Today, I want us to explore the title question on several issues. I know I sometimes I question myself if I’m doing the right thing.

So let’s take a look at some of those questioning calls and see if WE can determine what is truly “best.”

KNOTS

First, let's look at the knots we tie our baits on with. Is the one you use the best one for the type of bait you are throwing and the type of line you are using?

Is there a universal knot for all types of line? Should it be tied directly to the bait or have a snap? Should it have a loop or just the knot? Wow, so many possibilities!

If you are like me most of us were taught how to tie your first fishing knot by either a family member or a friend. In my case it was my older brother who, to this day, is still and avid fisherman and catches his share of big bass.

Universal knot: Is there a universal knot? No, I do not think so. If you go online and input “Fishing Knots” you will come up with a multitude of different knots and variations of each. The best I found was at www.netknots.com. There are simple easy to understand charts that show you how to tie the knots and what they can do for you and your bait.

Direct or snap: If you talk to 50 different fishermen you will get about 70 percent that tell you it’s a “no brainer” to “tie directly to the bait” and the other 30 percent will tell you to use a snap for two reasons. One it makes it easier and faster to change the baits out. Two, it gives the bait more action and wobble than tying direct to the bait. I have done both and found both to be effective. There are certain baits that I will not use a snap on and some that I do prefer the snap.

Loop or knot: If you ask me again, I think it depends on the bait. I know that when I throw a jerk bait they have much more action if I use a loop knot vs tying it on straight to the jerk bait. However, if I’m throwing a deep diving Crank, direct tie seems to give me a lot more feel at what the bait is doing and hitting.

LINES

Next let’s take a look at lines. There are numerous line manufactures out there, as well as numerous different types of lines within each of those manufacturers.

Monofilament, braids, copolymer and fluorocarbon are the primary four types of lines and each has a myriad of sizes and weights. It’s easier to understand what their individual attributes are and what you should use them for vs trying to go into each in micro depth.

Monofilament: This is what has been around since well before I was born. It has been improved upon for well over 60 years and the quality now is exceptional. Mono have some positives including low to moderate spool memory, good abrasion resistance and good tight knots. But there are some negatives, too, such as a lot of stretch.

Braids: The positives are small diameter per test, outstanding abrasion resistance, floats and no stretch. The negatives are knots on reel easily, floats and most visible. Note: Floating is great for top water baits but not for crank baits.

Copolymer: The positives are more abrasion resistant than mono and low spool memory. A negative is larger diameter than mono.

Fluorocarbon: Positives are less stretch than mono/polymer, nearly invisible, highest sensitivity and sinks. Negatives are stiffer than mono/polymer, less strength than mono per pound test, sinks and less knot strength.

BAITS

So now let’s look at type of bait in comparison with type of line and what’s best to use with each type.

Open water: Fluorocarbon because of less visibility, better feel and less stretch.

Banks and around brush: Mono because of increased abrasion resistance and it floats.

Spinner baits: Open water — Fluorocarbon because of less visibility, better feel and less stretch. However, you have to give the fish a little more tme on hook set or you will jerk it right out of their mouth.

Banks and around brush — Mono because of increased abrasion resistance. Stretch allows better hook set.

Jigs — Braids are best because of the strength, no stretch and abrasion resistance.

Worms — Braids are best because of the strength, no stretch and abrasion resistance.

Creature baits — Braids are best because of the strength, no stretch and abrasion resistance. However, if the water is crystal clear then maybe Mono or Copolymer would be best because of the finesse action.

Swim baits: Open water. Fluorocarbon because of less visibility, better feel, and less stretch. Banks and around brush — Mono because of increased abrasion resistance and it floats.

Top water baits: Open water — Mono because the stretch allow for a good hook set. Banks and around brush — Braid because of increased abrasion resistance and it floats.

However, the fisherman has to allow a second or two to make sure the fish has the bait or the non-stretch properties of braid will cause you to pull the top water right out of the fish’s mouth before they have it far enough in for a good hook set.

I know I’m going to have over half of you disagree with me on this one, but there are too many pros and cons to go into each possible scenario. I am just hoping that this gives you a little more to think about than just tying on your bait and casting it out.

So now tie on the right bait, the right way, with the right line for where you are fishing and go catch a big ’un! Send your comments and pics to Hook_up66@yahoo.com.

Jasper Johnson is the Copperas Cove Bass Club secretary. To contact him about the club or for any questions, call 318-218-0358 or email Hook_up@yahoo.com.

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