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Spool Up for More Fishing Success

By Bob Jensen - May 1, 2006
A new fishing season has arrived. Anglers are excited about what this season may bring in the way of fishing. You may have new lures, new rods and reels, maybe even a new boat. Maybe you have fishing trips planned, and new techniques that you're anxious to try in an attempt to get the fish to bite. When that big one finally does bite, will you be ready? Too many anglers forget about perhaps the most important part of the fishing equation. The line that you're using in the only link between you and the fish. The right line will enable you to catch more fish, the wrong line will, in some cases reduce the number of bites you get, and in other situations, prevent you from landing any fish that does bite. Selecting the proper line is a very important consideration when you're preparing to go fishing. Here are some ideas for selecting the line that will work best for you.

There are a few things to consider when selecting a line. The most important consideration is how it will be used. Will you be casting a lot, or mostly trolling? Will the area being fished have a lot of cover, or will it be mostly free from obstructions? How big or small are the lures you're using?

First of all, if you're using small lures, light line will be usually be good choice. You can cast small baits best with light line. If you're going to be jigging for walleyes, in many places you'll be using eighth ounce jigs, maybe a tad heavier or lighter, but usually right in that size range. Six pound test is just about right. Trilene XL, XT, or Sensation will do a great job in most situations. These are all monofilament lines. Go with the XT if you're fishing around rocks, XT stands for extra tough. XL is extra limp, versatile and very sensitive. Sensation has limited stretch and is very sensitive also. For me, six pound test XT covers almost any jigging situation for walleyes.

For some situations, a super-line would be a good choice. An example of a super-line would be FireLine. This stuff has no stretch, which provides for excellent sensitivity and solid hooksets. It is also much smaller in diameter than a monofilament in a similar pound test.

Let's say you want to troll crankbaits, and you want to get the bait as deep as possible. Ten pound test is about as light as you would want to go. Ten pound test FireLine is the same diameter as four pound test monofilament. The reduced line diameter has less water resistance, so the FireLine in ten pound test will run deeper than mono in ten pound test. That additional running depth will result in more fish caught in many situations.

There are lots of different fishing situations, and one line will work ok for some of those situations. But, if you want, you can select a line that will perform best in a particular situation. Think about the type of fishing you do the most of, then select the line that will work best for your style of fishing. You'll be a more successful angler if you do.

Author Bob Jensen
Bob Jensen
Bob Jensen is the host of the Fishing the Midwest television series, a series of television fishing shows that highlight fishing locations and techniques throughout the Midwest. He also writes a syndicated fishing column and does fishing seminars throughout the Midwest. He is a former fishing guide and tournament angler. Visit Bob's web site at
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