Two neat new fluorocarbon and monofilament fishing lines from Seaguar will help you tackle some of angling’s toughest conditions.
In today’s fishing world, the best companies are making the most of break-through technologies and engineering capabilities, and the results have been impressive. Much of the newest innovation is being focused on products that solve very specific angling conundrums, and anglers everywhere are benefitting. Fishing tackle (maybe most notably bass tackle) is becoming a lot like golf; bass anglers now have specific rods for most any popular presentation, a group as functional as the finest set of custom-built irons.
And lucky for us all, the innovation hasn’t stopped with rods. Now available to mesh with “technique-specific” rods is a variety of equally specialized tackle and fishing lines, and it’s no wonder. To achieve optimal lure presentation and performance, and realize consistent success, all of the pieces of your arsenal need to be working in harmony. Now, increasingly, they can. The only downside? We anglers have less excuses. I’ll take that tradeoff.
Line specialist Seaguar first introduced technique-specific lines in the fall of 2015, with the release of its Flippin’ Braid and Fluoro lines, aimed at anglers doing battle with bass with heavy tackle in heavy cover. Now Seaguar has pulled a proverbial 180, developing a line for bass fanatics who regularly rely on light line and finesse presentations to target big finicky bass: Finesse Fluorocarbon. And just as exciting, Seaguar’s new Rippin’ Monofilament has taken mono construction to a whole new level of performance.
New Finesse Fluorocarbon is a double-structured fluorocarbon (much like Seaguar’s proven TATSU) that combines two custom Seaguar fluorocarbon resins to create a line that is available in smaller diameters, while still delivering superb knot and tensile strength. Since the introduction of fluorocarbon, anglers have had issues with it coming off their spinning reels (standard gear for finesse fishing applications) with a lot of unwanted “memory,” but this issue is now a thing of the past. My testing has proven that Finesse Fluorocarbon is extremely soft and supple, producing very low memory. This unique line is different in other ways as well; standard fishing line uses round whole numbers to designate its line sizing: (for example, Six-, eight-, or 10-pound test), but you’ll find more-precise sizing with Finesse (5.2, 6.2, 7.3 and 8.4 pound test).
Most of us know that finesse presentations require light line, the primary reasons being we are typically utilizing them in gin-clear water where bass have become wary of larger-diameter lines, or the fish are looking for a more-naturally presented lure that only a supple, smaller-diameter line can deliver. Yes, most six- to eight-pound fluorocarbon lines can deliver these, but most won’t deliver the strength and castability that you’ll want. This is where Finesse shines.
Being able to make long casts and not having to deal with line memory will aid in your ability to present your lures effectively. This is key when fishing a drop shot rig in deep water to smallmouth that are hunkered tight to large boulders, which happens regularly on Minnesota’s famed Mille Lacs during the summer months and late fall.
Other finesse fishing applications where Finesse Fluorocarbon shines is when fishing wacky- or Texas-rigged soft-plastic stickbaits, such as the Zoom Fluke Stick (see examples above), around shallow-water targets like boat docks, or when sight-fishing for bedded bass in the spring. In these situations you want to have the finesse properties of a lighter, small-diameter line, but the strength of a higher pound test. This is where the specific pound tests offered by Finesse come into play. If I normally run 8-pound test, but am noticing the bass are extremely finicky, or the water is unusually clear, I can go down to the 7.3-pound Finesse Fluorocarbon and still get similar knot and tensile strength to that 8-pound test, while realizing the benefits of a smaller-diameter, even more-invisible line. That’s a big win.
A very popular (and time-honored) technique for bass fishermen in the Midwest that has now spread to the national scene is the Jig Worm or “Ned Rig.” On the many weed-filled lakes in Minnesota, anglers target bass that feed on the weedlines by tossing a jig worm just beyond the weed edge and when it hangs up, swiftly “pop it” free from the vegetation, triggering consistent reaction strikes. Being able to increase your line rating from 8 to 8.4 pounds, delivers more control over your lure, as well as the fish, as you are fighting them to the boat. So why, you ask, couldn’t you simply increase your line size to standard 10-pound fluorocarbon? Well, many of these lakes now have increasing populations of zebra mussels, which make the water extremely, even unnaturally, clear. The implications are obvious: You will benefit from a smaller-diameter line.
