A common misconception regarding professional fishermen suggests a certain frivolity with resources borne of the free or discounted products afforded through sponsorship deals. Well, regardless of how that may or may not apply across the board, many pros are actually quite frugal with their tools and supplies.
Among them, Bassmaster Elite Series pro Gary Klein will flat out tell you: “I don’t like throwing anything away.”
One of Klein’s most common areas of use and reuse—braided lines. We’ll save the lessons on when and where to use braid for another time, but for now, let’s look at a few ways the Texas pro makes the most of his product.
Flip It: Like most, Klein moderates the cost of using braid by backing his spool with monofilament and topping that with a sufficient amount of braid.
“When I’m flipping and pitching, I’m only using the outside 30 feet of it,” Klein says. “At the end of the day, when I’m (prepping) my tackle for the next day, if my braid is worn, I’ll reverse the braid that was on the reel.
“I’ll tie a knot on the cleat of my boat, walk it off, cut it, walk back to the boat, splice it back onto the backing and reel it onto the spool. Now, I use the back half of that section of braid that was new, instead of wasting it.”
Jig Skirts: Klein makes a lot of his own tackle and when he adds additional layers of jig skirt material for a bulkier profile, a traditional skirt collar won’t sufficiently hold it all. He finds that tying his skirts with braid.
“When I have to replace my braid after I’ve used both ends, instead of throwing it away, I spool it onto a bobbin and use it to tie my jig skirts,” he says. “I can cinch the skirt tighter with the braid.”
Mark It: Lastly, simple aesthetic maintenance will extend the usefulness of your braid. As Klein notes, the fibers used to form these super lines don’t hold color very well. It may be green, brown or yellow out of the package, but well-used braid will eventually lose that coloration after enough hours in the sun and trips through those guides.
His solution: Split the tip of a jumbo permanent marker with a razor blade, slip your braid into that notch and run the marker up a down the line a few times. Splitting the marker’s tip allows you to cover the braid’s entire surface in one shot.