It’s the post-spawn period in my area right now, which means one thing—suspended bass and lots of them. As the bass hang around in the shallows guarding their newly hatched fry, weightless or lightweight soft-plastic baits are tough to beat for both numbers and quality. These bass will often hang out right below their fry, somewhere between the surface and the bottom, and any slow-falling presentation is almost certain to get an aggressive reaction strike.
With that in mind, it’s imperative that we become “line watchers” this time of year. These fry guarders will almost always eat your soft plastics on the fall, before they reach the bottom. You will rarely feel these bites, so keeping a close eye on your line for any twitches, jumps or other irregular movement is paramount.
I had a unique opportunity to test Seaguar Smackdown Flash Green Braided Line this past week on Lake Hartwell. The bass were largely post-spawn and the bites were very subtle. Coupled with 20 mph winds, bite detection should have been really difficult. But it wasn’t.
I got a lot of experience with this line in perfect testing conditions, so I’ll quickly go through its most noteworthy characteristics.
Superior knot strength
In my opinion, there's nothing more important than a line's knot strength. You can be around the biggest bass in the lake and be throwing the perfect bait, but it means absolutely nothing if your line can't hold a solid knot at all times. I have quickly learned how impressive the knot strength of Seaguar Smackdown Flash Green Braided Line really is.
Pro angler Mark Daniels, Jr. and I found a school of striped bass this week and decided to target them with spinning gear and 15-pound Smackdown Flash Green for one reason--to see what this line is really made of. These stripers pull harder than just about anything in fresh water.
We caught at least 50 per person in a few hours and we didn't experience a single knot failure. The leader knot held beautifully and afterwards there was no fraying to speak of. Some of these fish would peel drag for 30 seconds and dive to depths of more than 30 feet and the Flash Green held up remarkably. If it can stand up to that type of abuse, big bass don't stand a chance.
It will not dig
This 8-strand braided line is actually covered with a clear coat finish, which resists any and all digging on the spool. There's nothing more frustrating than catching a fish and quickly making a follow-up cast just to have your rod almost yanked from your hands from your braid digging into itself. You will not have that problem with this line.
Again, I think the striped bass were a perfect test for this line. They are larger and pull harder than most typical black bass and I was shocked how well this line managed on the spool. We'd catch a 6-pound striper, release it and immediately make a 40-yard cast like it was nothing. This allowed us to maximize our number of casts and make the most of the giant school of fish we found.
High visibility for excellent bite detection
After the striped bass action died down, I was also able to skip a wacky-rigged weightless stick worm around some shallow pockets in search of post-spawn largemouth and spotted bass. With a weather front quickly approaching, they were certainly biting. But with that impending weather front came some ridiculous winds. Again, a perfect situation to test this type of line.
I can confidently say that if I were using straight monofilament or fluorocarbon that I would not have felt the large majority of my bites. The only way you'd know if you had a bite was when your line slowly started swimming to the side. No thumps, bumps, pecks or nibbles. Nothing.
The Seaguar Smackdown Flash Green Braided Line proved incredibly easy to see in both sunny and cloudy conditions, regardless of whether or not I had my sunglasses on. I was able to see the slightest movement in my line at all times-small twitches, jumps and other movement was made very apparent by the high contrast between this braided line and the water.
As you can see in the photo above of my friend and high school angler Carter Koza, we caught a bunch of beautiful bass using this new braid. If you're looking for a new braided line for finesse fishing, you owe it to yourself to try a spool of this stuff. You'll be ordering more after your first day fishing with it.