The river is a tough fishery. If there’s a place on the planet that’s harder on line than the Ohio River I don’t know where it is. Our beloved river is a maze of wood, rock and, in some cases, home appliances. That stuff will shred ordinary fishing line in a second.
If you doubt any of what I just said take some time and run your depth finder over the mouth of almost any creek, or walk along the bank and see what the river’s washed up in the last few days. You’ll be amazed.
That’s why it always surprises me to see anglers fishing with soft, light test-weight monofilament. It makes no sense. There’s almost never more than 18 inches of clarity anywhere, most days it’ll be less than 12.
That kind of water doesn’t show line. Remember, fish are moving fast when they take your lure. They rarely have the time or the visibility to look it over before they strike. They grab and go.
Heavier abrasion resistant fluorocarbon or braid won’t cost you any bites, and it’ll keep you from breaking off. Years ago fluorocarbon was stiff and hard to work with. Braid was heavy and bulky. None of that is true anymore. The new lines are good. You’ll lose nothing by switching away from monofilament — unless you’re fishing topwater. (We’ll cover that subject in another blog.)
Some of the best fluorocarbon and braided lines are made by Vicious, Sunline and Berkley. Check them out before you make your next line purchase. No one wants to lose the biggest fish of their life because their line broke.