When making your own crawler harnesses you have lots of choices to make your first time out, and one of those will deal with the type of line you use. You will have basically two choices to make, either use monofilament or fluorocarbon. Even here you have more choices to make, what brands and what size or pound test to use.
I make 90% of my rigs with 20 lb Berkley Trilene Big Game in Clear.
I usually pick up two or three of these 1/4 lb spools every year. Berkley usually offers some type of rebate for the spring, so I always get a few bucks back in the mail. You can go to www.berkley-fishing.com and look up promotions to find the forms.
Not a big fan of Big Game, to be honest with you, there are people out there that I have tried to convince that it is just as good as Trilene XT, and they just will not believe me. If you are one of those who like to pay a little more for less line, then you will find absolutely nothing wrong quality wise by choosing this good line.
Then you come up to possibly making a choice about using some type of fluorocarbon line. That last 10% of the time I was talking about earlier, is when I make my meat rigs with either Berkley Vanish or their new premium FC line, Trilene 100%.
By now, most folks know that the fc lines are supposed to be invisible to the fish under the water. That’s why its the choice of tournament anglers everywhere when they make their spinner rigs up. That is the 10% of the time when I make them special for an event. Call it a mind thing if you will, because it surely seems to catch the same amount of fish for me compared to using the Big Game.
One of the reasons for writing this blog on types of line to use for making your own rigs is due to an email question I received the other day. Question was, what pound test should I use? My answer to this is what lb test do you feel comfortable with? Loaded answer for a loaded question. I would not suggest going lower than 14 lb. Most common sizes are 17 and 20 lb test. While few others I know will rig up with 25 lb test.
For fishing Lake Erie and other big waters in the Great Lakes, I like the 20 lb test for rigging my harnesses. It lasts a bit longer, resists twisting longer, and in areas where zebra muscles are concentrated it will hold up against shredding longer as well. Regular mono or FC, 20 lb works the best for me.
No line should be put back down though unless checked after each fish you catch. Do not look just in front of the blades, if that is the only spot you look at it, you are just asking for trouble on what could be your next big fish. Slide your beads up front, look under there as well. what can happen is that the beads can chew up your line a bit, just as much as the clevis used while the blade is spinning.
Also, make sure you check in between your hooks on the rigs. I fished a tourney once with a guy who for some reason liked to pull the hooks out of a fish by grabbing the line with the pliers and giving a good yank. Not only can you mess up hooks on occasion, but everytime he did it, he kinked or sliced up the line. I then lost time getting that hot blade back down the water column because I had to waste time either putting a fresh one on, or because I had to transfer the beads n blade over to fresh spare rig.