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Water Hazard

Line preferences for a bait casting reel

14 posts in this topic

I recently purchased my first bait casting reel and am debating what type of line to spool on it. I figured I would throw up this post and see what everyone's thoughts were for this type of a setup.

I plan to use the new rod and reel setup when I want to cast for bass or northerns (I should interject here though that I am not typically talking about state record size fish).

In the past, I've used many different types of line including the basic mono, Iron Silk, and most recently, Fire Line (at the suggestion of my father-in-law).

However, the two rods that I spooled with Fire Line last season went from working really well to barely functional. The Fire Line on a spincast setup literally has to be pulled out of the reel one foot at a time. The Fire Line that I put on my spinning reel for Lindy rigging seems to stick to itself making it hard to unspool.

So, does anyone have any recommendations? Thanks in advance!

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I really like Power Pro if I am going with a braid for my baitcasters. It is round and does not have the same problems of digging in that Fireline has. It really works well for me. A big thing for most people with baitcasters is that you need to go with a big enough line diameter to help prevent backlashes, and make it possible to untangle backlashes if they do happen. I like to go with at least 10lb diameter.

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I've had good luck with 30 and 40 lb Power Pro. It's nice for the reasons mentioned above.

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If going for bass and Northerns, I would think you could get by with a decent monofilament for the most part. Cajun Red has really gotten a lot of hype the past couple of years since it is not able to be seen underwater as easily to not at all (depending on depth)

As with any mono, stretch can be a factor so if you choose to go braid, find a diameter that is the same as the equivalent mono (as stated previously). It will make getting those "professional overruns" out much easier.

Steve

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For a baitcaster, I do like the braids. Powerpro 30# has been very good for me. If I were fishing in situations where the line would be abraded or otherwise damaged, I would use mono because it's cheaper. My favorite mono for a baitcaster is Trilene XT. It's excellent.

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It depends on what you are going to be fishing with mostly, on of my baitcasters i fish mainly soft plastics, so i use mono so i can have tht little bit of stretch on a hookset, one of my other baitcasters i fish superline cuz i mainly fish crankbaits and troll with it, so i dont want stretch.

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And I would do the exact opposite of Bobb-o grin.gif. Mono for cranks because I want some stretch because a) fish generally strike short on cranks and B) the trebles have a tendency to pull out with no stretch. I like Powerpro for plastics because of the sensitivity it offers.

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Both of the last two posts have hit the nail on the head - the type of line is not about the reel but about the style of fishing/technique which you plan to use it for the most.

Each line has its strengths and shortcomings and so is better or worse for a specific technique (i.e. if you plan on working the thick stuff with jigs for bass then a braid might be best, if you are cranking then either a mono or a flourocarbon would be better depending upon the water clarity, style of crank, depth you want the bait to run [mono floats and flouro sinks], among other conditions - this would also depend upon the rod strength/action/composition (fiberlgass, graphite, e-glass; medium, medium heavy, fast, etc).

It can get very confusing - a good all around line for beginners would be a quality mono which you can use for just about anything. Try to get a lo-vis green.

If you know exactly how you plan to fish this rod/reel then maybe its possible to recommend a more specific line.

At least for starters go with the mono and change out later if you need to - mono is also the cheapest and easiest to pick "professional over-runs" out of... wink.gif

On the reels I use mono on, I use Trilene Sensation exclusively - smaller diameter and a bit less stretch than regular mono. In MN you really don't need to go much above 14# - I use 10# and 12# most.

For braid applications I use Stren Super Braid (stays round like Power Pro and holds color better) and for flourocarbon I use Vanish Transition.

Good luck!

Daze Off

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Hey, thanks everyone for your suggestions! smile.gif I appreciate you taking the time to explain things to me.

If it helps any, I envision using this rod mostly for casting crankbaits and Rapala type lures.

Here's another question for you. What constitutes a braided line? Is Fire Line braided? Is it just a bunch of smaller DIA lines that are braided together (hence the name)? If so, is the primary upside to braided line increased strength?

From Daze Off's post, would you want a line that sinks when you are trolling and a line that floats when you are casting, or vise versa? Or does it depend more on the specific situation?

Sorry for the battery of questions. I am getting pumped up to get the boat out of storage and thinking about fishing is helping me pass the time!

On a side note, Daze Off, your signature line is both true and humorous!

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The question of line type is certainly tied (no pun intended) to the role of casting vs. trolling. However, don't forget the rod. I don't like the braids for casting; I use them for trolling. I prefer good quality mono for casting, whether level-wind or spinning. Casting is pretty much a close-in game and I like the flexiblity and control I get from mono. Trolling, however, I have a lot of line out and I like the low stretch and instantaneous feel of braid. But I learned the hard way about the combination of braid plus a high modulus (stiff) graphite rod: a hard hit in deep water, trolling at a good clip, the hooks didn't give, the line certainly didn't give, but the two nubbin ends of the graphite rod looked like toothbrushes. I have been using Ugly Stiks for the past few years and they have the proper flex for trolling with low stretch braids. Plus, the braids dig deeper and crankbaits achieve their working depth with less line out. And when you tickle the weed tops, a good jerk can rip the plug through the debris. If you're gonna grabble along the bottom with your bait, especially if it's rocky or snaggy, be careful with braid and make sure you're using a softer rod.

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If this is the first time you have used a bait casting reel then I would spool with mono first. Mono is usually more forgiving on backlash extraction, and you will get backlashes. So, when you're digging, picking and pulling to get a professional over-run out, the line can and will get damaged. If you're just learning to use a bait caster then you should spend sometime in the yard practicing, reeling the line in across the ground will also damage the line. See where we're going here wink.gif spool a moderately priced mono use it for the first couple outings and practice then spool a good quality mono for the first season. After that if you like using a bait casting reel ( and some avid anglers don't like using them) you can go with some of the better carbons or braids.

If you have trouble with a braid not flowing off the spool of your spinning reel it is usually a sign that it was not spooled tight enough on the reel the first time and is now digging down into it's self. Strip off all the line and respool it. Us a damp cloth to run the line thru when your respooling, this will clean the braid and keep heat build-up down.

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Agape-

Thank you for the tips.

My little brother bought a baitcasting reel and we did exactly what you described in your post. I tied on a weight and we stood in the yard and casted into the cul-de-sac. That is pretty much the extent of my experience. I will have to practice a little more before getting out on the water.

When I respool my spinning reel this spring, I will try what you suggested.

Thanks again.

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Water -

I can't help you with trolling questions - never do it myself but I would imagine that the answer would be along the lines (no pun intended) of "it depends upon how deep you want to get" - you could make the same lure run deeper or shallower based upon the type of line as well as the diameter of the line (thicker lines make baits run shallower as a general rule).

The same is true for casting - you can get a bait that is supposed to run at 8 ft to run up to a few feet deeper/shallower by changing line types and diameters.

Daze Off

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Like others have said, I would start out with a 10-12 lb mono. I would go with Trilene XT. Maybe even for a whole season. Then switch over to a superline like Powerpro.

Not only do rats nests with superlines get expensive, they waste a lot of time and the major ones are nearly impossible to get out, even with a good knife.

If you decide to stick with a superline, remember to use mono backing on the spool, this might have been a part of your original problem if you didn't.

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