Choosing the Right Type of Fishing Line

For an angler, there is no more important link to the fish than fishing line. Any angler who spends hundreds of dollars on a rod and reel combo is wasting money if premium line is not spooled onto it. All too often we as bass anglers look to cut costs in the wrong areas, and buying cheap fishing line is a major no-no.

One would be hard pressed to argue with the fact that PLine has gained the loyalty of a great number of Western anglers. Being the inquisitive sort I called Don Newman of PLine to ask some questions about what each of the lines were developed for, and what new products they would be launching this year.

No feature of a fishing line is more important than consistency, and Newman said that PLine fully understands that fact. "We purposefully make our line in small batches, so that we can test the quality more frequently," Newman said. "We make our lines in 5000 yard lots and we test the diameter and strength at both ends and in the middle." Newman said that the practice was designed to reduce inconsistencies in manufacturing. "We know if there is a bad batch before it even comes close to leaving the factory."

In bass fishing circles PLine is known for their mainstay product; CXX Extra Strong, and the copolymer line is perhaps their most versatile line "Extra Strong in moss green is our most popular product," Newman stated. "It will serve anglers well from top to bottom an anywhere in between." While Extra Strong is their most popular, there is other technology available. However, most anglers have yet to realize is that all of the available line technology does not fit the bill for a bass anglers’ entire repertoire.

"What most anglers don't yet realize is that there is no one line that will solve all of their problems," Newman exclaimed. "We have seen two significant advancement in the past ten years that are examples of this issue; braided lines and fluorocarbon." Think back to the release of Spectra superlines, and we can all recall knowing several people who made the switch to using braided line exclusively. Braided line turned out to fill gaps, but it was not the "answer" to all our fishing needs. It is perfectly suited for frog fishing, and topwater in general as well as flipping around weeds and tules, but does not handle rocks and wood because it has a tendency to cut.

The past few years have seen the popularization of fluorocarbon fishing lines because of its low stretch and low visibility; however, fluorocarbon was not necessarily designed for some of bass fishing's more aggressive techniques.

"Fluorocarbon is not the most abrasion resistant product," said Newman. “Most anglers apply it to all of their techniques without thinking it all the way through." Despite the desirable attributes of increased feel and low visibility, Fluorocarbon lines are best served in open water applications, where cover is minimal, and drags can be loosened. In other words, Fluorocarbon is better suited for dropshotting and darter heading than it is for flipping.

Another line that bass anglers flocked to originally was PLine's FloroClear, and Newman said that we were not considered as a viable market for the line. "FloroClear was designed for the trout crowd more than anything," Newman reported. "It is a very soft line, therefore, it has very little abrasion resistance."

For a line to be tough around cover, it must have a hard coating on the outside. That coating creates a stiff line that has a high memory factor that PLine is working to address with a new product. Every one of us has played with a new fishing line and made the comment that it "feels like wire" as we look at coiled ringlets coming off of our spools.

To address this issue, PLine has created a new version of CXX Low Memory, which I used on a recent smallmouth trip to the Umpqua River in Oregon. What I found was that the 8-pound test sample spool I had was that it was noticeably softer and more manageable than the original CXX, and had all of he strength that it is known for. What I did find is that I did retie more frequently due to rubbing against the rocks on the river. Overall I was very impressed with the line, and would use it again.

The other product that PLine is launching soon is a "floating copolymer." This new floating CXX Extra Strong will be perfect for topwater presentations, as it does not sink like other copolymers or fluorocarbon lines.

"There is not one line that will handle all aspects of this sport," he said. "We will continue to make PLine with the proper attention to quality, innovation and technology, it is up to the anglers to choose the line that is right for the situation they are in."

Having a high quality, dependable line is vital to an angler’s fishing success, and while we all think very carefully about the lure we will be throwing, we may not be thinking enough about the line it is connected to. Fishing line is the only link between that tournament winning fish, or the trophy bass of a lifetime, and as bass anglers we would be wise to take a look at the lines we choose for each application.

I myself have lost two quality bass in competition this year because I didn’t understand all of the properties of fluorocarbon and misapplied the line. I would hate to have all of you have to deal with knowing you cost yourself a check because you could have chosen a better type of line for what you were doing.

On second thought, I want you all to lose fish in competition, that way I will have a better shot at beating you, just kidding of course. Take a hard look at your fishing line choices, it doesn’t matter which brand you favor, but choosing the right type of line could be the difference between success and frustration.