John's Journal...


What's the Best Length of Time to Leave Line on a Spool

Click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: Kent Driscoll of Cordova, Tennessee, has enjoyed fishing for crappie for 30 years. He's fished in crappie tournaments and finishing third in 2000 and fourth in 2002 at the North American Crappie Classic. Each spring and summer, Driscoll fishes the Crappie USA Circuit, Crappiemasters and the new Crappie Angler's Association, using a wide variety of tactics that produce crappie all year long. For the next two weeks, we'll learn how Driscoll finds and catches crappie.

Click to enlargeQuestion: Kent, how long will you leave line on a spool before you replace it?

Driscoll: If you keep your line in a bag and out of the sun, it doesn't deteriorate nearly as quickly as it will if you leave it spooled-up on your rod and in the sun. In my opinion, sunlight is fishing line's worst enemy. When I'm fishing a crappie tournament, I make sure I have new Mossy Oak Fishing Line on every spool before I go to the tournament. If I'm fun fishing and not fishing a tournament, I'll change my line out every month. During crappie season, however, I'm fishing quite a few tournaments. Therefore often I'll change line every week. If you have to chance winning Click to enlargemoney in a crappie tournament, you sure don't want to give up that opportunity just because you don't want to put new line on your spools. The better and fresher your line is, the more chances you'll have for catching fish, landing the crappie and winning the money. When you're fishing in a tournament, making sure that the line coming from the pole and going to the hook doesn't have any nicks or abrasions in it is an important key to landing that big crappie if it bites your bait. For this reason, every time I bring my jigs into the boat, I put the line between my thumb and forefinger and move my fingers up and down the line to check for nicks, cuts and abrasions. When I'm changing line to the hook, if that line begins to curl as I start to put the line through the eye of the hook, I'll cut the line off to a point where it doesn't curl but will go straight through the eye of the hook.

Click to enlargeOne of the techniques I've learned to be able to continuously catch and land big fish is to constantly retie your jig onto your line. Oftentimes big crappie will all be in the same school. For this reason, if I catch a really-big crappie, once I have that fish in the boat and in the livewell, I'll cut off the jig I've caught the crappie on and retie the line through the jig. If I troll back over that same school, I want to be sure I've got fresh line on the knot and up the line. Then if I catch another big crappie on that same jig, I won't have to try to play him to the boat with line that's fatigued or worn at any point.

Question: Kent, what knot do you use for tying on your Mossy Oak Fishing Line?

Driscoll: I use a Palomar knot, which is easy to tie, and I know it's one of the strongest knots you can use.

To learn more about Mossy Oak Fishing Line, go to For more information on B'n'M crappie poles, visit


Check back each day this week for more about KENT DRISCOLL - EXTRAORDINARY CRAPPIE FISHERMAN

Day 1: The Importance of Line to Crappie-Fishing Success
Day 2: What's The Best Length of Time to Leave Line on a Spool
Day 3: Why Driscoll Gets Wet to Catch Crappie
Day 4: Jig Fishing
Day 5: Cranking Up for Crappie



Entry 292, Day 2