Baitcast rods and reels are one of the best setups you can have when fishing, especially for bass, and even better when you are on a boat. A baitcasting setup helps you target your casting more effectively so that you can get into areas where there might be trees or a lot of weed. One question we get asked the most is if you should use a braided line with a baitcaster, and if it will help. We wanted to write this article to give you more knowledge around if its a good idea and why or why not.
Should you put a braided line on a baitcaster? Yes, you should use a braided line with a leader line when setting up your baitcaster. Braided line is stronger and lighter than a normal mono line, so you are going to have less line breakage when landing bigger fish, especially bass. Braided line will also last longer than your traditional mono or fluoro lines, so you will not have to re-string your line as often. While braid is more expensive, it is much more sensitive, so you will fish the fish bite more, and will help you with setting the hook and you will catch more fish. Since the braid is stronger, it will not snap as easy if you snag in bushes. The benefits of using braid on your baitcaster far outweigh not using it.
Will Braid Help?
Having a braided line on your baitcaster is going to help you in a variety of ways. First, you will notice that the line is more sensitive, so you are going to feel even the smallest of bites on your line giving you a better chance of setting the hook. Heavy mono or fluoro line is going to make you miss more bites. It will also help with birds nesting, so you are going to spend less time unspooling snags. Since most people use baitcaster setups on boats, if you are fishing heavy weeds or bushes, you are going lose your bait less. Typical mono and fluoro lines, while strong will stretch and snap when you get a snag which will make it weak and brittle faster causing it to break when a fish surges trying to getaway. Since braid is much stronger than other lines, you are going to be able to land bigger fish without having to use an extremely heavyweight line.
Should I Use A Leader On My Baitcaster?
You should always use a leader when using a braided line on your baitcaster. While the braided line is stronger, there is no clear braid, so fish can see it when it hits the water. Have a 20 to 30-yard leader line will give you the advantage of sneaking up your fish. Fish also have a tendency to surge when you hook them which means they will pull your line, so having a leader will let your line stretch just enough to not rip the hook from their mouth keeping the fish on. Braid is also a little harder to cut, so when you want to change out hooks or lures, it is much easier to cut and tie onto fluoro or monoline instead of cutting your braid every time. Since braid is expensive, you can maximize having to re-spool your line, saving you money. For more information on leaders, check out our article HERE that goes into having a leader in more depth.
How Do I String Braid Onto My Reel?
We found a great video on how to spool your braided line onto your baitcaster.
Will It Help With Knots And Birds Nests?
Braid is a heavier line and will help with backlash and birds nesting that can happen really easily with mono or fluoro lines. While you still might have it happen if you have a really bad cast, getting the knot out is much easier, and will not harm your line like you might a monoline if you pulled and stretched it. The one thing you want to be careful of is making a knot in your braid because since it is a heavier line, if you get a knot it will be bigger, and you might snag it on the guides when you cast. Braid is typically smoother than mono or fluoro line, so when you release your cast, it is going to run down the guides smoother causing it not to get caught, which causes a bird’s nest. Using braid will definitely help keep you casting more, and untangling knotted line less when you are out on the water.
Will I Still Feel The Bite?
Braided line is much more sensitive than your normal mono and fluoro lines, so you are actually going to feel more bites using it. You will also feel your bait going over rocks and sticks on the bottom too. You will find that you are going to feel a lot more movement with your bait using braid. This is going to help you land fish because you will start feeling when a fish is just biting or toying with your bait, so you will be able to set the hook faster which is going to make your catch count go way up if you time it right. I was amazed at how much more I could feel when I made the switch to braided line.
How To Tie Braid To A Mono Leader
We found this great video that shows how to tie a perfect leader knot to your braided line so you do not snag the guides when you cast, check it out below:
Does Color Of The Braid Matter?
Typically the color is not going to matter when you choose a braided line. While they do not make a clear or translucent braid, they do come in a variety of colors like green, yellow, white, and others. Since you will be usually using a leader attached to your braid, you are not going to lose any fish because they can see it. Even if you decide not to use a leader line, you can get something like white or green braid which will blend into the water and will not spook the fish. What matters most, is picking the right weight line for your braid, so if you are going after bass, you can normally get a 15 or 30-pound braid that is as heavy as a 9-pound mono line.
How Often Should I Change My Line?
Since braid is stronger and is not going to stretch and become brittle, you do not have to re-spool it as often, saving you money. If you are an avid angler and fish more than once a month, you might have to change out your braid every two years or so depending on how many fish you catch. There are some rods I have that the braid has lasted 5 years before I have had to re-spool it. The one thing you want to watch out for is if the line starts fraying from the line getting snagged, or a fish chewing on it, you may have to either cut your line or if there is not enough left, you will have to re-spool it with new stuff.
The bottom line, it is always good to use a braided line when you are using a baitcaster setup because you are going to have much more success with landing fish, especially if you are fishing from a boat. Braid is stronger and more sensitive, so you are going to feel more fish, and not snap your line as much. You are also going to get more line on your reel, so you can cast further. Always make sure you use a leader when using braid so you still have some play in your line for fish surging, and it will be much easier to change out hook setups and lures when fishing. Since it is stronger and less flexible, you will get to keep the line on your reel longer, saving you money in the long run