Back to the future: A case for the new high tech low stretch fishing lines. By Dr. Bogus
Remember the good old days with Dacron polyester by DuPont? “Better living through chemistry.” Right? Dacron kites, boat sails, rope and remember braided Dacron fishing line? Yes they still make braided Dacron fishing line and all the rest, but now the tackle shops’ shelves are filled with a host of high tech fibers that make up a contemporary list of no stretch or low stretch fishing lines. Exotic names like Spiderwire, Fireline, PowerPro and such. What do they do? Are they better than “mono”? Are they worth the added co$t? Good fishy questions. All I have to say is, “try it, you’ll like it!!” So what DO they do? Fishing is a tactile sport. You cast, you feel, you jerk, you reel, you hopefully catch. Reacting appropriately to touchy, feely cues is an important part of successful fish catching. The more information (tactile input) you have the more fish you will catch. These low stretch lines in fact, are what the advertise. Did you ever feel a fish on the end of your line, and wonder just what he is doing? Ok, so with spot or blow toads or bluefish this is not so critical. They pull, you pull back and viola you have a fish, but how about that finicky pounder flounder or the subtle speckled trout. Conventional monofilament is like a rubber band, your baited weighted line is stretched with your line in the water, and when you pull it stretches more before it responds with a hook set. It also stretches when the fish bites or strikes. Low stretch lines have virtually no line stretch when stressed. This means that you get what you feel and you feel it NOW. How would you like to feel the heartbeat of a Rat-L-Trap lure, a flounder scraping the scales off your captured finger mullet or that mysterious nearly imperceptible bump of a citation speckled trout as he grasps your TT26 MirrOlure or lime green grub. This is the information age you know. Braided and linear non-stretch lines can provide you with more information and more fish as well. You feel faster, you set the hook faster, you catch more fish. The other big plus is their strength. These lines are very thin, very strong and very tough high tech fibers. You often see designations of line strength, versus the strength of mono line of similar diameter. For example, the PowerPro braided line I’m currently using for my trout fishing is rated as 20/6. This is a 20 lb. test line with the diameter equivalent of 6 lb. test monofilament line. Very thin, very strong and tough. Tips to maximize your braid and keep you out of trouble: 1) Careful to no overmatch your rod with higher strength line that rated (breaks) 2) Lighten drag to compensate for non-stretch (set to mono you would have used) 3) Use gentler hook-set, gentle sweep or wrist snap, don’t try to set hook and land fish in one motion!! 4) If hung-up, pull from spool to pull free or break off, NOT your rod or hands 5) Under fill spool (minimize snarls from loose line/coils, good for mono too) 6) Close bail manually to minimize loose coils and place line in bail roller (slip behind) 7) Raise rod tip to tighten line and remove loops. 8) Look for loose coils and cast and rewind tightly periodically through finger tips 9) If loop gets caught under line, pull line through roller do not open the bail and pull off of the top!!! 10) Use mono or fluorocarbon leader, braided lines are very visible.
20-pound test braid will tangle less than 10-pound test
Fishing with super braids, why, when and how.
1) What are super-braid fishing lines? a) Remember the original braided fishing line? Dacron polyester by DuPont. b) Today’s gel-spun polyethylene fibers make up the NEW braided fishing lines i) Fireline, PowerPro, Tuf Line, Sufix etc. ii) Not for casual user, took me 2-years to get comfortable with use and knots. iii) Alternatives, low stretch mono lines-coated/copolymers/fluorocarbon c) Advantages (why?) i) Smaller diameter for equivalent strength of mono lines (1) 30/12, 20/6, 15/4, 10/2, 8/1 (250/80) (2) Use of smaller lighter reels with same line capacity (extra line capacity) (3) Less water resistance, less weight needed for getting line to bottom or trolling (4) Better casting distance (5) Little or no line memory, good for cold weather use (6) Extra strength and abrasion resistance Easier to pull fish away from pilings etc. ii) Little or no line stretch (vs. rubber band stretch of mono lines) (1) 0 to 5% vs. 15 to 25% (20 feet/100 feet of line!) (2) Sensitivity, feel hat fish is doing, feel light hits (e.g. winter trout bump) (3) Quick hook sets (line moves the same distance as your rod tip) (a) Feel faster, hook faster, equals