Fishing line looks simple but a lot of science goes into the thin strand of chemicals and engineering. Polyvinylidene fluoride, Dynema, copolymers, extrusions and tensile strength, fishing line is designed for strength and subtlety. Although most fishing lines are made of the same chemicals and a similar process, slight tweaks in the combinations produce big changes in the line’s performance.
Recently, manufacturers are developing specialized fishing lines for specific types of fishing. Stronger, stiffer lines for dragging bass out of vegetation, clear, thin lines for finesse fishing and lighter, softer lines to cast a mile: now anglers have the best fishing lines for the way they fish.
$20.99 150 yards of 8-pound test | powerpro.com
PowerPro’s new and improved Super8Slick V2 is an eight-carrier braided line that performs like a four-carrier braid. A new weaving process and slick coating make the eight-strand line as tough as denser four-strand line with the same eight-strand smooth and sensitive finish for long casts and super-sensitive reactions. Super8Slick V2 is popular for fishing around vegetation. The line is soft to dance a frog through lily pads and hydrilla and knife sharp to slice through vegetation when a big bass runs and hides. A reduced diameter-to-strength ratio means anglers can use a heavier test and with the casting and cutting advantage of a lighter line.
$13.99 150 yards of 30-pound test | purefishing.com
Engineered to be the toughest braid on the market, SpiderWire DuraBraid is also one of the least expensive braided lines. Don’t let the price fool you, SpiderWire spun years of braided line expertise into the new threads, creating a line that is 25 percent more abrasion resistant than similar braided lines. While I couldn’t verify that claim, I can attest that DuraBraid performs as well as more expensive braided line. Designed to fish heavy structure and thick vegetation, DuraBraid maintains excellent knot strength and minimal stretch.
$10.99 200 yards of 8-pound test | seaguar.com
Fluorocarbon fishing line is stronger, stiffer and virtually invisible compared to monofilament. Fluorocarbon is also more expensive. Until now. Seaguar, the inventor of fluorocarbon, introduced the totally new BasiX fluorocarbon. Since Seaguar produces its own fluorocarbon polymers, they can adjust the ingredients and process to cut costs without sacrificing performance. To get new anglers deeper into fishing, Seaguar’s plan is to offer a soft and sensitive fluorocarbon line for finesse fishing without breaking the bank.
$22.99 200 yards of 8-pound test | fish.shimano.com
When Shimano debuted the new Mastiff FC fluorocarbon at ICAST sportfishing trade show, the revolutionary fluoro won the Best Fishing Line award. Unlike other fluorocarbon lines, Mastiff has low linear elongation, which means the arrangement of materials improves the line’s sensitivity for finesse fishing. To improve knot strength, the line is textured with microscopic ridges that reduce slippage. For fishing heavy structure, Mastiff is water resistant to float on the surface over heavy vegetation or structure.
Pro Trout Line Smooth
$98 | orvis.com
A smooth line casts farther with more control, and Orvis poured all of their technology and experience into the PRO Trout Line Smooth. Designed as an all-around line for targeting trout, the PRO Trout Line uses special coatings to help the slick line slide through line guides. The coating also sheds water while protecting the line from oil and dirt. The line’s powerful belly and gentle taper deliver the fly like a laser beam. I like the color-coded taper from the first eight-foot stealth color, the 30-foot taper and the running line. Landing a long, accurate cast is part skill and part tackle. Orvis’s new PRO Trout Line Smooth takes care of the line tech so I can work on my loops.
$59.95 150 yards of 8-pound test | berleypro.com
One of the biggest braided line discoveries comes from Down Under. Australian company BerleyPro brought their advanced Tasline to the rest of the world. To start, Tasline doesn’t use coatings or additives to improve abrasion resistance. Instead, Tasline uses a proprietary super-tight weave and heat treatment to increase strength while keeping the line light and soft. The process also keeps Tasline thinner for longer casts and quicker drops. Instead of a chemical coating, Tasline’s mechanical process is more reliable and durable.
Topwater? Finesse fishing? Bottom bouncing? Long casts? There’s a line for that. | Feature photo: Patrick “Buzz” Hayes