You Wanna Braid My Hair?

It was a simple enough misunderstanding to start with, the only kinda braid I knew about was the kind girls put in each others hair at bunking parties. The old timers remember braided line, but hey us 31 year olds fish with the new stuff, monofilament. Then a semi-oldtimer from Livingston named Randy Dearman hammered consecutive 20 lb plus stringers out of heavy buck brush at Rayburn to win the Texas BASS Invitational. The cat was out of the bag, what a few pros were quietly doing was using several newer and much improved braided lines. I discovered braided line at Texoma Anglers choice Draw this year when my partner buried a carolina rig in rock rip-rap, he then proceeded to wrap his line around the cleat of his boat and pull it free with the trolling motor, that made me curious. Then he buried a three pounder in a willow tree and bulled him out like he was hooked on piano wire, I was real curious. Since that first day I have experimented with a number of lines in many different fishing conditions. I have been impressed with several lines and less than impressed with several others. The real attraction to the lines is the thin diameter and tremendous breaking strength, the lines are also very difficult to cut. From my experience the lines do have some downfalls, mostly revolving around the complete lack of stretch the lines have. They have been very hard on my equipment, seizing up several reels and busting the ceramic out of a number of rod eyes. I have also jerked a 2 pounder completely out of the water and over the boat on the hookset and almost impaled myself with a Big Bite jig hung in a bush. The line does however have a few very good uses, first for carolina rigs. I use brass weights exclusively on my rigs and have lost only one since changing my rig rods to braided line, I do however still use mono for all my leaders to keep the visibility down. The other application that I like braided line for is pitching in heavy wood like we have here on Chambers. The one suggestion I would make for pitching is to back your drag down a bit. I like mine where it slips slightly on my meanest hookset, the lack of stretch in the line more than compensates for the slippage to assure a good hook up. There are so many brands of line on the market currently a few helpful hints will save you some wasted money. First buy braided line, not twisted line. If you could see the two side by side the difference is obvious, in an inch of braided line you might see 30 to 40 strands interwoven. Twisted line is simply a few large diameter strands spun around one another. The twisted line will unravel on you, where a good braided line won’t. As to the makeup of the line try to find loot spectra. Spectra absorbs the least water and will outlast and out perform polyester, kevlar or dacron. Some lines are spectra wound around a dacron core, again stick to 100% spectra. A braided spectra line may be 2 to 3 times more expensive than a twisted line of another material but in the long haul you get what you pay for. I would also recommend a colored line especially for flipping. Two lines that I have experience with and like are Izor (which I can find only in white) and Lariat line which comes in a dark greenish color better for flippin. If you have any questions or comments about braided line or what’s happening here at Chambers, or just wanna go fishin, give me a call at (214) 283 7090. Good Luck, Ken Smith

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