Also new-for-2017 from Seaguar is Rippin’ Premium Monofilament, which provides anglers with a small-diameter monofilament (mono) that is both easy to cast and has remarkable strength. Mono was the very first fishing line most anglers can remember using, and even though some companies have made some improvements over the years, mono technology has mostly been left in the dark with the introduction of premium braided and fluorocarbon lines. Seaguar recognized this snub and developed this monofilament upgrade, which not only features smaller diameters compared to other brands on the market, but also less line stretch, which translates into increased hook-setting power. Another upgrade is the built-in UV protection found in Rippin’ mono; most standard monos break down and otherwise deteriorate quite quickly in comparison, after repeated exposure to the sun’s damaging UV rays.
Seaguar Rippin’ Monofilament is available in pound tests ranging from 4 up to 20, allowing for its use in numerous situations. Two of mono’s best properties are that it floats and has forgiving built-in stretch, a unique combo that does not exist in other fishing lines.
The two key presentations where I like to use Rippin’ Premium Monofilament are when using topwaters and crankbaits (see examples above) on my baitcasting combos. If you use a sinking line when fishing topwaters, the extra drag will pull your lures down into the water, affecting their action. Yes, braid does float, but it doesn’t have mono’s forgiving stretch.
Many times when you are casting topwaters like a walk-the-dog plug or chugger, you are targeting schooling bass that are actively feeding on the water’s surface. This means you want to make the longest casts possible, which this new line delivers. When fishing topwaters in open water, I’ll use 15-pound Rippin’ for my normal-size plugs, and I’ll go down to 12-pound-test when fishing smaller-sized Spooks or poppers.
When fishing buzzbaits around cover or a big Spook around boat docks or over rock bars (like I was doing last fall on Kentucky Lake) I’ll bump up to 20-pound Rippin’. The reason? I get more leverage and control over my bait and when fighting big bass to the boat.
As stated, the reasons I like using mono over braid when fishing topwaters is that it floats and has stretch to it. Forgiving stretch is critical, as most topwaters feature multiple treble hooks, and when you are fighting a bass your mono (paired with the right topwater rod) will deliver that extra margin of forgiveness when hard-fighting fish make those final surges by the boat. The result? Much fewer pull-outs.
Fishing crankbaits is the other presentation in which Rippin’ Monofilament gets spooled on my reels. Here again you’re dealing with lures with multiple treble hooks and I want some stretch in my line to aid in the success in landing hooked bass. Selecting the proper line size for crankbaits revolves around how deep I want my bait to run; the shallower I want to fish, the higher the pound test, and vice versa if I want to work deeper.
So if I’m fishing a square-bill shallow running crankbait around laydowns, say on the Mississippi River (a key fall season presentation), I’ll go with 15-pound Rippin’, to keep my crankbait from burying itself in the timber. In the springtime as the grass is emerging on southern lakes and on the Tennessee River, 20-pound Rippin’ is near-ideal for fishing lipless crankbaits or shallow-running crankbaits over the top of that emerging vegetation, while preventing regular hang-ups.
In the summer if you are fishing offshore rock piles on northern lakes, or, say, a ledge on Kentucky Lake with a big 10XD, you want to achieve the most depth possible with your crankbait. This is when the highest pound test I’ll use is 15, but more likely, I’ll scale down to 12-pound test, as this smaller diameter option will produce less resistance and help me get extra diving depth out of my cranks.
As you start to consider your schedule of angling adventures for the coming season, be mindful of some of the scenarios discussed above, and consider expanding your line arsenal. From my on-the-water testing, I know these two new specialized lines from Seaguar can absolutely impact your fishing success; in tough conditions you will be able to present your lures more naturally, and also, more precisely and efficiently. And that almost always results in more bass in the boat!