Braid is hot. We get it. Thin diameter, low stretch, low casting friction, maximum sensitivity on tight line, sure hook-sets. Heck, you can even get it in a color to match your truck!

But ease of handling with braid compared to the same situations with nylon or straight fluoro–with spinning gear–also does you a big favor. Braid use literally precludes reel damage caused by inadvertent loops of the razor-like “monos.”

And what I’ve found with a switch to braid is I’ve now been able to bring older reels back into service–where mono had “grooved” so bad, the scarred metal was continually grabbing the loops. After half a day of fishing, the line would start to fray, right at the length of a standard cast–because that’s where the loops would most likely occur.

While a lot of design measures have been incorporated into each new generation of spinning reels including reduced twist line rollers  and elimination of “sharp” corners or edges around the bail pick-up, hard use of mono, shaking worms or constant casting under-spins or flukes produces enough line twist and loops will appear.

If you have regularly used spinning for these applications, you probably have reels that show the grooves that catch loops and wear out the line. But instead of buying new stuff, I found I could take a diamond file (or other gentle abrasive) and smooth out the grooves, then put a couple of coats of car wax on the area–and, of course, switch to braid for the best results.

I don’t believe the super lines will replace nylon or fluorocarbon mono in every situation. I like the stretch of those proven products to soften the “bounce” of my darts and wacky jigs in say, less than 15 to 20 feet of water. But when I see that I can cut down on both repeated line purchases, not to mention, putting otherwise perfectly good reels back into service, I think it’s a decent idea.

And now, with a little polishing, reels like this Pflueger President (left), and filled with “superline,” can give many more years of service.


14 Responses to “Who knew? Braid saves your spinning reels”

by Robert Schneider

I too have made the switch to braid on almost all of my spinning reels. Not that I use spinning reels very often.

What combination of lines and leader sizes have worked best for you?

by Robert Schneider

Braid with diameter of 6, 8 , 10, or 12; depending on the size of my reel and application. and then I usually match the diameter of the braid to the diameter of the floro; usually.

What about you George?

When drop-shotting with a flouro leader I’ve had trouble with the knot connecting the flouro and the braid. Any suggestions for a solid connector knot?

by George Kramer

I use the heaviest fluoro I think they will bite, or that helps my presentations, or matches up best with the cover.

Normally that’s 10-pound AbrazzX leader on 6-pound Fireline for long casting Road Runners; 8-pound fluoro with 10-pound braid for dartheads or wacky jigs (though in off color I would go 10-pound fluoro); and for skipping Senkos under docks or in the willows, I would use 12-20-pound braid and 18-pound Seguar fluoro as the leader.

Personally (and I haven’t fished everywhere)so I don’t get to use 6-pound or lighter fluoro much, though I carry it.

As an aside, locally, we see super finesse is effective in tournaments, but no successful, national pro could, for example, afford to lose half his fish in a day. Anyone doing that would be back home, sponsorless and broke after a year.

by George Kramer

Curt: Since you asked, in an interview, Brent Ehrler of Redlands strongly recommended a double-uni. But there have also been votes for the Albright.

However, I like things simple and I use (as do many other finesse guys around the U.S.) what they call the “Seaguar knot,” which you can Google “Tying a Seaguar knot” and get some clear instruction.

Tip: Some fluoros are smoother and harder than others and braid, of course, is slick. When you make your turns in the loop (three is recommended) just add one. Moisten where the the two lines form a figure 8, pull ends slowly so no one of four creates a larger loop. With 10-pound or lighter fluoro, it’s a compact enough knot for many fishermen.

And even tying with special care, it’s way faster than the others.

