How to prevent line cuts when fishing.

Line cuts are painful, they are only made worse when time and time again the line finds the old wound slowing digging ever deeper.

So, what is the best way to prevent line cuts from occurring?

The easiest ways to prevent line cuts is to wear gloves, problem solved. But gloves make tying knots difficult and having wet fabric next to the skin can make hands feel over hydrated, and not only does that feel weird the skin becomes more susceptible to injuries.

So, my solution to line cuts is to use long leaders and band-aids. Keep reading for more details.

Best ways to prevent line cuts when fishing.

So, I have two trains of thoughts. The first is to prevent line cuts. That can be done by using thicker line materials in the form of a leader, after all most line cuts are caused by braid cutting into wet soggy hands.

For this reason I try to never hold onto braid or other thin diameter mainline when making a cast.

Very fine diameter line can and does slice through skin like butter. So, a nice long leader reduces the occurrence of cuts significantly. Read here for more info on leader choose when fishing ultralight tackle.

Another time when cuts occur is when trying to free a snag or caught line. When doing that, rather than holding onto the line, or wrapping it around your hand. It is best to use some tool, I like a round piece of wood. Sometimes I use the handle of my landing net. Just anything to prevent the line from cutting into your skin.

Use a Band-aid themble

The above two suggestions can both greatly reduce the chance of line cuts, but they still occasionally occur. That is way, I typically wrap a band aid around my casting finger, the little piece of material is more than enough to prevent a cut. If I already have a cut, then it protects the existing cut from being reopen.

All band aids seem to work, but I like ones designed with extra durability and which are designed to hold well in water. I think there is one called Waterblock Tough Strips. They work particularly well. Wide, durable and waterproof. But I use whatever I have available.

What does not work well to prevent line cuts?

Barrier cream is sometimes suggested, it is a layer of I think silicon gel to help protect the skin. It probably does somewhat slow down water absorption, but it mostly gets washed away after half an hour of fishing.

I also do not like casting aids, these are little triggers to hold the line. I have never found one that works particularly well. Just extra complication. I know some surf fishermen swear by them, but I have not had much success whenever I tried one. A band-aid wrap around the casting finger works much better and only costs a few cents.

Why do line cuts occur when fishing?

I get most of my line casts in two situations, the first is when I am kayak fishing. My hands are wet all day, and my skin becomes soft. This makes the skin more susceptible to cuts. So I have had a lot of line cuts when kayak fishing.

They also occur when making powerful casts with fairly heavy gear. Think 12ft rods designed to cast lures and baits out towards the horizon, these long rods generate a lot of power. During the cast, if you are one second too slow moving your casting finger the momentum of the line can easily cause a cut. Then every cast afterwards the line tries to find its way back into the hole.

In that situation, I have even been cut by 40lb breaking strain line, so pre-wrapping my casting finger in a band-aid seems to work best.


Line cuts are easy to prevent, use long leaders, when possible limit contact with the line under tension. Finally use a band-aid as added insurance against cuts.

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