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A lot of people have different opinions about what fishing line works best and when you should use each of them. The majority of people I know use braided line on their baitcaster but in this post, I’m going to be talking about whether or not you can put fluorocarbon on your baitcasting reel.
The simple answer is no you shouldn’t use fluorocarbon as your main fishing line on a baitcaster. If you use anything above 8 lbs you’ll run into a lot of problems and your performance will suffer. Tangles will happen and you won’t be able to cast very far. You could use a lighter line and catch fish but you’d get way better performance if you use braid with a fluorocarbon leader.
I’m not saying you won’t be able to catch fish if you use fluorocarbon. All I’m saying is that there are way better options out there. One thing I will say is that if you’re using braid as your main fishing line you should put a couple of wraps of fluoro/mono on the spool to give the braid something to bite into.
Why Fluorocarbon Doesn’t Work
If you want to use a lighter fluorocarbon on your baitcaster that’ll probably work. You’re probably fishing for decent-sized fish and that’s why you’ll most likely need something heavier. I found that anything over 8 lb test will cause problems. Under 8 lbs worked okay but it definitely wasn’t as smooth as braid.
If you try using heavier fluoro on your baitcaster it’s not going to cast very far. The line is going to be too thick, it’ll cause a lot of friction, and it’ll almost make you feel like you’ve never cast a fishing rod before. If you’re not casting then this won’t really matter but I’m going to assume you will be.
The second thing I noticed is that it’ll get tangled pretty easily (with a heavier line). You’ll probably feel like you really have to give it some power to cast it out and that’s where the problems come into play. I don’t know about you but I’d way rather spend my time fishing than cleaning up my reels multiple times per day.
Why Braid Is Better
I use braid as my main fishing line on 90% of my rods and even though it’s not perfect, the benefits outweigh the cons in my opinion. This is especially the case if you’re using a baitcaster to cast baits (and not for trolling).
The first reason I like to use it is that it’s more versatile. Since I’m able to toss 20 lb braid on my baitcaster, I can use the rod for more than one type of fish. I can put a thin fluorocarbon leader and fish for rainbow trout or I could put 12 lbs on and fish for bass. With fluorocarbon (or mono) you’d most likely have to switch every time (or have more rods).
The second reason I like it is that it’s stronger and lasts longer than mono and fluoro. I’ve had the same braid on my reel for the past couple of years and it’s still going strong. That wouldn’t happen if I was using fluoro or mono. Also, 20 lb braid is the same thickness as 6 lb mono and that’s where the extra strength comes from.
Since braid is thinner than the other two fishing lines it’ll improve your casting distance. If you’re trolling with your baitcaster then it won’t really matter but it could be a huge benefit if you’re casting. You’ll be able to cover more water and that’ll hopefully get you more fish. I did an article on how each of the lines compares for casting and you can see that here.
The final benefit to using braid is that it’s more sensitive. Both mono and fluoro will stretch a bit and that can sometimes make it tough to feel the smaller bites. Braid doesn’t stretch at all and that’s going to make your rod a lot more sensitive. You’ll be able to feel your lure bumping into things and you’ll be able to feel fish playing with your lure. You’ll then be able to get a quick hookset in and hopefully land that fish.
The Best Line For A Baitcaster
When it comes to what braided line to pick I don’t think it’s a huge deal. I haven’t tried them all but the ones I have tried have all been pretty decent. It wasn’t always that way but braided line has come a long way over the past little bit. Here’s a full video on how I set things up:
The first thing you’ll want to do is put a couple of wraps of mono or fluoro directly on the spool. Braid is pretty slippery and tends to slide on the spool. By putting some mono/fluoro on it’ll give the braid something to bite into. Just a couple of wraps so the spool is covered is all you need. You could also use some electrical tape instead if you want.
After that, you’ll want to get your braid (I normally use Sufix 832), thread it through the first eyelet, and attach it to the backing material. I normally use the Double Uni knot and it’s always held up nicely (video for that below). You don’t have to use that knot but just make sure it’s really secure when you connect them (since braid slips).
You’ll then want to put tension on the fishing line and start reeling. Make sure your line doesn’t criss-cross or dig into the layer behind it. Otherwise, you’ll spend more time untangling than fishing. Put enough line on so there a 1/8-1/16 inch gap between the line and the spool.
The final step is to attach your fluorocarbon leader (I normally use Seaguar Red Label). The length is up to you but you’ll want to make sure your knot doesn’t reach your spool. I normally put 5-6 feet of fluoro on the end of my line and then replace it when it gets under 2 feet. You can then attach your favorite lure or hook/bait and be on your way.