One of the recent trends of the Bassmaster Elite Series has been the resurgence of braided line. With its thin diameter, incredible strength, and increased sensitivity, pros are using it in more applications than ever before.
Elite Series pro Terry Butcher is no different when it comes to pushing the envelope with braided line applications. Cutting his teeth in Oklahoma waters, Butcher has become a power fishing aficionado with an affinity for fishing muddy, cover-laden areas.
One of Butcher's go-to offerings in these conditions is a spinnerbait fished on braided line. "I mainly throw braided line in stained or muddy water. I like it because usually when I'm doing that, I'm fishing around heavy cover, and I don't want to have to worry about breaking off," explains Butcher.
"When I'm using braided line with a spinnerbait, it's out of this world what you can feel under the water. You can feel when your bait actually touches a limb or flutters down after climbing over a stump. If a bass just swipes at the bait, you can actually feel it because of the line."
In addition to the increased sensitivity that braided line gives Butcher, he says that he also relies on braided line for the improved hook set. "On a long cast with monofilament, you really have to get a good hookset to have a hope of hooking the fish. With braid, you just barely have to twitch, and you have a solid hook set," Butcher claims.
To counter the lack of stretch in braided line, Butcher uses a medium-heavy 6-foot, 8-inch rod that he designed for American Eagle Rods. It features a softer power than most other spinnerbait rods on the market. "I really haven't had much trouble landing the fish once they get close to the boat because that softer powered rod helps prevent a bass that surges from pulling off," he says.
Even though Butcher prefers braid in stained water, he had success throwing it when burning a spinnerbait in the clear waters of New York's Lake Champlain during the 2007 Elite Series event. "I had so much more feel with the braid. I was catching a lot of fish because I would feel one swipe at the bait and would throw back to the same area several times until I finally got the bite again."
With the success Butcher has had using braided line when throwing spinnerbaits, one would think that he might branch out and try utilizing braid in other off-the-wall applications. "I have experimented with braided line on square bill crankbaits but I really don't like using it in that application," he allows. "My hookup ratio goes way down when using baits with treble hooks on a line that doesn't have any stretch."
The next time you hit the water with your favorite blade tied on, try stepping outside your comfort zone and spooling up with braid. It might be the edge you need to pull that bruiser through a thicket, past a stumprow, and into the boat.
(Provided by Z3 Media)