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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am getting more and more confused (not an uncommon experience) about what lines to use, on what rods, to do which kind of bass fishin'.  I have read article after article about all  the available lines and I am now more confused than ever.  I usually carry a flippin stick, three other casting rods and one spinning rod.  Before I invest in any more line, can someone out there give me a general rule of thumb. ???
 

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Braid for flippin', mono for spinning.. your choice on casting gear. Personally I still use mono on everything but the flippin stick. (when it comes to bass fishing)
 

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i have flourocarbon on for c. riggs, t. riggs, spinnerbaits, crankbaits,mono on my spining reels and braid for topwaterand flippin/pitchin
later
rich
 

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Otter, that's probably the biggest struggle we all go through until our choices meet our needs. I wasted money on many miles of line trying them all out, and boiled it down to 3 lines. There isn’t a safe “rule of thumb” that wouldn’t actually further complicate your task of choosing. Don't feel bad. My favorites have changed twice a year. For now the experimenting is over with.

My main concern is quality. I wasted most over going cheap for many years, pretty much out of necessity when I had a very large boat payment. I passed on having the best rods, reels, line, sounders, and paid dearly for that choice. You get what you pay for in fishing line. There's a mountain of it now made in China and other places that don't have the quality control needed to be premium line manufacturers. Line diameter isn't usually consistent in cheap line, too thick then too thin. Some made in Japan are rivaling American line. I look up line reviews and compare ratings given by experts testing line, reels, rods, etc.

Next, what type of line based on target species, assuming you are only considering black bass. That eliminates heavy weight, extremely tough line designed for saltwater. I use that for stripers and catfish here, but never bass. Braid is the most expensive, favored by many, as noted specifically for flipping at close range, but also for long casts over fields of thick vegetation. Such cover is usually coated with silt and is highly abrasive on line. But other types of line have abrasion-resistant models too. I believe braid is at the top for toughness, durability, and overall strength. I'm confident it will slice through the toughest weeds as long as I don't exceed the rod capability. Many of us don't fish such cover, not needing braid. It's highly visible to fish, isn't recommended for clear, clean water, needing a background of plant stems. In open water mono or superline like Fireline is usually sufficient. In ultra clear water and where bass are over-exposed to anglers, fluorocarbon, co-polymer, or hybrid line offer great “invisibility”. In stained to muddy water many lines come in a variety of colors for matching water color.

A critical factor is rod capacity. Never spool line exceeding the upper line test limit. You can sometimes go below the lower limit, but the rod will perform best in the recommended range. Using too-light line can result in problems like line tangling over the rod tip. List your rods and the load ranges. That narrows your line choices quite a lot.

Next list the recommended bait sizes. Those further narrow your choices, the lower bait size matching up with lower line test in the range, the heavier bait size matching up with heavier line rating, all within that stated range.

Another fine-tuning in all this comes from selecting a rod for a primary bait type, like a crankbait rod. You are attempting to find the just right rod you are comfortable with that will do what you have in mind. Once found, you are better off reserving that rod for either the larger or the smaller bait size, and spool on the smallest diameter line necessary to handle that bait size.

If you plan to cast the full range with that one rod, you’d need to compromise and select a line capable of handling that range, about mid range on line test rating. For instance, if the lure weight range is 1/4 - 5/8 and line weight is 8 – 14#, lots of folks cast the whole range on one size line, a reasonable mid weight being 12#. But that’s pretty heavy line for casting a 1/4 oz lure with much wind resistance and expecting a decent cast distance. So it’s best to decide which end of the lure weight range you mostly want that rod for. Imagine having to choose one line for a rod with a lure weight 3/8-1 3/8 oz and line weight range 12-25# :eek: You won’t likely cast a 3/8 oz lure on a mid weight of 18# more than a few yards, and not many fish would bite that small lure, easily seeing that heavy line. The lure wouldn't swim worth a hoot, either.

Well, there's some basics for chewing on. There's a lot more to be said about choosing line, but for now digest this.

So far my sweetheart mono line is Ande Premium for topwater (12#), and Sufix Elite (8-10#) for cranking, and Yo-Zuri Hybrid for clear water with all lure types. I mostly use the Yo-Zuri since the water here is usually very clear. I've tried out most every brand and those are the only ones I respool with now. Those are thin compared to rated line weight, handle very well, cast easy, and the Sufix digs deep to get crankbaits down to where I need them. I'll usually tie on some Seaguar Fluorocarbon leader in ultra clear water or after big tournaments have the bass spooked. When I use up the Seaguar I might try Sufix copolymer for leaders since I like the Elite so well, but have a large spool of Yo-Zuri Hybrid 15# that does the same job. It's a fluorocarbon coated mono for ultra clear water, and is a really good general casting line, 8-10#. I'll be adding their 6# line for drop shotting, and 12# for spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, etc. I like Power Pro, Spiderwire, and Seaguar 30# braids for heavy weed casting and pitching, 50# for flipping, each line having some differences and detailed applications. They're all good.

