Line size in winter
by Mike Gerry
Believe it or not, line size matters, and in the cold water it matters even more. I know when I fish with customers one of their common questions is what line size do I use and recommend for the avid fisherman? I generally give them a long complex answer and I will try to condense those thoughts in this article of information.
There are many key parts to line size: reel type, depth, power fishing vs. finesse fishing, bait action, and fish activity to name just a few. All these are keys to what size line you choose to put on your reel. The wintertime, however, starts with bait action as cold water generally slows down the metabolism of bass and the size of the line makes a big difference of how your bait reacts in the water. A good way to remember it is the smaller the line size, the more action your bait will have in the cold water of winter fishing.
On lakes like Guntersville where you always have a chance of catching your personal best fish, or a bass over seven pounds, it is of concern to go light with your line size to get the most action out of your bait. One way to eliminate this problem is to spool your reel with a braided line, say, 30-pound test, or bigger, but string the last three feet with a thin, light weight, monofilament line, maybe ten pound test; this will give the bait the action you need and allow you to have the strength needed to land a big lunker bass that could very well be your personal best catch.
Another point is that braid is a very thin line, 30-pound braid may be the same in diameter as 12-pound monofilament but has the strength of the larger line. This size anomaly allows your bait to act like it is tied to light mono or fluorocarbon allowing the line to drop without any bows in the line as it drops.
Also, the leader keeps the line flexible and hard for the bass to see under water. It’s also important to remember that in the winter the bites are generally very light; many times, hard to detect, and the type of line is also a key in catching fish.