Let’s talk terminal tackle

Published 8:38 pm Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Let’s talk about one of the most important parts of fishing gear, that is probably the least interesting to talk about terminal tackle. Terminal tackle covers a wide range of components including fishing line, hooks, swivels, sinkers, rattles, bead and the like.

Let’s start with line. An old saying is, “The most important connection between you and the fish is your line.” This may be true. Fishing line has come a long way since my days of fishing as a youngster.

Today an angler can choose from three main types of line, monofilament, braid and fluorocarbon.

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And within these three line types you have many other variables to choose from.

Monofilament is the most common line, it has been used for decades and is what most people use or have used. “Mono,” as it is most commonly called is by far my favorite line.

Mono comes in many colors including clear, green, clear/blue florescent, camo, yellow and red. You can also choose in line softness, abrasion resistance, stretch, memory and diameter.

There are a lot of factors that go into choosing the right line, but it can be simplified for most applications.

I fish mostly clear water so I use green lines. You would think clear would be the best choice, but green actually blends with the water better and is less visible.

This also means it is less visible to the angler, so if seeing your line is of upmost importance, you will not like green line and will want to use clear or clear/blue florescent.

I’m not a fan of yellow or red, no matter what the labels may say about vanishing visibility.

I like to fish line with stretch as well. While low-stretch line is more sensitive, I tend to set the hook a little too hard and line with stretch reduces line breaks on the hookset and handles fish lunges better.

I like small diameter lines, but I get the smaller diameter by using smaller pound test lines, which are supposed to be the break rating of the line, most lines will handle much higher break loads than they are rated. I have had poor results with lines that have a small diameter relative to the pound test rating.

I use line with low memory for better casting, which usually goes hand in hand with lines that stretch.

Low stretch line has much more memory and that’s where you get coils and tangles on your reel.

For most of my fishing I use the Suffix Elite line.

It has low memory, has some controlled stretch, excellent strength, and it is precision wound on the spool for great line transfer for long casts and handling.

The line lasts a good length of time, and is no more expensive than most on the market.

No matter what line you use, it is important to keep your line changed and fresh. Most people change their line once a year at best. While I’m not an elitist and change my line after every fishing trip, it is good to change it after three months or sooner if it has been used in extreme uses such as trolling, pulling big crankbaits or higher than normal amounts of fishing.