Now, don’t get me wrong here. I’m a braided line guy all the way. I even use it as backing on my fly reels over gel spun because of the strength. 20lb Power Pro has a breaking strength of nearly 40lbs. I’ve had my line dragged through barnacle encrusted mangrove prop roots by snook and pulled against dock pilings by big trout and it always seems to hold up. I have never lost a fish due to line breakage while using 20lb Power Pro.
Abrasion resistence – GREAT!
The strength of braided line is one of it’s greatest assets. The kayak and I have been towed by tarpon and, I can tell you it hasn’t been because the line broke that I lost them. It’s always the leader that breaks….either by mouth wear or gill raker. I’ve also been hung up on the bottom and have a hard time breaking it off. Most of the time, I get the swivel back when the leader breaks.
Strength – GREAT!
Another handy thing about braided line is castability. This line is very limp and loose. The smaller diameter of 20lb Power Pro compared to 20lb Trilene Big Game (which is a line that I love), you can sling an unweighted lure about 3 times farther with braid. I am a finesse fisherman at heart and I often chuck unweighted soft plastics. Being able to cast more than 20 feet is crucial in this situation. In the bass fishing days before braid, I used 10lb Big Game. Everyone thought I was crazy fishing that stuff around structure for big bass…”no one uses less than 15″ they used to say, but casting lightweight lures is tough if you don’t have the smaller, more cast-able line. I’ve used 10 lb braid before and have to say that even though it’s superior to monofilament lines, it doesn’t have the strength I need to haul big fish away from structure….just ask 2 O’clock Charlie. Also, when you don’t have to deal with your line “phone cording” on you, it allows for more distance per cast.
Castability – GREAT!
Some of the issues that aren’t so much on the positive side of braided line -
The propensity to “dig in” under the other wraps, causing HUGE bird nest type snarls that usually require cutting out the snarl if you happen to cast when it’s “dug in.” Never had that happen with monofilament. To combat this, you have to look at your reel before EVERY cast or you’ll eventually end up with a bad tangle that might cause an early end to your days fishing.
Snarl Factor – BAD!
Wind knots have caused problems with me. If you cast with a loop under the wraps, it’ll cause bird nesting but another negative is the knots that develop on windy days. I’ve actually shattered the ceramic guides on one of my rods when I first started using it casting with a wind knot. I’ve since switched to rods with stainless steel guides.
Wind Knots – BAD!
Braided line also has a tendency to slip knots. It’s quite slick, and if you don’t tie the right knot, it can and will slip when under stress. One type of knot that I have success with is a surgeons knot - this is good for line to line splices that won’t slip…give it a sharp jerk to make sure but be careful, braided line can cause some nasty cuts if you aren’t careful.
So that’s my take on the braided super lines – hope it helps!
Read more of Rob's Inane Musings HERE