Fishing with braid
There has been a fair bit of talk I have seen recently about using braided mainlines for fishing with. Over the years I have heard some serious garbage talked about the pros and cons of using braid, but there is no doubt that it is the best way to fish lures for species such as bass. I am totally sold on the benefits and all my spinning reels are loaded up with braid.
But the thing you really want to do to ensure trouble free fishing is to take a close look at the photo above - note that I have deliberately underfilled my reel, for this really cuts down any chances of getting a dreaded wind knot. Do not be tempted to fill your spinning reel to the brim to try and get a few extra yards distance - yes, of course I have done this, and then paid the price with a beauty wind knot first cast. Underfill for proper performance. Let my previous distress save you from any yourself !!
My favoured breaking strain for bass fishing is 30lb, preferably in high-vis yellow. I like seeing my lines and I fish a short clear leader to the actual lure. I know that I'll never land a 30lb bass (here's to dreaming...), but 30lb braid casts great, sits just fine on the reel, and enables me to wrench stuck lures out of most snags. I can also horse hooked fish near rocks. You can't go far wrong with 30lb Sufix Performance braid or Power Pro. Both are excellent lines. It was my mate Graham Hill who really put me onto fishing with 30lb braid. You can see him in a bunch of photos here. This guy catches serious bass !!
I presume you are aware of the news about the somewhat thorny issue of a UK sea angling license - the government has abandoned any current plans to introduce one, see here for the full story. I have deliberately remained quiet about these issues for my feelings are strong and would no doubt cause some kind of reaction which I do not seek.
Should we have to pay to fish our sea waters ? No, of course we should not.
But will we have any fish left if we don't pay the right people to fight for the future protection of our already very depleted fish stocks ? Like most sea anglers, I refuse to believe that the introduction of a government run license (or stealth tax in my book) is the way to do this.
If I felt that my money was going to the right people though.............that is another matter altogether. Things can be done properly - look at the success story of the US striped bass fishery for a shining example of stock regeneration and a booming recreational fishing industry directly linked to having plenty of decent fish to catch. Imagine what kind of industry we would have here in the UK around our own bass fishing if we had lots more big fish to go after ?
Anyway, politics over for the day. Below is a photo of one of my all time favourite species, the ballan wrasse. The first fish I ever caught off the shore was a wrasse, just below Trevose Head in north Cornwall, and ever since I have had a serious soft spot for these hard fighting fish. Like most shore anglers I went all out for them with heavy gear for a while, but actually all you need is a powerful spinning rod and reel, and some decent bait. Fishing for them is a blast.