Thursday, March 5, 2009

PowerPro...Is It Really That Much Better?

I have always fished with monofilament, and never really believed all the "hype" about these new braids hitting the market. I believe it was Spiderwire that first started marketing this all new "superline", but it was going to take more than a few pro-anglers to convince me to change. I mean, if it isn't broke why fix it, right? Wrong!
I moved to Florida a few years back and found out that the new (at that time) PowerPro was the the choice for most Florida anglers, and for good reason...After loosing some pretty large snook in the mangrove bushes with my trust-worthy Berkley XL, I was willing to make the change. A change that would in fact...Change the way I fished!! After a small learning curve, I discovered I have been missing the boat all these years. This stuff is absolutely incredible! Not only is it the most sensitive line I have ever used, but is the most durable! I have ripped big fish out of some of the nastiest cover imaginable without a single break off. And to make it even more impressive, I only use the 8 lb test. I have found that not only can you use lighter test line, but it will out last even the highest quality monofilement out there! In fact, I have reels that have had the same line on them that I put on 4 years ago, and it still performs like new. In addition to the quality, I've found the sensitivity amazing. Here in Lake Erie we fish a lot of deep water drop shots so this has definitely helped me land more fish. After all, you have to feel the bite before you can set the hook! But before you run off to the store and load up on this stuff, there is a few things you need to know. This is not mono...let me repeat! This IS NOT mono! It feels, acts, looks, and smells different so you have got to treat it differently! What I mean by this is that you have to change a few habits in the way you do things! For starters..You don't need to fill the spool completely with PowerPro.
After you remove the old line off your reel, grab some fresh mono and tie it onto the spool. You will want to add about half the spool (depending on what size reel) with mono, using this as sort of a backing on a fly rod. There are two main reasons for this...One, PowerPro is expensive so why waste money. You won't ever see that first half of line on your reel so what would be the point? Second, this braid is very smooth. If you tie it directly to your spool it will sort of "spin" around and will not hold tight to the spool and will have a negative effect on your drag.The knot that I use to join the mono and braid together is the Uni to Uni knot. Even though this knot appears tricky, with a little practice you'll find it's quit simple to tie. Now that you've got your reel ready to go, let's go over a small detail that will have you cursing my name out on the lake...WIND KNOTS!!! This line is known by to create havoc on people with this. A "wind Knot" is a when a small loop forms in the line and pulls a tight little knot that even your mama couldn't get out! To eliminate this, DO NOT close your bail after casting by reeling it in. Manually close your bail and grab the line close to the spool and pull it tight up against the line guide. This will drastically reduce the problem. Now that we got those small details out of the way...Let's talk about the main difference between PowerPro and monofilement line. PowerPro has almost zero stretch. This will allow you to feel bites, bottom contours, structure and god knows what else. As soon as you start to retrieve it for the first time you will know what I'm talking about! You'll wear your arm out setting hooks on leaves, sticks, or even the side of the boat (yes I did it) because you will feel everything. Once you catch a few fish you will quickly adjust to it and your buddy will stop laughing at you!
Because this line doesn't offer any "give" I highly recommend loosening your drag just a bit. Too much pressure will cause some lost fish if your drag is too tight due to the non-stretch of this line. Being that I fish a lot of clear water lakes and rivers I always tie on about a two foot length of fluorocarbon leader, but if you fish murky waters this is less of an issue. Okay, now that we got all that out of the way, let's talk about knots. Most of the knots you are used to tying don't work too well. PowerPro is an extremely smooth, silky line so regular clinch knots (fisherman's Knot to some) does not hold. A Uni knot is the only one I use. Once again...Practice this knot while you're on the sofa watching Lifetime Movie Network (Don't lie, you know you do) and before you know it, you'll be tying them as quick as you can tie your shoes!
I was recently asked if this was a good cold water line. I used it once before ice fishing and wasn't impressed, but have since changed my mind. I'm not sure if it was the short ice rod that it didn't match well with or what, but recently I used it casting spoons for steelhead in 10 degree weather. I was extremely impressed with it's performance! It did far batter than monofilement and I plan on trying it one more time ice fishing. Needless to say, I am convinced of the "hype" on this superline and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to take their fishing to another level!
In the meantime...Make every strike count!

Click here for more info on PowerPro!

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Tight Lines,

-Mike