Lake Norman & Mooresville

Buying fishing line can get complicated

Something as common as fishing line seems simple enough. It's when you need to buy new line that it becomes confusing.

Tackle shops stock shelves and shelves of different types of line. Some are packaged in boxes and some in bulk amounts on small, medium and large spools. When it's time to replace the line, questions immediately arise about which pound test, how many yards, which color to buy, etc.

Price, diameter, stretch, memory and which space-age material further complicates the buying decision.

In order to sort through the confusion, concentrate on monofilament line. Mono is by far the most popular type of line, and it works well on both bait-casting and spinning outfits.

Monofilament line comes in different pound tests and diameters. As a general rule, the lighter the pound test rating, the smaller the line diameter. Reel capacity increases as line diameter decreases. Lines with a small diameter are less visible and can be cast farther than larger diameters. Lighter lines also provide less water resistance when trolling or fighting a fish.

It is easy to determine the line size and number of yards needed to fill a particular reel. The recommended line test and capacity are printed on the reel itself. The information is also in the instruction booklet that comes with the reel and in the reel section of a fishing tackle catalogue.

Monofilament line comes in a multitude of colors. Which color is best for a particular fishing situation is debatable.

Some suggest red, since it is the first color to disappear as it drops through the water column. Others argue that green, blue, gold or grays are less obvious to fish. When in doubt, use clear line and experiment with colors over time until you find one that works best.

Generally speaking, a limp (softer) line is less resistant to abrasion and tends to stretch more. A stiffer line is more resistant to abrasion but has a lot of memory, which causes it to coil and makes it more difficult to spool properly.

The price of line varies dramatically. Unless you know exactly what you need, purchase a medium-priced line in the size, color and number of yards desired.

Line should be replaced if it becomes opaque, when it shows signs of wear, or when the reel is no longer full. When re-spooling, a simple method to use is to place the new line in a bucket of water. The friction created by water will provide resistance and allow it to spool tightly without twisting. Do not overfill the reel.

If you are still undecided or confused, take your reel to a tackle shop where bulk line is sold. The sales associate will help determine your needs and will re-spool your reel for a reasonable fee.

Upcoming events

“Everything You Want to Know About Tying Fishing Knots,” a free fishing seminar conduced by Capt. Gus Gustafson, will be 6:30 p.m. Aug. 19 at Gander Mountain, Exit 36, Mooresville. Call 704-658-0822 for additional information.

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