About Fishing Lines
Fishing lines have come a long way and have been improved upon by new technologies year after year. Modern fishing lines have essentially been broken down into 3 main categories: Braided line, monofilament, and fluorocarbon line. Many anglers overlook this portion, and focus on their rods and reels selections. However it is the selection of the fishing line that is the most critical aspect. The line is what makes or breaks a successful fishing trip (excuse the pun).
How Do You Determine Line Strength?
Fishing line comes in different strengths, this measurement is called “Test”. The “Test” or the power of the fishing line is measured in pounds. Your line should roughly match the weight of the target fish species you are fishing for.
use 20-pounds test for salmon in the 10-30 pound range
Use 6-pound test for trout ranging from 3-8 pound range
When a line specifies a 10 pound test, how exactly is the breaking point measured? This means that if you were to tie a fishing line to the ceiling and attach a weight on the bottom. The breaking point of the line means the line will snap on anything weighing over 10pounds. This is how line test is measured by.
However this is not to say that a 15 pound fish will break your 10 pound line, your rod and how you play the fish will add flex or a cushion to your line. Therefore an experienced angler may land fish far beyond the maximum test that their line is capable of. A rule of thumb is to fish with the lightest gear possible, so that you don’t tire and have more fun. Lighter test lines will also provide a much better cast than thicker line. Always scale down your test whenever possible, it will make you a better angler. Your presentations will also be much stealthier, resulting in more fish.
Many people like to use braided line when spincasting because (pound for pound), the same strength braided line is much thinner than the same strength line made of monofilament or fluorocarbon. A 20lb braided line has the same line diameter as 6lb braided.
Another huge advantage braided line has over mono or flouro is that it has no “line memory”. This means the line has been coiled up and when casted out, creates springs of coils, this is not good for distance casting. Braided line also has no stretch, therefore any little taps or bites can easily be detected. However, braided line is very visible to the fish, therefore it is typically used as the main line. Most anglers add another length of additional “leader line”. This leader line is usually 1’-10’ long and consists of fluorocarbon or monofilament, so that it is less visible and wont spook the fish. A “leader line” can be added by tying a line to line knot.
Fluorocarbon line has recently become a very popular option for anglers. It is one of the more advanced types of line due to its physical properties and characteristics. Because fluorocarbon molecules are extremely tightly packed, the line itself is dense. It is extruded in a single strand method, and therefore offers very little flex. Thus it is extremely sensitive, allowing anglers to feel every little nibble.
The best benefit for spin casting with fluorocarbon line is that fluoro has a very low visibility underwater. It is nearly invisible to fish, and does not distort light passing through. Fluorocarbon has almost the same refractive index as water. This is a huge benefit for when fishing clear water and when targeting fish which are spooked easily.
Flouro is also very abrasion resistant, therefore it is a good option for when casting in areas with rocks and juts. Because fluorocarbon does not flex, it has great hooking power for solid hook sets.
However the trade off is that due to its dense characteristics, it holds line memory and will have a tendency to birdsnest. fluorocarbon line has a rapid sink rate, therefore it is great for throwing lures which require deep waters or pinning your bait along the bottom from a weightless presentation. However, it would not fair well with mid to top water lures that you want suspended in the water column.
There is a certain method to tying knots with fluorocarbon, before you finish cinching your knot, make sure you wet your line otherwise the knot is guaranteed to fail.
Fluorocarbon makes up about a quarter of the market, however it is roughly 50% more expensive than Monofilament.
Monofilament is typically the most affordable line out of the 3 categories. Monofilament line provides stretch, which is good for fighting fish. However this stretch means bites are not quite as detectable compared to using fluorocarbon or braided. Mono however retains very good knot strength, it also floats which provides good characteristics for mending or throwing top water lures as well as float fishing. Do keep in mind that mono deteriorates with exposure to UV light. However Monofilament is the most widely used line as it is suitable for a wide range of species.
Most experienced anglers will also attach a leader to the end of their line before tying a hook or lure. A leader is a short length of line roughly between 1 to 10 feet depending on their fishing methods, it should be a lighter test than the main line. The reason a lower test line is used as the leader is because of 3 reasons: Visibility to the fish, Abrasion resistance, and ability to break off when snagged.
Flourocarbon leader provides much better abrasion resistance than any other line, and is nearly invisible to fish. Making it a good choice for fishing in heavy structures and for fish with sharp teeth.
Monofilament leaders float, which make them a better option for fishing floating lures or topwater tackle.
Below Are A List Of Recommended Brands For Fishing
We have fished many different brands over the years, and there are a few that stand out for us the most. The factors which we looked at were how well a line casts, line diameter, knot strength finally how long of a life I can get with the line before it begins to deteriorate.