It wasn’t that long ago, maybe a dozen years at best, that dating your line—keeping track of when you spooled it onto your reel—wasn’t much of an issue because we replaced it so often.
In fact, I remember when we were fishing tournaments a lot, every night we’d remove the mono line from every reel in the boat. Man, was that ever time consuming.
But today’s modern super-lines have changed the scene dramatically. You can now spool a good braid or gel spun line onto your reel and feel safe using it the next season. In fact, I like microdyneema gel spuns better after I have fished with them for several weeks and they have become softer, more pliable and conditioned.
I still like to replace a cast-and-a-half of the line on my mono and fluorocarbon reels every few months or half season, on the other hand, depending on how much I use them. So, knowing how long the line has been on each reel is important. Especially when you carry eight, ten or more rods in your locker.
There are many ways you can keep track of the type of line on your reels and when you put it on, but the easiest way I’ve found is to simply use a black Magic Marker. I’ll write “F” for fluorocarbon, “M” for monofilament or “SF” for Sufix Fuse and then 4/17 so I know I spooled it on in April of 2017.
And when it comes time to replace the line, I’ll simply wipe off the black ink with a paper towel soaked in a little rubbing alcohol and re-date the spool.
To watch how I do it, click on this short Fish Talk With The Doc video that I recorded for the boys at the Fish ‘N Canada Show. I think you’ll find it timely.