We’ve all had tangles in revolving spool reels. Whether from overzealous casting or because a newbie crewman dropped to the bottom without thumbing the spool, bird’s nests happen. Here’s a technique taught to me in my youth. It works about half the time, and don’t ask me why. Sometimes you have to do it more than once. So before you break out a crochet needle and a magnifying glass, give it a whirl.
 Lock the drag down tight.
 Thumb the spool hard: Use the maximum pressure that still allows you to turn the handle.
 Reel in about 10 yards of line over the bird’s nest under pressure of your thumb.
 Put the reel in free-spool and gently pull the line out.