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Although I’m a bass angler at heart, I love hooking up the aluminum boat and targeting panfish from time to time. It’s a great change of pace and it allows me to fill my freezer with tasty and healthy fillets.
I’ve had a hard time finding a fishing line that I like, however. Every panfish line I buy tends to jump off the reel and twist really badly on a windy day. This is especially true when I'm using small inline spinners when I’m bluegill fishing.
A few years ago, I found a really good—and cheap—line that I wanted to share with everyone. I bought a few spools of Lew’s Mr. Crappie Monofilament Line and it’s now my definite line of choice for all things panfish.
I’ll quickly explain what sets it apart from the rest I’ve tried.
It’s the strongest 6-pound test I’ve used
I get snagged a lot when I’m fishing for panfish. Whether I’m chucking inline spinners towards shallow laydowns or trolling jigs over the tops of brush piles, some days it feels like I catch more wood than fish. Luckily, this has given me a great opportunity to test the strength of this line.
Lew’s Mr. Crappie Monofilament is absolutely the strongest 6-pound test I’ve ever used for panfishing. There have been several instances in which I’ve actually dragged a submerged Christmas tree several feet while trying to break my line—and I actually get my hook and/or lure back.
This line has only failed me one time while catching a fish; and a 7-pound largemouth ate one of my crappie minnows and my drag was set too tight. I’ve caught plenty of crappie in the 3-pound range and huge bull bluegill without a single line failure. I have yet to find a panfish line that's tougher.
Resists line twist
As I mentioned earlier, I love fishing small spinners around bluegill beds. I’m always doing it for fun, so I don’t go crazy with my gear selection and start tying barrel swivels to my line. I’m just trying to relax.
Even when I tie a spinner straight to my main line, I experience very little line twist while using Lew’s Mr. Crappie Monofilament. I’ll get a few coils every now and again, but they fall out quite easily.
Behaves well on the spool
I’m not ashamed to admit that I buy most of my ultralight reels from the refurbished bin. They work just fine and I’m not fighting huge fish most of the time, so they’re just fine for me. But not all of these reels handle line very well. In fact, most of my reels are pretty “picky” when it comes to panfish line.
Since using Lew’s Mr. Crappie Monofilament, I honestly can’t remember the last wind knot or bird’s nest I’ve experienced. It rarely jumps off the spool and lays flat, whether I’m casting into the wind or trolling over deep brush.
The color doesn’t bother the fish
I have caught hundreds of crappie that didn’t seem to mind the hi-vis yellow color. I actually prefer it because those panfish will bite so lightly, it’s important to see the slightest jump or twitch in my line. It’s easy to see in both sunny and cloudy conditions, and that easy bite detection is often the key to filling up my cooler.
I actually know a non-sponsored Elite Series pro who fished with 6-pound Lew’s Mr. Crappie Monofilament during the 2017 Cherokee Lake event. He was using crappie jigs to catch lethargic, cold-water bass and this line helped him win a $10,000 check. So I guess the bass didn’t mind the hi-vis yellow, either!
Available at FishUSA.com
This stuff is dirt cheap and strong as an ox. If you’re looking for a good panfish line, I truly believe you’ll fall in love with this stuff. Prices start at just $4.99 per spool.