If you coil these heavyweight traces and stow them in a regular size rig wallet, by the time you are ready to use them, they will be set like a high tensile clockspring, awkward to use and ready to tangle in an instant.

Believe me it is so much easier to hang these traces from a nail, either in your garage or perhaps in a cool cellar somewhere so that the monofilament is kept as straight as is possible.

Slip the eye of the swivel over a nail and let the trace hang, the weight of the hook should straighten the monofilament. If the weight of the hook is not enough to unkink the monofilament, hang a sinker from the hook for a week or two. By that time the trace will be looking good and straight.

So let's say your blue water wrecking trip for record breaking conger is imminent.

Check out your traces, clean and inspect the crimps. Sharpen the hooks with a hook file and then give them a spray with WD40.

Eyeball the swivels, give them a spray with WD as well, ensure that they are free moving.

Any traces that are suspect, chop out the hooks to re-cycle in the manufacture of new traces. Give the swivels a good hard eyeball, if the are not good enough to re-cycle, dump them and use new.

The night before your trip, coil your traces in the bottom of your tackle bag in the biggest loops possible, the straighter you can keep them the better.

As soon as you are able, especially if you are aboard your own boat, take the traces out of the bag and hang them ready for use.

This is not always practicable and probably a workable compromise is to individually pack each trace in an A4 size Ziplock baggie, ensuring that the trace is spread as large as possible in the baggie. Give the inside of the baggie a squirt of WD40 before sealing it.

Before long your friends will be casting covetous eyes at your straight, easy to use traces. Tell them how to do it, maybe then they will not presume on your friendship by asking for one of your traces

Questions to: russ@reelfoto.demon.co.uk