- Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:28 pm
For me, fishing is about what's fun, not about what's best. I want an enjoyable outing. I only want one fish for dinner, which is pretty easy to do if I'm allowed to do it my way. If I catch more, back they go. Choosing line might be different for those who are competitive or want a bigger stringer.
I prefer monofilament because I like the feel, and because it's what I grew up on. Every time I tried braid it felt like I was trying to fix something not broken. I've tried all the brands of braids and keep going back to mono. The braids promising to feel like mono have all been disappointments.
To answer your question, I change my line as needed. I can feel the abrasions on mono. If a fish drags me through oysters or barnacles, I'll know by the feel, and I'll peel off enough line to get past the abrasions before retying the lure. If I lose enough line this way, I'll respool rather than splice. Mono is cheap enough to just take it all off.
I've never noticed age-related degradation in monofilament. I've got spools of mono over twenty years old and the line works fine. I use both baitcasters and spinning reels. I use Trilene Big Game on the baitcasters and Trilene XL on the spinning reels. Big Game is a tad stiffer with better abrasion resistance. Trilene XL is limper and better suited for spinning reels (in my opinion).
I use my baitcasters, Calcutta 400b's, on 7.5' popping rods with 20lb mono. These rods can hurl lures down to about a 1/2 oz, and jigs down to about 1/4 oz. But I typically throw heavier stuff with these rods, like 3/4 oz - 1 oz spoons or spooks. It's also my favored rig to use with Carolina rigs with live bait for flounder, reds, and specs. I use 1 oz or 2 oz egg sinkers with a gamakatsu shiner hook, somewhere between size 1, 1/0, and 2/0 depending on what bait I'm using.
My spinning outfits are light tackle. My Stradic 2500 reels have 8lb Trilene XL. My Stradic 4000 reels have 10 lb Trilene XL. I can hurl jigs 1/8 oz or less with these rigs. I also like using 3/8 oz and 1/2 oz spoons and the smaller zara puppy after changing the hooks to saltwater grade. The zara puppy, despite it's small size, has got me some fish when spook junior and super spook failed. It creates a higher frequency wake when walked, and I think fish interpret this higher frequency as panic. That's my theory.
It comes down to how you enjoy fishing as to whether you choose braid or monofilament, because they both work. For me, the choice is monofilament. A lot of braid users want an explanation and I can't offer it, although I've tried. I wonder, if I were to get into fishing today and, given the choice of lines today, would I still choose monofilament? I think probably not. I think my affinity toward mono has more to do with experience and familiarity. All things being equal, the super lines look like the better option, so I might not even have tried mono if I were to start from scratch today. Try both and see which you prefer.