String The­ory ...

We have all stood in front of a shelf in re­tail store look­ing at all the dif­fer­ent op­tions; yel­low, green and even in­vis­i­ble ones.

SA Bass - - Sa Bass / Classroom - >> Colin Willmer

The pack­ag­ing be­comes even more over­whelm­ing be­cause ev­ery box is bet­ter than the one next to it and of­fers so much more than last year’s model. Feels like we are buy­ing cars. As you walk down the shelf you read the dif­fer­ent de­scrip­tions and advantages and no­tice the price dif­fer­ences be­tween the seem­ingly same prod­ucts. Well, there are dif­fer­ences and it may not be what you ex­pect. (No brands or la­bels will be dis­cussed in this ar­ti­cle be­cause it is not the point of all of this.)

The ap­pli­ca­tion nor­mally de­ter­mines the choice of “string” or fish­ing line we will be buy­ing, but this has been dis­cussed at length, to death. Let’s just speak about ap­pli­ca­tion, for a lit­tle bit as a re­fresher and then never again.

For cranking – it was al­ways be­lieved that monofil­a­ment or copoly­mer was the best op­tion. For top wa­ter ac­tion – same thing … mono or copoly­mer.

For soft plas­tic worm­ing – the be­lief was al­ways that flu­o­ro­car­bon was the one for that job.

Braid – never sure whether if it was best for top wa­ter ac­tion or awe­some for worm­ing.

Well, time to ex­plain some things about fish­ing line to keep in mind when buy­ing or choos­ing the best line to use. The most im­por­tant things about lines are trust and feel. Think about it; if it does not feel right on your reel you don’t feel com­fort­able in cast­ing.

Spin­ning reels (cof­fee grinders)

Choos­ing a line that does not drive you into the cooler box to find your in­ner peace. Why do we al­ways get a line that twists and never gives you the dis­tance you are af­ter? There are many rea­sons for all of this.

Spin­ning reels work best with 10lb line or lighter and in say­ing that, the box or pack­ag­ing, be­comes im­por­tant. In the world of line man­u­fac­tur­ing, Ja­pan nor­mally pro­duces a very high qual­ity line and nor­mally comes at a dif­fer­ent price as well. The ad­van­tage of this is that you could prob­a­bly get away with cast­ing a 7lb line in­stead of a heav­ier 10lb line… dis­tance sorted.

A higher qual­ity line comes of the spool eas­ier be­cause they tend to be rounder in shape and lies bet­ter on the spool of your reel. In other words it does not flat­ten out and will give ex­tended life span which im­proves the af­ford­abil­ity of some­times more ex­pen­sive lines.

Bait cast­ing reels

These reels ini­tially were de­vel­oped to cast a heav­ier line with­out all the line twists be­cause spin­ning reels just could not do the job. Un­for­tu­nately bass do not lie in open wa­ter with no struc­ture so heav­ier line was a ne­ces­sity. Con­trol and ac­cu­racy was a by prod­uct of all this devel­op­ment.

So many times I have seen some­body spend thou­sands of Rands on a rea­son­able rod and reel com­bi­na­tion but

then try to go as cheap as pos­si­ble on line. This will only lead to frus­tra­tion.

Now let’s get to the tech­ni­cal stuff that will hope­fully help un­der­stand what line is and where it can fit into your fish­ing arse­nal. (Ware has a spe­cific grav­ity of one - as a unit of mea­sure)

Monofil­a­ment or copoly­mer

These two nor­mally have a spe­cific grav­ity in the range of 1.2 to 1.24. This means that it is slightly heav­ier than wa­ter. In other words the line would float and stay in the top part of the body of wa­ter in front of you. So think of cast­ing a soft plas­tic worm at a tree. The first move­ment of that plas­tic will be in an up­wards di­rec­tion be­cause your line is still fight­ing its way down. This could be re­mov­ing bait out of the zone and re­duces chances for that much needed bite. So, if cast­ing monofil­a­ment or copoly­mer on a Mojo-, Texas- or even weight­less rig, just be very slow in mov­ing the bait for the first time.

An­other in­ter­est­ing fact is that this line can stretch up to 14%. Think about a 30m cast… this could be a stretch of 4.2 me­ter. How many times have you set a hook and be­fore you start wind­ing that mon­ster in, he is off? We then blame the hooks, rod and even the po­si­tion of Mars in re­la­tion to the jetty we are cast­ing at. Mean­while, our line had some­thing to do with it.


A good qual­ity flu­o­ro­car­bon nor­mally stretches be­tween 7 to 9% and has a spe­cific grav­ity of 1.75. This means a bet­ter sink­ing line with much more sen­si­tiv­ity be­cause of less stretch. This line does have a harder feel to it be­cause the com­po­si­tion in­side is dif­fer­ent.

Tour­na­ment an­glers flocked to this line be­cause for so many years they be­lieved that it was in­vis­i­ble un­der wa­ter and fish rate was pick­ing up. The fish rate was pick­ing up be­cause the bait was pre­sented more ef­fec­tively in the zone. In­stead of go­ing up and out of the zone it was now be­ing dragged through the zone for a longer pe­riod of time; ob­vi­ously lead­ing to more fish.

Be hon­est, does your flu­o­ro­car­bon re­ally dis­ap­pears un­der wa­ter?


Braid has a spe­cific grav­ity of 1.15 and is the real floater in the pack. The advantages of this line are dif­fer­ent but used in the right ap­pli­ca­tions it can be very ef­fec­tive. With al­most no stretch and a very di­rect feel with low di­am­e­ter it can be used in many ap­pli­ca­tions. There has been for many years a need for some­thing strong and thin enough to go onto a spin­ning reel and braid was born.

The strange part of all of this is that ny­lon based lines, like monofil­a­ment, copoly­mer and flu­o­ro­car­bon, have many en­e­mies which we need to keep in mind. The worst things for lines are UV-rays and wa­ter.

I trust that this in­sight on fish­ing lines will help read­ers buy and use the best string in the right way.

Which fish­ing line is the best to use?

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