Every angler has their own technique for catching snapper, but there’s one thing all fishermen have in common when it comes to this popular target: using the right fishing line is critical. In order to help you select the best possible option for your next fishing trip, we’ve put together a guide on how to choose fishing line for snapper. Keep reading to learn more!
Choose Right Fishing Line For Snapper
A fish will not commit to a bait it does not like. It feels the vibes of something that doesn’t seem right and immediately takes off, leaving you with your rod dangling down, water slopping over the side of your boat and a sense of emptiness in your stomach.
In other words, you have missed another terrific snapper because you chose the wrong fishing line.
Now if you love snapper as much as I do, then it’s vital you know all there is to know about fishing line so your hook-ups are 100% successful.
Fortunately for you, here is everything you need to know about choosing the right fishing line for snapper.
Bear in mind that the selection of fishing line for snapper varies depending on boat type, rod and reel. For example, inshore anglers tend to use mono because it’s cheaper and simpler to use than braid in today’s lighter rods and reels.
However, many offshore anglers prefer using braid simply because it is more abrasion-resistant and much less visible than mono.
It is also a lot stronger than mono, which means it can cope with everything from snapper to marlin.
As you can see, there’s no “one size fits all” fishing line solution – the best one for you depends on your budget, rod technique and personal opinion of what constitutes good snapper fishing.
No matter what your application, line choice is an important factor in getting it right whenever you catch snapper. It’s just like choosing the best rod and reel for the job – you want to get it right first time so when you’re cruising across the reef at midnight in search of feeding fish you know you’ll be prepared.
For freshwater anglers, fishing line is either monofilament (mono) or fluorocarbon. The differences between the two are explained later in this article.
Fishing Line – A Technical Overview
The main components of fishing line are the inner core and the outer coating which protects it from abrasion, corrosion and water. The core is usually made from nylon or polyethylene and the outer layer comes in a variety of materials such as polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and fluorocarbons.
Different fishing lines can be made to different breaking strains through increased thickness, number of plies (layers), the type and amount of material used in the outer coating, and by impregnating the line with a number of different substances to increase strength.
The main feature you need to know about mono is that it becomes stiffer as water temperature drops and softer in warmer weather. This means anglers using mono fishing line in cold freshwaters will have a much harder time fighting big fish in winter than they will in summer.
There are 6 commonly used fishing line coatings with 6 different combinations of ingredients – iron, manganese, carbon, zinc, aluminum oxide and titanium dioxide. These all have a distinctive characteristic which you should know about:
Zinc-Iron (Zn-Fe) is the least expensive but most brittle coating, making it unsuitable for snapper.
Iron (Fe) is strong but doesn’t offer abrasion resistance and tends to sink like a stone if not pegged down.
Manganese (Mn) offers excellent protection against wear and corrosion with the added benefit of high strength. It’s also more expensive than zinc-iron.
Carbon (C) is more expensive than manganese but offers more wear protection and holds its colour longer. It doesn’t sink as easily as manganese, which makes it a good choice for surface fishing – think trolling or bait-casting with braid.
Aluminum oxide (Al) is the most common coating on braided fishing lines. It’s strong, has good abrasion resistance and looks nice.
Titanium dioxide (Ti) is very hard-wearing, has little stretch and high strength but is also more expensive than aluminum oxide. It can be used on top of other coatings to improve their performance.
Iron-aluminum-carbon-manganese-zinc (IACM) is a coating used on high-performance fishing lines for saltwater. It offers good strength and abrasion resistance, as well as is relatively inexpensive.
Monofilament tends to absorb water easily so it’s best utilized in fresh or cold saltwater where visibility isn’t an issue.
For many anglers, fluorocarbon is the go-to fishing line as it has a number of characteristics that make it better for most applications. It is often more difficult to see through than mono and sinks quickly, which helps with deep trolling or bottom fishing. Because it is denser than water, fluorocarbon also offers snapper anglers a distinct advantage when fishing with lures or live baits at or near the bottom.
Fluorocarbon is around 15% denser than water, meaning it has a similar density to most of the aquatic species you’ll target in New Zealand waters. In other words, fluorocarbon is far less buoyant than monofilament.
Because it sinks, fluorocarbon is less affected by current than mono and tends to stay straighter when fishing at range or in rough conditions. It also offers better abrasion resistance than monofilament, making it ideal for hooking snapper with lures.
When buying fluorocarbon line for your reel, remember that the higher the line’s density means it will sink quicker – but don’t buy so much that you won’t be able to lift your lures off bottom when fishing for snapper in New Zealand!
A high-density line will also produce more pressure on terminal tackle than a lower-density one. This is important to note as some fluorocarbon fishing lines don’t have the same diameter as similar mono lines of equal strength. This affects not only lure action but also your drag settings.
Chemically, fluorocarbon fishing line is made up of two key ingredients: polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) and hexafluoropropylene (HFP). Specialised coatings such as high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and titanium dioxide are often blended in to improve the line’s durability and sensitivity.
Many anglers prefer fluorocarbon fishing line for snapper because it offers very little stretch meaning fishhooks hold tighter than they would on mono where some stretch is present. This is especially helpful when fighting big snapper and other species in New Zealand’s treacherous waters.
This lack of stretch also makes fluorocarbon fishing line much easier to tie knots in than monofilament, although it should be noted that fluoro doesn’t like heat (including the heat from your hands) or sharp tools which can cut it.
Don’t use a knife to cut the fluorocarbon line as the edges tend to fray and quickly become weak. A pair of fishing snips works best for cutting this type of line.
Another advantage of fluorocarbon is that it’s less visible in water than monofilament, which might be helpful if you don’t like to use wire traces when fishing for snapper in New Zealand.
Although fluorocarbon is slightly more expensive than mono, it’s also tougher and offers better abrasion resistance which makes it a good choice for line that will be fished through rocks and coral – especially if you’re using braid.
Snapper fishing is a popular sport and hobby, but it can be difficult to know which type of line to use. For those who find themselves in this situation, we’ve put together some information on how different types of lines work as well as the benefits and drawbacks that each has for snapper fishing. We hope you found these tips helpful! You might also want to check out our blog post about spinning reels if you haven’t already done so. If not, please take a look at it now – we think you’ll enjoy reading what we have written there too!