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EMBRACING BRAID
Jul 10, 2007
by Rob Pavlick

Pure Fishing pro staffer Ken Zwirko with a striped bass caught on Stren Super Braid.
When surf fishing guide Mark Broom was one of the featured speakers at a Noreast.com Fishing Seminar Series event in March, he began speaking about line choice and he asked the 100-plus people in attendance for a show of hands of who uses braided line as their main line. Almost the entire crowd raised their hands. He then asked who is using monofilament. Three attendees raised their hands while they, and the rest of the crowd, burst into laughter.

The main reason braid has become so popular over the past ten years is the line strength and sensitivity. Braided line consists of various solid fibers braided together that make the line much stronger per diameter of line than monofilament. For example, 50-lb. braid has the same diameter of 12-lb. monofilament. So, you already know the line is much thinner. Plus, braid has virtually no stretch, which means more sensitivity for jigging and less effort setting the hook.

The response from the crowd of Nor'easters during Mark's seminar is proof the majority of us have switched to braid. So, considering most have switched and only some remain, the topic of real interest is not why to use, but what to use, how to work with it, and what changes to your normal routine to expect.



CHOOSING THE

RIGHT BRAID



When choosing a braid that you want to match to your use of a certain pound monofilament, the guys at PowerPro separate the method into light tackle and heavy tackle categories. For light tackle, which they categorize as monofilaments of less than 50-lb. test, they suggest to match the diameter of the braid to the diameter of monofilament you typically use. For example, if you use 20-lb. test monofilament for a specific fishing application, which is .018 inches in diameter, the matched diameter braid would be 100-lb. test PowerPro. All the major braid manufacturers have charts on their websites that easily show you a breakdown of braid to mono by diameter. The ratios vary very little from one manufacturer to the next. For matching braid to monofilaments over 50-lbs., you go with the same pound test braid. So, if you used 80-lb. mono, use 80-lb. braid.


Sufix Performance Braid comes in a highly visible yellow, which makes it great for following your line when fighting a fish in our waters.www.sufix.com
For braided line on spinning reels, and especially with surf anglers, we tend to look for a line that is versatile enough to work well with both bait and plug fishing. Just like I was told 15 to 20-lb. monofilament when I began fishing, the answer I received from everyone I asked about braid was 30 to 50 lb. Nor'east Surf Editor John Skinner had mentioned he uses a 50-lb. braid. Considering I have not beached a 40-lb. striper, I figured that is good enough for me!



SPOOLING YOUR BRAID



When you spool monofilament it will cling to the spool, which actually helps keep everything in place and helps prevent slippage in the drag. Braid, however, does not cling in this fashion. If there is no hole or knob on the barrel of your reel to hold the braid in place, the braid can have a tendency to slip, which can interfere with your drag. To avoid this, one common technique is to spool your reel first with monofilament line until you can no longer see the spool, then tie the mono to the braid with a uni-to-uni knot and then spool your braid. Most recommend backing your braid with a mono of the same pound test.


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