When traveling on a fishing expedition, sometimes you need to adapt to the conditions. If the fish are biting at night, then you must fish after dark. And there's no better tool for night fishing than braided line if you want to save your expensive lures and terminal tackle from snags and breakoffs. Braided line is up to four times stronger than the same size of monofilament fishing line. It holds its strength under stress and is stretch resistant, reducing snapped lines and lost fish.
Loading Braided Line on Your Reel
Experienced anglers keep a special reel in reserve for nighttime fishing and spool it with braided line. Because braid is made up of several textured strands, it can slip on itself when coiled on a reel. You don't want your reel spool spinning helplessly, unable to get a grip on the braid, while trying to retrieve or play a big fish. One way to prevent this is to wrap a length of duct tape or electrician's tape around the spool. Cut the tape to fit the width of your spool and wrap it around to give the reel some traction before you fill it with braided line. If you don't like the idea of putting tape on your reel spool, try loading it with 50 to 75 yards of your regular monofilament fishing line as a backing, then tie the braided line to the mono and continue filling the reel.
If you absolutely must be able to see your line at night, there are several brands of braided line that glow luminous blue when exposed to black light. This means carrying another piece of equipment--either a portable, battery-powered black light or having access to the boat's AC socket so you can plug in a lamp.
Casting Braided Line After Dark
The beautiful thing about braided line is its resistance to breakoffs. When a hooked fish decides to run in the night, you can bet he'll dash for cover in a submerged tree, bushes or the thick, choking vines of a lily pad--no different than the escape stunts he'd attempt in the daylight. The difference is you won't be able to see which direction your line is moving and you won't be able to steer the fish toward open water until it's too late.
Braided line reduces this problem because of its resilience and high-stress strength. You can tie on your best surface plugs, such as pricey Rapalas, and cast with confidence that you'll be able to retrieve them. Braided line is strong enough to withstand a vigorous whipping of the fishing rod to dislodge a lure from an overhanging branch or bush.
Rigging Techniques For Braided Line
Fish can see braided line during the daytime, one reason anglers tend to reserve it for nighttime. Even after dark, many anglers will tell you to tie on a monofilament leader to the end of your braided line, then rig your leader with a surface or diving plug, or use live bait on a hook. A surgeon's knot is a secure method for joining braided line with monofilament leader. You can tie this knot quickly by placing the ends of the braid and monofilament together, then making a 4-inch loop with both pieces. Insert the ends of both lines through the loop, pull tight and clip the ends about 1/4 inch from the knot (see resources for illustrations). Line twisting is the main problem anglers face when tying mono leader to braid--this doesn't affect the braid performance, but it can weaken your leader. As a compromise, some anglers tie a swivel between the braid and monofilament to reduce twisting and kinking.