Our team and most of our guests use Skagit-style line systems most of the time, and these line systems generally allow for the use of a separate running or shooting line behind the Skagit head. We’re constantly in search of the perfect running line. There are a lot of different options out there, and we’ve put together a little summary of the most popular options, with pros and cons for each.
Pro: It’s slick, and it really shoots. Great for distance-oriented casting.
Con: The thin, flat cross-section can be difficult to hang on to. Kinks are difficult to straighten and result in tangles.
Price: $9.95 for 115 feet
Plain Old Mono, like Berkley Trilene Big Game 40 lb
Pro: It casts a mile. Loops of line come out of the water really easily. Very inexpensive.
Con: The thin diameter can be difficult to hang on to. Some types of mono are quite stretchy (although Berkley Big Game isn’t bad), resulting in less feel and tougher hook-setting.
Price: $7.49 for 370 yards!
Rio Powerflex Core Running Line
Pro: It’s got a really nice feel and is easy to manage.
Con: Not the best for distance. Not the cheapest.
Price: $34.95 for 100 feet
Airflo Miracle Braid
Pro: Great for distance. Very little stretch – great for sensitivity and for setting the hook. No memory – great for small-arbor reels like your classic Hardy.
Con: The braided outer layer is pretty abrasive on the fingers.
Price: $24.95 for 40 yards
Airflo Ridge Running Line
Pro: Good balance of moderate distance and moderate ease of handling.
Con: Not the farthest casting line out there.
Price: $34.95 for 110 feet
Guideline GL Shooter
Pro: Great for distance. Fairly easy to hang on to, fairly easy to manage.
Con: Kinks can become permanent, which is tough given the price.
Price: $25.50 for 30 meters
Monic GSP Level Shooting Line
Pro: Zero stretch. Amazing sensitivity and ability to bury the hook. Great distance.
Con: Some anglers have had problems with durability. Tough on the fingers. It ain’t cheap.
Price: $44.95 for 100 feet
That about does it. The right running line for you is dependent on the rest of your gear, your casting style, the conditions you fish in and the species that you’re chasing. The current favorite of yours truly is…plain old boring, cheap 40 pound mono.