I‘m a liberal leaning outdoorsman attempting to open the minds of right wingers to the idea that libs fish too. Anglers come from all walks of life, left, right, and center. Not everyone who fishes for bass is a redneck fond of Nascar, country music, and religiosity. Expect posts about largemouth bass fishing, techniques, reviews of lures and other products, but not any condemnable conservative rants. I hope to inspire the online angler community to dial down rhetoric which will do more harm than good to our sport.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

• My Line & Cold Conditions - Some Observations

I spent some time a couple of years ago playing around with Yo-Zuri Hybrid in cold weather. The air temps at that time were in the 30's and 40's and the line became very stiff and springy. It coiled up and made fishing almost impossible. When line coiled up like that, it became an endless task of taking up slack line. Since switching to a couple different brands of line, it has been a goal of mine to test those lines in similar conditions. Luckily, if I can say it that way, the air temps today were pretty cold for this area. The morning started out in the 20's and by the time I made my first cast, it was already 28 degrees. At the end of my little assessment, the air temps had warmed up to about 31. Water temperatures were in the middle 50's, but I figured the air temperature alone would dramatically affect the line.

What did I decide to pay attention to in my observations? Stiffness and coiling, sensitivity, and finally castability and susceptibility to backlash were the three main things I took note of. I spent a good 15 minutes with each line making several casts paying special attention to the line with a steady retrieve and at a dead stop.

The lines in question include 20# and 12# Gamma Copolymer, 10# P-Line Halo, and 12# Trilene Fluorocarbon. I also chose lures that one might use in this sort of weather down here. I had a 3/8oz swimblade tied onto the 20# Gamma and a 1/2oz jig on the 12# Gamma. A plastic fluke was tied on the rig spooled with Halo and a 1/4oz spinnerbait was tied onto the Trilene FC. I considered having a crankbait on the Trilene instead, but the weeds are starting to come in back here and I would have spent too much time picking hydrilla off of the treble hooks.

I had a few predictions going into this. I figured that since the larger diameter 20# Yo-Zuri became stiff in a matter of minutes, my 20# Gamma Copolymer might behave in a similar manner, especially since the air temperatures would be much colder than before. Fluorocarbon has a reputation for becoming stiff in cold weather, so I assumed the worst with Trilene and Halo.

So each line had its 15 minutes of fame. Note that within 2 minutes, I had ice forming on the line coming onto the reel spool. A minute later, ice was forming on my line guides. Yeah...15 minutes was plenty of time to make some good observations. All four lines showed slightly reduced casting distance.

The 20# Gamma Copolymer did start coiling towards the end of its run, but it was still very manageable. Nothing changed with regard to castability or sensitivity. I would wager this line could handle these kinds of conditions. Coiling was only apparent when I allowed the lure to drop to the bottom and let the line just hang out there without much tension. The 12# Gamma was not as bad as the 20#, but showed much similar characteristics. P-Line Halo started losing some sensitivity around the 12 minute mark. It did start to stiffen up a little around the same time, but performed well. The stiffness was only apparent when I let the fluke rest on the bottom, but I could still feel the lure twitch. I have no doubts that I could feel a strike in similar conditions. The Trilene fluorocarbon seemed to hold out better than all the rest. It did not appear to coil at all. That line stayed perfectly straight, even when I let the lure rest on the bottom. I'd go as far as to say that perhaps the sensitivity showed improvement.

Overall, I am very satisfied with how the lines did in cold weather. You won't find me out in 30 degree temps very often in Louisiana. On top of that, I don't own the necessary gear for motoring around a lake at 45mph in those temperatures either. There are going to be a few more days with temperatures like this, so I might spool up some 8# P-Line CXX and also give the Yo-Zuri Hybrid another chance.

Sorry I don't have pictures.