Drop Me A Line – B’n’M Pros Discuss What Fishing Lines They Prefer
By Phillip Gentry
One of the most overlooked links in the crappie fishing chain is the part that connects the fish to the rod – fishing line. Some anglers are very particular about the line they use and others could care less – whatever is on sale.
Our B’n’M pros fall into the first category. In fact, many of them use different line depending on such factors as what tactic they’re using, how deep they’re fishing, which baits are being used, and what the water clarity is like.
Below is a quick run down from some B’n’M pros with line choices based on which technique they use for crappie as well as a few other considerations.
On Weiss Lake, Alabama, crappie guide Darrell Baker spends a lot of time long line trolling for slab crappie. Baker said his line of choice for long lining is Gamma Optic Yellow in 6 pound test.
|Weiss Lake guide Darrell Baker relies on hi vis line so he can see where his jigs are tracking when long line trolling.|
“The Optic yellow is easy to see and that’s what you want when you’re trying to cast a jig back into the correct lane and for keeping hooked fish in the right lane,” said Baker. “It prevents a lot of tangles and cross-ups.”
Baker also touted the line’s breaking strength, stating the 6 pound test was as strong as 12 pound line from other manufacturers.
“That’s also a plus when a big catfish, bass or stripe grabs your jig,” he said.
Tight line icon Ronnie Capps stated that his go to line for slow vertical trolling is P-Line Flouroclear. Capps could not choose a favorite test line, stating his line size was based on what he had tied on and where he was fishing.
|Ronnie Capps lets the conditions dictate which line he uses rather than picking one favorite.|
“I match my line with my jigs,” he said. “I use 6 pound test with a 1/16 ounce jig and 8 pound test with a 1/8 ounce jig.”
For pushing crankbaits, Capps said he may go as high as 15 or 20 pound line.
When fishing his home lake at Reelfoot using his and Steve Coleman’s signature double hook minnow rigs, Capps said he would opt for 8 or 10 pound test line in the Flouroclear.
“But not at Kentucky Lake,” he said. “Then we’re going up to 12 or 15 pound test.”
Capps said he often gets questions about using heavier line weight when pan fishing favorites have always been in the 4 to 6-pound range.
“I agree, 8 pound test will get you more bites, but 10 will keep you fishing,” he said. “I’d much rather be using heavier line and be fishing, than be using lighter line and spend all my time retying knots.”
Pro staffer Kent Driscoll has a great passion for single pole jigging and his line of choice is Gamma Hi Vis in 6 pound test. Driscoll said high vis line is a must for seeing bites and when wielding a single pole, he tends to stay on the lighter line side.
|Gamma line makes the top choice for several of the B’n’M crappie pros.|
“The number of bites you’ll get using 6 over 8 is incredible,” said Driscoll. “Yea, you’re gonna lose more jigs that way, but you’re also gonna catch more fish because you’ll get more bites.”
Driscoll also touted the line’s function when using a loop knot, which is his standard knot for jigging.
“I shake the jig on a loop knot,” he said. “There is no jigging. I develop a cadence – shake 3 times, stop, shake 2 times, stop, shake 3 times, stop and so on. It makes the jig quiver and crappie can’t stand that.”
Brushpile Fishing TV Show Host Russ Bailey has been shooting docks for many years and up until last year, he always used 6 pound test line. That ended when he started using Gamma High Vis 4 pound line.
|B’n’M Pro Staffer and TV Show Host Russ Bailey said fishing with professional anglers continually upgrades his game as well as his fishing line.|
Bailey extolled several facets of using lighter line for shooting docks. He found he could shoot the jig further and he discovered the line really jumps when the crappie takes the jig.
“Dock shooting is all about seeing the bite,” he said. “If you wait till you feel it, you’ll miss a lot of fish so that 4-pound high vis line makes a big difference in seeing bites.”
Bailey said he’s never had a problem spooking fish when using high vis line even in clear, shallow water.
“It’s just one of those little adjustments that I make in my crappie fishing the more I fish with guys and see what they’re doing and for me, the jump down to 4-pound was a big deal.”
No matter what line you’re using, B’n’M has got the pole to match it. Catching more fish is what we are all about. Visit our website at bnmpoles.com for more details.
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