Line recommendations

The single most important aspect of your tackle providing that vital link between yourself and your catch. What's everyone's favorites and why? Come on in and find out!
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Johnny A
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Line recommendations

Post by Johnny A » Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:06 am

How far above recommended line specs do you feel comfortable going?
I have a rod rated to 14lb, I was thinking about going to 22lb braid w/17lb leader. It's just for a test period, not for long term.
Thanks,
j

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Re: Line recommendations

Post by poisonokie » Sun Sep 30, 2018 8:36 am

It doesn't matter. Use line based on diameter, set your drag appropriately, and don't do anything stupid. With mono and fluorocarbon, I think you'll find a line weight right in the middle of the rod's rating is ideal. With braid, a line with that corresponding diameter will work best. So if it's a medium heavy rated for 10-20# line, use 15# fluorocarbon or 40# braid.
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Re: Line recommendations

Post by wirinhar » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:34 am

poisonokie wrote: With braid, a line with that corresponding diameter will work best. So if it's a medium heavy rated for 10-20# line, use 15# fluorocarbon or 40# braid.
X2

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Re: Line recommendations

Post by Johnny A » Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:38 pm

Okay, so a 22# lb braid = 1.5 or 2 is good with a flour/mono rating of 14 lb
Thanks

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Re: Line recommendations

Post by poisonokie » Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:06 pm

Yeah, the line is not going to break your rod. Buttoning down your drag with vise grips and whacking the hell out of it trying to free it from a snag or deadlifting/ boatflipping fish will. The rating is more a guide to determine the terminal tackle and techniques the rod (and guide train) are meant to handle. In my experience, most rods have a rating range bookended by line weights you would never use with that rod.

Back to the example of the versatile and cosmopolitan MH/F-XF 10-20# which is the cornerstone of most every bass angler's arsenal, anything you would fish with that rod would work best with 15# line, and depends mostly cover. You're going to be fishing Texas rigs, jigs and the like in moderate cover with medium wire hooks and a total weight from 3/8-5/8.

If you want to focus instead on 1/4-1/2 and will mostly fish light cover, then you would probably find 12# line to be the sweet spot for line weight. I have a MH/F that I use almost exclusively for 3.8 Swing Impact FATs with two 1/32oz nail weights on an Owner Twistlock 3x 3/0 hook. 12# line lends better action to the bait, casts further, and provides better feel so I know what's going on at the end of the line. I never need a very high drag setting, and 12# has plenty of strength to control big fish and pull them away from light obstacles while maintaining an ideal amount of stretch to protect lighter wire hooks from bending out when I choose to use them. If I was targeting bass in purely open water, I could go as light as 10#, but I wouldn't have confidence in the ability of the rod to protect it around any sort of cover, plus a lighter wire hook and a medium action 6-16# rod would perform better in open water situations.

Conversely, if you wanted to focus more on the 1/2-3/4 weight range and moderately heavy cover, such as pitching to vegetation or lighter brush, you'd probably want to go with 17# line for better line management with very little braking and high drag pressure, abrasion resistance, less stretch, and higher knot strength for harder hook sets, horsing the fish out of cover, and increasing your chance of getting your bait out of snags. You could up it to 20# if you wanted to, but any scenario that would require line that heavy would definitely be better managed with a heavy powered rod.

To save money on line and eliminate the guesswork, you really can't go wrong with always using 10# for M, 15# for MH, and 20# for H. If you have a setup best suited for something specific that would benefit from one of the in between line weights, awesome. In that case it sounds like you're really on to something. Some of the people who read this will say, "12, 15, 17, what difference does it really make," and for their fishing style the truth is it might make very little. However, I find that a step up or down in line weight can have consequences that are far from marginal, and two steps in either direction will make a profound difference. So much so, in fact, that I don't think there's a rod out there which can effectively fish lines across the full ten pound range it's rated for.

As far as braid goes, you're always going to have all the tensile strength you need, probably moreso, but you can't go too light because it will dig into itself under heavy drag pressure and won't provide the shock strength needed to ensure positive hook sets. That's why I think it rules for soft rods and lighter drag pressure, which is an excellent formula for hardbaits. Still, though, it's best to stick pretty close to a line diameter equivalent to the center of the rod's rating, with maybe one step down in diameter being ideal for hardbaits i.e 30# for a MH/R.

