Braided Lines

For those of you who have never tried some type of braided line I'd suggest you spool up one of your reels with it and give it a whirl, you might be quite happy with the performance it can give!  I've been using Spider Wire although there are many different brands on the market and you'd have to research it all if in fact there is something in particular braided line.  With this type of line you can put out those longgggggggg line behind the boat and with minimal to no stretch you'll have much better hook sets on the fish.  As well, once the fish is hooked you feel every ounce of energy the fish is putting into not getting to your boat!  With mono there is so much stretch sometimes you have no idea if the fish is even on and it can take much longer to get that fish to the boat.  There is however, a couple of "problems" with braided line but these can be overcome with a little care.  With no stretch line it is imperative that you have a rod that can handle the pounding even a small fish can give when hooked up!  Even with small bows in the 2 lb range, they can really work a rod/reel setup over and if the rod is not supple enough you can be sure the rod or the line will break.  The drag on the reels must be set just right so that the fish can take out line easier than with mono, but not so loose that they can spool out so much line that they can spit the hook.  You'll notice that you have alot more line capacity with braided as it is so thin, so spooling up 300yds on a regular  reel isn't a problem, if you need that much!  I have one of my level winds spooled up with 150 yds of 30 lb Spider Wire, along with 100yds of mono for backing.  On the end of that line I put an 8' leader of 20lb fluorocarbon line, and this brings up another miner problem with braids, the knots!  If you've ever tried joining mono and braid together or just tying knots in the stuff it can be a bit tricky, but after a little research I found a website that showed some nifty knots!  Thanks to www.fishsponge.com for the info!!

Uniknot to Uniknot Splice
The best way to connect braided line to monofilament of similar diameter.

1) Pass the braided line and monofilament at least 12 to 18" past each other so that loops can be formed. For a stronger knot, double the braided line.

2-3) Starting with the braided line, make 6 to 8 wraps through the loop and pull to tighten. Do the same with the mono except 4 or 5 wraps are enough. Pull on the tag end. Look to see that the wraps don't cross over each other.

4-5) Pull on the standing lines to jam the knots together. Trim.

Note: This information adapted from the Power Pro website

The above line is simple to tie and according to their example gives almost 100% of the line strength!  The strange thing about this knot is that it is the same one as we used on the Dive Team for tying life lines together, that's how strong it is!!  This second pic is how you could tie right to the hook or to a swivel, and then tie your mono from swivel to your hook.

Uni Knot
This is probably the most common knot for tying braided line. It can retain almost 100% of the line strength.

1. Run at least six inches of line through the eye of the hook, swivel, or lure, and fold to make two parallel lines. Bring the tag end of the line back in a circle toward the hook or lure.
2. Make six turns with the tag end around the double line and through the circle.
3. Hold the double line at the point where it passes through the eye, and pull the tag end to snug up the turns.
4. To create a loop connection: Adjust the loop size by sliding the knot up or down the standing line. Then pull the tag end with pliers to maximize tightness.
5. To create a snug knot: Pull the standing line to slide the knot up against the eye. Then continue pulling until the knot is tight. Trim the tag end.

Note: Leaving a loop in step 4 will give your bait a little more action but you must pull the knot very tight for it to hold. Under enough strain, this loop will close but that is not a problem.
 

And, last but not least, a little picture of how I know how much line when I use the braid.  I normally run 200-250' behind the boat and rather than always counting or guessing, a small piece of bright Dacron tied to the braided line using a Bobber Stop Knot stays on the line right at whatever length I've measured out.  One thing about this knot, its there to stay and if you use it on mono, don't slide the knot up or down because it'll curl the line from the friction generated, its that tight!!  I use the same knot when I use a slip bobber but tie it a bit looser so as I can slide it up or down.  Here's the knot and the knot on my line!!

Bobber Stop Knot
This is a specialty knot for bobber fishing. It has the advantage that the stops moves readily over the rod guides, but grips the monofilament line tightly enough that it will not slide over the line. It should be made with about 5 inches of line, usually the same or larger diameter as the line itself.