I REMEMBER BACK TO THE DAY WHEN YOU HAD TWO CHOICES OF FISHING L I N E — monofilament and braided Dacron. My grandfa-
What’s My Line?
Matching the Right Line to Fishing Conditions 14
W h a t ’ s
L i n e ?
ther’s braided Dacron was thick, black and tough but definitely short on finesse. My Dad’s new-fangled monofilament was clear and ﬂexible, better suited for ﬁshing live baits, jigs and small or lightweight lures. Basically, it was Old School vs. New School. Dacron was on the way out. Mono was the line of the future. Fast forward to today and line choices have become vast and confusing. So many brands.Too many types. What’s an angler to do? Tell you what. Let’s boil down the confusion to four basic line categories and discuss their strengths and weaknesses. That way, you can match your fishing lines to the tactics you’re using and feel pretty comfortable that you’re getting the most out of your selections. First, a couple of ground rules.This feature is not about brand names, but about line types or categories.There are many brands of line on the market. I would advise caution about buying inexpensive bulk spools of “discount” brands, and suggest sticking with major, familiar name brands that are available just about everywhere fishing tackle is sold. That way, you can be assured of getting maximum performance for your investment. Monofilament Lines Monofilament or “mono” lines originated in the late 1950s and were extruded from nylon. DuPont Stren became famous as a general-purpose line with an all-purpose blend of properties like ﬂexibility, knot strength, break strength, castability, durability, etc. Later, line formulas were tweaked to create lines that were geared toward either finesse or toughness, leading to Berkley’s immensely popular Trilene XL and XT. In more modern times, line formulations have escalated into a Rubik’s Cube of confusing properties and formulations that bewilder anglers with scientific terminology. For simplicity’s sake, we’ll focus on two main monofilament types: Finesse and Tough. Beyond that, feel free to experiment with lines enhanced to favor some blend of properties, be they mono, copolymer, co-filament or some other space age technology. Just remember the general rule: all extruded mono lines have a combination of properties and the more that companies tweak line formulas to favor one or two characteristics, the more risk there is of other characteristics diminishing or suffering. Finesse monofilament is thin, supple and resists forming those aggravating kinky loops (called memory) when it comes off your reel, making it ideal for fishing on spinning reels and for fishing in cold weather or ice fishing. It casts lightweight or small lures well and excels for all forms of finesse presentations — from jigs and livebait rigs to bobber fishing. Anglers immediately equate it with walleye,
Published on Mar 12, 2013
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