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16schooliefish

Wire Line vs. Lead Core

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I find that the wire line is very messy and tangles easily. I was wondering if lead core would be a better choice for tube and worming and umbrella rigs. Does it sink as quickly and overall work better?

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Depth is the key. For most sound/bay fishing, lead core line will work fine. Depths are mostly 20-50 feet. When you get to the ocean, you are dealing with depths to 100 feet plus. Wire is essential then.

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I found that once you get used to it, wire is a better choice than lead core.

 

Lead core is easy to use, but it's bulky, and requires a substantially larger reel for the same length of line. It gains its strength from the nylon outer sheath, not the lead, and any abrasion quickly weakens it. It is larger diameter than wire and, particularly at bluefish speeds, doesn't get down as deep. Its greater weight and diameter hinders the action of bunker spoons, and I found it less comfortable to jig with than wire.

 

With wire, you've got two choices, monel or stainless. Monel is softer and easier to work with, lasts longer and seems to sink a little faster. On the downside, any kink causes real reductions in strength, and needs to be cut out, and monel is significantly more expensive than stainless. Stainless is relatively cheap (also cheaper than lead core) and loose kinks can be "unlaid" in the same direction they were formed without damaging the line (tight kinks must still be cut out). Against those advantages, stainless is "springier" than monel, and should be replaced each season since, despite being "stainless" it will corrode and weaken, even though the weak spots aren't always easy to spot.

 

The big secret to using wire is not to rush. Lay the line on evenly when reeling in and it will go out neatly, too, as long as you gently thumb the spool and don't let it just spin freely (clamping down on the spool periodically to bring the line tight also helps keep enough tension in the system to avoid tangles).

 

Once you get the hang of it, you'll find wire no more intimidating than any other line--you just need to get used to its quirks.

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Lead core certainly has its limitations, but I now keep two reels spooled with it. An often forgotten benefit is that it's much easier for someone unfamiliar with this type of fishing to handle. You can pretty much hand a lead core outfit to anyone that's with you and they're fishing, where wire takes some getting used to and can be a problem.

 

Jack

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