Bass Fishing Line Guide

What to spool your reel with, and why.

Field & Stream Online Editors

Many bass fishermen are confused by today's vast array of line choices. But the variety can work to your advantage, because certain products simply work better for certain applications. Follow the recommendations below to choose the right line for your purpose-and start catching more bass:

Monofilament **
**Examples: Original Stren and Bass Pro Shop's Tourney Tough and XPS

Attributes: Limp, low memory, easy to cast, and inexpensive-its inherent stretch allows bass to engulf moving baits deeply and helps prevent hooks from ripping free.

Downsides: It's less abrasion resistant than other lines, with relatively low sensitivity. High stretch reduces the impact of the hookset and the rod's pressure when horsing bass out of cover.

**Best Applications: **Basic mono is a good, economical choice for fishing topwater plugs, jerkbaits, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, spoon jigs, and even worms and jigs in sparse-cover situations.

Low-stretch Monofilament
Examples: Berkley Trilene Sensation, Toray Ninja, and Stren Heavy Cover

Attributes: Low stretch increases sensitivity and the impact of the hookset. It's more abrasion resistant than regular mono and still fairly inexpensive.

Downsides: Not quite as limp and easy to cast as regular monofilament, it can also rip out treble hooks.

Best Applications: Low-stretch mono is a good choice for fishing thicker cover and working baits that require a stiff hookset, including Texas-rigged or floating worms, jigs, soft stickbaits, and Carolina rigs.

** Superline **
Examples: SpiderWire Braid, Stealth, and Fusion; Berkley FireLine and FireLine XDS; Stren Super Braid; and P-Line Spectrex IV

Attributes: Superline has no stretch, no memory, and long life.

Downsides: If given slack, the limp line wraps around the rod's tip. It digs into itself and binds on reel spools. (The newest generation-including SpiderWire Stealth, FireLine XDS, Stren Super Braid, and Spectrex IV-are designed to mitigate these problems.) All superlines can rip hooks free and break rods and are more expensive.

Best Applications: Unsurpassed for sensitivity, making brutal hooksets, and hoisting bass out of imposing cover, superline is great for working frogs over thick weed mats, flipping and pitching into dense cover, Carolina rigging, and ripping lipless rattling baits cleanly through the tops of submerged grass.

Fluorocarbon **
**Examples: P-Line Fluorocarbon, Bass Pro Shops XPS Fluorocarbon, and Seaguar CarbonPro

**Attributes: **It's invisible to bass, very tough, and abrasion resistant. Low stretch ensures solid hooksets.

** Downsides**: Low stretch can also rip out trebles. It's not as easy to cast as either type of monofilament, and it's expensive.

**Best Applications: **Fluorocarbon excels in clear water when fishing soft stickbaits, floating worms, Texas-rigged softbaits, jigs, and drop-shot rigs. It also makes an ideal leader for Carolina rigs.