As you know, we have been using braid on our 1970 Cardinal Four spinning reels since 1999.
For years, we used the J-knot to attach the leader to the braid. About three years ago, we switched to the Seaguar Knot. As a test, we caught 257 bass bass without retying the Seaguar Knot. (It should be noted that many of the 257 bass were small, but there were fair number of good ones, too). The Seaguar Knot is an easy knot to tie on the water and in the wind, which blows hard and often here in the Heartland. At this moment eight of our Cardinal Four reels are spooled with Cajun 10-pound braid with a four-foot eight-pound-test Cajun fluorocarbon leader.
As an old man I have become a devotee of frugal fishing, and although braid is initially more expensive than monofilament, it is more durable and eventually a better buy. We continually reverse it on the spool of the reel, and by reversing it, some spools of braid have endured constant use for 16 months, and it should be noted that we fish four to five times a week, and each trip last for four hours. Our goal is to tangle with 101 bass on each four-hour outing.
So far in 2010, we reached that bench mark only once, and that was on April 15, when caught 105 largemouth and two smallmouth, and during that day, we never retied the leader knot.
Hope that this will assure some of the readers of your fine Web site that the Seaguar Knot works well, and braid works well on our 40-year-old spinning reels.

by George Kramer

Appreciate the voice of experience, Ned.

Initially we were skeptical about braid. Thus in 1999 only one of our ancient Cardinal Four were spooled with FireLine. The rest were spooled with monofilament. Then as the years went by, we became convinced that braid was the best alternative for us, and by 2006 all of our Cardinal Fours were spooled with braid. By the way, our casting reels, which we rarely use nowadays, are still spooled with monofilament and fluorcocarbon. Cajun is offering an inexpensive braid, and as part of my desire to create a new sense of frugality in the angling world, we are testing it on the Cardinal Four that we use while plying a 2 3/4″ tube affixed to a 1/16-ounce jig. We have caught 77 bass on it in 2010, and we haven’t experienced any problems with it. When our bass begin to relish a 4″ grub affixed to a jig, we will us the inexpensive Cajun braid on our grub outfit.
We are hoping that this inexpensive braid will allow more anglers to economically test the manifold virtues of braid when they employ finesse tactics with a spinning outfit.

by Curt Nelson

George and Ned,
Thanks for the advice on the Seaguar knot. While I had the drop shot rig in mind, Ned’s impressive statistics inspire me to try the braid / seaguar knot / flouro combo on other spinning applications. I appreciate the help and enjoy the blog and its regular commentators.

Correction: the inexpensive braid isn’t Cajun; it’s a Zebco product called Omniflex. Zebco Brands makes Cajun, too.
I am using it on the tube rod, and I will use it on the grub rod when we can get our bass to engulf a grub.
It is unlikely that the big-time anglers would fish with it, but for the kind of bass fishing that we do, it works well indeed. I will eventually test it on the finesse worm rod and the Zero rod.
By the way, I tossed two air knots with the Cajun braid today; we were battling wind gusts that hit 35 mph, and I am blaming the wind as the reason that I tossed an air knot; thus if the wind hadn’t howled, it’s unlikely that the air knots would have erupted. The first one was easy to fix, but the second caused me to lose 10 feet of braid. They were the first two air knots that I have tossed on the Cajun in 2010.
Despite the wind we landed 68 largemouth and smallmouth bass in four hours; we fished from 11am to 3pm.

Ned, I like you thinking on light jig fishing. I do quite a lot of crappie fishing, and have been trying some power pro braid. Very sensitive, will sometimes wrap around my rod tip. Any suggestions how to eliminate this problem? I use a palomar knot with no problems thanks, van

We are sorry to report that we don’t have a remedy for preventing braid from occasionally becoming wrapped around the rod tip.
Crappie anglers around northeastern Kansas who spend most of their time with vertical presentations seem to be plagued with this more than bass anglers around here who spent their outings casting and retrieving.
For instance Dick Bessey and I bass fished on Dec 2 and Dec 3 for a a total of eight hours and it occurred once. For us, it often occurs when our lure is snagged and we attempt to free it by banjoing the line and rod, and the s-curves of the slack line during the banjoing procedure occasionally become wrapped around the tip. At times the knot and wrap can be difficult to unravel.
Here’s hoping that your question will catch the eye of a savvy angler who has the answer to this problem.
As ever,