The last time I walked into Walmart, I found myself in total awe by the variety of fishing lines found on the shelves. Without some knowledge or a road map, most anyone will truly be lost and unable to find their way through the mono, polymer, braid, super braid, thermal fused and GSP type of fishing lines; not to mention those fluorocarbons. I’m confused already!
Tough, extreme, extra tough, thin, extra limp, refracting lines (those that disappear underwater), Berkley, Ande, Power Pro, Diamond jump off the screen when watching your favorite fishing shows, with fishing pro’s pushing Cajun, Fireline, Spiderwire, to name but a few. Staring down at the shelves I notice IGFA (International Game Fishing Association) rated lines; fishing lines that will test to just below the stated line class and all I came in for was some new line for my Penn 4/0. Which line is best for me? IGFA lines are for those looking to the record books and I, being a regular Joe, just want to go fish’n.
First remember there are no “Born on Dates” like you can get with your favorite beverage and expiration dates do not exist on fishing lines. Through time, heat, light and age all fishing lines break down with time and usage; even a new bulk spool here at the store. Be wary of products covered in dust and of those on sale; they might have died had they had a “Born on Date.”
What type of fishing conditions am I likely to encounter while fishing, would be my first question when choosing a line for my reel. Heavy cover, clear water, vegetation or ice; different lines for different conditions, saltwater or fresh you can now find just about any fishing line out there today to match your socks. What happened to the day when I just went fishing and didn’t really care except to catch a fish or not?
For me, I’ll just pick up a regular run of the mill monofilament. Nylon Monofilament is a single-component product, formed through an extrusion process in which molten plastic is constructed into a strand through a die. Nylon Monofilament line is a polymeric by-product of crude oil processing. So when the gas prices rise due too the price of crude on the open oil market, so does the rise in price, of that fishing line your going to buy; just a little world economics thrown in. There are more mono fishing lines out there than you could use in ten life times, so I, for the sake of this article, will tell of the ones I use as do a number of my fellow Island Anglers. I prefer to stick with the lines I’ve fished with for forty years plus but a number of our club members swear by Diamond Line. My stand bys are: Trilene XT, Stren Original, Stren Super and Ande.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Trilene XT is a very tough, abrasion resistant line. It is somewhat stiff and works best on casting reels, like my Penn 4/0 and is excellent for flipping and pitching to heavy cover, when used on my Bass reels. This line holds knots well and does not slip. It has limited stretch due to its thick diameter and is a bit thicker than most other lines in its class.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Stren Original is really a top notch line holds knots well and casts like that of a limp line but it is not. This line comes in clear or clear blue, green and gold for visibility or stealth, whichever you need. It is a good all around line that is abrasion resistant and has relatively little to no stretch.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Stren Super is stronger then Original Stren and is more abrasion resistant with more strength but less stretch. It is somewhat stiffer so is better suited for bait casting reels and like Trilene it is a thicker line too.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Ande is my favorite saltwater line for my larger reels, like my Penn 6/0 & 9/0. Ande comes in two types: abrasion resistant that is stronger than the stated test and tournament grade that will break at the stated test. For a record in a line class the tournament grade is a must and is an IGFA rated line.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Momoi Diamond Line is the strongest, toughest and most abrasion monofilament fishing line on the market today, according to the advertisements and those that I know that use it. Diamond Line features breaking strengths that are near double to the stated line rating and has excellent knot strength.
Now that you know what we fish with predominantly, I will briefly tell you of a number of others that claim to be the fame of other fisherman. We have the Co-filament line classes; adding more resistance to the line and yet, keeps the line sensitivity matched with strength. This design uses an inner and an outer wrap of nylon to help insure the lines ability to resist wear and tear. Then there are the Fused Lines; which are many layers of microfilaments of gel spun polyethylene fibers fused together to produce a single strand of line that is ultra thin, superior strength, and sensitivity with good abrasion resistance like you would find in Spiderwire.
Braided lines are inter-wined strands of nylon material, making them a multifilament line called Dacron. Once used for all offshore fishing, it was replaced by the nylon lines because of its poor knot strength, low abrasion resistance, and little stretch ability. Because of its non-stretch properties, Braid lines are super sensitive lines. You will get more line on your reel for the money because they are thinner; a 15 pound test line in Braid has the diameter of a 6 pound mono line. You must use the manufacturers suggested knots when tying or you risk slippage. Some of my buddies still use their own knots and apply super glue to them to combat that slipping. Now the new boy on the block; our Fluorocarbons, made from polymer of fluorine bonded to carbon. This super line has several advantages over the others. Fluorocarbons are virtually invisible under water. Used mainly as leader material, it is ultra low stretch and your hook sets are positive. This line doesn’t float and allows your lures or bait to fall faster, deeper, quicker. This line doesn’t absorb water like monofilaments and this makes it much stronger. Did I mention price?
Think you know what line is best for you now? What about colors and there are more out there than a rainbow! Clear, Green, Blue, Gold and even Red to name but the most popular. Does the fish really care, does the color make’em hungry?
Tell you the truth, I know of a couple of guys who buy Diamond Blue because it looks really good on their Avets. They also swear it catches the biggest sharks because it blends in at night and the sharks can’t see the line? Clear Blue Florescent lines were manufactured for the anglers that are out in the sun and you need to see your line above the surface, whether it is trolling, casting, or just retrieving. It is almost invisible under water day or night. Green lines were developed for abrasion found around piers and jetties or with heavy weeds and other vegetation. Gold lines are easier to see when a fish strikes. They are best if you are trolling several lines at once and when used during low visibility, like when night bait fishing. Gold lines tend to blend into most waters. The red lines are great for visibility when hard water fishing (ice fishing) and have outstanding resistance to abrasion; why they seem to be used in heavy cover fishing here in Florida. Last but not least on my list are the clear lines; they are best suited for clear water, whether it is a river, lake, bay or ocean, a generic for all types of fishing.
Remembering that a few thoughtful acts while fishing can help to achieve a safer and healthier environment by discarding your old fishing line in an appropriate place; for abandoned fishing lines and other gear can be deadly to native animals. Discarded fishing line is common around any popular fishing spot, which is a sad fact. Unsuspecting wildlife can become entangled in discarded fishing line. This can lead to death or the loss of appendages and can affect their ability to feed or defend themselves from predators. Along with discarded fishing line, other hazards exist around fishing areas; hooks, lures and weights left behind or dropped by inattentive anglers. These can cause problems for wildlife, domestic pets and even curious children. Don’t be part of the problem, be a solution. Trash is an eyesore and it’s a bad reflection on boaters, anglers and those who use public waterways. Pack out what you bring in and discarded fishing line may be wound into a tight ball and stored in a pocket until it can be disposed of properly. Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission has a fishing line recovery program: Monofilament Recovery & Recycling Program (MRRP) that we can all benefit from. Even if it’s not your line, pick it up and be responsible. Put that new line on your reel and
Let’s go fishing!