Rule #1 Always stretch your mono running line but never across your yard at adam’s apple level during high traffic hours for foot travel. Wives do not appreciate this. A better option on the river is to wear rubber gloves and stretch it by hand before you fish.
#2 Don’t count when stripping line if you don’t have too. That’s too much like a work activity. Strip it in until it looks about right.
#3 It’s almost impossible not to count.
#4 Use Varivas running line so you don’t have to count, just strip it in and let it fly, at least if your in slack water. Varivas Airs running line is expensive but each spool is labeled “No counting required!”
#5 For poor people Berkley Big Game #40 works pretty good for running line although it does tend to sink. But it’s cheap and when it gets too curly you just chop it off, stash it in your waders and pull more fresh stuff off the spool, loop it, and go back to fishing.
#6 With mono running line I grip the line with my top hand birdy finger, run it over the reel and grip it with my bottom hand birdy finger, in the fold of skin on the top joint, always, then I release both birdy fingers for the cast, similar to Robert Gillespie’s video below, only I use as big of loops as I can get away with, including non at all.
#7 25 lbs test Berkley works really good, but sometimes it will break and you may have to go for a swim to retrieve that expensive shooting head you just bought. So only use at least #40 and replace it if it gets dinged on the stones.
#8 You can also hold your coils in your top thumb. Press the loops with your thumb onto the cork and release the thumb when you cast. If you are transitioning from the double birdie finger mono release be careful not to throw your rod into the river.
Double Birdy Finger Release for Mono Running line. Always.