What's new for 2011
By Luigi De Rose
This article might seem out of place in May but not really. Many of us rush out and buy line way before our first trip of the year. If you live where you can fish bass every day of the year, consider yourself lucky. Most of us in the northern states or in Canada have set bass fishing seasons that is just opening up now. So, spooling up with new line isn't as weird as it might seem.
Have you bought some new line that's not really working for you? I know I have. It might be time to peel off a few spools and replace it with something better. Here is a guide to what's new in fishing lines for 2011.
All fishing lines are not equal. Many exciting lines are waiting for you this year along with your old favourites. Find out what you’ll need to spool up with this year.
Over the last few seasons, line has become increasing more refined and technique specific. This trend is most evident with smaller line companies. With larger multinational corporations cater to the masses, smaller companies have flourished in developing niche lines. Catering to the needs of the very discerning, these companies, many from Japan, offer unique lines for very specialized techniques. Don’t expect to see these line in every local tackle shop though and be prepared to pay a premium when you do.
Fluorocarbon’s popularity is still growing. Price has come down and quality has gone up. Anglers are now comfortable spooling up with it. Clear water smallmouth anglers, trout and salmon guys, fly fisherman and most anyone fishing clear water feel this line is the way to go. Its strong, sinks quickly but most of all, near invisible to the fish. Knotting it can be tricky. Experiment with the Trilene, Improved Clinch or San Diego Jam Knots. Make sure to slobber lots of spit or water on it to reduce friction.
Fluorocarbon is often used as a leader. “Top Shotting” a recent trend spawned in Japan involves spooling 25m of Fluorocarbon. This length of line reaps all the benefits of using Fluoro yet forgoes the problems of the leader knot whacking through the guides and high costs of spooling up an entirely reel. Currently, only Toray line specifically offers “Top Shot” spools but angler can either buy smaller leader spools or crank on line from larger filler spools.
Monofilament has been the staple for decades but its slowly being replaced. Mono is still very relevant and an effective line. Reserve the dainty lines for spinning and heavier stuff for casting equipment. Mono has many strengthens: it knots well, fairly invisible underwater, offers good stretch and is relatively inexpensive. Depending of what brand purchased, nylon comes in an array of colours. Brilliant colours will continue to flood the stores. Wild orange, red and lime yellow along with the traditional Fluorescent are sold by Cajun, Maxima, P-line, Trilene, Stren and Sufix. Clear and green lines will still be a favourite this year too. Many ice fishing lines are also available in wild colours. No more anxiety searching for clear line in the snow.
Braided & Fused
Braid continues to reinvent itself year after year. One continuing trend is the development of coloured lines. In 2009, Cam Thomsom, National Sales Manager for Pure Fishing, makers of Berkley, SpiderWire and Stren lines, stated that “Technological changes have contributed to many advancements in braid. The first being that superlines are becoming increasingly more specialized. The other being braided lines are better at holding their pigment than in years before.” Two years later, his statement still rings true. This year most companies offer a version of coloured braid.
PART 2 COMING SHORTLY