2013 is slated to be the biggest tournament season for me to date. I’ve worked very hard to get myself here but thanks to my family and sponsors, I’ll be competing in the Bassmaster Opens, FLW Everstarts and PAA Tour in hopes of qualifying for the tour level in the next few years taking a giant leap in a dream I’ve had since I was a little kid.
Tackle Update – The Advantages of Seaguar
To some this may not be a giant deal, to me it’s everything.
Preparation starts now cause to compete at this level successfully you need to be at the top of your game on all levels. Of course tackle is as important as any when it comes to preparation and to me the most important piece of tackle in my entire arsenal when throwing it all on the line is well….my line. No pun intended. It’s the one thing that can make my biggest dreams come true as well as the one thing that can smash my dream and allow it to all disappear in a second. Sounds deep but it’s true. It’s the one piece of tackle that gets no thanks but is easily the most important. Everyone loves the quarterback but doesn’t even know who makes up the offensive line, yet they’re the ones insuring the quarterbacks success as well as his health.
My line is the same way and I’m absolutely meticulous with what I put on. I’ve done endless amounts of research in this department and by far my best choice is Seaguar. For starters, I’m a fluorocarbon guy but I wasn’t always. I started throwing mono then graduated to braid but after understanding the benefits of fluorocarbon and giving it an honest chance, I switched and started throwing fluoro 95% of the time. In fact, the only time I didn’t was when I was throwing topwater. This worked well for me, however with some of the new advances in Seaguar’s lineup, I’m more of an 80% fluorocarbon guy, 10% braid and 10% monofilament type of fisherman. Why the change? I’ll explain.
Seaguar has numerous lines of fluorocarbon available and honestly there’s a place for all of them in my boat. When I look for fluorocarbon there are certain areas that I look at and that’s diameter, break strength, abrasion resistance, manageability and price. Price to me is the least of my worries when it comes to these issues and don’t get it twisted, I’m by no means made of money at all, it’s just that fishing at the level I fish at and considering what’s on the line at that level I want the best money can buy. However, when it comes to other anglers especially ones that may have other priorities, price is very important to consider.
Seaguar offers all kinds of fluorocarbons at all different price points. At the entry level you have Seaguar Red Label, which is on the inexpensive side of fluorocarbon and then you have Tatsu which is definitely on the more expensive side of things but offers it’s buyers a lot compared to the competitions elite brands.
One of Seaguar fluorocarbons’s most prized characteristics is it’s line diameter compared to it’s pound test or break strength. Comparing Seaguar Red Label, their entry level fluorocarbon to Berkley 100% fluorcarbon their premier fluorocarbon and you’ll see that on 20 lb. test Seaguar’s line diameter is .016 in. compared to Berkey at .017 inches. This may not seem like a lot but it’s giant in the world of fluorocarbon. Also consider that Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon is sold for $24.99 for a 200 yard spool of 20 lb. test where Seaguar Red Label sells for an astonishing $11.99 for a 200 yard spool.
The other reasons I choose Seaguar Fluorocarbon for the majority of my fishing is it’s virtually invisible under water which is key in fishing heavily pressured lakes that we are accustomed to fishing on a regular basis. It simply gets more bites. As important, fluorocarbon sinks where mono and braid float. When fishing almost any presentation with the exception of topwater, sinking line is key to getting the bait down in the strike zone and not effecting the baits natural presentation.
The last and as I said most important attribute is it’s overall break strength and lack of stretch for hook setting power. Fluorocarbon doesn’t have much stretch, it has some but not much. In fact, my favorite lines from Seaguar, InvizX and Tatsu are very hard lines but have just the slightest amount of stretch needed to insure a good hook set. I want the hardness for two reasons, similar to tungsten, harder is more sensitive and gives me better feel of what my bait is doing every second as well as assists in detecting bites. Secondly, hardness also lacks stretch, it has just the right amount of stretch to absorb shock when setting the hook and enables the hook to penetrate the fishes mouth but is not too hard to where it will pull out of the fishes mouth.
