Battle Lines with Bobby Lane

Bobby Lane
Bobby Lane

Line is a very subjective thing. There are so many options within the three main kinds of line, so things get confusing pretty quick. I'm going to try and straighten a few things out by telling you everything I use braided line for. It's a great tool for every angler and is more than just a flipping line.

Topwaters and lipless crankbaits

Some folks like using monofilament with topwater baits, and there's nothing wrong with that. However, braid is better for moving topwater baits. It offers a much quicker reaction because it has no stretch. I like 50-pound-test Spiderwire Ultracast for throwing buzzbaits and walking baits like Spooks. It casts really well and doesn't mess around when a fish hits.

For lipless crankbaits, I like 30-pound Ultracast. It's great because you typically work them over grass, and if your lipless crankbait gets mired in the grass for a second you can rip it right out. Mono and fluorocarbon don't have the strength braid does to get them free. With 30-pound braid, you can really zing those lipless crankbaits.


Of course, flipping is where braid is the best choice, hands down. Get yourself some 65-pound-test Ultracast and tie a double Palomar knot. I've found it to be the best flipping knot there is. One of three things is going to happen when you flip with heavy braid: You're going to land the fish, straighten the hook out or tear up the fish's jaw.

More often than not, you're going to land that fish. Hooks these days are strong and allow for the correct hook set, so you don't tear up too many fish anymore. Flipping with anything other than braid is silly. You crank the drag down all the way and don't have to worry about breaking a fish off.

While I'm giving opinions on things, I might as well tell you what I flip. I like a Berkley Chigger Craw, the original as well as the new Crazy Legs Chigger Craw. I use an Abu Garcia Revo and an All Star flipping stick.

Spinning applications

When I want to skip docks, I like to spool up 10-pound-test Ultracast and tie a fluorocarbon leader on there. Nothing too crazy, just a foot or two. Ultracast comes off the spool really easy because it is so limp. This application is where braid's sensitivity really shines. You can detect the slightest tap. Then, once you get a hook in them, you don't have to worry about the braid sawing off around pilings like fluorocarbon and mono will.

If you only use braid for heavy cover applications, you may be leaving fish on the table or not getting everything out of your bait that you could. I really do use Spiderwire for all my braid fishing, mostly because the slogan is true: "Nothing gets away!"