February 14, 2018
Braided fishing lines offer excellent performance for many inshore fishing situations. The lines are strong, supple and small in diameter, but they also come with some special challenges.
What Exactly Is It?
In brief, braid is typically four or eight polyethylene strands, or carriers, woven into a bundle. On the shelf, 8-carrier line is always more expensive. Why? “It takes two times longer to braid,” said Chris Pitsilos, Associate Manager of Brand Development for Pure Fishing line companies, such as Spiderwire and Berkley. “Eight-carrier lines are smooth and promote long casts. Four-carrier lines can be rougher and are not as long casting. The strength is the same because you have the same amount of bers, just different constructions.”
Line manufacturers have patented blends. Daiwa's J-Braid, for instance, is an 8-carrier line braided round for long casting. Suffix 832 also is an 8-carrier braid, but one of the strands is GORE Performance Fiber the company says minimizes abrasion and water absorption.
PowerPro offer a variety of braids, including a thin, four-strand Maxcuatro.
Pack It On
For best results with braid, pack it onto the reel tightly and evenly. “Loose line allows for excess braid to come off the spool when casting, and can cause slippage when under pressure,” said Cullen Schroder of White's Tackle in Stuart. Most tackle shops have a machine to spool you up, but if not, get a buddy to help. Run your line through the guides and have them hold the spool of line and apply pressure as you slowly reel, keeping a slight bend in the rod.
Tape It Up
Many reels now come braid-ready, such as the Penn Clash with the patented “Braid Ready Spool.” This is a small rubber lineon the inside of the spool, that the braid bites into when taught, preventing it from slipping as it would on bare metal. If you don't have this, there's an easy fix. Fit a small piece of electrical tape tightly around the spool. This will give a hold-fast for the braid, ensuring the line doesn't spin under drag pressure.
Get into the habit of pulling a few inches of drag after every couple of casts. It's all about keeping that line tight on the spool, and giving it a quick pull once you reel in helps to do so. This is especially important when fishing lightweight lures that don't put much tension on your line. Loose line is the devil behind wind knots. When I fish new braid, I like to (if possible) fish a lipped plug, or something that puts a little extra tension on my line, until I feel the line is broken in and formed to the spool.
Wind knots are inevitable. As much as you try to avoid them, they will happen in certain situations. What do you do? Don't pull it tight! This will snug down the knot, and will ensure you cutting that $10 worth of line off, getting frustrated and wanting to pick up a new hobby. Work from the center of the knot and out, picking away at it. Once you get it to bigger loops, you're usually home free...usually. Some recommend putting Chapstick on the knot, which adds some lubrication, allowing for the knot to slide and not cinch down on itself. FS