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Can bass see my braided line? Does it matter?


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I started using braided line last fall when the fishing started to die down. I love it for a few different reasons.

1) It has zero line memory.

2) Casts like a dream

3) Same diameter as fluro

4) Strong as hell

After a few days of fishing, about 5 feet of the leading line tied to the lure is discolored. It looks worn but still holds up fine. I use the moss green color, and when it fades it starts to appear almost white. Its Power Pro #50 test, but Power Pro also makes the same line in a hi-vis yellow. Can they see it?

In the past MONTH, I've caught 2 bass. 2! I've thrown spinnerbaits of all shapes and colors, jigs, soft plastics, cranks, traps, buzzbaits, even jerkbaits. I've gone out to the local lake at least 4 times a week for about 3 hours per trip. What's goin on? I don't want to sound cocky but I can catch the hell out of some fish... and now I can't get a bite! Any tips would be so appreciated. Needin' some help here.

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Have you been using braid for everything? Its probably not the best idea to use braid with cranks, spinnerbaits, and jerks because you will rip the bait right out of the fishes mouth. This is what I've heard, and what I go by. I use braid with plastics and jigs.

Maybe its not so much of them seeing the line, but you using it. Throw some fluro on that reel!

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Well there are several things that come to mind.

1. The water is clear, and the bass can see your line. This is possible and will affect your catch rate. This could be because you are using very heavy line, and although the diameter may be small, the line is still solidly colored, no translucent effects. It is easy to see even in thin diameters.

2. The braided line has zero stretch, and you might not be considering how this affects your presentation. It will make all of your movements very exact and instentanious under the water. That little twitch could make your lure jump twice as far with no stretch.

3. The bite is just off. It happens.....

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  • Super User

It all depends on what you are fishing. If you are fishing slow baits like jigs, tubes, worms, ect in clear water the bass will see it. I fish a very clear lake and my partner was out fishing me 4 to 1. He was fishing a mono line and I had a braid on, fishing the same baits and the same colors, then we changed rods and I out fished him so that was all the proof I needed! :'( :'( :'( :'( :-/ :-/ :-/ :-/

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Yes - - in certain conditions it will decrease your bites.  I've been using braid for over a decade, and I use it on every rod I own and every technique - however - I almost always use a mono leader.   I vary the leader diameter based on the conditions and presentation - - - I still get the sensitivity of braid, but also the stealth of mono.  

As mentioned before - - braid will make a difference on the lure presentation, but I have always found it to be a positive one.   I can work topwaters and jerkbaits with more precision and less rod movement, I can feel every rock and stick and wobble of my crankbaits, and it keeps you in better touch with your soft plastics.  

Bottom line - - for me, braid is IT, however, it isn't for everyone - just like so many things.  

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I was using braid exclusively until about mid-season last year.  I switched to Vanish flouro and immediately my catch rate went up.  Realize, though, that I fish exceptionally clear water (you can see down at least 15-20 feet), and I use 10# test.  When I made the switch, I kept in mind that the flouro would work differently and tried to adjust my fishing to it.  It took only about 5 casts to feel the difference, and I haven't looked back.  The only time I use braid now is in heavy brush or when I'm working the lillies.

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Ok... yea. I use braid for everything. Cranks, spinners, topwater. I find it just overall more valuable then fluro. I have to admit though, I have a problem which braid seems to solve. Over the years, I've lost so many lures to backlashes. Not so many to hang ups, b/c with 50# test braid, you can practically pull the tree that you're hung up on straight outta the water. I've had days with braid you wouldn't believe. One in particular, I remember distinctly. I caught 29 fish in 3 hours. Now granted, the water I was fishing was a 1 of 5 small ponds surrounding another lake, and probably had very little fishing pressure if any. Water was crystal clear (about 5 feet of visibility.) As for the backlashes, even with the braid the lure sometimes goes sailing away from my line. All I can do is swear up and down. As far as no stretch goes, I like it that way. I've fished the Vanish before. As I remember, it wasn't half bad... but with this braid, I never have to worry about losing a fish. It just doesn't happen anymore. No line breaks anymore (cept for the backlashes), its getting them to bite thats the problem.

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  • Super User

There is a trade off for every thing , evidently your's is not loosing baits , sometimes you have to change up your tactics to accomplish what you want to do.

I use braid most of the time (10 - 30 lb. test) but I also use flouro when it calls for it.

