Super braid lines have been a revolution within sea angling circles, and no where more than when fishing lures for bass. Many anglers, especially those new to lure bass fishing, are understandably suspicious of the advantage of braid due to the far higher cost in comparison to normal monofilament lines. So what are the advantages and is the higher cost of braid justified?
The ultra thin diameter of braid lines in comparison to mono carries several major improvements over mono. Firstly 20lb braid is about the same diameter as an average mono line of about 6 to 8lbs. With braid having a lower diameter than mono, this means it will cast further as it offers less wind resistance. Also, being thinner in diameter, it means that you can vastly increase the spool capacity of a typical 3000 or 4000 sized spinning reel compared to when using mono line of the equivalent breaking strain. Thirdly the thin diameter also creates less resistance in the water when retrieving lures.
Another plus point with braid is that due to the low diameter, a 20lb or even 30lb braid line can be used instead of 12 or 15lb mono. If the lure becomes snagged in weed or even rocks, the extra power of the heavier breaking strain braid lines means fewer lures are lost. This in itself justifies the extra cost of the braid lines as many plugs now cost between £6 and £10 or more. Save three lures over a season and the braid has cost you pretty much nothing!
Braid lines have next to no real perceptible stretch when put under pressure. The advantage with having no stretch is that when working lures the angler can put maximum movement in to the plug via the rod to make it behave like and mimic a dying or injured fish. However, monofilament lines do suffer major stretch, some as much as 20% or more over a given length, and this stretch hugely reduces the effective working of the plug by the angler reducing movement and making the angler work far harder to achieve the same result.
When a bass, or any other fish, hits the lure, the non stretch braid also puts maximum power through to the hooks resulting in a far higher hook up ratio than when using mono. The stretch in mono often sees bass “bounce” off the hooks and escape. This is why good bass plugging rods are built ultra fast taper, especially in the upper mid section down to the butt to maximise that power applied by the non stretch braid direct to the lure.
Braid lines also increase the feel that travels up the through the line, down through the rod and in to your hands. You can feel the lure lightly touch weed or bump a rock, and more importantly you can also feel when the lure is working perfectly when retrieved at the absolute correct speed in coordination with the hand and wrist to impart life in to the lure.
What’s more is that braid will last way longer, on average, than mono lines will and does not suffer as much as mono does from light exposure which can dramatically weaken a mono line.
As you can see there are numerous advantages in using braid, and no real disadvantages. Without doubt the increased cost of braid over mono for most lure fishing techniques is more than justified and will dramatically increase you catch rate due to its effective properties when working lures, be they surface poppers, shallow or deep divers and spinners.
In my next blog we’ll look at the correct method to load braided lines on to fixed spool spinning reels, as this is key in getting the very best performance from super braid lines.