Stan Fagerstrom is a member of both the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame as well as the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame. Stan is also known internationally for his casting skills. Stan welcomes your e-mail comments at email@example.com.
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December 04, 2012
The Best of the Braids
by Stan FagerstromPart 2
Small diameter braided lines like Power Pro made an immediate important change for bass anglers using open faced spinning reels.
I touched on this in last month's column. Chances are you'll agree if you've been using your spinning reels as long as I have.
Experienced bass anglers are fully aware that now and then those hard to figure buggers we're after are back in the heavy cover. Sometimes all they will look at is one or another of our smaller lures.
There was a time when you couldn't throw those lightweight lures into heavy cover because you had to use such a light monofilament line to do it. If a fish did hit you knew bloody well it would bust off or simply twist the line around some underwater obstruction. You were up the creek either way.
No more. Today a braid like Power Pro lets you solve that problem. How? Now you can run a Power Pro line testing 15-pounds onto your open faced spinning reel but still have a line of approximately the diameter of 6-pound monofilament. You can throw a light lure with ease.
Power Pro braided line comes in a special box that makes filling up one of your reels an easy task.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see what an advantage this gives an angler under certain conditions. I know for sure some of those bass around the country have learned the hard way what it does for me.
Today I always carry at least one spinning outfit equipped with an open-faced reel loaded with 15-pound Power Pro. If I want to throw a small plastic worm, but only use a weight of 1/8th-ounce, it's not a problem. I can do that just fine with this braided line that's so strong despite its small diameter.
For decades I've made a substantial part of my income giving casting exhibitions all over the United States and sometimes in foreign countries. I always get a bunch of questions after one of these demonstrations. Often those questions have to do with my lines.
I've been using Power Pro lines for my exhibition casting as well as my fishing for many years.
Early on there was a lot of surprise among some of the anglers in my audience when I told them it is Power Pro braided line I have on every darn one of my reels, including both my level wind as well as my open face spinning reels.
Before quality braids like Power Pro came along I always used monofilament lines on my level wind reels. I used it in 10-pound test for most of the trick casting or certain of the underhand flip casts because I couldn't get the job done as easily with larger diameter monofilaments in stronger tests.
I was always fearful of having my demonstration weight break off and go sailing out into the crowd while using a mono of just 10-pound test. As a matter of fact that's exactly what happened a time or two over the years.
When it did happen---thank heavens--- I never wound up hitting anybody. When I was able to switch to Power Pro braid and be careful tying my knots I was able to eliminate those potential problems.
The small diameter of the braid also let me go to much heavier tests for my exhibition casting as well as my fishing. For the tricky stuff I get by just fine now with 20-pound braid.
The braided lines I use for the part of my demos dealing with flipping are 60-pound test. For the bit on pitching I use a reel with Power Pro of 30-pound test. My open faced spinning reels are loaded with 10-pound test.
Don't let the solid color of a braid like Power Pro spook you from using it where there's clear water to contend with. There are lots of times when you can also do without a leader altogether.
I rarely use a leader with Power Pro when I'm fishing a spot like Mexico's Lake El Salto or should I be on the Amazon or one of its tributaries fishing for peacock bass.
There is absolutely no reason, of course, to not use a leader with this braid if you choose to do so. Do be sure you use the proper knots. You can find what those knots are and illustrated examples of how they should be tied right at the Power Pro website. I've included an illustration of some of the most important knots along with this column.
I've read where some well known anglers have advocated this or that knot as their choice with braids. Those knots may work just fine. As for me, I'll go with what the folks who market the lines have to say in that regard. Nobody wants you and me to like their product and do well with it more than they do. They're not about to recommend knots you and I can't depend on.
Shown here are some of the knots the makers of Power Pro braided lines recommend.
Here's the small but strong knot you'll wind up with to attach a leader to your braided line. You will, that is, if you use the knot the makers of Power Pro recommend.
That's about the size of it. I expect there are a number of other good braids also available. If one of them does the job you want it to do---fine and dandy. If it doesn't, give Power Pro a try. If it works as well for you as it does or me you're not going to have any regrets in doing so.