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Captain's corner

By ED WALKER

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 21, 2001


Choosing the best line has been made more difficult by recent technological advances. In addition to monofilament, there are "superbraids," thin braided lines with a lot to offer.

The best advantage of superbraids is their strength-to-diameter ratio. Superbraids are extremely thin for their strength, allowing greater capacity and less drag.

I landed a big sailfish on a spinning rod last year from a boat stuck in reverse. I was in the stern while the fish jumped 300 yards off the bow. Mono would have broken because of the belly in the line, but I landed the fish on a braid. Braids also have little or no stretch, making it easier to feel a bite and set the hook. There are drawbacks, the biggest being line tangles. Even a small tangle often becomes a tight knot. This is frustrating when sight fishing if you have only a moment to cast. And though the low stretch helps set a hook, it also causes more pulled hooks. The extra strength can be a problem, too. Breaking a braid is hard when you hook bottom. Braided lines also are opaque and visible to fish.

Superbraids are great for some things and not so great for others. Carry mono and braids, and you will be ready for any situation.

- Ed Walker charters out of Palm Harbor. Call (727) 944-3474 or e-mail TarponEd@aol.com.

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