Days are changing and it seems like you are at a serious disadvantage if you use one fishing line for everything you do. For years I would just switch brand and/or weight of monofilament to another. Now there are 3 main stays when it comes to choosing fishing line and none of them are the answer for every situation or technique. I am going to breakdown why I choose Mono, Braid and Fluorocarbon and for what situations. These are not the answers, just my thoughts and guidelines to get you started. Experiment and find out what you like best.
Braided Line (Super Lines) – This is a fairly broad category in itself. There are many types and brands of braided lines, and the all have there differences and advantages/disadvantages. For the most part, I am not a big fan of braided line, it just feels uncomfortable for me and its probably mostly a confidence thing. I think it stems form the fact that I like to feel a fish when I fish soft plastics, I do not set on the first tap. Thus when I lift to feel or weigh the fish with my rod tip, braid has no stretch, so the fish feels me faster and I feel more fish drop my bait. I mainly use braid for slop fishing (frogs& spoons etc.) and heavy flipping. So far I like Power Pro Braided Line and P-Line Spectrex IV Braided Line for my super line fishing. There are many anglers that use braid for just about everything, I am not one of them. One thing braid does, is increases sensitivity. It’s a great option for newer anglers; it helps them feel bites and contours. It also makes up for bad hook sets and less then average rods.
Monofilament & Copolymers – This was my mainstay when I first started fishing. I used Silver Thread AN40 for everything; it was a very good line. I still use mono for many things. I like a heavy mono for some flop and heavy cover situations. I like the feel and the way it loads up, almost like a bungee cord when you set into a big fish. For the most part, I use a ton of Cajun Red Line line, its red, tough as nails and very affordable. I have recently purchased some Gamma Copolymer Line & fluoro lines, I anxious to spool them up and test them out. Heavy mono is what I use for most of my dock fishing. I pair 20lb Cajun Line with a 7ft baitcasting rod. The heavy line and baitcasting rod give me a lot of power to horse fish out from under docks & piers. It also seems to help me skip, that stiffer heavier line almost pushed the bait back under the dock, lighter lines tend to sink into the water quicker and reduce distance on skipping for me. Mono is a must for topwaters as well, it floats so it helps the action. I also you some mono for jerkbaits, crankbaits and spinnerbaits based on how the depth I am fishing. If I shallow cranking, I will likely use mono because I feel it helps the bait rebound of cover and structure. If I am fishing these baits where more depth is desired, I probably will go with Fluorocarbon.
Fluorocarbon – I have only been using fluorocarbon based fishing lines for a little over a year and I find myself using them more and more. I started out with P-Line Floroclear Line , which is a copolymer line coated in fluorocarbon. I really liked this line in 10lb & 12lb, for crankbaits & jerkbaits. I feel like I get a little more depth to the sinking properties and I get a better feel from my baits. The low stretch also gives better action to my Husky Jerks & Pointers. It has been good for spinnerbaits, lipless cranks and other deep water applications. I tried using it in heavier sizes for fishing around cover and I started to break off on hook sets. I never have problems with Cajun line in the same situations. I think by going with a true quality fluorocarbon like Gamma Edge may solve these problems. I recentl tried some 16lb Gamma Edge on a baitcaster for a swim jig, I thought I got excellant performance. I also really like fluorocarbon for finesse fishing with jig worms, Shakey Heads , Mojo Rigs and drop shotting.
I hope this helps you make better decisions when you are faced with ever expanding option of the fishing line wall at your local sporting goods stores.