With the multitude of variety on the market these days in fishing line, it has anglers questioning if their current choice in line is the correct one.
Most anglers grew up fishing plain old mono-filament, similar to myself, with some graduating to braided when fishing for pike, bass, or the occasional walleye. Then came along Fluorocarbon, which was originally used for most as a leader material, but in the past decade or so fluorocarbon has become the first hand line used on most spinning and casting reels.
But what are the advantages and disadvantages to each line? Here is a quick break down of each;
Mono-filament has been around for more than 50 years and was just about the only line that bass anglers used for most of the time. It was very castable,
not as visible to fish and it floats. It was the obvious choice for most floating baits. The stretch of the line was also more than braided which some might argue
as good or bad.
Mono-filament line is very useful when fishing top water baits as it doesn't sink and is not very visible. But what a lot of anglers don't know is that mono-filament
line can be used for treble-hooked lures such as lipless crankbaits or diving crankbaits. Since the line is also stretchable this will help prevent the fish from "throwing" the lure out of its mouth.
Braided lines have also been around as long if not longer than mono-filament lines even though most of us grew up using mono-filament. The obvious advantages of braid are it's incredible strength despite the small diameter of braided line. Having no stretch also makes it extremely castable. The biggest disadvantage is the lines visibility for fish while in the water, although with heavy cover or low light visibility it probably doesn't make much difference.
Braided line is very useful when fishing heavy cover for bass as it has little stretch which allows you more "pull power" when trying to hoist the big fish from the slop. It's ideal for flipping heavy cover and can be paired with a mono-filament or fluorocarbon leader to allow for some added sensitivity.
As stated above, fluorocarbon has mainly been used as a leader material and just recently became more popular among casual anglers as well as avid. The big advantage to fluorocarbon is its invisibility and lack of stretch. It has the same refractive qualities of water making it much harder to see underwater, and although it has stretch like mono-filament line it is more sensitive than mono-filament allowing the angler to feel more bites. One of the very few disadvantages to it is that it does sink, making it a poor choice for floating lures. It's great though to pair with a light weight worm if you're looking to get the plastic to the bottom more without adding weight. It also can get nicked up in heavy cover.
Fluorocarbon is also extremely useful when paired with crankbaits or jerkbaits as it has tremendous castabality with very little stretch. It has the added "sensitivity"
factor that you dont always get with braided, unfortunately it doesn't have the strength. Fluorocarbon works well when paired with braided as a leader, it mixes the best of both worlds. Just be careful as it does get nicked up in heavy cover.