There are about 500 different types and brands of fishing line on the wall in Bass Pro Shops. Braid, monofilament, fluorocarbon; all from companies such as Berkley, Spiderwire, Stren, and more. The question is which one to buy? It all depends on where you are fishing, and what type of fishing you are doing. In this installment of When and Where’s for Fishing Line, we will be discussing the when and where’s of braided line.
Why Braided Fishing Line?
Braided line is probably the most versatile Fishing line, in my opinion. You can use it basically anywhere.
Using it in heavy Hydrilla and Lilypad ensures hook sets are strong. Braid holds vigorous rubbing against rocks and with toothy critters like Walleye, or Pike. You can even use it in open waters with no cover around, I swear by braid.
Other anglers might disagree, though, so just when does someone use braided line?
Where to use Braid
Preferably, a braided line should be used in places with very thick cover. For example, top water or frog fishing for bass in heavy lilypad cover would be a good time to switch out mono for braid.
Braid doesn’t stretch like Fluorocarbon does and is stronger than Monofilament. This lack of “give” helps with hook set when the underwater cover is thick. It also acts as a weed whacker while you reel in the big one out of dense Hydrilla or alligator grass.
In places like Sackets Harbor, NY, on the coast of Lake Ontario, braid helps with the rocks near shore. Even 8 lb test fluorocarbon couldn’t hold against the rock jetties. Spyder braid in 6 lb test hooked me into 2 of my biggest fish caught there, a 3 lb largemouth and a 4 lb toothy Pike.
Nothing is Perfect
DISCLAIMER: Nothing is perfect. Results may vary, consult your doctor to make sure braid is healthy for you. Sorry, that is the truth. Nothing is ever perfect. What could get me to say such a thing about the product I swear by? Unfortunately, it’s the fact that fish can see.
Surprising right? Fish can see fishing line. Sometimes, they can still see a clear color fishing line. Braid normally is green colored, and green doesn’t blend into clear water conditions. Unless the water color is foggy or worse, that big six-pounder that is hanging out under your dock will probably see braid hanging in the water.
So the fix would be to use a clear line in clear & sunny conditions on the pond. Another fix would be to use thinner braid line. Instead of loading 20 lb test braid, try putting on 10 lb test, or even get crazy and drop to 8 lb test.
Another issue with braid is that it backlashes easily. Easily fixed by using the recommended test line and lure weight for your rod. For people using baitcasting rods, you can fix this problem by tightening the drag until the lure slowly drops when you depress your release button.
There is also the price factor. Braid generally is more expensive than fluorocarbon and monofilament fishing line. For the price, I think it is worth it. Besides, everything is cheaper at Walmart, and yes you can find a braided line at most Walmarts.
Switch out your fishing line to fluorocarbon, if you want. Just keep in mind that certain lures such as top waters will fish differently on fluorocarbon because it’s heavier and sinks. However, that is a topic worthy of a separate article; So keep an eye out for it.
Weighing Pros and Cons
On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being just no, and 5 being Scar Jo in leather outfits), I’d rank braid in the 3.5-4 range. It is versatile and reliable in every condition. The only real issues with braid are very easy to fix or can even be workable without changing your line.
In my opinion; why go out and buy four different spools of fishing line when you can have one and use it in literally every situation? I recommend switching to braid, and staying with braid. My favorite type to use is the Spiderwire braid in 8 lb test for most conditions, but on a medium action rod you can spool up to 20 lb test with no issues. Companies such as Stren and Berkley also make a braided line. Check out your local Walmart, Bass Pro Shops, or Cabela’s and give it a try.