Adapting to New Trends in TackleAdapting to New Trends in Tackle Are today’s tackle trends worth trying? Yes, but you may have to change your fishing style to capitalize on the benefits. Here's why.
By Hank Parker
Anglers are funny about change. On one hand, we’re all looking for innovative ways to catch bass. On the other hand, we can be a little stubborn about radical tackle changes. And I’m no exception. When I’m comfortable and confident with the tools I use, I’m hesitant to change them.
An example: When the new gel-spun polyethylene braided lines were introduced, I was slow to jump aboard the bandwagon. I saw some benefits, but saw drawbacks as well. Braided products became a part of my arsenal, but only in about 10 percent of my applications.
Carolina-rigging was one of those applications. I could make longer casts, and because of the low-stretch material, I could feel more bites when fishing that rig in heavy wind than I could with monofilament.
Well, I’ve had an attitude change the first time I fished Berkley’s new FireLine. I found far more benefits to the non-monofilament material than ever before, and that has opened my mind to other tackle trends that I’ll cover in a moment.
Today, I use FireLine on 60 percent of my rods. It’s got a little bit of memory, which is good, it lays on the reel better, and casts much farther. Furthermore, FireLine isn’t braided, it’s bonded together to make one solid, strong line.
The smaller diameter allows me to use 14-pound test line that is the size of 6-pound monofilament, which makes for easier casting and enhances lure presentations. I’ve always preferred long casts, but with monofilaments, long casts make hooksets difficult because of stretch.
While fishing on a golf course pond recently, I found out what a difference FireLine can make. I saw some bass working over matted grass on the other end of the pond and made long casts with a split-shot rig and a Berkley PowerBait worm. I only missed two of 30 strikes, even though the wind was blowing a bow in my line.
Keep in mind, however, that today’s superlines require adjustments in fishing styles. For example, because the lines are so sensitive, fish can feel you as quickly as you feel them. So, you’re better off to pump the bait with shorter strokes.
Also, many of today’s rods are too stiff for superlines. Without line stretch, you need a strong rod with a parabolic spine, meaning it will bend from butt to tip. They absorb shock better when big bass make those powerful surges. With soft rods, you’ll lose fewer fish next to the boat.
Hooks also are evolving. There are many unique styles, including odd shapes and some with outside barbs. The first time I saw Mustad’s triple-grip hooks that bend inward, I didn’t take them seriously. But after I fished with them, I became a believer. They hold fish better than most traditional hook designs.
Are today’s tackle trends worth trying? Yes, but if you’re a traditionalist, you must keep an open mind. You may have to change your fishing style to capitalize on the benefits. But those changes may be just what you need to become a better angler.
You can find more articles, quick tips and much more at HankParker.com
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