Choosing the Proper Line
Way back when fishing on Alabama Gulf Coast’s fishing was in its infancy, anglers had very few choices when it came to fishing line.
Back in the 50s, that line was made of Dacron. Monofilament finally came along and gave anglers a much wider range of line weights to target different fish species.
In the late 80s another innovation added braided line, called Spectra or Dyneema, depending on where it was manufactured.
Nowadays, anglers have unbelievable arrays of fishing lines to choose from, including the so-called superlines that are thermally fused, etc.
The near zero stretch of lines made with Spectra or Dyneema changed fishing for many people because the line transmits every nibble to your hands, which means you miss fewer bites. It, however, makes the anglers consider drag settings carefully because the lack of stretch can often rip the hook out of the fish’s mouth if the drag is not set properly.
One braided line, Power Pro, set the standards for saltwater anglers, and the brand dominated the braid market for many years. Power Pro designed its Spectra line to feel smooth to the touch, which means this line won’t cut your guides, and with less friction it will cast farther. It will also enhance knot performance and will lay better on the spool, which will also help increase casting distance.
Another braided line, Tuf-Line XP, incorporates aerospace technology to make what it considers a better braid. The line is braided under high tension to make the line more compact with a rounder profile than the competition. This construction is smaller in diameter, offers better knot performance, longer casts, reduces rod tip wraps, packs better on reels and has a higher abrasion resistance. A proprietary coating is permanently bonded to the fibers for longtime usage with no shedding.
Momoi’s Hi-Catch Diamond line is one of the most popular monofilament lines on the Gulf Coast. The tougher finish offers superior abrasion resistance for extreme conditions. New formulation offers tensile strengths up to 200 percent of stated line tests for the same diameter line. Superior knot strength and abrasion resistance are two of the most critical factors in choosing a monofilament.
When it comes to monofilament, Trilene’s Big Game has been around for long time. From tuna to tarpon, Trilene Big Game is specially formulated for reduced friction, it passes through the guides with little effort for longer, smoother casts. And it has the shock absorption to withstand hit after hit from big, hard-striking saltwater species.
Ande sells a popular monofilament line that is likely be found on many charter boats on the Gulf Coast. This medium-soft mono has a diameter as small as or smaller than comparable monos, but retains excellent tensile and knot strength. This smaller diameter enables your lures to track deeper, with less drag and cast much farther.
Another line innovation came when the copolymer line was introduced. A monofilament line is coated in polymer to make the line tougher. P-Line CXX X-Tra Strong Copolymer is designed to deal with the roughest structure and strongest fish because of its abrasion-resistant coating and high break strength.
Berkley’s ProSpec Professional Grade is a premium copolymer monofilament also designed to withstand the abuse dished out when you’re in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico and the hard-fighting fish are biting. Thin diameter means smooth casting high-impact strength to tackle those big fish.
Leaders used to be a big topic of discussion among anglers until fluorocarbon was introduced. Seaguar produces leaders of all kinds, including the Big Game Fluorocarbon Premier Line, which is renowned for its near invisibility in the water, knot strength, abrasion resistance and UV resistance. Because its light refraction properties are the same as water, you can use a higher strength line for your leader without fish detecting it.
No matter which line you choose, anglers need to be mindful about how long a fishing line has been in use and change it out on a regular basis. Winter is the perfect time to spool new line on your reels. If you don’t feel like doing it yourself, take your reels to J&M Tackle or Sam’s Stop and Shop in Orange Beach, and they’ll do it for you.
Oh, and you can still buy Dacron line if you so choose.