If you’re new to using braided fishing line, chances are some friend or fishing sage suggested using it to gain better feel and sensitivity for detecting light bites. But where do you start? Here are some quick tips to help your foray into braided line go smoother.
- Choose the right pound test: Braided lines have a much smaller diameter compared to monofilament lines, so you can use a higher pound test without sacrificing sensitivity. Select a pound test that matches the size of fish you are targeting and the conditions you will be fishing in.
- Use a leader: Since braided line is highly visible in water, it’s recommended to use a fluorocarbon or monofilament leader. The leader acts as a camouflage between the line and the bait, increasing your chances of a bite.
- Avoid sudden jerks: Braided line has very little stretch, so it’s important to avoid sudden jerks or hooksets that could lead to breakage. Apply steady pressure when setting the hook or fighting a fish to avoid putting too much stress on the line.
- Check for line abrasions: Braided line can be prone to abrasion, especially when fishing around rocks, submerged structures, or sharp objects. Regularly inspect your line for any signs of wear and replace it if necessary.
- Spool the line tightly: When spooling braided line onto your reel, make sure to do it tightly. This prevents the line from digging into itself and causing tangles or knots. You can use a rubber band or a layer of monofilament backing to improve line tension on the spool.
- Use a high-quality reel: A good-quality reel with a smooth drag system is essential for fishing with braided line. The lack of stretch in the line means that any sudden runs or jumps by the fish will be directly transmitted to the reel. A sturdy and reliable reel will handle these situations better.
- Adjust your drag setting: Since braided line doesn’t stretch, it’s crucial to adjust your drag settings accordingly. Set your drag slightly looser than you would with monofilament line to prevent break-offs when a fish makes a sudden run.
- Practice proper knot tying: Braided line can be slippery, making it important to use the right knots. Popular choices include the Palomar knot, the Improved Clinch knot, and the Uni knot. Make sure to cinch the knots down tight to ensure they hold properly.
- Consider line color: Braided lines come in various colors, including high-visibility options. When fishing in clear water or in situations where fish may be line-shy, consider using a low-visibility or camouflage-colored line to reduce detection.
- Use a line conditioner: Over time, braided line can become stiff and lose its smoothness. To maintain its performance, use a line conditioner specifically designed for braided lines. This will help reduce friction, prevent line memory, and extend the life of your line.
Remember to always check the regulations and guidelines of your fishing location and species-specific rules to ensure you’re using the appropriate line and techniques.