What Makes Catching Bass Different from Catching Other Fish?
Bass can put up a fight. Anyone who has caught both bass and trout knows that bass fight harder. Fall is just as good of a season to catch bass as spring.
However, the bass is relatively easy to find, so they are easier to catch than trout in most ways. To catch bass, you need a large hook. Bass is the most active and easiest to catch in relatively warm water.
What is the Best Fishing Line for Bass?
Again, there is no single best line, because no line can be good for everything. These are some lines I have tried over the years and found to work quite well for bass. Most of them are significantly better but only a little more expensive than average.
Gamma High-Performance Copolymer
Reasons to Buy
- High overall strength and durability
- Knots easily
- Wide range of strengths and spool sizes
- No real disadvantages
At best, copolymer line has all of the advantages of monofilament line but none of the disadvantages. It can be as cheap as mono, knot as well as mono, and be significantly stronger.
Gamma High-Performance Copolymer is about the best you can get if you want something easy to handle but stronger than mono. It is great for situations where you aren't sure if monofilament or fluorocarbon is best. The line is also buoyant, so it's great for fishing near the top of the water.
Gamma High-Performance Copolymer is available in a wide range of strength (from 2 to 40 pounds test) and spool sizes (from less than 300 to more than 3000 yards). It has more abrasion resistance than monofilament line, and less memory. While it is a bit more expensive than most other copoly line, this hardly counts as a disadvantage.
YGK OHDRAGON Braided Line
Reasons to Buy
- Unusual braided line that sinks quickly
- Great in windy conditions
- Very castable
- Works in both saltwater and freshwater
- Excellent feedback
- No very strong line available
- Small spool sizes
If you want to catch large bass deep under the water, this sinking braided line is a great choice. While braided line is very strong, it tends to float, this stuff sinks quickly and easily.
One disappointing thing about this line is that it only goes up to 32 pounds test. Usually, 32 pounds is more than enough, but not always. Since a lot of braided line is much above 32 pounds test, it is disappointing that there is no stronger line available.
YGK is Great in Windy Conditions
YGK is my favorite fishing line if I go fishing in windy weather. Since it sinks easily, it won't get blown around by the wind like some other braided lines do.
It is also easy to get your line to go straight with as little slack as possible, which improves feedback. Despite not being available in heavy pound test, the line is very strong in other ways.
The line even has markings every few feet, which helps the line stand out. Unfortunately, you cannot buy large spools of YGK. You can only buy 150 meters at a time.
Reasons to Buy
- Anywhere from 4 to 30-pound test
- Lots of colors available
- Low memory
- No real disadvantages
You do not always need braided or fluorocarbon line to catch bass. A relatively cheap monofilament line will do as long as it is rather strong stuff. Sufix Elite is up to 30-pound test, more than enough for bass fishing.
The line is remarkably consistent. Each spool is always the same, and the width of the line is exactly the same from start to end. While all monofilament line has memory, Sufix Elite has less than most.
Sufix Elite is also available in a variety of colors if you need it to blend into the color of the water. Sufix Elite has the right amount of stretch - enough to stop the line from snapping, but not so much that there is too little feedback.
Berkley Professional Grade Fluorocarbon
Reasons to Buy
- Completely invisible underwater
- Easy to handle
- Knots easily
- The lighter pound-test line is not abrasion resistant
Fluorocarbon line is the least visible of all types of fishing line, and Berkley Professional Grade Fluorocarbon is completely invisible underwater. Bass will never see your line and get spooked.
Sometimes, fluorocarbon line can be hard to handle - it doesn't knot nearly as well as mono does. Thankfully, Berkley Fluorocarbon makes much better knots than average. You can securely attach it to large bass fishing hooks.
If you want the line to be reasonably abrasion-resistant, use a heavier pound-test line. If you use 20-pound test Berkley Fluorocarbon, it won't get cut by rocks nearly as easily as 12-pound test line does. The line's abrasion resistance is good for such thin line, but it is not truly abrasion-resistant.
Reasons to Buy
- Very low visibility in clear water
- Low memory
- Consistently manufactured - every spool is the same quality
- Abrasion resistance
- Knots very well, especially compared to other fluorocarbon lines
- Above normal price
- Breaking strength is too low for large bass
Seaguar Tatsu is an expensive fluorocarbon line that is very hard for rocks to cut and for fish to see. The line is amazingly durable and is the first line I use if I run into any problems with abrasion. Seaguar can pull against a rock or other obstacles without being worn away and snapping.
Seaguar is also invisible underwater. While most fluorocarbon lines don't knot easily, Seaguar does - another thing that makes it worth its price.
Since it costs more than usual, some people use it only as a leader. However, I don't use it this way - the feedback you get with Seaguar is incredible. You will immediately feel the pull even if the fish is small and is far from you.
What to Look for in Bass Fishing Line
There's more to it than how strong the line is. Some fishing line gives better feedback, will stay straight and not coil up after you cast it, is easier to handle, and more.
