Sep 6. 2007  >  How to

Choosing Line For Crankbaits -  Adam Hinkle

many times have you walked into a tackle shop and stared at the wall of fishing lines available to you for minutes not knowing where to even start looking. The world of fishing lines has gotten quite confusing with all the new developments of nylons, monofilaments, fluorocarbon and braided lines. There are so many types of each line, that you could spend a fortune, and lose a lot of good fish testing each and every type, for all of the applications that we use in our sport. I have gone through countless spools of line, getting a feel for what types work best for me for certain applications. Fluorocarbon lines have become a major part of my fishing because of its qualities of near invisibility and lack of stretch. But the way I select line for crankbaits is a bit of a special case because I am not usually fishing them in super clear water, therefore I am more likely to worry about line strength, stretch and abrasion resistance rather than visibility. In this article, I will explain what types of line I use for crankbaits and why I use them. Hopefully this will help you cut down on the money you spend, fish you lose and time you waste using the wrong types of lines for the wrong applications.



Fluorocarbon lines have taken the fishing world by storm for the last few years. More and more people are using it, because of its lack of stretch and best of all, its near invisibility. Since I have started using fluorocarbon lines, I have noticed a tremendous difference in the amount of bites that I get compared to monofilament. However, the reason I use fluorocarbon for fishing crankbaits, has little to do with the invisibility factor. High quality fluorocarbons such as my choice line Sunline “Shooter”, are fairly supple compared to your basic fluorocarbon, which make it a very easy casting line. They are also much more dense than a basic fluorocarbon which makes it sink at a faster rate, which will pull your crankbait to greater depths. Because it is denser, it is a very low stretch line, which in turn increases your sensitivity.

                   There are few situations where I refuse to use fluorocarbons for fishing crankbaits, but one is fishing around jagged or rough edged rock. Because it is so dense, fluorocarbon will scratch and ding much easier than monofilament or nylon. Making as many casts as you make in a day of fishing crankbaits, you would have to retie at least every ten casts if you were using fluorocarbon around jagged rock. You could spend up to an hour in the bottom of your boat retying your crankbait, to keep from losing a critical fish in an important tournament, because we all know what kind of quality bites a crankbait can generate. I do however use fluorocarbon when I am fishing deep crankbaits around deeper flooded trees, soft sandy bottoms and grass lines. Usually with any other type of line, to achieve the greatest depth out of your crankbait, you would downsize in line because there would be less drag keeping your crankbait from digging at its full potential. Fluorocarbon is a different case though, because it actually sinks, therefore if I want my crankbait to go deeper, then I will upsize in line so it will pull it further down into the water column as I crank it to the boat.



Monofilament and Nylon


                   As Fluorocarbon is somewhat of a specialty line for crankbaits, monofilament and nylons are a great all around line. Your crankbait is going to achieve the depth that it was designed to reach, while you are getting all of the abrasion resistance that you could ask for, providing you are throwing quality line. Both my choices for monofilament and nylon are manufactured by Sunline and are super high quality lines. For monofilament, I throw Machinegun Cast, which is a copper colored line, and has a very thin diameter for its breaking strength. Machinegun Cast is very abrasion resistant and does not have near the memory that most of your monofilaments will have. When it comes to nylon lines, as far as I am concerned, there is only one choice, and that is Sunline’s Shooter Defier. This line is a dark green colored, super high quality line that has virtually no memory whatsoever. It is one of the most abrasion resistant lines that I have fished with. In fact, in a few cases I have fished the same rockpile for 3 days straight with the same crankbait and never retied while catching dozens of fish. I believe the only downside to monofilament and nylon’s is the little bit of stretch that you get with it. I do not like much stretch in a line because you do lose some sensitivity. Some people prefer a line with a little bit of stretch when it comes to fishing baits with treble hooks, because you can help prevent ripping the hooks out of the fish’s mouth when you get it close to the boat. This can be easily solved by fishing with the correct crankbait rod, but we’ll save that for later.


Adam Hinkle


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