I know it is April and it is spring, but the snow last week in southern Wisconsin and here over the weekend has really put a damper on fishing. The reports from everywhere were the same: before the snow, crappies, bluegills, bass and northern pike were all biting. After the snow, no one is going out to find out. I hope the weather forecast for the coming week is close to accurate, so we can get back to some really good early fishing.

I was talking about fishing with a friend (what an unusual occurrence!), and he asked how many fishing rods I carried on my boat. I told him I have about 20 different rods. He was curious. “Why so many? You can only fish with one at a time.” I explained to him that each rod is rigged either with different fishing line or with a specific lure setup for certain conditions and fish.  He said he had no idea there were different fishing lines for different fish.

I am sure he is not alone. I have seen a fisherman walk into a tackle store and stand there staring at a wall of different fishing lines, not sure what line to buy. I thought I would try to explain a little about each of the lines.

The most common line – the one used by the most anglers – is a monofilament like Berkley Trilene.  This line floats, so it is great for top water baits. Because it has a bit of stretch, it is also really good for crankbaits and spoons when they get really hard strikes. It is easy to tie most knots with monofilament, and it is not expensive. I highly recommended this line for most amateur anglers.

Fluorocarbon line is the newest line on the market. Its strong suit is that it is virtually invisible to fish. It is great for finesse fishing applications and on high-pressured fishing waters, but it is very expensive. One of the drawbacks to fluorocarbon line is that it will sink at rest, so it is a poor choice for top water. Another is that fishermen must be careful to wet the line when tying knots or the knots will fail.

Braided lines are also available. They are incredibly strong for the line diameter and because they have no stretch, they are great when sensitivity is a must. One down side is that braided line looks like a piece of rope to a fish, so fishermen have to tie a two-foot leader of mono or fluorocarbon. Also, knot-tying with braid is very difficult. I have one rod and reel rigged with braid specifically for jig fishing for walleye in deep water.

I hope this will help anglers as they start spooling up with fresh line this year. Looking for spring.

Until next time…keep a tight line.

Contact Dick at hookedonfishing@comcast.net.