About ten years ago, frustrated with how fluorocarbon lines were performing, I decided to just try and use braided line on all my baitcasters. Here’s what I learned.
Braided line just played nicer for me. No memory. Less time spent messing with my line. I’ve yet to see, be around, or witness somebody who didn’t have multiple issues throughout the course of a day when dealing with fluorocarbon lines that were spooled directly on the reel. Fluorocarbon has lots of qualities, but being manageable and easy to work with is not one of them.
I would often run into the following scenario with copolymer or fluorocarbon lines. I would backlash at some point and then either later that day or the next, I would have a break-off, not at the lure but further up the line. Every backlash created a weak point, especially with fluorocarbon line. Eventually, that weak point would give.
Now, I very rarely have a break-off, (almost never at the leader knot). When I was using straight mono or fluorocarbon on the spool, I sometimes would break off more than once in a day. That seems crazy to me now, as I could count the break-offs I’ve had in the last 5-6 years on one hand.
With braid, I can go years using the same spool of line. No break offs, No significant memory or line coiling issues. It was durable and usable – two key attributes you want with any line.
All line has some visibility under the water. I think that especially in clear water, bass can see the line and can associate line with events (like getting hooked). Braid was the most visible, so I learned how to add a fluorocarbon or mono leader to the braid.
I can adjust leader lengths and pound test easily – during the day without having to abandon a whole spool of fresh line that was just spooled up. If I decided to crank with 10 lb. Fluorocarbon, I can do that.
If I need to pitch/flip with a 20# FC leader, I can do that as well.
Efficiency (Cost & Time)
Ultimately, going with all braid saved me time and money. I have many casting and spinning reels that are going on their 2nd or 3rd year with the same spool of braided line. I seldom hassle with my line during the course of a day. When I do want to switch leaders, I can do that in a matter of a couple of minutes. But that is pretty rare. I feel I can handle most any situation with a 50# braided mainline and a 10-20 lb leader of either fluorocarbon or mono/copolymer.
Using all braid also allows me to not feel the need to cough up the serious dough for the latest rod with all the latest space age components. I feel I get better casting distance, sensitivity, and power with braid and a modestly priced rod, say in the $75-$150 range over a $300 (super sensitive and brittle) rod and $20 of FC line I need to respool with many times per year.