In much of the country, braided fishing line has been extremely well received. Anglers have found that its easier to feel baits, get strong hooksets, and haul fish out of heavy cover. Despite the overall acceptance there are still a few places where it is viewed as overkill, accused of unreliability, and some fishermen even blame it when they're not catching fish. Even after decades of successful use some anglers still hold out.
I really believe the misconceptions about braid come from a lack of education. I remember sitting in a seminar listening to an angler talk about braid and genuinely believing he was lying to me. I've been there, I've felt it, so its easy to understand how some guys still make those same mistakes.
I filmed this video several years ago but the information is still so relevant. After several years of experimentation and on the water experiences I still agree with every word in the clip.
For those that are ready to learn, allow me to introduce you to how simple it is to make the transition to braided line. This is such a great topic we're going to break it down in to two parts. Today in Part 1 I'll discuss how to adjust your equipment. In Part 2 we will cover how to adjust your terminal tackle including an explanation of leaders, knots, and superline hooks.
Let's dispel some myths:
Most anglers are afraid that switching to braid will cost them a lot of money. Whether it be the actual cost of braided line, the cost of new rods/reels, or just some perceived expense, this is a real concern. Let me dispel it by saying, DON'T BUY NEW RODS. The gear you have is perfect for braid. Instead of buying new gear simply experiment with slightly softer rods for each bait category. (use a medium where you used to use a medium heavy, or a heavy instead of an extra heavy.) As for cost of braid, its often a non-issue because you may only spool a reel 1-2 times per year.
Another concern is that braid can only be used in murky water. This simply is not true. I've successfully fished braid (with and without a leader) in water with 20-40 feet of visibility. Its important that you understand each style of bait you're throwing. If the bass is keying on the bait (reaction) they generally will not be bothered by the visible line. If the fish is studying the bait before committing then visibility is an issue but can easily be solved by tying a leader of mono or fluorocarbon. In addition to concealing the line, the leader will also act as a buffer and shock absorber. Shock absorption is key to keeping fish hooked when the battle comes close to the boat.
Finally, braid isn't just for power fishing. While heavy cover is where braid found its niche, its expanded to every corner of bass fishing. Whether you're throwing a walking topwater like a Spook for suspended fish, or dropshotting 50 feet deep in a clear reservoir, braid will improve your catch rate. The line is extremely responsive, even over great distance. This allows you to feel more bites, set the hook more easily, and work baits without as much physical effort. The finesse applications for light braid are endless. The deeper the water, the lighter the lure weights, the more dramatic the benefits will be.
Making the transition can be a little scary at first but take the step. Choose a rod or two and take the leap! In part two I'll show you the knots you need to know, how to set up leaders correctly, as well as some quick tips on hooks to get you headed in the right direction. Its time to take the leap and experience what you've been missing!