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What fishing line is right for you

If you are like me, sometimes trying new fishing line is a tough decision and then there are so many brands to choose from. Without going into the different brands that are out in the market place, I am simply going to discuss the pro’s and con’s of the three major types of fishing lines today: Monofilament, braid and fluorocarbon.

Starting with Monofilament line, this has been the primary choice or option for anglers for over 50 years. This type of line is the most common and used for its variety of features including easy to tie knots, ease of handling and strength. Some benefits of why this line is sometimes preferred is the stretch under pressure and can be favorable when trying to land a big fish. Because of the stretch, a solid hook set is important to dig that hook in the fish. This type of fishing line softer than its rival fluorocarbon and can be more forgiving when it comes to abrasions from rubbing or in contact with various types of cover. But this is up for debate by many in the Fluorocarbon camp due to the hardness of fluoro, but you can be your own judge there. Overall, Mono is a “friendly” line option when casting, tying nots and other rigging options. Some of the con’s in mono is that the stretch feature can sometimes make for a loss in the lure sensitivity. So when the bite is soft or light,
sometimes fish are missed simply for not knowing you just missed at little strike. Twisting of the line can also be an issue, swivels can help, but it’s another item that may spook your prey. If you are fishing thick brush, the frustration of re-tying and bait loss is always a concern. Mono also doesn’t sink as well as its rivals, so that is definitely a feature to consider when choosing your method.

Braided line is the up and comer in the line industry. This type of line is highly abrasive resistant, smaller in diameter for pound ratio and cast very well with the right brands. For the angler that doesn’t want any stretch, this line is for you. For vertical jigging, braid offers a sensitivity that allows you to feel the lightest of bites. The non-stretch aspect of braid can be both of a pro and con, sometimes ripping the hook right out of their mouths. If you choose to use braid, you better have a handy set of scissors nearby, you are not biting through this line unless you have piranha teeth. Also, don’t buy this with your wife around, this stuff can be very expensive. However, it’s durable, lasts long and you won’t have to buy as much in the long run. Another tidbit about braid, you better learn a variety of knots, rigging up with braid just became harder, some traditional knots will slip. Many anglers use mono leaders in clearer waters to make the strike zone more invisible.
This line is so strong many Rod companies void warranty If you use braid. In summary, if you like to fish off of ‘feel’ and need a line to get in the thick stuff, this is probably for you.

Fluorocarbon is a newer fishing line and has continued to get better over time with manufacturing improvements and lower prices. Fluoro is similar to mono as it is a single strand. Because light passes through fluoro, anglers can use a heavier test pound line and maintain its low visibility. This line has less stretch than mono but much more than braid, as braid does not stretch. I like to think as flouro as a hybrid of braid and mono in its characteristics, including its abrasiveness and toughness. Also, fluoro does not absorb water, therefore sinks better. This is an advantage to getting lighter baits to the fish faster. So… if you just cannot make up your mind, Fluorocarbon could be your happy medium of the three options.

David Riggs

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