How to Choose a Fishing Line
In this article we will talk about the best fishing line for different circumstances, and how to choose the best fishing line:
You increase your percentages by fishing with different lines and by knowing what line is best for your circumstance and why. You may be the guy who always fishes monofilament because that is what you have always bought, or what your dad or best friend recommended.
Seriously, thinks have changed a lot in the last 20 years in terms of fishing lines and the associated technology behind them. You will want to keep different lines ready for use, depending on where you are fishing, what fishing method you are using, and the prevalent conditions on the water.
Let’s review the three primary line types for freshwater fishing and then several other factors that contribute to your line selection on any given day.
As the name suggests, this is a single-component product formed through an extrusion process in which molten plastic is formed into a strand through a die. This process is relatively inexpensive, that being the main reason monos are so widely popular. But buyer beware! The cheap budget lines are not made to the same specifications and with the same care and advanced processes as the name brands.
Why is that important to you? Because cheap line they may not offer the superb blend of tensile strength, limpness, abrasion resistance, and knot strength characteristic of more expensive monos. Berkley, Stren, Diawa, P-Line, and Cajun are some of the noteworthy names.
Superlines or braided lines are synthetic fibers joined through an intricate, time-consuming braiding process to produce ultrathin, super strong, sensitive, yet expensive lines.
Superlines have made meteoric advances since they first came out in the 1990s, improving manufacturing processes, coloration, castability, and strength. Lures dive deeper and faster when connected to superlines. Superline is less visible to fish than monofilament and anglers can spool more line on their reels. Superlines also are virtually stretchless, transmitting strikes instantly to the rod tip, which means more positive hook sets. Fishing from shore? You can cast a braided line a mile (a longer rod also helps with that). High break strength means better handling of big fish.
Use a Palomar Knot for best results when using superline. Put mono backing on your reel before spooling superlines to prevent slipping on the reel and to conserve line. Use a Uni Knot to connect the mono to the superline.Don’t overfill reels with superline; that creates loose strands after a cast and more rat’s nests. Fill to one-eighth inch from the spool rim.
Fluorocarbon lines are known for their sensitivity and for their quality of “disappearing” beneath the water surface because they refract very little light. Fluorocarbon offers advantages in clear-water situations and ice fishing where fish are heavily pressured or slow to bite. Because fluorocarbon does not absorb water it doesn’t stretch like mono. Added density means fluorocarbon is very abrasion-resistant, making it ideal for rough conditions and when you want your lures to dive deeper and faster.
Fluorocarbon lines require special attention. The Trilene knot is the best to use with this type line. Make all 5 wraps when tying the knot, and excessively wet the line before cinching the knot to prevent line weakening. Always test the knot before fishing.
Fluorocarbons are stiffer than mono, even when wet. So, attention when casting! If you use heavier fluorocarbon line on lighter rods, reels and lures, expect that to feel different. And your Baitcasting reels may require additional adjustment for the extra momentum created by the heavier weight of fluorocarbon.
Mono lines are very popular for Western trout fishing. Fluorocarbon lines will always have a following when stealth and sensitivity come into play. Braided lines know no equal for strength and durability.
You will want to experiment with different line types for different situations. I know fishermen who think braided line is the most wonderful invention ever. And I know fishermen who have tried braided line and do not intend to use it again. Before you draw conclusions from what someone else might think or say, be willing to run a few trials of your own. You may find, for example, that you love a braided line when fishing for stripers at Lake Powell or when outrigging for Lake Trout on Colorado’s Blue Mesa Reservoir. And that may be the only time you want to use it.
Run your own tests, perform your own trials. Keep an open mind and you will find that, with experience, you develop definite patterns of preference and trust when it comes to catching the big one!