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  • Super User

I use the braid for slop ( frog ) fishing and Pads or a C- Rig with a flo. leader. just my 2 cents 8-).

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I think the visibility of braid is less of a problem than most folks think.

Ish monroe used braid when he won a recent tournament using a top water frog using braid (not just in slop)

That being said.  If i was fishing in the gin clear cali waters I wouldn't use braid.

I think it depends on fishing pressure, water clarity, weed cover and other factors.

That's why I often tie a mono leader.

Now finding a single knot that won't slip under any circumstances to tie to the braid.   Now thats a challenge. :)

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  • Super User

Avid, a 6 turn uni-knot will not slip if you do your part correct. The only "slip" I have ever had is the line will slip through the hook eye gap with the smaller diameter lines when Tx rigging if I don't keep checking it's movement. I've had the most problem with the 30# Spiderwire Original since it's equal to 6# mono in diameter. I've since solved that problem by blocking the gap. I tie a polamar knot, cut the line and leave the knot in place, slide the knot around to the gap before tying on the hook.

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  • Super User

> Can bass see my braided line?

    I can see fluorocarbon line, and bass have better eyesight than me

> Does it matter?

    Bass swallow far stranger-looking things than a fine filament of line.

 

Bass are known to strike shiny snaps, wire leader and small globular floats, purely out of curiosity.

The stomach contents of bass have revealed ignition keys, the foil from cigarette packs

and bottle caps. It's unthinkable that a hungry bass would pass up a meal

because of a slender strand of spaghetti. On the other hand, comparing small diameter line

to heavy diameter line is a whole other ball game.

The larger the line diameter the greater the line drag, and the more it disrupts the natural action

of the lure, but this has nothing at all to do with 'line visibility'.

 

Roger

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Interesting point RoLo, but what about neutral bass.  Most bass are in a neutral mode most of the time.  Dont you think it pays to up the odds in your favor as much as possible, including going with as near as invisible a line as possible.   That being said maybe Gerald Swindle got it right and we all over think the whole fishing thing, its still only a fish with a pea sized brain.

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  • Super User

If a bass can see you line what do you think they think it is?

Do they think Oh my God it's fishing line stay away there's got to be an angler near by?

If they can see Braid why are so many bass caught on Braid?

I have to agree with RoLo, they can see it but just don't care   :)

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  • Super User

I think braid is fine to use with some  faster moving baits like spinners, topwaters, or frogs etc. And I would use braid in darker water with no problem, but for gin clear water I myself would never use it. 8-)

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There was a scientific study that PROVED bass develop avoidance behaviors to seeing line....... and the line used in the study was 8 lb. test of various colors.  Bottom line - bass have to survive, and they will learn to avoid things that they experience as a threat - that includes seeing line.

I think many times we try to relate to bass by giving them "human reasoning"  - remember, they aren't humans, they are predators of a completely different medium, and they have been given the tools to survive there.        

Even without the study, I've proved to myself the theory by sitting on top of schools of fish and using braid vs. braid with a leader.  The results were obvious, especially in the clear conditions I commonly fish in - the fish had no problem seeing and avoiding the braid.

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This is a debate that will probably rage on for as long as this forum is up and running.  For me the question boils down to what do fish see under normal circumstances -- grass, weeds, rocks, trees, etc., etc., etc. -- and lots of stuff that we wish they didn't like beer/pop cans, plastic bags, and yes, even line (ever snagged any while fishing?).  Stringjam, can you tell where this "scientific study" was done, who did it and where we can see the results?  If there is "proof" out there, then I may change my mind -- without it I think this is just a debatable topic and each person has to make up his own mind.

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  • Super User

Theres too much line in the bottom of our lakes and rivers,  I think bass are used to seeing fishing line all over the lake and its just part of their enviroment.

The same theory of bass being caught and getting smarter could be used in saying that "a bass that is caught in grass would never go back" if they truly do get smarter after being caught, and I just don't see that.

matt

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I have watch a few local guides do there semiars at the bass pro shops all year long.      Same tank, same fish, the fish still hit anybaits thrown, granted, the hooks are snipped and the fish don't get hooked, but it don't stop them from hitting at the demo baits every weekend.

The tanks are as clear as any lakes, yet bass and spectators can see the line in the water and bass don't seem to care.

Broken fishing line and all sorts of lures hanging around down there is part of the enviroment down below.    I think they are used to seeing fishing line every day.

Matt

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