JK School of Higher Fishing Education Presents: Bass Fishing Basic Course 100: The 4 Line Choices for Bass Part 1: Monofilament

JK School of Higher Fishing Education Presents:
Bass Fishing Basic Course 100
Today’s Class is on:
The 4 line choices for Bass Fishing part 1 Monofilament
Hello class, todays lecture is all about the connection between the hook and you; Fishing Line. This 4-part course will cover the 4 line types, there Pros, Cons, situations and applications. Fishing line is often the key to getting a bait to the correct depth, to work correctly, and feeling what that bait is doing all things that are important to getting the bass to bite. There are 3 main types of fishing line; Monofilament, Fluorocarbon, and Braid. The 4th one we will talk about is copolymer line, a hybrid mix that we will get into further detail in a bit. Todays lecture is on Monofilament. Time to get into the class, CLASS IS IN SESSION!

Monofilament or mono has been around since your grandparents where knee high to a grasshopper and is still a staple in saltwater fishing, but in the past 20 years it has fallen out of popularity with the bass world due to advancements and availability of other line types. Let us look at what makes mono…mono. First mono is hollow, this makes the line float, this is great for when you want to keep the line “up” in the water column or on the surface. Being hollow though, it reflects light making it “shine” in clear water, as well as absorbs water. When you have water logged mono your knots will be affected, making the knots loosen or even break. This is because mono is made from extruded plastic that is either made in a single strand or multiple strands woven together. So, think of it like a balloon; you can easily knot a balloon without air nice and tight, but add some water to the balloon and try to do the same knot you will have a loose knot that captures water that can be easily broken. The trick is to run the line between your fingers a few times to get the water out before tying a new knot.

The next biggest thing with mono is that it stretches…a lot! This can be good for instances when you want some stretch, like for moving baits, and in particular, shallow square bills, more on that in a later class. But something to keep In mind is that the stretch is going to greatly affect your hook sets. If you want to use a full spool of mono you need to reel into the fish, allowing the rod to start loading and pull as much of the stretch out first before setting the hook, if you try to set the hook without reeling into it first your hook sets will not have the power to really get purchase. If you have watched bass fishing this is where the term “Bill Dance hook set” comes from as back in the day they would have to swing hard and have a huge rod trip travel to get the stretch out to get a decent hookset. This is why many only use a few feet of mono as a leader now, paired with braid, to give us some “give”.

Also compared to fluorocarbon and especially braid mono is thick making it difficult to get a lot of line on a spool, this is something to think about when fishing deep, or when your fishing heavy structure and cover, where your having to cut and retie throughout the day several feet of line at a time due to the line getting frayed, you could end up having almost no line on the spool after a “cage fight” like day on the water. This brings up the point of monos abrasion resistance, and that is its as soft as butter, meaning that after every cast you have to look and FEEL the line to make sure that it does not have any frays, nicks or imperfections as this will have consequences in the terms of breaking off a lot of baits or fish.
Like mentioned earlier mono is used nowadays as a leader. Why? Because the situations where a full spool of mono works is so specialized that we will cover that later. The times that we use a mono leader are when we want some stretch or when we need to keep a bait up in the water column like when using a square bill in very shallow water I.E. 3 ft. or less, loaded with cover, like on a shallow flat with tree stumps. In this situation, using a 10-foot leader connected to braid will give you some give in the line but also allowing the bait to not dig into the bottom (this is very important when talking about stump fields, and will be covered in more depth in a later class). The other common situation is when we are using a top water like a popper or walk the dog bait. Because mono floats, it keeps the bait from digging in the water, keeping the action true. Also, due to its stretch, yet again, allows the bass to get the bait down and stuck in there face before we can snatch it away from them. One thing that isn’t mentioned is that mono is “stiff” and on walking baits especially when worked slowly braid tends to wrap around the hooks due to its “softness” adding a mono leader helps to prevent this.
Mono still has a place in the bass fishing world, great for kids, price is great for those on a budget or trying to learn how to use a bait caster. It holds a place still on the kayak anglers’ playbook when the buoyancy is needed to make things happen. Okay, class part 1 is done, go ahead and take a 15-minute break, when you get back we will delve into part 2; Braid.

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