As I said, braid used to be my go to but since has taken a back seat to fluorocarbon however with the advances Seaguar has created to it’s Kanzen line, I now find myself using it more and more. The key attributes to Seaguar Kanzen Braid is it has zero stretch and it floats. I want this for a few different reasons such as when I’m dealing with an abundance of heavy vegetation or structure that has lots of cover that could pose a threat to my line. I will always have on heavy braid when I’m throwing a frog, one because I want my line to float and not sink and two because I want zero stretch line that Kanzen provides to insure solid hook sets and gets the fish to the boat in the heaviest slop imaginable. I also want heavy braid when I’m flippin’ heavy cover, as I said before I always prefer fluoro and will always try to get away with using it, however there’s just simply a time when braid will benefit me more such as when I’m flippin’ heavy matted vegetation or when I’m dealing with nine pounders chillin’ in mesquite trees on Lake Falcon down in Texas. You simply don’t want to bring a knife to a gun fight.
There’s also a place for braid on the total other end of the spectrum, I’m talking about finesse fishing. When it comes to spinning rods and finesse presentations like shaky heads and drop shots, I find braid to be invaluable. This may sound odd but it’s true. When using spinning rods I almost always use 15 lb. Seaguar Kanzen Braid as my main line and attach a 8 ft. leader of 8 or 6lb. Seaguar Tatsu Line. This offers the best of all worlds. Braid doesn’t twist like fluorocarbon does and you don’t have to be well experienced to know that fluoro on a spinning rod can be a nightmare when it comes to twist. Also the extremely small line diameter of braid allows me to cast the bait further and with longer casts I need the zero stretch to ensure strong hook sets. Now include the positives of fluorocarbon to dismiss the negativity of braid by tying a 6 to 10 lb. fluoro leader. This will give your line the sinking qualities, make it invisible underwater and add shock absorbency to your set up. The only negative is knowing a good knot to attach the two lines and for that you’ll simply want to use a Seaguar knot. Watch for my soon to be released video on “how-to” correctly tie a Seaguar knot.
Some anglers also like braid for topwater, which is obviously much better then fluorocarbon but I still prefer monofilament.
I honestly don’t use it much but when I do there’s nothing better. As I mentioned above, I prefer mono for topwater and nothing’s better than Seaguar Senshi Monofilament. I employ this line for all my open water topwater fishing because it floats, has stretch and gives the bait the best action without tangling up with the treble hooks that are so often used on topwater baits.
I use heavier action rods than most, even with my topwater fishing and mono gives my line that stretch it needs when bass engulf my spook. Also, mono is far more manageable than braid in that it doesn’t tangle to hooks nearly as often as braid does which is very important to me considering the more efficient casts I can make in a day results in more fish I put in the livewell. Another prime example that most bass fisherman have experienced is when bass are schooling on bait fish in open water. Your window for success is very small as you wait for the fish to explode on shad and then quickly heave your bait to all the commotion. If you’re late, you miss the action or even worse you chuck your bait perfectly but the braid wraps around the front hook turning a “walk the dog” action into a “limping dog” action and blows your opportunity. Not this guy, no more, I’ve been there done that and tying on 15 or 20 lb. Seaguar Senshi puts more fish in the boat. Period.
There’s also a few more examples of when I’ll use mono and one good one is when I’m fishing current and throwing a carolina rig. I’ll always use fluoro as my main line but when there’s current I’ll opt for mono as my leader. This is important because when fishing current you want your bait to stay up in the flow to look as natural as possible and mono provides that perfectly. Fair warning though, mono doesn’t have the abrasion resistance that fluorocarbon has so it’s just imperative that you are constantly checking and changing your line as need be.
Last but not least, I also use monofilament when the water I’m fishing is very cold, usually in the dead of winter. For instance, when the water is in the 40’s or cooler I usually find myself throwing jerkbaits to entice a bite. I usually need to pause the bait for a long period of time to get a lethargic bass to grab hold. Sometimes in cold water, fluorocarbon will sink a little more than it should and actually hurt my jerkbait’s presentation by slowly sinking the bait during the pause instead of allowing it to suspend perfectly in the water. This is when using mono will allow the bait to sit in that deadly suspended position needed to convince bass to feed.
I hope this provides a better understanding of which lines to use in any given situation and why Seaguar is my line of choice when the money is on the line.
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