LITTLE ROCK – With spring fishing close at hand, Arkansas anglers can improve their chances at good catches rather simply – look at their line.

Many fishermen pay scant attention to the thin link between their rod and their lure or bait. This can be a mistake.

With the beginning of a new season for those who haven’t been fishing through the winter, rigging up with new line should be a first step. Sure, the line on the reel looks good, and it didn’t cause any trouble last summer or fall. But it’s been on that reel for a while. Fishing line deteriorates over time and especially under some conditions like exposure to sunlight.

The cure is simple, say fishermen at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Pull off the old line and put new line on the reel. It costs a couple of dollars, but it eliminates the possibility of a break when you are landing a nice lunker or when you are far from a supply of new line.

Fishing line is sold in various quantities. If you fish a lot, buy a larger spool and plan on changing it well before you think you need to do so. Some outlets will change line for you, but it’s no chore to do it at home.

Bait-casting reels are sometimes called level wind reels, and this is an indication of how you put new line on them. Tie the end of the line to the reel then simply crank the handle until the reel is filled.

With spin-casting reels and spinning or open face reels, the re-spooling also is simple, but many anglers like to use a little tension when winding on the new line. The idea is this tension takes out some of the inclination to kink.

Get the new line tied to the reel then have a second person hold the package or spool of new line and use light finger pressure as you crank in. Be sure that the line goes on the reel like it comes off the spool. Get this backwards, and you have an invitation to kink.

Putting on new line? Ten minutes or less.