So that’s why I started with braided line on a vibrating jig… but why did I stick with it? Well for me and the way I like to fish, there was no real reason to move to fluorocarbon line. Now, I will admit that I throw a ChatterBait on fluorocarbon every now and then in really clear, open-water scenarios. But I primarily fish it in near-zero visibility water and around some extremely abrasive cover like rocks, stumps and logs. I’ve stuck several fish over the years on a ChatterBait in the middle of a laydown that I truly don’t believe I would have been able to land with fluorocarbon.
I’d say the same for dense vegetation, even in clear water. Later in life as I started to fish the then-EverStart series (present-day Toyota Series), I began fishing lakes like Okeechobee, Guntersville and Seminole where I’d target bass with a ChatterBait around dense vegetation like hydrilla, milfoil and coontail. And I had a good bit of success doing it, including an 11th place finish in 2013 on Okeechobee.
The braid was critical in pulling those fish that from the dense vegetation for me that week. Even in the clearer water, I didn’t really worry about the visibility of the braided line because it honestly just blends in with the vegetation in my opinion. It’s hard for me to believe a fish can’t see 65-pound braid when I’m punching a mat and working a bait super slow but if I turn 2 feet to the left and reel a ChatterBait through the scattered vegetation on 40-pound braid it’s suddenly a deal breaker.
But, in the defense of why most anglers choose fluorocarbon, it’s not typically the preferred line because it’s less visible. Most anglers choose the parabolic glass rod and fluorocarbon because they believe it helps them catch more fish and more aptly put, miss fewer fish. There’s a little bit of dullness in the sensitivity of that setup and you’re less likely to jump the gun when a fish swipes at your bait because you won’t feel the miss.
Instead, you kind of keep fishing until a lot of times the fish makes another swipe at it and then the bait will often just feel like it has stopped working. Then you have to deliver a big, sweeping hookset and burn the reel to catch up with the fish. This is just all so foreign to me due to the history I have with braided line. So, let’s look at the reasons I prefer braid for the actual technique of fishing a ChatterBait.