Each type of line has specific uses, according to Marty Stone.
If you’ve hung around your local marinas long enough, chances are you’ve heard the debate between monofilament and braided line for bass fishing with topwaters. While many anglers utilize a more new-school approach by solely using braided line for all topwater applications, some of the more old-school anglers stick with monofilament for their topwater presentations.
Vicious Fishing pro Marty Stone has a tried and true “hybrid” system that utilizes both schools of thought. Whenever he’s on a hot topwater bite, you’ll find him using both types of line for very specific reasons.
Braided line for walking baits
Whether he’s using a Heddon Super Spook, Lucky Craft Sammy or Lucky Craft Gunfish, Stone opts for 30-pound Vicious Braided Line. Because these baits are highly effective search tools for schooling bass on areas such as points and expansive flats, he finds the no-stretch qualities of braid essential for maximizing his hookups.
“It never fails—any time you make a long cast with a walking topwater bait, more times than not, you’ll get bit on the end of the cast,” Stone said. “Braid doesn’t have any stretch, which transfers the energy of my hookset directly to the fish, allowing me to get a solid hookup before the bass spits the bait.”
The absence of stretch in braided line also aids in proper presentation with walking topwater baits. After a long cast, you need to have the ability to work the bait with ease.
“Braid also transfers the twitches of my rod tip directly to the bait,” Stone said. “With the most subtle twitches, I can walk my topwaters from 40-yards away without having to jerk my arm out of socket.”
In addition to helping your hookup ratio and presentation, braided line allows for extra-long casts, which proves invaluable when covering large, open areas. If you’re bombing a 7/8-ounce Super Spook on 30-pound braided line, you’ll be able to cover twice the water as you would with monofilament.
Monofilament for poppers and prop baits
When using poppers and prop baits, Stone exclusively uses monofilament line. If he finds himself around heavy cover, such as fallen trees, he’ll stick with 17-pound test. For lighter cover, such as grass lines, he’ll bump his line size down to 15-pound test.
“With poppers and prop baits, I’m making precise casts to specific structure in close quarters,” Stone said. “Not only does monofilament increase my casting accuracy, but it also has enough stretch to assure a solid hookup. The rigidity of braided line pulls the bait away from the bass too quickly in close combat.”
The stretch of monofilament acts as a shock absorber when using these baits. While a quick hookset is necessary, the split-second delay that mono gives you allows the bass to eat the entire bait, therefore increasing your hookup ratio.
Through a lot of trial and error, Stone has also found that braided line can wreak havoc on prop baits. Because braid floats so well on the water’s surface, any slack line immediately tangles in the blades, making it nearly impossible to ensure a proper presentation.
Exciting topwater strikes get every angler’s adrenaline pumping. As winter slowly fades and the bass become more active, these guidelines will help you catch more fish and decrease your topwater heartbreaks this spring.