When we were much younger, everything seemed to be so much easier when we wanted to fish. All we really cared about was having the pup travelling along with us, any rod would do and the little two-tray tackle box. We didn’t need much, hooks and sinkers did it for us. We didn’t really pay much attention to what we were using for line and regardless, we felt that we caught the best fish! Today, look around and see how many rods and reels you now own and check out how many different types of line you now have stashed away in the closet.
As a youngster, you’d have never believed that a day of fishing would involve choosing from three varieties of line, all with different uses and a variety of sizes. It would have never occurred to you to weigh the value of each line against the type of fishing you had planned you’d simply grab what you had and head off. Let’s take a look at the three categories that fishing line falls into and determine what works best for your needs.
Since monofilament line is the most common, we’ll discuss this type of line first. Monofilament is inexpensive, strong and remains the most used fishing line on the market. Since it’s somewhat pliable, and stretches if it’s under tension, monofilament line is great if you find yourself with an aggressive fish on your line.
The biggest problem with monofilament line is that it tends to spiral off of the spool while you cast, and the springy coils caused by this “memory” turn into knots and similar negative effects. The stretch can also be a problem, especially when you are trying to pull a largemouth bass from thick weeds, or trying to keep a big striper from ducking between rocks and getting away.
Some of the issues with monofilament line can be avoided by switching to a braided line – though braided lines have their own issues. One of the most significant pitfalls to the braided line is its visibility. Braided line is best if used with a low or non-visibility leader or the fish will have too much warning! One of the best things about braided line is unlike its cousin the monofilament line it doesn’t have a great memory and is far less likely to develop knots as a result of coils and kinks. Another great thing about braided line is that it is very thin and also very strong. An eight pound monofilament line is about the same diameter as a thirty pound braided line – and it is great for fishing for small mouth bass or trout. Due to braided lines low abrasion resistance it is not the best line if you’re going to be fishing in an area that will cause your line to rub a great deal.
Fluorocarbon lines are the premier line for many fishermen. Fluorocarbon lines had a bad name when they first came out because so many felt that it was too rigid. This rigidity often created issues spooling and casting. Since technology has evolved, these problems seem to have lessened over time and far more fishermen feel this line solves far more problems than it had initially created. Many anglers have discovered that fluorocarbon is perfect for creating leaders – this is because fluorocarbon line is highly abrasion resistant. If you’re fishing in deep water that reflects a lot of light or shallow waters, the fluorocarbon line could be just right since it is nearly invisible.
The right line can make all the difference between a successful fishing trip and a trip that lands you back at home staring at your empty freezer. Sure, fishing might have been a lot easier when we were children but just think about how much you’ve learned since then. A fishing trip should still offer as much adventure as it did when you were a child, but today, having the right tools and understanding how those tools work can make your fishing trips a lot more productive than they were all those years ago.