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Switching To Braids


If you’re wondering how tough super braid lines are, this 100+ pound lake sturgeon was landed by Dale Voice (Right) using 10 pound test (2 pound diameter) Maxima Braid 8 fishing line! The fight lasted nearly 40 minutes and Dale didn’t even need to re-tie after landing and releasing this brute.
By
Mark Romanack


A growing number of anglers are making the switch to super braid lines. When these lines were first introduced, niche fishing situations got the braid hype. For example, vertical jigging in rivers for walleye is a contact style of fishing that is much easier to master with zero stretch super braid lines. Flippin’ jigs into heavy cover for bass is another situation that clearly favors super braid lines.
Gradually over time more and more anglers experimented with using super braids. Today super braids make up more than half of the line offerings available to anglers and braid can no longer be considered a “niche fishing” product. The truth is many anglers are using braid for the majority of their fishing applications.
CASTING JIGS
From walleye to redfish and everything in between, super braids have taken over in the jig casting category. Thin diameter and super low stretch means that anglers can make long casts and feel even the most subtle of bites. Ideal for fishing with live bait and soft plastics, the Fishing 411 crew uses 10 # test high visibility braids like the bright yellow Braid 8 produced by Maxima and terminates using a three foot leader of fluorocarbon line.
PIKE AND MUSKY
These toothy critters have a reputation for tearing up tackle. For casting spoons, bucktails, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater plugs the Fishing 411 crew recommends spooling up with 50 to 65 pound test braid and terminating using18 to 24 inches of 65 to 80 pound test fluorocarbon.
DIVING PLANERS
The diving planer has filled an important niche in Great Lakes trolling for over four decades. Super braid lines are ideally suited to fishing divers in combination with line counter style reels. The Fishing 411 crew fishes 40 pound test braid for trout and salmon diver fishing, but many anglers favor 50 and even 65 pound test. Because braids are far thinner for the break strength than monofilament lines, it’s practical and often advisable to use larger break strengths.
BACKING LINE
Across the Great Lakes a growing number of trout, salmon and even walleye anglers fish sinking lines including lead core, copper line and the new weighted steel lines. All of these products are typically fished as a segment between a fluorocarbon leader and a super braid backing. The thin diameter of super braid makes it the ideal backing line because sinking lines take up a lot of spool space. Good choices for braid backing range from 20 to 50 pound test depending on the application.
Using super braid lines has become mainstream among serious
 anglers. Pictured here Captain Terry Kunnen of TKO Charters
 has rigged his Off Shore Side-Planer board with an
OR18 Snapper Release that is designed to hold firmly the slick
 surface of super braid and fused fishing lines.

PLANER BOARD TROLLING
Historically planer board trolling has been dominated by monofilament lines. Today a growing number of anglers are using super braids for board trolling. This is especially true among crankbait trollers who use the ultra thin characteristics of braid to achieve significantly more diving depth from their favorite lures. Lines ranging from 10 to 30 pound test represent the majority of braid users.
PRECISION TROLLING WITH BRAID
Anglers who do a lot of trolling often consult the widely popular Precision Trolling Data phone apps to determine how deep their favorite lures dive. This game changing app provides anglers with critical depth data based on both 10 pound test monofilament and also 10/4 braided line.
What many anglers don’t realize is line diameter plays a critical role in how deep lures like crankbaits dive when trolled. By simply using ultra thin super braid lines, lures can be fished up to 30% deeper than similar break strength monofilaments. It’s also important to note that another strategy for braid trolling is to pick a braid that is the same diameter as 10 pound test monofilament. Most 10 pound test monofilament lines are about .013 in diameter which matches the diameter of 40 pound test super braid. Knowing this anglers can spool up with 40 pound test super braid and use the same Dive Curve data provided on the PTD apps for 10 pound test monofilament.
For walleye jigging, especially vertical jigging applications,
the Fishing 411 crew always recommends fishing
 with super braid lines. Pictured here Jake has opted
for high visibility Maxima Braid 8 and is terminating by tying
 in about 24 inches of 12 pound test fluorocarbon line as a leader.

BRAID OR FUSED LINE
Many anglers don’t make a distinction between braided and fused fishing lines. Both are super thin in diameter and both have near zero stretch. The biggest difference between these line types is the shape of the line itself. Braids are created by twisting fibers together to form a line that is nearly round in shape and with similar handling characteristics to monofilament.
Fused lines on the other hand are flat in shape and the line surface is very slippery. Special knots are required when using fused lines, but the real disadvantage is these lines don’t load evenly onto reel spools, making it impossible for reel drag systems to function properly.
SUMMING IT UP
The braid fishing applications outlined here are just a few of the ways modern anglers are using low stretch and thin diameter super braids. Braids were once viewed as a “niche fishing” product, but today these lines are about as mainstream as it gets. No matter what species an angler is after and among most angling presentations, super braids have won over the support of anglers nationwide.
It’s true that braided lines cost as much as three times more than monofilament lines, but the longevity of braids makes these lines a good deal any way an angler slices it. Braids are here to stay and literally every time on the water we’re finding new and better ways to let braided lines help us land more fish.