The debate is over, sort of

Category: Tournament

 Aug 11th, 2015 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Aug 11th, 2015 at 12:00 AM

Yep, it’s finally over! What you ask? Well, the raging (not really) debate over whether to use braid or fluorocarbon when swimming jigs, pitching grass, etc.

Sure, in certain situations, like punching dense vegetation with a super-heavy weight with a soft plastic you need to use braid, it’s a no-brainer. But I’m talking about more of that semi-open water deal. Like fishing big beds of milfoil that exist in so many lakes and reservoirs throughout the country.

Now, in muddy water, it’s obvious you can get away with braid due to lack of visibility, but what about somewhat clear water?

I have access to the top professional bass anglers in the game and all have varying opinions on the fluorocarbon versus braid debate when it comes to these conditions.

Greg Hackney at work (Joel Shangle)

Greg Hackney generally uses braid even in clear water when swimming jigs in these conditions. He won a Bassmaster Elite Series event in 2014 on Cayuga Lake in New York using braid in clear water over and in milfoil beds. While John Crews prefers fluorocarbon in these situations, he uses braid only in the heaviest cover.

So, I took it upon myself to experiment over the last few years. Fishing a local body of water using both braid and fluorocarbon while specifically swimming jigs. Under all conditions. From spring through fall. Taking in all of the advice from dozens of pros.

The conclusion I’ve come to is this, it didn’t matter. I caught fish on 65-pound braid in clear water swimming jigs just as well as I did using fluorocarbon. Now, I’m not saying this conclusion is one that you will experience, but I’m telling ya, as long as it is a moving bait, it doesn’t seem to matter. They chomp on those baits regardless of the line.

One important side note. If you fish in a part of the country where toothy predators live, northern pike or muskie, I have found you will lose fewer lures with the fluorocarbon. Not sure why, but seems as though they slice through the braid easier, but that may just be bad luck.

I’d suggest you spool up with both and be prepared for whatever the fishing gods give you each day you’re on the water.

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