Cold Weather Fishing Line Considerations
Cold weather fishing will be the norm for anglers over the next several months as bass fishing, and other fishing, comes through the fall turnover in lakes and colder water fills the other waterways. Fishing in cold weather is tough enough on us as anglers, but it can be even harsher on your equipment. Fishing line and other fishing equipment can work against you if you do not make the right choices as temperatures start to fall.
Cold Weather Impacts on Fishing Line
There are a number of factors that contribute to how well your fishing line choices hold up, but one important factor is temperature. Colder water and potentially freezing temperatures can play havoc on most fishing line types. Not only can ice buildup on your reels and rods affecting your line’s durability but the cold water itself can change the performance of the line you are fishing with.
- Braided Fishing Line – Made from strains of fiber, this fishing line holds up the best in cold weather. Chemically, it withstands changes from varying waters temperatures making its strength unaffected by cold water conditions. However, its composition absorbs water which means when fishing in near or below freezing air temperatures, this line will start to freeze on your spool.
- Monofilament/Fluorocarbon fishing lines – These two fishing line types contain chemical structures that are susceptible to cold air. As temperatures fall, these lines contract to reduce their strength. These two line types do not absorb water so they will not freeze up like braided line can potentially
Fishing Line Choices for Cold Water
Frigid water can change how your fishing line performs and not realizing it can have you on the water with the wrong fishing line choice. Choosing which fishing line to use in cold weather depends on the characteristics of each line type.
Monofilament fishing line is the old standard. It is used by most anglers for a variety of fishing instances and it works well. In cold weather, however, mono loses strength and is less durable when it comes to reeling over iced up guides. Since most anglers are not topwater fishing in the late fall and winter, use mono sparingly and only on warmer winter days if you are fishing diving crankbaits.
Braided fishing line offers a no-stretch option that is highly abrasive resistant for fishing in icy conditions. Braided line, however, absorbs water making it freeze more easily than the other line types available. This type of line works well when temps are above freezing to flip lizards in submerged tree stumps or other heavy cover.
Fluorocarbon fishing line is the best fishing line type for colder water fishing conditions. It absorbs very little water and remains soft and flexible even in the coldest conditions. It does, however, contract in lower temps so it is important to use a higher pound test line to maintain line strength. Also, the near-invisible characteristic of this fishing line helps to connect with more fish as the winter waters are usually clear and low more so than other times of the year.
Do not use the creeping winter conditions as an excuse to start rigging your tip-ups up just yet. Fishing in cold weather before the ice takes over can be fruitful. Bundle up and consider how the cold weather will react with your fishing line.