What’s on Your Spool

By Joe Sheaffer

There has definitely been a learning curve for me, fishing inshore in SW Florida. I moved down here 4 years ago and compared to most of the great anglers in our region, I’m basically a rookie. It has been a challenge learning the area, lure selection, presentations, figuring out what equipment to use, to name a few. A couple weeks ago a fellow angler asked me “What type and strength of fishing line do you use?”. After many adjustments and experimenting I have finally become comfortable with what I have on my reels. Braid is definitely the way to go, as far as I’m concerned. It is definitely way more sensitive, superior castability and very durable. I have tried different brands and most of them are solid choices. I went through a few different sizes from 20 lb. down to 10 lb. test and have settled on 10 lb. test. I definitely can make longer casts and as long as I have a solid leader attached I haven’t had any issues hooking and landing nice size fish. The main selling point for me is casting distance, making long casts has given me a great advantage to get fish to bite. Sure, there are times when heavier braid is necessary, especially fishing heavy cover or for very large fish. I typically use 20-30 lb. test Fluorocarbon leader depending on the structure, water clarity or species. Monofilament leader works as well, especially in dirtier water. Sure, your rod and reel are very important, but the line you use on your reels should be a big priority; that is what is in direct contact with the lure and fish. I surely don’t have all the answers, but this setup has worked for me and it may work for you. Keep casting and good luck.