Line Up To Catch More Fish
It's early in the fishing season. Wise anglers are checking the line on their reels to make sure it's in fish-catching condition. It's important to remember that our line is the only thing between us and the fish: If we want to increase our odds of landing a trophy, we need to have good line on our reel. But in addition to good line, we need the right line. Different lines have different qualities. By considering what we're looking for in a fishing line, then selecting a line with those qualities, we can increase our odds for fishing success. Here are some ideas for selecting a line to go fishing with.
In the not-so-distant past, monofilament line was the primary line type. Now, in addition to a bunch of different types of monofilaments, we have Superlines, fluorocarbons, and hybrids. All have features that might be better for a particular fishing technique.
For many types of fishing, mono is still a great option. If you're going to be jigging or rigging or slip-bobbering for walleyes or panfish, four, six, or eight pound test mono will do a great job. Trilene XL, XT, or Sensation are proven winners. XL is super-easy to handle, XT is a little tougher if you're going to be fishing near rocks or other types of snags, and Sensation is very sensitive. You won't go wrong with any of these for finesse presentations.
Fireline fits in to the superline category. It has no stretch and super strength and sensitivity. It looks different than monofilament, and this difference in appearance creates a concern among some anglers that the fish can see it. For faster moving baits like crankbaits, this doesn't need to be a concern: The bait is moving fast enough that line visibility doesn't matter. If you want the increased sensitivity and hooksetting ability of Fireline, but think that the appearance of the line might spook the fish, tie a two foot monofilament leader to it. Now you have sensitivity and invisibility.
About line visibility: Some lines are available in Blaze Orange or Solar. These bright lines make it easier to see your line, so you can see bites better. They also make it easier to tie lures on. Again, some anglers wonder if the fish can see them easier and cost you bites. I've used these bright lines and shared a boat with anglers using the easy-to-see lines. I've never seen a time when the bright lines cost us bites. The fish don't care.
However, if you want to be sure the fish don't see your line, fluorocarbon lines are the way to go. Fluorocarbon lines such as Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon offer other advantages, but invisibility seems to be what most anglers are looking for.
Something new is NanoFil. It looks like a Superline, but has some monofilament tendencies. It casts better than any line you've ever used and is super-sensitive. Interesting stuff that merits more research on my part. In fact, that's what I'll do right now: I'll go out and do some research. That means I'm going fishing. If you're going fishing sometime soon, increase your chances for success by using good line that's appropriate for your style of fishing.