The importance of why your line should be soft and limp

Every month you can read surveys on the latest line in various angling publications, and many miss that they key point is the finer the line you fish with, the more bites you get.

The main reason for this is the naturalness of the presentation. This applies to all fish, but particularly non predatory fish that tend to suck in the bait. Any hint of an unnatural situation and they will shy away and blow out the bait immediately.

To illustrate the point, let us suppose you tied your size 18 hook to a piece of metal wire of 0.12mm and tried fishing with it. How many bites would you get? None of course, even though the diameter is low enough. Not only would the wire stick out like a sore thumb, but its stiffness would mean that the bait presented so unnaturally that no fish would go near it. Try the same thing with a super soft 0.12mm mono like Ultima Power Silk and the results would be completely different.

It has now become a depressingly regular occurrence that when a new line comes out and you check the diameter against what is stated, the reality is that the line is often much thicker than it says it is on the label.

This fact is easily exposed by a simple micrometer test that reveals the truth about a line's actual diameter. The fact that the claimed breaking strain is also often very much less than the manufacturer claims, causes further confusion and problems to the angler who, in order to select the right line for the job, needs to know exactly what he should expect from the product he is deciding to purchase.

At Ultima, we do tests on all lines of any significance in the market and we find that many lines are 10% to 30% thicker than they state they are, as manufacturers try to gain sales by attempting to make anglers believe that their lines are stronger than they actually are. This fact does not mean that a particular line is a bad line, but it misleads many anglers into using a line much thicker than they think they are using, presenting much less naturally, and ultimately catching less fish.

The angler using the thicker line, won't catch as many fish, won't win as many matches and won't go home with the cash in his pocket.

If you don't have access to a micrometer to do this simple test for yourself, tie the same hook on to two pieces of line, hold between thumb and forefinger. With a thicker line, the difference is immediately noticeable.

Put bait and a hook in to the picture and it is plainly obvious which one would give you the most natural presentation, and the most fish in the net.