“Long-Lining” is a newer fishing technique that’s quite specialized, and has made some big waves when it comes to deep-water crankbaiting techniques.
Now, when you think of “longlining”, what may first come to mind is commercial fishing – longlining is the term used in the industrial fishing world for feeding out lines sometimes in excess of 10 miles in length, baited with up to 12,000 hooks and trawled either through the middle of the water column, or on the bottom of the water to catch massive amounts of fish for commercial sale.
But “long-lining” for non commercial fisherman is actually completely different – it’s a unique blend of two techniques that have long been used, but were never combined until the late ‘80s and early ‘90s by freshwater bass fishermen. It’s a hybridization of standard cast-and-retrieve crankbaiting, and trolling methods that are usually used in deeper waters and saltwater.
- Stren High Impact Fishing Line
- Comes in a 1000 yard spool
- Good in salt or freshwater conditions
- Monofilament line
- Strong with decent sensitivity
- Berkley Trilene Big Game Monofilament Custom Spool
- Trilene monofilament design
- Great shock and impact resistance
- Little bit of strech
- Tough and resistant
- Seaguar Invizx 100% Fluorocarbon 1000 Yard Fishing Line
- Perfect for long lining
- Very strong and sensitive with a little stretch
- Practically invisible underwater
- Sinks quickly
- Spectra 100% Pe Braided Fishing Line Gray 100m-2000m 6-300Lb Test
- Braided design for an extra thin line
- Sinks fairly well
- Higher visibility in water
- Durable and sensitive
- KastKing DuraBlend Monofilament Leader Line
- High tech monofilament line
- Unparalleled sensitivity
- Very low line memory
- Thin and transparent for invisibility in water
Table of Contents
- The Basics of Longlining
- Longline Gear Needed
- Product Recommendations for Longline Fishing
- 1. NYLON MONOFILAMENT - Stren High Impact Fishing Line
- 2. TRILENE MONOFILAMENT - Berkley Trilene Big Game Monofilament Custom Spool
- 3. FLUOROCARBON LINE - Seaguar Invizx 100% Fluorocarbon 1000 Yard Fishing Line
- 4. BRAIDED LINE - Spectra 100%Pe Braided Fishing Line Gray 100m-2000m 6-300Lb Test
- 5. LEADER LINE - KastKing DuraBlend Monofilament Leader Line
The Basics of Longlining
At its most basic, long-lining can be thought of a specialized crankbaiting technique. The angler, equipped with an appropriate rod and deep-diving crankbait, weighted down if necessary, casts as far as possible, and then maneuvers his/her boat away from their cast until their reel – usually rigged with 300+ meters of line – has completely run out of line to feed. At this time, the angler cuts the engine, and begins the long reeling in of the line that’s been fed out.
This results in a cast and bait that sinks much farther in the water column than a standard cast-and-retrieve motion does – allowing a deeper, longer retrieve through the target area where the fish you’re targeting reside.
By pulling the crankbait through deeper waters, often over distances of 300 meters or more, deep water fish that normally would not be reached by a standard crankbaiting technique are drawn to the bait, and have ample time to pursue, inspect, and strike it.
This fishing technique is quite a bit slower than both standard trolling and normal cast-and-retrieve crankbaiting – you can expect to get about 5-10 retrieves per hour, max, given the length of line fed out – but it yields impressive results, and it’s a great technique to know about if you’re having trouble reeling in shallower fish.
This technique can also be performed in a trolling style if you’re in deeper waters, or have several rods you’d like to use at once – simply cast them all and then move your boat away from the baits as you would normally, and then lock in your rods once you’ve reached maximum distance, and then just troll as you would with a standard, shorter-length technique.
Just as with the cast-and-retrieve method, this style of trolling results in the bait being dragged behind the boat at maximum depth, and can attract quite a few fish who would normally be far to deep to notice your baits.
Longline Gear Needed
Generally, you’ll want a medium-action, fast-taper rod of 8 feet+, in order to get maximum cast distances, and to make reeling in your line more smooth and easy.
A good crankbait is a necessity for long-lining – usually a deeply lipped, self-weighted crankbait is the best choice, as these can dive deeply and stay low in the water column, leading to maximum time in the target range.
This is what we’ll be reviewing in this article – there are differing opinions over which type of fishing line is the best.
- FLUOROCARBON LINE is preferred by some long-line anglers because it sinks more easily than some other choices, allowing them to eschew heavier, more deeply lipped crankbaits, or rigs that incorporate weights.
- MONOFILAMENT LINE is also popular, due to its low cost, simple and strong design, and slightly better shock absorption than fluorocarbon line. There are also some longliners who claim that lighter lines, such as monofilament, help crankbaits “dive deeper”. Whatever your opinion, monofilament line is certainly a good choice for long, deep fishing operations like longlining due to its low cost and consistent character.
- SUPERLINE/BRAIDED LINE is quite a bit more expensive than some other choices, but does have several advantages that make it a great choice when longline crankbaiting. First, braided line is very strong and sensitive – the sensitivity is a must-have when long-lining, as you’ll be dealing with huge lengths of line, 300+ yards long, and still need a good response so that you can quickly stick your hook when you get a solid bite. Second, braided line is much stronger than fluoro or mono line, while still maintaining a smaller diameter, which allows you to rig up smaller rods and reels with the huge lengths of line required for longlining without being forced to invest in a larger, high capacity reel.
Optional - Fishing Sonar
Having a good sonar unit can be helpful when long-lining – you can find concentrations of bass or other deep fish and find the ideal place to cast your bait before moving away. It’s not expressly necessary, however – it just aids in quicker location of fishing hotspots.