I've just unpackaged an Ugly Stik fishing rod (stored for several years) and removed the plastic protective wrapping from the pre-spooled reel.

The line under the wrapping didn't just come loose, and I'm unsure how it's meant to be released so that I can finish setting up the rod. There is a grey plastic rounded-triangular thing (shown in the centre of the photo) that the line is trapped under, however I'm unsure whether or not that's the end of the line that I'm meant to release. If it is the end I'm meant to release, then it's also unclear as to how that should be done. Trying to pry it loose gently with a fingernail achieves nothing, so perhaps it's not meant to release that way?

Has anyone had a similar situation with a pre-spooled reel, with some advice that might help? Or can you tell me what the grey plastic rounded-triangular thing is for?

The rod came without instructions.

Ugly Stick fishing rod reel

  • 1
    To me it looks like the outer end of the line has been secured under the wheel. You should be able to unscrew the brake (anti-clockwise, like almost any other screw), take off the wheel and the end of the line will be loose again.
    – Dennis_DK
    Commented Jan 4, 2022 at 20:51

1 Answer 1


The grey triangular thing is a line keeper to keep the line tidy when you do not have the rod set up. Typically you would hold the working end (aka tag end) of the line in one hand and give a wrap over the top and down under the bottom of the triangle, which acts as a clip and has a space under the point to hold the line. It can sometimes be difficult to get it to clip in, but it works well. Generally you would leave a short section of tag-end exposed after the clip so that the process can be easily reversed when you want to free up the line.

In the pictured case, it looks like the tag end was trimmed too close so that you may need to use some kine of pick to get at the end of the line to free it from the holder.

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