Best Fishing Line for Fishing Alaska in 2017
P-Line CXX X-Tra Strong Copolymer Line
CXX X-Tra Strong is really tough, abrasion-resistant line that has some stretch, making it ideally suited to pulling plugs for Chinook in the Nushagak, Kenai, Togiak, Naknek and any other of Alaska’s big rivers where massive Chinook swim. We used it back-trolling K-15 and K-16 Kwikfish in 2016 on the Nush, and enjoyed a high bite to hook-up ratio as chrome 15- to 30 pounders pounded on the plugs with undisguised aggression. The line absorbed the shock, and allowed the bruisers to turn with the plug and bury the hook. We like the Moss Green color for this application and switch to Fluourescent Green or Hi-Vis when side drifting for salmon or steelhead and line management is paramount. CXX X-Tra Strong is available in five colors and a wide range of tests.
Rio Lake Series InTouch Deep 7 WF6S7
In certain stillwater fishing situations, you want your line to get down to depth as fast as possible. Enter the InTouch Deep 7. Stillwater columnist George Krumm says this is his favorite fast-sinking fly line for stillwater fly fishing, bar none. It sinks at seven- to eight inches per second. This is the line you want if you’re sliding Booby flies or floating dragonfly nymphs near the bottom. It is also the line you want if you’re anchored in 20- or 30 feet of water fishing a chironomid pupa vertically. The unique ‘hang marker’ lets you know when you’re getting close to the end of your retrieve. The line has a welded front loop to easily attach leaders with a loop-to-loop connection. Ultra-low stretch allows for improved bite detection, which is especially helpful when employing the sliding technique of using a buoyant fly (Booby or floating dragonfly nymph).
Tuf Line Domin8
Smooth and round, this 8-carrier braid is easy to cast and transmits strikes over great distances. We jigged for halibut at 400 feet; bites were felt and halibut ended up in the fish box. We also cast 30-pound-test and liked how it glided off the reel and piled back on it without binding.
Ande Monofilament Monster
Over the course of the last 16 years, we’ve had the chance to fish with all of the Ande monofilament products. They are excellent, and there are lines available for a wide range of applications. We recommend that you try Ande Monster for leader material. It is super-strong, extremely abrasion resistant and has excellent knot-strength. We use it when fishing Chinook and as a saltwater leader for targeting bottomfish, and rarely does it break. We’ve yet to try it for a leader when fishing pike, but we plan to. It comes in two colors - yellow and blue - and in pound tests from 20 to 125.
Seaguar Flippin’ Fluoro
We tested this in 2016 on Kenai sockeye and it worked well. Both invisible and tough, we had no problem taking limits using this as leader material. Sockeye are renowned for their ability to break leaders (and rods) and we had little break-offs with 20-pound leader. We will also give this leader material a chance the next time we are targeting pike, as we think its tough enough to handle pulling northerns from heavy cover.
Daiwa J Braid (65-pound-test)
Daiwa J Braid is a high-quality, eight-carrier braid so it maintains a round profile and has a smooth finish. It’s available in pound-tests from eight to 120. The 65-pound-test line has a diameter equivalent to 16-pound-test monofilament. Colors are dark green, chartreuse or the multi-color version that changes color every 10 meters. The smoothness aides in tying knots and though we didn’t scientifically test it, it probably improves casting distance. We used the 65-pound-test version for king salmon while trolling, back-trolling, back-bouncing and hover fishing. It proved to be as durable and abrasion-resistant as any braid we’ve used, and the price is a little better than some of the more well-established brands of braid. Additionally, the chartreuse color remained vibrant through an entire season of salt- and freshwater fishing.
Cortland Precision Ghost Tip 15-feet Fly Line
This 90-foot fly line features a 15-foot clear intermediate tip that sinks at about 1.5 inches per second. We fished Woolly Buggers to hungry ’bows at depths between 5- and 15 feet using the 6-weight model and liked the way this line performed. It comes in sizes 5- through 9 in a weight-forward taper. The mint green floating portion provides good visual feedback that allowed testers to keep a straight line between them and the trout, accounting for a better hookup ratio. The line features dual welded loops that are small, strong and make it easier and faster when rigging.