Best Line for Muskie Fishing
By: Jim Edlund
When fishing for a hard-fighting fish such as a muskie, you must be equipped with tough and strong line
When pursuing giant toothy critters, you can have a $500 reel, but spool it with subpar line and it’s for naught. These days, we have more high-quality options than ever before. And as a whole, new lines are tougher, stronger, and thinner.
Hunting big fish pushes gear to the extremes of performance and the last thing an angler wants is to lose a giant due to line failure. Better braids mean more pleasant and efficient hours of fishing, more fish boated, and fewer sad songs. But with so many options to choose from, picking the right line can be difficult.
Wisconsin-based muskie expert Pete Maina has many notches in his big-fish belt and remembers the pre-superline days: “I fished Dacron and heavy mono for years. In the early days with mono you watched a lot of fish get away. If the fish bit close to the boat it was okay, but out on a cast there was too much stretch. There was a rubber-band effect, somewhat nullifying your hook-set. Dacron was a good alternative. With less stretch than mono you could get a good hook-set. In the old days I preached re-tying several times a day because there was a lot of abrasion and lines weakened. The early superlines were slick and not as abrasion resistant, so baits would snap off on a cast. They didn’t absorb shock well, and you had problems burying line in the spool. But that doesn’t happen anymore with top-end braids. I may cut off 15 feet or so after a few weeks, but if you don’t see significant wear you can keep using the line for a year or two. Just watch for visual signs of fraying.”
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