sign that your braid is frayed.

Now if you pull a ton of line out from your spool and it’s all frayed, it’s probably time to change it out.

It’s also potentially a sign that the line roller on the bail has some corrosion, debris in it, or is damaged.

So check that out and make sure it spins freely.

Also, check out the guides on your rod for chips, especially the top guide (which is usually the culprit).

You can do this by swabbing a Q-Tip around the inside of each guide.

If something snags the cotton, then you might have a chip in there that could be fraying your line.

Now a final note about frayed line: don’t confuse the color fading with your line fraying.

The color will definitely fade over time, but it’s the fuzziness you’re really looking for here.

Change Your Braid When There’s Not Enough Left On The Spool

Over time as you tie on new leaders and clip tag ends, cut wind knots out, or cut off frayed sections of your line, it will get shorter.

And when it gets shorter, here are two things that can happen:

  1. You’ll lose casting distance
  2. If you hook into a big fish, you might get spooled

So when your reel becomes noticeably less full of line, and you notice you start to lose casting distance, consider changing it.


braided line frayed
Fuzzy, frayed line on the left — new line on the right.

Braided line can last on your reel for years, so you don’t need to change it out often.

However, here are two scenarios when you would need to change it out:

  1. A lot of line is frayed
  2. You don’t have that much braid left on your spool

Make sure that your rods and reels are chip, debris, and corrosion-free to reduce the chances of your line getting frayed.

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Have any questions about changing out your braided line?

Let me know in the comments below.

And if you know someone who changes their braid out too often, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Larry Abele
1 month ago

A good method to check your tip and guides for slight chips is to pull a woman’s stocking through them. It has identified chips that I could not see.

2 months ago

I have some ebay braid, and it didn’t last so stick with the name brands. It’s 8lb, but is probably half that strong now. ☹️
On the plus side, it sold me on braided fishing line. The sensitivity of braid is incredible.

Jon Brasher
5 months ago

What about removing the section of old/bad braid and adding new braid (topping off) to your existing braid to finish filling up the spool? I have done that and have not had problems. I use a blood knot to join the two sections. Any thoughts? I know it is best to change the whole spool on your reel but it seems ther is always extra braid left after you respool your reel and it piles up. Hate for it to go to waste.

Steven Free
1 year ago

Yea I recycle mine after checking it every year and just rotate it so the old is the new backing I also believe that a lot of anglers get a false sense of security from braid and not checking it more like they should so when they have a Nick or cut it breaks just because it’s braid it’s still man made and isn’t perfect it’s only as strong as the knot or if the line is free from cuts and abrasions thanks for all you do

Derrick Zett
1 year ago

Very helpful and great insight.

Peter Yannetta
1 year ago

Always great and concise info Tony!!
Thanks for your ongoing vids. and SS Commitment!

Capt Roy Bennett
1 year ago

Always love your videos and pick up helpful tips.

Capt Roy Bennett
1 year ago


Charles Eaton
1 year ago

My go to fluke rod has 200 yd braid–used as backing also–with 15′ mono top shot. All(/5) blue water reels have 200-300 yds braid backing with a like amount of mono top shot. I change out braid 10-12 yrs…so far, so good…

1 year ago

Good info Tony,
I had a chipped eye once and the braid just kept braking ( cut ) when I cast or pulled the line trough to tie a new leader on, I thought the line was bad even though it looked new.
It took me a few retries before I figured it out. ????


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