Lake Fork Fishing Tips
From Lake Fork Guides
What Size Line for What Lure?Article: September, 2006
I have had a few questions on line and what size for what lure. So here goes.
This article will cover fishing line. There are many brands and types. The braided line is always on everyone’s mind. We want the strongest line possible and the braid does have a place. But I don’t use it on anything but my spinning equipment. You can have twenty pound test with six pound diameter. When I use braided line I put a mono leader on the end that I attach to the bait. I can feel the fish and see the braided line better than mono. When I use a spinner bait I attach the braided line directly to the bait. With worms, flukes, and wacky worms I prefer the mono. You may try it without the leader and see if it works. The braided line on your spinning gear or even on a Zebco will work and it will eliminate all the line problems you have when you go up in size on your line. I have been using twenty and fifteen pound big game forever on Fork. I like twenty pound big game for Carolina rigging and jig fishing. The fifteen is great for flukes and wacky worms. This line does have a little memory in the cold months but a little line magic sprayed on it will help to take out some of the memory. Every one has their favorite line and I am not trying to change your mind. Every three days I replace the line on all my reels with seventy five yards of fresh line. I Leave old line on my reel as backing and put a piece of tape on the line so I can see how much I have left if I break off during the day. Heat and sunlight are the worse enemies of your line. My rods are exposed to sun and heat all the time. Some of the new lines are almost invisible in the water. Remember the line and knot are two things that can go wrong between you and that monster bass. I recommend if you are going fishing and it has been a while, replace your line. Every year I get someone who says this line was new last year when I fished with you and I have not been since, and my tackle was out in the shed”. The heat from the summer has probably weakened the line. Order a spool of line and keep it in a cool dry place till you need it. Many people fish with different sizes of line so use the line size to fit your fishing needs. Clear water needs small diameter line while off color water you can use a little larger sizes. On your Carolina rig you can use twenty on the main line and fifteen on your leader. I have seen more fish caught with the lighter leader. Brands vary, but you have to make the choice. You should always set your drag each time you go fishing and when you change your line size.
Remember for crank baits you need a smaller diameter line so your bait will be able to dive to the depth you want. Larger size line has a lot of resistance in the water and will not allow crank baits to get down. Try this if you never have. Idle out and let your line drag out with nothing on it behind the boat. Let most of the line out and let it unwind . Now look at your rod it is bent as if you were dragging a lure. Reel in and see the resistance you feel during this. It is hard to believe isn’t it. Now you can see what I mean about smaller and larger sizes of line can alter the way your bait works. When you put line on match your rod to the line. If you are using smaller size line you should go to a lighter rod. If your using 20 and go to ten on your main line on your Carolina rig you should go to a rod that is not as stiff and that has a faster tip, this allows your rod and drag to work without breaking your line. This is also true for larger size line. If your jig fishing you don’t want a ¾ ounce jig on a ultra lite with 6 pound line. I hope this helps you make some choices in line and equipment. The main key is to change line more often and remember the tip about leaving some old line on the spool to take up where you never fish down to. I see many fishermen strip all their line off and put a full spool back on. How many times do you use the line all the way to the bottom of the spool. Usually that line around the small spool is so coiled you can’t straighten it out.
Thanks and Good Fishing,
by EX Lake Fork Guide Jim