Do not use heavy braid when trout fishing | Why using 30lb braid is a bad idea.

I was watching a YouTube video earlier today, and the host was promoting using 30lb braid for trout fishing. This is a bad idea, and I will explain why below.

Using a braid allows for longer casts. That is because is has a much thinner diameter than monofilament. If I look at the advertised diameter of a typical 6lb nylon, Say Stern Original. It’s 0.22mm across, very thin. While 6lb fireline is 0.15mm, So about 30% thinner. But let’s compare 30lb fireline instead, which has a diameter of 0.38mm. Even wider than the nylon, that means 30lb braid would not offer any casting distance advantage over the monofilament we typically use in trout fishing.

This thicker braid is also less sensitive than a thinner braid. While still an improvement over nylon, you are sacrificing sensitivity for no good reason.

Another disadvantage is that a thicker braid results in thicker knots. Including the joining knot between braid and leader. Every time you cast that larger knot is going to rattle through the guides, increasing resistance and reducing distance. For optimal, smooth casts the thinner, more low-profile the knot the better.

Finally, the rods, and reels we use for trout fishing are designed for ultralight styles of fishing. The drags are optimized for 2-8lb lines. The rods bend profile are optimized for 2-8lb lines. 30Lb line totally exceeds all the design parameters of the reels and rods we are using. Sure, experienced fishermen know not to over tighten the drag, allowing it to slow not stop the line. But too many fishermen love to max tighten their drag, and brute force the trout in. Sooner or later, this amount of strain is going to result in premature equipment failure.

Arguments for using heavy weight braid when trout fishing

Heavy braids get recommended for lightweight spinning applications primarily to avoid issues with line twist, tangles, wind knots and tip wraps. A thicker 30lb braid is much more controllable.

These tangles and wind knots are a real problem. But 30lb braid is not the best solution. Most braids are not designed for spinning reels or frequent casting. When fishermen use these braids on a spinning reel they experience the above issues. But, there are Spinning reel compatible braids. These braids, made from Gelspun do not suffer from the same issues. The reason why fishermen use 30lb braid, is because they are using the wrong type of line.

Another common argument is that there is big fish in the lake and they want to be prepared. While the 30lb line is strong enough to winch in big fish, the rest of the setup is not. If they try to winch in the big fish, chances are the leader, split rings, hooks or even the rod will fail. 30Lb braid does not make landing a big fish on ultralight gear significantly easier.

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