What's My Line?
"What's my line?" That's a
tough one to answer.
Three major line types - braid, fluorocarbon and monofilament
- are available today in many brands. There are several hybrids
and copolymers out there too. Each it seems has different
specifications and properties. No two the same (or so it seems).
Even proven formulas apparently are periodically changed - for
better or worse. No wonder it can be difficult to choose what
line to use.
Braid has hardly any stretch and heightened sensitivity. It
excels in very weedy waters. Fishing in a lot of salad bowls?
Garnish your reel, either spinning or baitcasting, with braid.
Where I don't use braid is in rocks. Most anywhere you will
get snagged in rocks will part braided line quickly. Even many
snags that you may be able to wiggle out no problem with mono or
fluoro may part braid easily in rocks.
In wood, braid can be problematic too. Braid tends to cling on
and wrap up in soggy bush or tree branches. Braid will not part
easily when snagged in wet wood - but dig into it, often
deepening the dilemma.
However, many anglers favor braid even around rocks or wood
- spinnerbaits kept in the mid to upper water column.
For baitcasting reels, fluorocarbon
like Yamamoto's Sugoi brand is usually a pleasant,
abrasion-resistant, low-stretch sweetheart. At least one
exception is topwater, where buoyant mono or braid behave best.
There are two kinds of Yamamoto Sugoi fluorocarbon for
baitcasting, appropriately labeled casting (general usage) and
flipping (heavy cover).
On spinning reels, a third kind of Yamamoto's Sugoi
fluorocarbon, labeled dropshot line excels. Don't let the label
fool you, it's not just for dropshot but general usage (except
topwater). Caveat here is it's only available in 5, 6 and 8 lb
test. For higher line tests, mono tends to get the affirmative
head wobble for spinning reels.
For spinning reels, for all
topwater antics, for equally mixed environments of weeds, wood
and/or rocks intermingled, many anglers throw mono.
Name Some Names
I have already mentioned the Yamamoto Sugoi fluorocarbon which
comes in three formulations - flipping, casting and dropshot/spinning
fluorocarbon. In braid, I currently use Stren Super Braid. I opt
for Trilene XL as a general usage monofilament. I go to Trilene
Big Game when I need a more abrasion-resistant monofilament.
Those are the six lines I currently favor after having tried most
brands of line on the market.
If it's available, I like to use light green line. Most water
has a greenish color, and often there is a backdrop of
underwater weeds or shoreline vegetation. However even in clear
water, there is often a faint green tinge and a light green line
is not a bad choice for those situations.
For many purposes, I use a unique variant of Uni-Knot. I tie
five turns for mono. I throw in six turns (one extra) for fluoro.
I find braid requires ten turns and even then, I keep a close eye
on knots tied with braid as they may slip if not watched closely.
Spooling New Line
How to spool new line is the same for baitcasters as well as
modern spinning reels that have anti-twist rollers. Most guys get
it right with baitcasters - put some kind of rod through the
center hole of the line spool, have an assistant hold the line
spool horizontal (like on a baitcasting reel) and have the
line come off the bottom of the line spool. Many don't
realize this is the exact way to spool up modern day anti-twist
spinning reels too. Check your instruction sheet that comes with
a new spinning reel, guys.
After spooling up with fresh new mono, you need to tie it to
something that won't budge, walk off more than a cast - and
stretch the line. If you don't do this, new mono will be springy
and problematic until it gets stretched by a snag.
During usage, especially on a spinning reel, line can get
twisted and unmanageable. Clip off any lure or terminal tackle.
Let line out behind an idling boat (800 rpms). Engage the reel
but wait several minutes before rewinding so the force of water
pressure against the line unscrews any twists. If you have not a
boat, wet the spool in fresh water then walk off more than a cast
over a grass field (a parking lot, rocky dirt or sidewalk will
grab, pinch or abrade the line). Pinch the line above the spool
between your thumb and index finger while you rewind the wetted
line back onto the reel. This will remove twists and loops.
Hope it helps you line up some options.