Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Nanofil Product Review: Update

Last week I wrote about my first impression of Nanofil fishing line.  When I purchased this line, my plan was to use it for finesse plastics on largemouth bass.  I purchased the six pound test, that has a thin diameter comparable to two pound test.  I wanted maximum casting distance, minimum visibility, and the most strength possible given the first two qualities.  I only logged one hour of fishing time, and in a nutshell, I was impressed with the line that it exhibited the above qualities.  It seemed strong, casts very well, the fish didn't seem to mind the visibility, and it had similar qualities to other superlines.  I was able to fish a few more hours last night, with mixed results this time.  Basically, all of the qualities that the line exhibited the previous trip were still apparent.  The only thing wrong was that I broke off four times on the hookset. 

This largemouth bass nailed a four inch ringworm through
a weed mat using Berkley Nanofil line.  My plan was to hop
the lure over the weeds and drop it off the ledge, but the
bass had other ideas exploding on it through the mat.
Now, before I go on, let me explain that I've found this same issue to be true with all of the superlines that I've tried with that same small diameter, including Fireline, Power Pro, Spiderwire, and Suffix 832.  I solved the problem with those lines by increasing the pound test and diameter, sacrificing some of the castability of the line for strength.  I've also had issues with fluorocarbon lines doing this in the past, but changed brands and upped the pound test and haven't had problems since.  So, the problem is the only one that I've noticed so far, and I believe that the problem can be solved by taking that same approach.  So, my plan is to purchase and test either the eight or ten pound test Nanofil line.  Which one I purchase and test depends on how it feels when I pay a visit to the store.  A nice feature of many of the superline brands is that they attach a sample of the line and pound test to the package so you can get an idea what it's like prior to purchase.

One of my first bass last night caught using Nanofil.
What will I do with the thin two pound diameter version that I have now?  I'll use it until my new line arrives, and I'll solve the immediate problem by just being aware when I set the hook to not set it too hard.  Let me say that I wasn't putting out bone jarring hooksets last night.  I used the same short quick snap hookset that I've always used with superlines in the past, but just doing it a bit more gingerly.  Admittedly, I was frustrated after losing those four fish, but it wasn't the end of the world.  I was sight fishing and the fish that I tried to catch were not all that big to begin with.  And, to correct the problem, I cut back on the power that I put into the already short hookset, and it worked out just fine.  

This nice bass was caught using six pound test Nanofil.
What about the strength of the line?  I have yet to lose a fish via breakoff during the fight, and I've pulled some decent bass through the slop (weeds galore) without any problems.  So, the actual strength of the line is fine.  Also, every now and then the line will wear and fray at the end, so I had to clip off a couple feet as the evening wore on.  In fact, the instructions included in the package recommend that this be done once in awhile.  This is no different than when I used mono or fluorocarbon in the past. 

So, how did I do fishing last night?  I can't have this post be totally about a product, so I have to include some fishing pics.  I finished with nineteen largemouth bass in three hours and a rock bass, seventeen of which came via the plastic worm on Nanofil.   The other two bass came via a Strike King Tri-Wing Buzz King buzzbait that I modified by adding a clacker to produce more noise.  Of the nineteen bass, my biggest six bass were 20, 19, 18, 17, and two 16 inch bass, plus a good many bass in the thirteen to fourteen inch size.  So, it was a fun night indeed.  Not bad for three hours of fishing!

A nice "Slop and Drop" largemouth.  This is the same fish
shown in the first picture on todays post.
One of the techniques that worked as a substitution for a frog pattern that I term "Slop and Drop" to my fishing buddies.  I didn't have my frogs with me, and plastic worms work nicely.  Basically, when you have a mat of weeds or leaves, you cast your lure on the top of the weeds and jig your rod tip quickly while reeling slowly, causing the bait to hop like a critter across the mat.  Usually, I'll do this with a frog lure, like many people do, but I didn't pack any last night (forgot them), and had to do it with a plastic worm.  You have to use light weight to accomplish this to keep it on top of the mat, kind of the opposite of punching.  The cool thing is that the light bullet sinker bounces up and down on the mat, making vibrations, that make this technique very effective at times.  You can also use it with other soft plastics, in fact, Chompers twin tails work great at this.  Then, when you get to the edge of the mat, let the lure drop off the edge.  The light weighted soft plastic bait falls slowly and draws strikes when faster falling baits might not.  So, at least a dozen or so of my nineteen bass were caught this way.  In some cases, as the lure falls off the mat, you can see the bass shoot out and take the worm.  If they are big, man is that exciting.  One of the bass couldn't wait for the worm to get to the mats edge and just exploded through the weeds.  The light Nanofil line held up nicely on many of these fish, bringing in the "salad" with the fish.

My buddy Howard with a nice largemouth caught last night.
My buddy Howard and I found one large mat of weeds that had several fish underneath.  I caught six in seven casts, and finished fishing that mat with ten of my bass landed.  Howard caught six fish out of that hole too.  Many of those fish were keeper sized, and most of them came via plastic worm and the "Slop and Drop".

As daylight ended, it became tough to see what we were doing with the worm, and the fishing seemed to slow, so out came the buzzbaits.  I caught a fish on my first buzzer cast, a chunky fourteen incher.  I fan casted the spot without a hit, so I thought about all those fish under the mat.  I tossed my Tri-Wing modified Strike King buzzer to the back edge of the mat, cranked and had it moving as soon as it landed so as to not hang up on the weeds, and skittered it across the mat.  The buzzbait cleared the mat and not two feet later, KERSPLOOSH!  A fat nineteen inch largemouth hammered the buzzer.  That experience was so cool and I was so fired up after landing that fish, that I hooted and hollered so loud that I believe that I spooked every great blue heron along the river for at least a mile! 

This fat bass hammered my buzzbait last night.
That was my last bass of the evening.  Howard caught two more on the buzzbait and had several huge blow ups, and I had a couple blow ups but didn't hook up.  It was a very productive evening at one of our favorite places to fish especially on the weeknights.

In summary, I still have a lot of questions about Nanofil line, but so far I'm pleased with the results.  Part of the hookset breakoff problems were my fault, both by purchasing a thin diamter that I knew might be risky for my technqiue, but also by putting too much pressure on the hooksets.  Part of that is getting used to the line, and learning it's strengths and weaknesses.  And, this learning experience taught me what I have to do next, and that's to purchase the pound test that is best for the job.  I won't give up on the two pound diameter though, because I think it could be a great line for winter ice fishing.  I will provide more information as I experience this product in the future.  Hopefully for now, you'll benefit from my experience with it, albeit for a short amount of time.  Also, I hope you enjoyed my report of last night's fishing experience.  It's a night that I won't soon forget.

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