Finally, leaders are completely subordinate to your main line, so as long as you've chosen the appropriate main line, you can use any leader you want. The rod doesn't "see" the leader at all if it's heavier than the main line. It won't protect the integrity of a leader lighter than what the rod is rated for, but I don't know what purpose that would serve in the first place.

I realize this was really long winded and covered way more than you were asking about, especially since you already got your answer, but line is really the most crucial component of any setup. Obviously there are caveats to all this, which are that some rods are under or overrated and not all lines are created equal. Those outliers will take some experimentation, but hopefully this will save someone out there a headache when it comes to line selection. For the record, I prefer Seaguar Invizx or Abrazx and Daiwa rods.
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Re: Line recommendations

Post by BRONZEBACK32 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:51 pm

I run 20lb and 30lb braid on almost all my rods except my swimbait rod.

The only thing I adjust are the leaders used, and thats only for presentation.

Like above has mentioned, the right drag settings is more important.

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Re: Line recommendations

Post by Johnny A » Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:33 am

Thanks guys for your input. After 40+ years of heavy veg, tannic water and pickerel teeth to contend with, I feel like I'm fishing in a swimming pool. It's not all dialing down though. Had to move up to 22lb Armillo for topwaters and from 7lb Shooter for finesse.
It's been a learning experience, maybe a relearning experience. You should try it some time.

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Re: Line recommendations

Post by DavidSA » Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:49 am

fished mostly mono and then FC in relatively clear KY lakes for years. Had 50# braid on one rig and no confidence.
Fishing 30# braid in Florida now for about 10 years I have transferred it to my KY lakes with no impact. My theory- I can't see the crap (downside of light braid) and I don't think fish can either. I don't bother with a leader but you have to watch breaking off in the hookset if no leader.

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Re: Line recommendations

Post by HobeyBaker » Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:31 am

Was at a seminar earlier this year that Seth Feider was giving. Someone asked him about line and he said he uses 30 lb braid on all of his baircasting setups and 10 pound braid on his spinning. I went that way this summer and liked it. Cuts down on costs with only using flouro leaders.

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Re: Line recommendations

Post by DirtyD64 » Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:11 am

I use almost all fluoro (2 of 9 braid) for baitcasting, then all braid spinning. I agree with the comment about drag, you can use 100lb braid on a ML if you want, the drag is more important for rod safety. I have used 50lb braid on a casting rod rated for 12-25lb "line" just fine though, and that is with a tighter drag. I assume because the reel used puts out about 13lbs of pressure, then that is about the maximum tension the line could deliver. Considering the reel wasn't locked nearly all the way down, then even with 50lb braid I figure I was only putting about 8-9lbs of force at most due to the drag having some give.

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Re: Line recommendations

Post by Johnny A » Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:37 am

DavidSA wrote:fished mostly mono and then FC in relatively clear KY lakes for years. Had 50# braid on one rig and no confidence.
Fishing 30# braid in Florida now for about 10 years I have transferred it to my KY lakes with no impact. My theory- I can't see the crap (downside of light braid) and I don't think fish can either. I don't bother with a leader but you have to watch breaking off in the hookset if no leader.
Only reason I use a leader is because braid has no intrinsic sensitivity. That's not important when you're fishing topwaters or crankbaits. I think it's very important when you're pitchin' or using bottom contact baits. You miss bites, I think.

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Re: Line recommendations

Post by hoohoorjoo » Sun May 05, 2019 8:54 am

Johnny A wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:37 am
DavidSA wrote:fished mostly mono and then FC in relatively clear KY lakes for years. Had 50# braid on one rig and no confidence.
Fishing 30# braid in Florida now for about 10 years I have transferred it to my KY lakes with no impact. My theory- I can't see the crap (downside of light braid) and I don't think fish can either. I don't bother with a leader but you have to watch breaking off in the hookset if no leader.
Only reason I use a leader is because braid has no intrinsic sensitivity. That's not important when you're fishing topwaters or crankbaits. I think it's very important when you're pitchin' or using bottom contact baits. You miss bites, I think.
Seriously, you think braid isnt more sensitive than mono or flouro? I have actually had to slow my reactions down since Ive went almost exclusively to braid. It is TOO sensitive imo. When I first went all braid, I was whiffing on a lot of fish, light bites that I just wasnt feeling before. Swing and a miss....so I started a slight hesitation when I felt a bite. It was hard to re-train myself, but I hardly ever miss a bite now, and I'm firmly convinced the braid makes the difference.
Try not to let your mind wander. It is much too small to be outside unsupervised.