More than anything else, a line needs to be strong enough to reel in the fish you are catching. Fishing line that won't hold many pounds isn't good enough to catch bass.
Some fish can see your line and get spooked. Fluorocarbon line is usually the hardest for fish to see. Depending on how clear the water is, you can use different types of fishing line:
- Clear fluorocarbon is best in clear water
- Green monofilament is best in greenish water
- Yellow monofilament or braided line is best in muddy water
The depth of the water you are trying to catch fish at also matters. If you are fishing in deeper water, you need a darker color.
Sometimes, line that can stretch is stronger. If a fast-moving fish takes your bait, it can snap a line that fails to stretch. A stretchy line might be able to absorb the impact of a fast-moving fish trying to escape.
However, it is not as straightforward as "stretchy line is stronger." Braided line is very strong even though it won't stretch at all.
Stretchy line can be a disadvantage sometimes. If a smaller fish takes your bait and the line stretches, you might not notice the tug, and the fish will escape. When the line stretches, part of it becomes thinner, and the thin part breaks if it stretches too much.
The more feedback your line has, the easier it is to notice that a fish has taken your bait. If your line has too little feedback, you might not notice until it's too late. Braid has the most feedback.
Line with more shock strength is less likely to snap when pulled suddenly. Bass are large fish, so shock strength is important in bass fishing.
Sometimes you want your line to float, other times you want it to sink. Buoyant line is useful if you want to fish near the top of the water. Fluorocarbon is the best kind of line if you want it to sink fast.
If fishing line is left on the spool for a long time, it "remembers" being coiled up or "gets used to" being coiled up. This makes it hard to fish with. It will coil up again on its own if it has been left like that for too long.
If you try to fish with line that "is used to" being coiled up, you won't be able to cast it as far, and it may get tangled up on your reel. Memory is particularly bad if you are near vegetation or other things for your line to get tangled on.
One way to reduce memory is to re-spool your line often. Another idea is to buy line without memory. Some types of line have more memory than others:
- Monofilament line has memory
- Braided line has no memory
- Fluorocarbon line has memory
- Copolymer has some memory, but less than mono
A fishing line that gets caught on rocks can get cut or worn away until it snaps. A fishing line with abrasion resistance can handle being pulled against rocks without being worn away.
Most modern fishing line, including cheaper monofilament, has reasonably good abrasion resistance. However, more expensive types of line are still more abrasion-resistant, even though the cheaper stuff has some abrasion resistance also.
If you buy smaller spools, you will have to replace your line more often. I prefer larger spools for this reason.
Fishing is not an expensive hobby, but line can be pricey if you are trying to cut costs. Go with regular monofilament line if you need to save money. A lot of monofilament line is strong enough for bass fishing.
Types of Fishing Line
Monofilament is the oldest commonly used type of fishing line. It has been around since the 1930s, it is cheaper than other types of line, and it is still the most popular kind. Monofilament line is made of a single thread, and not like braided line, which is made of several different threads.
Mono line has some advantages other than its low price. Mono line makes better knots than other types of line do. It is also very buoyant if you need your line to float.
Mono is reasonably strong stuff, but newer types of line are stronger. It is sometimes seen as a beginner's fishing line. However, it is used by people of all skill levels.
Copolymer is not very different from monofilament line. It is made of two or more materials - such as two types of nylon - and is a bit better than monofilament. It has as much shock strength as mono while having less stretch.
Fluorocarbon is higher-tech and newer than mono line. It has been around since the 1970s and has improved much since then. Formerly it was only good as a leader, today all of your fishing line can be fluorocarbon.
Fluorocarbon stands out as the least visible kind of line - underwater, it almost isn't visible at all. It is also abrasion-resistant and doesn't stretch much, so it gives you great feedback. While it is somewhat stronger than mono, it is much less strong than braid.
Braided line is made of a few to more than a dozen strands of high-tech materials such as spectra, Dyneema, and dacron. Even though it is made of more than one strand, a braided line is still ultra-thin.
It is very strong, has no memory, gives great feedback, and is relatively expensive. Braided line is a premium kind of fishing line. The braided line tends to cut through rather than get caught on underwater vegetation.
It is not always the best choice. It is easy for fish to see underwater, and it doesn't knot nearly as well as weaker monofilament line.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Fishing Line do Professional Anglers Use?
Professional bass fishers usually use fluorocarbon or braid, not mono or copoly. The lack of memory makes a difference.
Does the Color Matter?
All experienced anglers know that the color of your line matters. You can catch more fish if you use lines appropriate for the color of the water and the depth you are fishing at. The less visible your line is, the better.
What Pound Test is the Best for Bass Fishing?
Sometimes, an 8-pound test line is enough. A 25-pound test line is better, as bass can be quite large. Many people use a braided line that is above the 50-pound test.