I can see clearly now

Comedian Steven Wright said there is a thin line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot, and I suppose that is sometimes the case. Of course, some of us might be better at looking like an idiot than others. And though I will name no names, we also must note everybody's good at something ... and I guess that includes looking silly, right?

But seriously, you can bet your bass boat there is always a line between an angler and his quarry, and you can double your bet and throw in the outboard that this line a very important connection.

Perhaps it is this requirement, having a reliable connection between angler and fish, that has today's market so knotted with lines. And it's true that, be it mono, braid or fluorocarbon, all lines have a place in your arsenal. Simply put, various fishing applications or techniques call for various characteristics in a line.

That said, what's my line? Well, actually it depends on the water I am fishing or the tactics the day requires. Nevertheless, when it comes to fishing clear water, my line has got to be fluorocarbon because it really does vanish. And in recent months, while filming some saltwater shows, the attributes of fluorocarbon line have become clear. In saltwater, you can see 20 to 30 feet or more — it's that clear — so line visibility is a factor, and for me this need for line concealment certainly carries over for freshwater fishing for bass.

A new fluorocarbon line I have been using is called Quattro Fluorocarbon by Hi-Seas (www.hiseas.net). It boasts a four-color camouflage appearance, so it allows contrast that makes it even more difficult for fish to detect. The line's ability to reflect light allows it to virtually disappear.

There is no doubt today's fluorocarbons are a different breed. In addition to the vanishing act, this fluorocarbon is dense and sinks faster, does not absorb water, has incredible knot strength and abrasion resistance and there is less stretch for a better hook set.

More and more anglers are recognizing these pluses. And many are doing as I have done — gone from using fluorocarbon primarily as a leader to loading my reels with it (its castability is great!). Normally, I use the 8- to 10-pound test on my Quantum spinning reels and 12-, 15- and 20-pound test on my baitcasters.

Next to braid, it is the second most sensitive of the line categories. You may not want to use it for topwater, since it sinks, but otherwise it's awesome for nearly all other clear water techniques.

Still, all the pluses make it an awesome clear-water line, and I am more pleased with it than a big ol' bass in a school of shad.

And if you regularly fish clear water, such as that found in highland or midland reservoirs, you might want to check it out, too.

For more words of wit and wisdom from one of our sport's greatest legends, check out www.billdanceoutdoors.com.