Let's Talk Line

By Dave Shindler, SFT Pro-Staff, Guide September 14, 2016

Many fishermen take line for granted. Considering it’s one of the most important links in getting that fish lured, hooked, and landed this is a major mistake. So we’re going to focus in on this critical component and talk about weight, techniques, and types. Personally, I use Gamma’s Copolymer, Gamma Edge Fluorocarbon, and Power Pro lines on an everyday basis.

Line Size

The size of your line is a critical factor in your ability to lure a fish to eat your bait. Line size can also make a considerable difference in how your bait works and how deep it will run. For example, 17lb test has more resistance in the water than 10lb. The extra resistance of the 17lb would help keep a topwater bait working properly on the surface, but would hinder a deep diving crankbait from reaching its full depth potential. Using a smaller size line could make a jerkbait dive an extra foot. By adjusting your line to get to a particular height in the water column can put you jig right where the fish are feeding. Some would even say that the depth of your bait is more important than the exact bait being used. Line size should also be matched to your individual rod and reel combo for optimal performance.

Lines of Specific Techniques

Using different lines for certain types of baits and techniques is critical to a solid fishing strategy. To help you we’ve created a few suggestions on the type of line and technique to use when catching fish. This will help you narrow down your line choices and avoid being overwhelmed at the tackle shop. These suggestions apply to all rods, reels, and lines and can be modified as needed.

Drive with a Driver

The Driver in this case are bigger and weightier lines. Flipping and pitching can be brutal on your gear which means you’ll definitely need a heavier line for these techniques. We suggest trying out the 65lb Daiwa J-Braid on a rod made for flipping. This combo can pull a big fish from anywhere they’re hiding. The braid is super sensitive and incredibly strong. We will note however, that in very clear water or where barnacles are present it may not be the best choice. If these are the conditions you’re fishing in try the 16 or 20lb Gamma Edge Fluorocarbon. This line is still super sensitive and more abrasion resistant than the braid. It is also less visible in clear water, making it the better choice for finesse flipping presentations.

Put with a Putter

The Putter refers to light techniques and baits that call for a strong smaller diameter line. These can include drop-shotting, shakey heads, and weightless worms. Without a doubt, these are where the 6lb Gamma Edge Fluorocarbon shines. The spool will last you a while, I’ve been using mine for over 2 months and it’s been put through the ringer.

Other Techniques

Both the above techniques are the two extremes of tackle selection. For more normal techniques line weight and make-up can vary as well. These can be a little more generic when it comes to choosing line and our suggestions are not set in stone.

Tube and small worms: 8lb Copolymer, 8lb Edge Fluorocarbon, or 20lb PowerPro with a 10lb Edge Flurocarbon leader

Sinking worms, drop shot, and shakey head: 6lb Edge Flurocarbon

Crankbaits and small spinnerbaits: 10-12lb Copolymer

Hard jerkbaits: 8-10lb Edge Flurocarbon

Topwater baits: 8-14lb Copolymer for small baits and14-20lb Copolymer for larger baits

We hope that our advice helps you remain more conscious of your line selection. Remember that every tool in your box has its own uses. Your line should be viewed as a tool to get your bait to the fish, and the fish into the boat. The next time you are out pay attention to how your baits performs with different lines and switch things up if you need to. Good luck on the water!

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