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  • Writer's pictureNew Wave Fishing Academy

Understanding Fishing Line

Updated: Dec 16, 2023

There are a number of different line technologies on the market today. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages that anglers can use to to their benefit. The three most prevalent types of line on the market today are braid, fluorocarbon, and monofilament. Check below to see a comparison of their properties and most ideal use:

Braided Line Properties

- Floats

- Highly Visible To Fish

- No Stretch

- Thinest Diameter For Line Rating

- Most Sensitive

Applications: Mainline, Weedy Applications, Jigs, Texas Rigs, Where sturdy hookset and lots of power is needed

Fluorocarbon Line Properties

- Sinks

- Invisible To Fish

- Some Stretch

- Moderate Diameter For Line Rating

Applications: Leader Material, Clear Water, Rocky Applications, Crankbaits, Jerkbaits,

Monofilament Line Properties

- Floats

- Visible To Fish

- Lots of Stretch

- Thickest Diameter For Line Rating

- Least Sensitive

Applications: Leader material, Stained Water, Topwater

Often times the most standard approach for anglers to use is a braided mainline with a fluorocarbon leader. This allows high degree of sensitivity as well as well as keeping the line out of sight from fish to help increase bites!

Aside from the type of line (material) selected anglers should also be aware of the impact different line ratings have on the behaviour and performance of their baits. In general as line rating is increased (Lbs test) the diameter of the line will increase. As diameter of line increases the buoyant force of the line increases due to the larger surface area! This has a few impacts on your baits. For one, baits that free fall through the water column will sink more slowly. Lipped baits will also dive less deep due to the added buoyancy of the line. If you are trying to get a crankbait down to a specific depth, or even just the rated depth, you may not be able to simply because of the line selected. Try decreasing the line rating to get a deeper dive or faster rate of fall.

As line diameter increases the impact of water and air movements on the line also increases. Smaller lines are more difficult for water to move as it cuts through the water more easily and through the air. Larger diameters will catch the air or water and slow down more creating more movement and reducing casting distance (especially in windy conditions). For monofilament and fluorocarbon lines the increase in diameter makes the line much more stiff. This can have an impact on the action of the bait if there are kinks or bends in the line as well as generally reduce the action of the bait. This can be great in cold water periods or when fish are inactive but in the warmer months when you want your baits to really draw attention this can be a negative effect.

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