Yet it is true to say that most anglers leave their line on a reel for far too long. It is only when it starts snapping like rotten cotton that changing it seems like a good idea.

Fishing far out in the Western Approaches recently, an angler alongside me lost fish after fish when his line kept breaking, the fish only had to flap a fin and it was goodbye. Once when he snagged bottom and the Skipper came along with his heavy gloves to break him out, the line snapped at the surface. With some mild profanity, the Skipper advised him to get some new line. Here was a situation where the angler had travelled some distance, paid 35 for his day out, plus the cost of food, bait and lost end tackle. His day would have been spoilt had not there been plenty of other tackle on board, which was willingly lent to him.

When it is all said and done, the hook and the line are the two most important items of tackle, because that is our only connection to the fish.

We all have our own favourite brands of line and what sort is good for one style of fishing may not be as good for another. But it is a simple fact of life that monofilament line does deteriorate with use and age. Sunlight will bake out the plastisiser, combine this with mechanical damage when it rubs against rock, wreck or even other lines. Nicks, abraded areas and weak spots which are not visible to the naked eye are quickly introduced. So changing the line on a fairly regular basis makes good angling sense and the fresher it is, the more life you are going to get out of it.

Choose a good brand and buy from a shop that sells a lot of it. Resist the temptation to buy a monster bulk spool, quarter pound spools which might contain 800 yards or more, depending on the breaking strain, and will load your reel at least twice are the best value.

Any questions to russ@reelfoto.com