Line winders & strippers can be an integral part of your fishing experience, both on and off the water. This is even more true when you are going out after big, fighting fish like salmon; you will find that you tend to go through a lot of line. Let’s take a look at what to look for in both line winders and line strippers.
The most important thing you are looking for in a line winder is ease of use. A good line winder takes the hassle out of putting the line on the reel yourself, and it makes no sense to have a model that takes you the same amount of time to put all the line on the reel it would if you were self winding.
Look for a winder with a nice solid base and good long handle for easy cranking.
Another thing to look for in winders is the even distribution of the line around the reel. The handle of the winder should cause the axis to move slightly with every turn, so that the line is fed onto the reel in a left to right, right to left pattern.
Even winding will mean it is a lot easier to keep track of your line when you are releasing it from the reel out on the water.
Line winders should be easily transportable and easy to mount as well. If you have spent any amount of time out fishing on the ocean for salmon, you know that your line can be stripped in several circumstances; a passing boat can catch it, or a large sea mammal might grab onto a salmon on the other end of your line and strip the reel faster than you could imagine. In these cases, it is important to have a line winder on board that can be easily mounted to part of the boat.
While they are separate instruments, line winders & strippers are not always sold separately. Some line winders will come with built in strippers, useful in taking those last few strands off of a reel that has been mostly stripped anyway.
As with a winder, a stripper should be solidly made and easy to use. It shouldn’t shake all about when you are taking ling off of the reel, and should require minimal force to get the job done. Line strippers are great to have along when you realize that your old line has too much memory out on a trip, they can save you a lot of time and also coil the line up nicely so that you avoid the temptation to throw it overboard and instead take it home to be reused or stored or disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.
Line winders & strippers are an important part of any angler’s toolkit, and come in handy both on the water and at home. They are just one more way to ensure that you spend more time actually fishing and less time on the more mundane tasks the hobby involves.