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Re: Line recommendations

Post by Johnny A » Sun May 05, 2019 10:22 am

hoohoorjoo wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 8:54 am
Johnny A wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:37 am
DavidSA wrote:fished mostly mono and then FC in relatively clear KY lakes for years. Had 50# braid on one rig and no confidence.
Fishing 30# braid in Florida now for about 10 years I have transferred it to my KY lakes with no impact. My theory- I can't see the crap (downside of light braid) and I don't think fish can either. I don't bother with a leader but you have to watch breaking off in the hookset if no leader.
Only reason I use a leader is because braid has no intrinsic sensitivity. That's not important when you're fishing topwaters or crankbaits. I think it's very important when you're pitchin' or using bottom contact baits. You miss bites, I think.
Seriously, you think braid isnt more sensitive than mono or flouro? I have actually had to slow my reactions down since Ive went almost exclusively to braid. It is TOO sensitive imo. When I first went all braid, I was whiffing on a lot of fish, light bites that I just wasnt feeling before. Swing and a miss....so I started a slight hesitation when I felt a bite. It was hard to re-train myself, but I hardly ever miss a bite now, and I'm firmly convinced the braid makes the difference.
I didn't say braid isn't more sensitive. I said, braid does not have the intrinsic sensitivity of Flouro or Mono. If the braid is not taut, as in if the braid is limp between rod tip and bait, it's not as sensitive. It doesn't transmit vibration well. As the line becomes taut, the sensitivity, the transmission increases.
Are you understanding the point I'm trying to make? I'm trying to be clear and sometimes I have a problem with that.

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Re: Line recommendations

Post by poisonokie » Sun May 05, 2019 1:20 pm

Braid has excellent taut line sensitivity because it doesn't stretch and transmits all the vibration, but very little slack line sensitivity because it's limp and low density. Fluoro has good taut line sensitivity and excellent slack line sensitivity because it's stiff, dense, and has a crystalline structure.
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Re: Line recommendations

Post by hoohoorjoo » Sun May 05, 2019 6:07 pm

Johnny A wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 10:22 am
hoohoorjoo wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 8:54 am
Johnny A wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:37 am
DavidSA wrote:fished mostly mono and then FC in relatively clear KY lakes for years. Had 50# braid on one rig and no confidence.
Fishing 30# braid in Florida now for about 10 years I have transferred it to my KY lakes with no impact. My theory- I can't see the crap (downside of light braid) and I don't think fish can either. I don't bother with a leader but you have to watch breaking off in the hookset if no leader.
Only reason I use a leader is because braid has no intrinsic sensitivity. That's not important when you're fishing topwaters or crankbaits. I think it's very important when you're pitchin' or using bottom contact baits. You miss bites, I think.
Seriously, you think braid isnt more sensitive than mono or flouro? I have actually had to slow my reactions down since Ive went almost exclusively to braid. It is TOO sensitive imo. When I first went all braid, I was whiffing on a lot of fish, light bites that I just wasnt feeling before. Swing and a miss....so I started a slight hesitation when I felt a bite. It was hard to re-train myself, but I hardly ever miss a bite now, and I'm firmly convinced the braid makes the difference.
I didn't say braid isn't more sensitive. I said, braid does not have the intrinsic sensitivity of Flouro or Mono. If the braid is not taut, as in if the braid is limp between rod tip and bait, it's not as sensitive. It doesn't transmit vibration well. As the line becomes taut, the sensitivity, the transmission increases.
Are you understanding the point I'm trying to make? I'm trying to be clear and sometimes I have a problem with that.
I get what you're saying now. You referred to less sensitivity while pitching and bottom contact stuff. That sort of confused me, because I don't usually have slack line when I fish either of those techniques.
Try not to let your mind wander. It is much too small to be outside unsupervised.

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