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Key Line Choices for Texas from Wendlandt and Castledine

by Yoshinori Mitani
Key Line Choices for Texas from Wendlandt and Castledine

The saying “everything is bigger in Texas” cannot be any truer, especially when it comes to bass fishing. Bassmaster and Texas Team Trail go to big lakes like Sam Rayburn, Toledo Bend Reservoir, and Lake Fork that are full of giant bass. The lakes are bigger, the fish are bigger, and your fishing line should be bigger as well. Why is this? We talked with Sunline America pros Clark Wendlandt and Todd Castledine about this very topic. Wendlandt says, “Deep cranking plays a role from pre-spawn to summer in Texas and is something I do a lot to catch big fish. My go to line for that technique in Texas fisheries is 18lb or 20lb Sunline Sniper. In most states, I would crank with either 12lb or 14lb test, but with those big baits and the possibility of fighting them in either grass or wood, I prefer bigger line”. Sometimes you do have to use lighter line to get the bait down to the deepest depths; however, the pros do not care as much about doing that as they do about getting big fish in the boat.

Sunline pro Todd Castledine has a long history of Texas success in many different seasons. “I crank anything that is a 6XD or bigger with 20lb Sniper because you are usually cranking around stumps and brush. We also have a lot of 6lb to 10lb fish in Texas lakes, so you have to be able to fight them around that cover”. The advent of deeper diving crankbaits has also allowed these pros to upsize line in conjunction with a deeper diving bait, to still reach the desired depth range. A 10XD crankbait on 20lb line can easily reach the same diving depths as a 6XD crankbait on smaller diameter lines.

Castledine also adds, “after traveling the country and fishing all sorts of lakes, I have found that you can take Texas fishing and apply it everywhere. My go to size of line day in and day out is 20lb Sniper or 20lb Shooter. Most co-anglers that I fish with are shocked when I get more bites than them, even though I am using lines as much as 10lb larger than they do on their local lakes. Sunline uses true diameters, when it comes to their lines, that’s why I tell everyone, don’t worry about the size of the line that is advertised, just look at the diameter, which is the real number to look at.” To learn more about the differences between diameters vs. pound test, check out this blog that has more details about it.

In Texas, flipping is another technique to catch big fish, and Sunline sells more 20lb to 25lb test in Texas than other parts of country. Wendlandt says, “Most of the time when flipping, I go with either 20lb-25lb Sunline Sniper. If the cover is really thick, I might go to an FX2 braid, but for the most part in these Texas fisheries I prefer clear fluorocarbon for flipping”. Castledine says, “I throw big worms, jigs, swim jigs, Carolina rig, and flip all with 22lb to 25lb pound Shooter”.

Here are line suggestions for many of the top Texas techniques.

  • Swim jigs and swimbaits around any vegetation. 50lb Asegai braid.

  • Flipping grass and frogging. 50lb FX2 braid

  • Bladed jigs and spinnerbaits. FC Sniper in 18lb or 20lb. Depending on how gnarly the stuff is your fishing.

  • Walking topwaters. 30lb Asegai.

  • Buzzbaits and ploppers. 50lb Asegai.

  • Arigs- 50lb Asegai.

  • Floating worms, wacky worms and stick baits around grass- hay, hydrilla, etc. FC Sniper 14lb.

  • Flipping clear water and flipping pressured fish. Clark-20lb-25lb Sniper. Todd-20lb-25lb Shooter. Todd also adds, “braid can make too much noise on pressured fish sometimes- especially if you are flipping bushes in water that has been pressured. We have proven this multiple times. Seems to be later in the Spring when this starts to happen more.”

Following these line suggestions from top Texas anglers and increase your success in Texas and beyond!