Braid or Fluoro for Jerkbaits?

Fishing Line, Hooks, Knots, and Weights
Pro angler Aaron Martens explains when and why he uses braid vs. fluoro for jerkbait fishing. This is advanced bass fishing!

One of the things I do that would be good for you guys up here, is I do the 20-pound braid.  I don't usually fish under 16 because... or under 20 because 16 starts,  it will start back lashing a little more.  It's so thin and the wind catches it, it will get, like, wind back lashes, or you'll just override and they'll catch a loop and stop.  Basically, it will waste, I mean, it's just like fluorocarbon.  Braids the same thing. If you cast a couple of times and it hits that spot, it always hits the same spot, that's, can break really easy.  I mean, it's almost like, just like fluorocarbon.   But I do, do a braid on a jerkbait a lot because, you know,  if you throw in a jerkbait a lot, all day, it's gets even me fishing constantly, you start to get those pains, it's hard.  With the braid it's about half as hard, about half the work to move the bait the same. 

It's actually a law against doing it now, but I've done that for quite awhile.  And I'll just do like a 20-pound braid, I use the SX1, it's really, that's good.  It's a Sunline braid.  I use about that much leader.  But you know when you tie your knots on, usually you go pull off the spool and just, kind of, pull it off and tie my knot on.  And, you know, you want to give yourself enough line the way you tie your knot.  You have about that long a leader in between the bait.   And the reason I do that, I don't like to cast the jerkbait, the leader through guides as I really fire it, and any knot, I've never had a knot hold up, so, I will snap it too hard, and usually those 110s you can throw them 130, 140, 150 feet some times.  And that just, when you get really a super long cast, you know, instead of having to rip it really hard, to get that way out there, and if you get bit you miss them sometimes. 

It's just like, it's the same thing as if it's, like, right there.  So when you're jerking it, you can get that bait with the same movement, you can to move a ton all the way back to the boat.  It's just like it's five feet from here.  There's no stretch, so, that's why I do that, and that works really good. It works, it doesn't seem to spook them or anything, the braid, but, it just makes it easier to do and you hook them better.

(off camera voice) Do you put 20-pound braid . . .

(Aaron) And longer casts.

(off camera voice). . . or 110 bait to what line?  What weight of line?

(Aaron) If I use 20, and, it depends on how you catching them.  If it's kind of tough, then I'll use, like, 14.  But usually I use, like, 16 or 20 leader.  And the leader line just keeps the bait from hanging in the wind.  You go fire it out, just keeps it kind of straighter, and a lot of times I won't use a split ring or a clip.  I'll actually tie direct to the eye, and just because the braid’s so loose in the water, the bait moves, it's like it has a split ring on it.

(off camera voice) You go braid fluoro or mono?

(Aaron) Flouro normally.  Shooter, that stiff shooter.  But usually I use, like, sixteen, but, you know, any kind of good, Sniper will work, but I use heavier.  Usually when I do that I'm catching them really good, and I want to get them in to the boat quick, and I'm using heavy leader material, and then just bigger, you know, heavier hooks, like the double strong Gammy short shanks or something, or the new hook we come out with, it's going to be phenomenal. 

But that's usually, I just, I'm a commercial fisherman basically.  I trying to get them from point A to point B quick.  So you're just like, [makes noise] and you get them in.  And soon as you get out there, they're biting, and, you know, when the bites good.  But most time, if it's a normal bite and, you know, you're catching twelve to twenty fish a day, I'll use, like, you know, depending on how big they are and what you're fishing, and what bait, whether you're fishing a magnum or the small one, anywhere from 8- to 12, I normally use, and in the summertime I use a lot of 14 and 16, just straight fluoro. 

And that's also for being able to move the bait good, but I don't always do that.  It's just, I probably do the braid on a jerkbait, maybe 20 percent of the time.  But, I mean, if they're smoking, and it's a really good bite, and that's all you're doing all day, I'd pull the braid out.  But a jerkbait for me, most time, is just like, maybe 20 percent of the day I'm fishing it.  It's not like an all-day deal, I'll use the fluoro, straight fluoro.  It's just to save my arms. 

But, like, it gets really cold here in the winter and the spring when the fish are jerkbait, then a lot of times it is 8-pound, and then the fish aren't pulling really hard, or doing, kind of, hard little runs and are stopping. You just, kind of, get them in, kind of, quick.  And maybe they're over 30 feet, 20 feet of water, 15 feet and you want to get your bait half-way to the bottom.  You know, like, get your, my 110, and might get down to 9-feet, which you can do, on a long cast, on a 7 or 8.  I do use 7- or 8-pound flouro a lot, but, there's not, I mean why not? I haven't had a problem breaking them off.  It's just you've got to fight them a little longer.