by Bob Jensen
When an angler decides it’s time to put new line on his or her reel, there are several things to consider. Do we want a line that is abrasion resistant or one that is super limp? Would a line with no stretch or some stretch be better? Are we looking for the strongest line available or do we want something that’s very manageable? Superline, monofilament, braid, or fluorocarbon? Once we get all that figured out, we have another decision. Should we go with an invisible line or something that’s got some color and is very easy to see? Following are some thoughts on line color.
A number of years ago, anglers used mostly braided line. It was thick, black, and easy to see.
Then along came monofilament line. It was much less visible than the original braids. Anglers switched to mono in a big way. For a good number of years, clear monofilament was the standard for most freshwater fishing conditions.
Then the folks at Berkley introduced a bright green monofilament line. It was called Solar line and was very easy to see. Some anglers were concerned that the fish would see the line and not bite their bait. Sometimes, we as anglers give the fish too much credit. After much experimenting, many, many anglers use bright line for several reasons.
First off, let’s consider the concern that the fish will see the line and not bite the bait attached to that bright line because it doesn’t look natural. Most bass anglers consider a plastic worm to be one of their favorite fish catchers. But remember, in nature nightcrawlers only come in one color. If you were to look in a bass angler’s tacklebox, you would see worms in a wide variety of colors, some that don’t look natural at all. But the bass eat them big time. So much for a natural presentation.
How about walleyes? Crankbaits are a great walleye catcher. Most crankbaits resemble a minnow in shape, but look nothing like a minnow in color. Minnows come in several colors, but none of them are chartreuse and orange. Yet one of the best crankbait colors is firetiger, a combination of chartreuse and orange. Again, a natural presentation isn’t that critical.
So then, how important is line color? It’s very important, but mostly from a point of confidence. Many of the best anglers in the world will agree that a bright line won’t prevent fish from striking your bait. Nonetheless, many of those anglers prefer a clear monofilament line, which is hard to see, or fluorocarbon, which is pretty much invisible below water.
However, lots of very successful anglers prefer a bright line. They can see it better, so they can more easily detect strikes. When using jigs or other slower moving baits, it’s easier to see a strike when the line twitches than it is to feel the strike.
Also, as some of us age, a line that’s easier to see makes tying a bait on easier and quicker. It’s just easier to get an easy-to-see line through that line attachment on your hook or jig or whatever.
Trilene Sensation is a line that’s available in a clear color, but also in a blaze orange or bright green color. You have the option to use what works best for you. More and more, I find myself using the brighter colors. I catch just as many fish, and the line is easier to work with. That makes my fishing experience even more enjoyable, and that’s a good thing.