The use of braided fishing lines on spinning reels has become prevalent for various reasons outlined below. Braided fishing line color is the most apparent attribute (after material difference), from bright and obnoxiously visible to more subdued hues of greens, grays, and blacks. So what braided fishing line color should you use, and in what situations? Bassmaster Elite Series pro Bob Downey discusses how he chooses braid colors for spinning applications based on fishing techniques.
FEATURED LINES (retail links)
- HI-VIS BRAID – Sufix 832 Braid, buy at Omnia Fishing
- LO-VIS BRAID – Sufix 131, buy at Omnia Fishing
- BRAID – buy at Omnia Fishing
THE BENEFITS OF BRAID ON SPINNING REELS
Braided fishing lines last longer and resist memory (coiling) that plagues fluorocarbon and monofilament — this equates to cost savings and superior casting distance. Additionally, low or no-stretch attributes make it extremely sensitive for superb bite detection and driving hooks home. Third, you can easily add a piece of fluorocarbon or monofilament to match your technique and for stealth with a simple line-to-line fishing knot.
BRAID COLOR CATEGORIES
Braided fishing line colors are broken down into high-visibility or low-visibility categories. Bright yellows, greens, pinks, and whites round out the most common high-visibility varieties, while hues of greens and grays tend to blend best with the water and cover.
BEST BRAID FOR BOTTOM-ORIENTED TECHNIQUES
Downey uses high-visibility braid for bottom contact techniques, such as jigs, Ned rigs, and drop shot rigging, to name a few. Why? Because he constantly watches his line with bottom baits, where slack line is the norm. When the line goes slack, you know you’re on the bottom, and you usually have a bite when the line behaves oddly. What about stealth? Fish can be line shy on pressured lakes and in clear water. Add a fluorocarbon leader to counteract the high-visibility braid. Use a longer leader the clearer the water.
BEST BRAID FOR CLEAR WATER AND MOVING BAITS
Low-visibility braids excel in clear water or when Downey retrieves moving baits through the water column. Your line is often tight (no slack) to presentations such as spybaits, hair jigs, Damiki rigs, and swimbaits. It’s easy to detect bites on a tight line, either bite transmission to your hand, your rod loading up, or both. As such, watching your line isn’t as important, with a less visible line offering more benefits. Darker braids camouflage better in the water column, leading to more bites for Downey.
This isn’t to say that this guidance is the right solution for all anglers or situations. Rather, it presents a rational decision-making process related to braid color selection.