The Right Tools for the Job Part 2: Choosing the Right Line for Walleye
Trying to find the perfect line while wandering down the endless aisles of super lines, braids, monofilaments, and fluorocarbons can be quite a daunting task. With literally hundreds of different lines on the market in so many colors and breaking strengths, finding the right stuff for a particular tactic can be next to impossible. For those of you who find yourself agreeing with the above mentioned statements, this is for you! In this piece, we are going to look into which lines are best suited for popular walleye tactics.
As far as walleye tactics are concerned we will be looking at 3 major types of fishing lines:
Jigging is by far one of the most popular and effective methods for targeting walleye. A major part of being successful with jigging is having the right equipment. In the case of line, a no stretch line is absolutely essential. When jigging, feel is everything. Having a no stretch line helps to transmit feel quickly to the angler allowing for quick hook sets and fewer lost fish. For jigging applications super lines are absolutely the way to go.
Here are the stats for my perfect jigging line:
Easy to Tie
6 to 10Lb Test
My go-to line for nearly all of my jigging needs is Berkley Original Fused Fireline in flame green. Fireline has been a staple in serious walleye angler’s presentations for decades and continues to excel as a jigging line. One concern some anglers have is the fish possibly seeing the line. An easy way to fix this is to tie on a foot to foot and a half long 8-10lb fluorocarbon leader using a small swivel.
Good trolling lines are nearly polar opposite to jigging lines as they have a fair amount of stretch. For this we want to use a monofilament line to get the most stretch possible and best “bang for our buck”. Since most trolling reels hold several hundred yards of line it can be somewhat expensive to fill 6 or more of them. Another good thing about monofilament lines is the price. Most monofilaments are very inexpensive making it affordable for just about any budget.
Here is what my monofilament trolling lines need to have:
10 to 12Lb Test
If I had to pick one line for trolling to use for the rest of my life it would have to be Berkley Trilene XT in low-vis green and 10Lb test. Most lure manufacturers use a 10lb monofilament as their baseline for developing dive curves for their products. That said, using 10lb line is a good way to help ensure that you are getting your lures as close as possible to the correct depth. The Trilene XT is also very abrasion resistant for a monofilament making it perfect for trolling as planer board clips and running into the bottom can easily damage line.
Slip Bobber and Rigging Lines
When it comes to choosing the right line for rigging and slip bobber techniques I’m not too picky. I generally pick lines based on the kind of water and structure that I’m fishing. If I find myself in timber or rocks I will usually go with some kind of superline with a fluorocarbon leader, or if I’m fishing weeds and open flats I will sometimes stick with a monofilament line. For most people, I like to recommend 10 to 12lb Berkley Fireline in a high vis color. I like the no stretch quality of Fireline for getting solid hook sets and the bright colors to help watch the line so I can manage any slack in the line and in rigging situations help detect strikes. In both scenarios I like to use a fluorocarbon leader, usually 6 to 10lb test connected by a small swivel so I have something a little easier to tie my jigs and hooks to, and to provide an invisible connection from my jig or hook to my main line.