A lot of anglers, especially weekend warriors, don’t think about their fishing line beyond the test weights. But if you spend time pursuing freshwater fish, this is a bit of “old school” thinking these days. Choosing fishing line for both proper pound-test and structure can mean the difference between catching freshwater fish like bass, walleye, or catfish, and losing lures or live bait to snapped lines.
Why fishing line choices matter
There are three types of fishing line on the market now, each with its own pros and cons. Because there are so many different freshwater fish and ways to catch them, it’s important to understand these differences between types of lines.
Monofilament fishing line is the older type that you probably have used most often, even exclusively. And it’s still very useful in a wide range of freshwater fish angling situations. So versatility is its biggest advantage. Its drawback is a characteristic called “line stretch,” which refers to how much it physically expands, length-wise.
To respond to complaints about the stretching of mono fishing line, braided lines were invented. They reduce this expansion, especially when fighting freshwater fish you’ve hooked. And they impart superb feel to you through the rod. The negative here is that they can be hard to tie knots with vs. monofilament.
The new breakthrough in fishing line technology is fluorocarbon filament. Among the advantages when going after freshwater fish: low abrasion, very thin and nearly invisible in water, and it sinks, allowing for deeper angling. The two negatives are: susceptibility to heat damage, and it tends to unravel from the spool, especially when you open a spinning reel’s bail.