Alabama Gulf Coast fishing

Start the Fishing Year with New Line: Avoid Fishing Line Failure in 2021

Nothing causes more disappointment for anglers on the Alabama Gulf Coast than losing a fish because of line failure. 

Fishing line can become brittle or frayed after a season of fishing, which makes spooling your reels with fresh line a good idea each new season.

Choosing Your Fishing Line for a Successful 2021 Catch

New fishing line


Fishing line has come a long way since the Dacron lines of yesteryear. Monofilament line was a breakthrough many years ago and is still used in many applications.

Monofilament line has a little stretch, which can come in handy when you hook a fish that doesn’t have a tough mouth, like a speckled trout. That also applies if anglers prefer stiffer rods with medium heavy actions. The stretch in monofilament offers a little forgiveness if you set the hook a little too briskly.

A fluorocarbon revolution happened a couple of decades ago with the introduction of the line that becomes almost invisible in the water. Most of the time, it’s absolutely essential to use a fluorocarbon leader because of its abrasion resistance and low visibility. As technology progressed, fluorocarbon line has become a lot more flexible than the original stiff products. Now, it’s hard to tell the difference when casting 10-pound-test fluorocarbon compared to the same size monofilament. Fluorocarbon line has less stretch than monofilament and can be a great option when using medium or medium light rods.

Naturally, line manufacturers have continued to innovate their products and combined the best of both worlds. Berkley’s FluoroShield is a fluorocarbon-infused nylon co-polymer line that provides added abrasion resistance while still achieving an optimized casting distance on either spinning or baitcasting reels. Berkley FluoroShield, which won the ICAST (fishing’s ultimate trade show) best fishing line award in 2020, combines the manageability of monofilament that many of them rely on with the abrasion resistance of fluorocarbon.

Teen fishing on the Alabama Gulf Coast

Another option that many anglers are using is braided lines, which are mostly made of braided Spectra fibers. Power Pro was one of the first companies to produce braided fishing line and it has a significant following.

I have Power Pro spooled on several of my inshore fishing reels simply because of the sensitivity of the line. You can feel every nibble or soft strike. Many strikes that I might miss with monofilament, I can feel with the braided line and set the hook. One word of caution, though. Braided line has almost zero stretch, so make sure you have your drag set properly with a suitable fishing rod with a little flex in the tip.

Most of my experience has been inshore fishing. Therefore, if you’re headed offshore with your own equipment, I recommend you head to one of the several quality bait and tackle shops on the Alabama Gulf Coast, like J&M Tackle, Sam’s Stop and Shop or the Rod Room, to get their advice. They also have bulk spools of a variety of fishing lines. They will charge you only for the line that fills the spools of your reels with the proper line for the species of fish you’re targeting.

When it comes to the size of fishing line, I know a few anglers who will use a 4-pound test when fishing for whiting in the surf. You’ll get more bites using small lines at the risk of losing a fish or two.

My inshore reels are spooled with 10- to 15-pound-test lines, depending on where I’m fishing. If there is little structure in the area, I’ll go with a light line. If I’m fishing structure with barnacles, I’ll move up in line size.

Spool up with fresh fishing line and get ready for a new year of fishing on Alabama’s beautiful Gulf Coast.


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David Rainer Blogger
David Rainer (2 Posts)
David Rainer has written about the great outdoors on the Alabama Gulf Coast for more than 20 years. For 14 of those years, he covered the many fishing opportunities on the Gulf Coast as outdoors…