I have a love hate relationship with braided fishing line for catfish. It’s great for certain applications but it’s an absolute pain to fish with.
I’ve said many times when covering fishing line for catfish and catfishing gear that braid is without a doubt the most over used item there is when it comes to catfishing tackle.
If you truly need to use braid then by all means do so but I’ve found that quite often people use braided fishing line for catfish just because they think they need to and there’s not a true justification behind it.
What’s the problem with braid?
- It’s much more expensive than monofilament
- It’s much more difficult to use and doesn’t cast as well
- If you backlash braided line it’s a nightmare
- It doesn’t stretch (this can be a benefit or problem, it depends)
- It’s hard to break (which at times can actually be a problem)
- It digs into the spool when snagged or hung up
- It’s very hard on gear (rods and reels)
There’s some advantages to braid though
- The diameter is much smaller than monofilament
- It’s very durable
- It’s difficult to break (again, both a blessing and a curse, it depends)
- It doesn’t stretch (again, this can be a benefit or problem, it depends)
- It’s very sensitive
When should you use braided fishing line?
- When fishing in and around heavy cover (again, durability)
- When fishing in heavy current (the smaller diameter has less drag)
- When using techniques that require extra sensitivity
- When using techniques that would benefit from limited stretch
Make sure you actually need to use braided fishing line and aren’t just defaulting to it without putting some thought into it.
If you’re targeting any of the catfish species in situations like outlined above then by all means load up your favorite braided fishing line and go catch some catfish.
If you don’t have a true need, like fishing with no current in relatively open water, then you should probably rethink you’re use of braided fishing line.
Here’s The Video
How To Spool Braided Fishing Line For Catfish
If you’ve decided that braided fising line is the best choice for you there’s something to keep in mind.
Braided fishing line cannot be spooled on a reel in the same manner monofilament fishing line can.
Braided fishing line requires the use of a “backer” on the fishing reel to keep the line from slipping. Some people also use the backer to help fill the spool (because of the smaller diameter of the braided fishing line).
Without adding a backer to the fishing reel prior to spooling the braid you’ll quickly encounter problems. At some point shortly after you begin fishing with the braided line you’ll begin to retrieve (reel in a fish) and you’ll quickly figure out you’ve got a problem. You’ll turn the handle and one of two things will happen, either the line won’t retrieve and roll onto the reel or it will retrieve and then “slip” so you’ll lose all of the line you retrieved (and in some cases even more than you retrieved).
To avoid this you add some sort of “backing material” to the spool of the fishing reel prior to spooling the braided fishing line.
There’s a variety of ways to do this:
Some anglers use electrical tape making five to six passes around the spool of the fishing reel covering the spool entirely with several layers of tape.
Some anglers prefer leave old monofilament line on the spool of the reel (or spool new line) filling a portion of the spool with monofilament to provide the backer and also help fill the spool. As a general rule a fishing reel with a full (or fuller) spool performs better when casting and retrieving.
I like to use a combination of both. I fill a portion of the reel spool with monofilament fishing line and then make a couple of passes around the monofilament with the electrical tape. I like having the spool full of line and the monofilament back makes that easier and more affordable. I also prefer not to put electrical tape directly onto my reel spools.
Regardless of which type of backing material you use, make sure you use some sort of backer for braided fishing line and tie the braid over the backing material when you spool the reel.
It also helps considerable when spooling braid to go very slowly and keep constant firm tension on the fishing line. The tighter and more compact the braided line is on the fishing reel the better it will perform.