Fishing Braided Line
Braided line revolutionized fishing. Those who adopted it and learned to use it will never be caught on the water without it. But as with most things in life every positive hides a potential negative. Those who used braided line without learning how to truly fish it found these negatives can be extremely frustrating.
Aside from its strength one of the greatest qualities of braided line is the fact that it exhibits almost zero stretch. This makes it extremely sensitive, allowing subtle bites to be detected even at great depths. However, it also presents two potentially frustrating disadvantages. One, normal twitching and jigging actions can easily pull your bait far outside the strike zone. Two, it is unable to absorb any of the shock produced by a bite and instead transfers that energy to the rod increasing the chances of a broken tip.
In order to counter the possibility your lure will be jerked out of range you need to learn subtle rod movements and how they impact the lure. Practice in clear, shallow water or even a swimming pool if one is available so you can see as well as feel the reaction. Preventing the transfer of too much energy simply add a leader of monofilament which will act as a shock absorber – plus it reduces visibility which is another negative many anglers have learned to hate.
Although braided line appears as if it would be much rougher than monofilament its composition makes it extremely slippery, far too slippery for many knots to hold. What looks like a strong knot, and would be with any other line, simply slides free. Of course this is easily overcome as well. Start by using a knot designed to tighten under pressure, such as an improved cinch knot and then increase its reliability even further by adding additional wraps, a short tag line or even a drop of super glue.
Even those anglers who overcome the functional draws backs still find one more hurdle between them and full conversion to braided line – the cost. It can be much more than even the best monofilament, often several times more. When fishing large capacity reels over trying to outfit several different reels this extra cost can really add up. Luckily, it will not need to be replaced as often. Even braided line which has been placed under heavy strain or appears worn retain much of its original strength, so the ability to keep using after monofilament would need to be replaced off sets some of the cost. A trick to save even more is to reduce the amount of braided line needed by using monofilament as a backer, filling the first quarter of your spool with it before tying in the braided line.
As you use braided line on a regular basis you will likely pick up on other potential disadvantages, but you will also learn how to overcome these as well. It definitely has a place in any tackle box and if used properly it will find its way into your regular arsenal as well.