It’s a complicated problem for anglers. What type fishing line should you be fishing with on your reels? Advancements in fishing line construction and materials used to make fishing line have resulted in an overwhelming number of choices for anglers from monofilament, fluorocarbon or braid.
It all started with braided Dacron lines. Somewhat similar to Dyneema or Spectra, braided Dacron lines allowed anglers to cast and catch fish, but limited the angler when it came to presentation of lures. Along with backlashes, only a few anglers could untangle.
Everything changed in 1939 when DuPont started marketing a nylon monofilament fishing line. Change, however, was slow because the early monofilament lines were extremely stiff making it hard to handle or cast on baitcasters and especially on spinning reels.
Nylon monofilament fishing line did have its advantages over braided Dacron lines and a growing number of anglers using it. DuPont decided to capitalize on the new fishing line and designed a new and improved version in 1959 with the brand name Stren. The newly developed fishing line was softer and thinner allowing it to be used on baitcasters and even on spinning reels.
Other fishing line companies, not surprisingly, were quick to jump on the bandwagon and produced versions of their own monofilament lines. Overwhelmed by the demand for specialized fishing line for certain fishing conditions and situations, fishing companies began to design and construct fishing lines from a number of other materials. Today, anglers can choose from monofilament, fluorocarbon or braided fishing line.
Although there are many choices the most popular fishing line today is monofilament. Its popularity comes from having an affordable price, availability, a wide spectrum of choices along with improved technology resulting in higher quality and performance. Monofilament is also manufactured and available in several different colors like white, green, clear, red, blue, fluorescent, high visibility yellow and other colors.
Monofilament fishing line is manufactured by melting polymers and mixing the compounds together then extruding the mixture in tiny holes. The result is strands of line extruded from the holes that manufactures spin on spools to sell anglers. A wide array of line diameter and line strength result from the mixing.
Anglers need to take in consideration several things when putting monofilament line on spinning reels. First is the line size appropriate for the reel. A small reel such as WaveSpin Reels Legend 250 (www.wavespinreel.com) is rated for 6 pound monofilament because it’s capable of holding enough line with its patent WaveSpin Spool design to fish lightweight lures. On the other hand, the WaveSpin DH 4000z is designed for monofilament lines up to 12 pound test for heavy lures or bait fishing.
Another consideration is how monofilament is put on the spool. The preferred way to reel monofilament line on the spool is so it comes off counter-clockwise. Fill the spool to within 1/8- to 3/16-of an inch from the spool edge as having too little or excess line will result in poor casting performance.
Putting monofilament line on this way will reduce line twist, however, there is only one guarantee to reduce tangles when using a spinning reel. That’s with WaveSpin Reels and its patented “Wave” spool. The spool has waves on the rim’s edge allowing the fishing line to skip from peak-to-peak letting the loops lie harmlessly down as line comes off the spool.
Other properties of monofilament fishing line include limpness, toughness, stretch, memory, diameter and strength. Fishing line manufactures take all of these properties when designing and producing monofilament fishing line. What type of monofilament line you need on your spinning reel depends on lure size, water clarity and abrasion resistance.
Two important properties when it comes to fishing line is line diameter and line strength. Line diameter is usually described in millimeters or fractions of an inch. On the other hand, line strength is amount of pull it takes in pounds to break the line.
Fluorocarbon fishing lines are manufactured by mixing polyvinylidene fluoride and other materials together. Similar to monofilament fishing line, fluorocarbon fishing lines are extruded through tiny holes to get strands of line. Unlike monofilament line, fluorocarbon fishing lines have the same refractive index rating as water making them less visible especially in clear water.
Benefits of fluorocarbon lines include invisibility under the surface, lack of stretch, abrasion resistant and extremely dense. However, there are disadvantages to fluorocarbon lines like weak knot strength, lack of stretch and brittleness. Depending on conditions, fishing with fluorocarbon line can be beneficial to catching fish, but due to the stiffness of the line not recommended for spinning reels.
On the other hand, braided fishing lines aren’t made by extruding a mixture of compounds, but by weaving or braiding fibers of Spectra or Micro-Dyneema together. Popularity has skyrocketed over braid line over the last few years. Although highly visible in the water, braided line popularity comes from having unbelievable strength in a low diameter line.
Braided line works well with baitcasters, but excels when put on spinning reels. The abrasion resistant, super limp line with a small diameter allows for longer cast while having ample line on. A good example is the WaveSpin Reels Legend 250. It’s rated for only 205 yards of monofilament while it can hold 300 yards of 20 pound test braided fishing line with the line equivalence of six pound monofilament.
In the end, an angler’s decision should be based on the conditions and situations when it comes to fishing line. There are benefits to each type of fishing line and using the right line will increase casting distance, reduce visibility, be more abrasion resistant and have better knot and line strength.
By Brad Wiegmann