I use Stren 17# flourescent mono for night fishing with black light.

Jim
 

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At work we always tell each other KISS (keep it simple stupid) I stick with four line sizes and have went outside the box but have always come back to stren because of its consistancy to be what it says it is. I like 8#12#17#&20#. Last year I had this bright idea that because i was having to respool after every night tourny that I would use cheap line because I was only using it one time. Well I was wrong the crap isn't consistant in diameter and it is not very abrasive resistant so the money I saved in line was spent in time retieing after every 20 minutes or so and twice I had to respool entirerly in the dark by my self (fun fun).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I appreciate all the info. This will get me going and since I intend to purchase a couple of rods and reels later this winter, I will also pay closer attention to lure and line limits. This has been an interesting three years for me since I had been out of fishing for some 15 years and it is amazing the changes that have occured. Last winter I sold the ole stump jumping 14' flatbottom I had and bought an OLD Basscat with an OLD 120 Johnson and it definately has given me a lot of pleasure hittin' the lake again. My next dream is to talk my lovin' wife into letting me spend some more cash and get a little newer boat. Bottom line, the past three years have been great, caught a few goodins' on Dardanelle and Atkins this past year and I'm even looking at finding me a bass club and maybe fishing a tourny or two. Forums like this and folks like you guys are a great help.

Thank you ;
 

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Otter, I'd love to trade you a trip on the Lake of the Ozarks for a trip on Dardenelle. I fished there in 04 with crappiemasters but I came to my senses and now wished I would have bass fished it. I did catch the SH out of whitecats on a crappie jig every where there should of been a big old bucket mouth. Drew
 

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OK, I reread my post and I don't use stren and I don't like it, why I said that is still puzzleing me. I use Berkley big game in the sizes mentioned. (brainfart i guess) I am wanting to know if I am using the copoylmer line to the right application. I am jig fishing open shore line and light cover with the an40 ande silver thread that I bought on clearance for $2.50 a box. I love this stuff and when I went back so did someone else because they bought the whole shelf! What a bummer as this stuff is expensive. Does anyone have a good answer?
 
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Like Jim and others I have tried many different lines over the years and what used to be favorites are not even considered anymore haha. Years ago I used to love Silver Thread AN40. It seemed to be super tough. Then it sort of vanished from the market place then a couple years ago reappeared again so I bought some. Either my memory is bad or something changed about this line as it now has huge memory problems ie it coils like a pigs tail bad. I know in cold weather copolymer lines all pretty much coil up worse then mono does. Last time I used it it was pretty cold.

But like Drew, I keep going back to Big Game. Honestly for the money I have never used a better all around fishing line then Berkley big game. This stuff is cheap compared to other lines and yet performs very well for me.

Drew, if you like how AN40 handles while using your jig then I would say stay with it. BTW, our Wal Marts sell this stuff for fairly cheap.

One more comment on choosing the right line size for your specific rod application. Never undersize the line for the rod you are using as you will have allot of break offs. The rod will be too stiff for the line capacity when you set the hook and will snap it at the knot. So use the rod for it's intended purpose.
 

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I like P-Line for most fishing applications. Flouroclear is great, the new Evolution is :thumbup01: :dance01: :clap: :champion: . I wish they had big spools of this stuff. I am still expirimenting on mono, but Berkely Sensation is one of my favorites. I like big game for flipping, except into grass. Then I use braid- usually P-line spectrex 30-50lb.
 

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I only use a few lines and there isn't a panacea out there...yet.
65 lb Fins super braid for heavy swimbaits and pitching into heavy cover.
8 & 14 lb fluorocarbon, Sunline Siglon, 8 lb for spinning reels and 14 lb for casting.
25 lb for leaders on braid.
10 & 12 lb P-Line CXX, copolymer mono for casting.
10 & 12 lb Trilene Big Game, mono for casting, 20 lb for night fishing.
I am very fussy about line because it is the most important terminal tackle item you use every time out fishing. All the lines listed has very good knot strength.
If the lure is on or near the surface, I tend to use a floating line like braid or mono. If the lure is on or near the bottom, use a sinking line like fluorocarbon. The only exception is Big game and like it's casting characteristics and use it for all my deep diving crank baits and night fishing.
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, after my fishing trip Sunday, I stripped the Vanish off the only reel I had it on and it and the rest of the spool went into the trash. Needless to say, I personally hated it :cussin: :cussin: I now have YoZuri hybred on all my reels except for one that I have mono on and my spinning reel. This was the first time I used the YoZuri and it was great. When I can, I will probably purchase the YoZuri ultra soft for the spinning reel. Thumbs up for the Yo :thumbup01: :dance01:
 
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