FISHING LINES 101
Fishing line isn’t a flashy tool for fishing. It doesn’t feel perfect in the hand like a new reel or have the flashy designs of the latest fishing rods. But, fishing line is always the most important link between you and the fish. It doesn’t matter if you read the water right, pick the best spot, work your favourite bait like a pro and lure a strike. If the fish gets away due to line failure, then you’ve failed also.
Choosing the right fishing line for different fishing conditions, terrains, fish species and other factors is very important if you want to have a successful fishing trip. Fishing lines come in several types, and not all lines are created equal. Anglers now have a variety of choices for different applications. A line that works well in one situation may not work for another. To decide which one is right for your fishing needs, here’s a list of the basic lines and what they can and can’t do.
BRAIDED FISHING LINE
A braided fishing line is very strong for a given diameter, so you can pack more line on a spool at a given pound test. This means it sinks faster, casts farther and trolls deeper compared to other lines. Braided lines have no memory, so loops and twists won’t be a problem.
The good thing about braided lines is they don’t break down in sunlight, and they don’t stretch at all. You will feel every bump and nudge from a fish.
A braided line is slippery, so you have to use knots that can hold despite less friction. Since a braided line is very strong, you’ll have to carry nail clippers or very sharp scissors to cut it. Most anglers pair a braided line with a leader when fishing to help hide the line from the fish.
MONOFILAMENT FISHING LINE
Most modern anglers learn to fish using monofilament lines. Monofilament lines are the most popular type of fishing line today. It comes in a variety of strengths and colours. It is also less expensive than other lines. It stretches to absorb shocks and is abrasion resistant.
A monofilament line has uniformly round cross-section, which allows it to be kept neat on the spool. Monofilament lines are also easy to tie knots with but can suffer from ‘memory’. Memory is where line loops in the shape of the spool. A monofilament line is also not as strong as the braided line and is made of nylon, which means it breaks down over time when exposed to sunlight.
FLUOROCARBON FISHING LINE
The fluorocarbon line is relatively new to the line market. It gained prominence within the last decade. It has its own strong and weak points.
Fluorocarbon is made of dense and heavy material. It’s remarkably invisible underwater and has excellent abrasion resistance. Because it is denser than other lines, you’ll have less slack in the line. Fluorocarbon has low memory, though, which means it is excellent on spinning reels. Fluorocarbon can continue to shoot off the reel, causing a bird’s nest of at the end of a cast. Fluorocarbon is commonly used with baitcaster reels and is also great for leader material.
WIRE FISHING LINE
When fishing for toothy fish like mackerel and tuna, a wire fishing line is what you’ll need. Fishing on extreme terrain, with plenty of sharp rocks and similar objects, will also work best for wire fishing lines. Wire fishing lines come in a single strand and braided varieties. They can also be used for some types of trolling where reaching deep depths is important, but it requires specially hardened spools for the reels. In most cases, wire fishing line is only used as the leader line on the end of the main fishing line.
Every fishing opportunity, location and techniques have certain challenges. That’s why it is good to carry a variety of fishing lines to use in any particular situation. You will soon find out what works best for the way you fish, the locations and the type of fish you are after. As technologies develop, even more types of fishing lines have become available on the market. The above covers the basics and should give you enough information to choose what you need as a beginner.
Is there anything else a beginner needs to know about fishing line types? Share your experience below.