Wondering what the best bass fishing line is? If you can only choose one kind, this is what it should be.
When it comes to choosing the best bass fishing line, anglers are often left scratching their heads. Tackle store shelves are lined with copious amounts of flashy packages, all proclaiming to be the hands-down winner.
There are three main players in the fishing line game – monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braid. Let me explain why the latter gets my seal of approval.
Tough Line for Tough Conditions
Largemouth bass inhabit some of the most snag-infested water imaginable. Winching them out from under boat docks, fallen trees, snarls of lily pads, or thick mats of slop, is not only a true test for your equipment—but most importantly your line.
Braid has virtually no stretch, no line memory, is abrasion resistant, and in terms of diameter to tensile strength, simply can’t be beat. For most bassin’ techniques out there, these are the qualities you need.
A quick glance at my rod rack validates that point. My frogging, flipping, worm, rip jigging, and spinnerbait rods are all paired with reels spooled with braided line. Same goes for the majority of my spinning outfits.
The only times I stray from braid is when tossing crankbaits and topwaters, or when drop shot fishing. The latter I will use a main braid line tied to a leader of fluorocarbon and the other two straight monofilament. Don’t get me wrong, if I had to I could go straight braid across the board. Catch rates might suffer for some of the more finesse-type techniques, but I would feel confidant that I could still catch fish.
But What Pound Test?
Next thing to consider when choosing braided line is the tensile strength. Here are some guidelines:
- Frogging – 65 lb
- Flipping – 50 lb
- Worms – 40 lb
- Spinnerbaits – 30 lb
- Rip Jigging – 12 to 15 lb
These line tests may sound high, but in terms of diameter, they aren’t. For example, on average 50 lb test braid is equivalent to 12 lb test monofilament. So, with braid you have the ability to use a stronger line that will be noticeably less visible to the bass.
What are the Shortcomings of Mono and Fluro?
Perhaps shortcomings isn’t the right word to use, but more so difficulties with these other lines. Both have line memory issues, will stretch, do not possess abrasion resistant quailities (monofilament), and diameter increases dramatically with line strength.
These are not all bad characteristics, and are actually preferred for some techniques. For tossing crankbaits and topwaters you want a line with some stretch – which monofilament will give you. For working finesse tactics, a nearly invisible line – such as fluorocarbon – is almost mandatory.
But overall, monofilament and fluorocarbon can’t compete with braid. Well, they can if you plan on fishing open water for the rest of your bass season.
I’d say we have a winner. Braid definitely gets the nod if only choosing one type of line to spool up with for bass fishing.
Give it a try this season and don’t shy away from the heaviest of cover. Bass live there and braid will help in getting them out.