Hello and welcome to another addition of “THE TACKLE BOX,” I’m Captain Jon Fetter of Catching the Cure Fishing Charters of Fort Myers Florida. This month I will discuss the in’s and out’s of fishing lines with regards to types. There are many types of fishing lines on the market today and can be one of the toughest decisions to make as a fisherman or women. Basically the types of lines are as follows; braided Dacron, braided nylon, ultra-thin braids, monofilament, and fluorocarbon. Each has their own distinct advantages and disadvantages. Most lines are made up of synthetic materials, either single strand (monofilaments) or multiple fibers (braid). I will discuss these types of lines and what they are used for and why in as basic terms as possible.
Braided Dacron is usually used for trolling in saltwater. It is thinner in diameter and has little if any stretch. Many fly fishermen are using this for backing on their reels. Braided nylon is a staple line for the diehard baitcaster and surfcaster fisherman. This is a softer line then monofilament and spools easier onto the low profile reels of today. This soft line decreases the possibility of backlashes. The only drawback of this type is that it is more expensive and usually thicker in diameter which means easier to see in the water. Ultra-thin braid line was introduced to fisherman in the early 90’s and has become a go-to line ever since. These lines are composed of many strands of synthetic fibers, usually polyethylene or Kevlar. They have almost no stretch, and the strength to diameter ratio is incredible. For example, these braided lines test as strong as monofilaments lines up to three times their thickness. This is a great feature for those who fish around structure and need increased line capacity. Monofilament line is referred to as the gold standard of fishing lines. These lines are great for spinning reels because of the flex of the line. This allows for better casting performance i.e. distance. Mono as it is referred to is also used for trolling both in salt and fresh water and baitcasting. This is the least expensive of all the lines and is used for leader material as well. Fluorocarbon is another fairly new product on the market that is used widely by all fishermen. This line is made from polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) and is basically a monofilament line. Fluoro is much more abrasive resistant and tougher than mono and nylon. It is also considerably less visible in the water which makes it great for leader material. It is however much more expensive and sometimes harder than other lines. There are also some line manufacturing companies that have blended these fluorocarbon lines with other synthetic materials to make cheaper and more flexible lines.
Let’s take a closer look at braided lines versus monofilaments. There is a major decision faced by all fishermen today; which type of line should I use? Really there is no answer, both have very good applications and each fisherman has to decide on their own.
There is no doubt that the modern braid lines have the appeal of strength to diameter ratio. They are three to four times the breaking strength of monofilaments of equal diameter. Thinner lines means longer casting distances, faster sinking rates, and greater reel capacity. But the main advantage is probably strength, which means greater abrasion resistance and fewer fish lost. Another quality of braided lines that appeals to anglers is lack of stretch. This allows the fisherman to feel more bites from softer biting fish and better hook-set’s.
There are a few disadvantages of braided lines. The biggest one is probably the cost. It has however been decreasing since it as introduced onto the market, but will never reach the point of monofilament line. Braid line also can dig into the spool if wound on to tightly or during a fight with a large fish or tightened drag. The other problem with braid is its weight. Because it is very light it has a tendency to get wind knots following casting especially into the wind. These can be a nightmare to anglers and waste valuable fishing time trying to remove them. The easiest way to counteract this is to manually close the bail with your hand after each cast and apply light tension onto the line as you reel. Finally a word of caution with braided lines. They are very strong and have been known to injure angles when trying to pull knots tight or are fingering the line while free lining live bait. Braid can cut you to the bone before you even realize it. So be careful.
Well hopefully I have provided you with some basic knowledge of the various types of fishing lines available to you. Like everything else the angler must decide on what is best for them in terms of application. I use both monofilaments and braided lines for my fishing. There are times when I want the stretch and times when I don’t. Since a majority of my fishing is live bait and around structure, braided lines is the only way to go. I do however use fluorocarbon leaders for all my fishing. They are less visible, provide some stretch, and are stronger than regular monofilament.
Until next time, this is Captain Jon Fetter and “May Everyone Enjoy The Fishing As Much As I Do! Screaming Drags!!!”