January 15, 2014 by JT Kenney
The best fishing line is expensive, which is why I use a couple of tricks to bring down the cost. For one thing, I always use backing, usually an inexpensive 20-pound-test monofilament that I get at a local Walmart. How much I put on a baitcaster's spool depends both on the size of the fishing line in front of it and what I'm using it for. Just eyeballing it, I might fill the spool a quarter or third of the way with backing. Even when I'm fishing one of those big, deep-diving crankbaits and making 70-yard-long casts, I never get into the backing. Of course, I'm also using 10-pound-test in front of the backing and it's thinner, so I've still got plenty to make those long casts. If I'm flipping with my favorite braid, Toray Bawo Power Finesse Braid, I know I'm only going to be flipping or pitching maybe 15 or 20 yards at the most. Also, that 75-pound-strength Toray Bawo is the size of 15-pound-test mono, so I can bulk up the backing. The exception is when I am using braid to cast a frog over an expanse of matted grass. Then I might use more braid and less backing. There's not any one guideline to go by, but you get the idea: Don't be afraid to use backing. Another money-saver for me is swapping ends of the braid on a reel every so often. After I've used one end for quite a while, I'll walk all the braid off the reel onto my yard, cut it off at the backing, and then retie the worn end to the backing. When I reel it all in, the new, unused part is on the fishing end. ---- Straight Talk pro JT Kenney, Palm Bay, Fla.