Choosing the Right Fishing Line
In my opinion, fishing was much simpler when I was younger. I had all I needed…a rod, a reel, two-tray tackle box with a few hooks and sinkers, and (most important of all) a dog. So my reel was normally less than halfway stocked with its spool of monofilament line, I still caught some great fish. These days, I have closer to thirty rods and reels, each spooled with a variety of fishing line, each serving a purpose, just like my poles and reels.
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.
For the last 40 or so years, many people have fished using monofilament line. In reality, it is likely still the best selling fishing line available today. Monofilament line is made from one filament of extruded nylon. It is very inexpensive, but also very strong and somewhat pliable. Monofilament line is somewhat stretchy under tension, which acts like a shock absorber for catching aggressive fighters.
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.
Initial marketing efforts of fluorocarbon lines were challenging – many anglers felt that its rigidity made spooling a challenge and that casting was problematic. Once fluorocarbon lines were enhanced, many fishermen discovered that this now popular line solved more problems than it caused. The fluorocarbon line is nearly invisible underwater which makes it perfect for those shallow waters and is also effective in deep water that’s clear. Many elect to create their leaders from fluorocarbons because it is highly abrasion resistant.
Each kind of line available today is a different tool for you to use to make fishing easier. When used correctly, each will help you catch more fish too. So, I suppose that fishing was much simpler when I was a kid, but then again so was my overall familiarity and knowledge of fishing. I could have probably continued to fish in that simple manner, but the desire to learn and catch bigger and better fish reeled me in. As I fished and began to learn more and more about fishing, I discovered the advantages of choosing the right line, lure color, etc. Fishing may not seem as simple as it once did, but I sure am glad that I understand how to utilize the tools that are available. They have certainly helped me add fish to my freezer.