Sign up for Dunhams Rewards and get 20% off

Close This Offer

Find Your Nearest Store

Big Names...Low Prices Delivering VALUE since 1937

Archive for the ‘Outdoors’ Category


Little League, Batter Up!

Choosing the right baseball bat for your little leaguer can be a challenging but also a highly rewarding experience. A tremendous amount of science and engineering goes into the design of today’s bats. Many feature exotic combinations of aluminum, zinc, copper, magnesium and titanium. Others use synthetic composites and space-age bonding materials. New technology also helps reduce weight, enlarge the hitting area and improve overall energy transfer.
 
For most little league players, however, it still comes down to length and weight. Here are some general guidelines to use in selecting the appropriate length of a bat by age or weight and height.
 
Determining Bat Length by Age

Age Bat Length
5 – 7 24” – 26”
8 – 9 26” – 28”
10 28” – 29”
11 – 12 30” – 31”


 
Bats are also available in a number of different weights, measured in ounces. A concept called bat drop can also help young players increase both swing speed and bat control. The bat drop is the weight of the bat in ounces minus its length in inches. For example, a 21-ounce, 31-inch bat has a bat drop of minus 10 (21 –31 = -10).
 
One way to determine if the weight of a bat is right for your little leaguer is to have them grip the bat with one hand and hold it straight out from their body. They should easily be able to hold it in that position for up to five seconds. If not, try a bat of the same length but with a greater minus bat drop.
 
Before selecting any bat make sure it fits and feels right in your little leaguer’s hands. Also make sure it conforms to all league guidelines for length and weight. Choosing the right bat will help your child develop good batting habits that will stay with them for a lifetime.
 
-Home Run Hitter
 
*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.

DRIVE FOR SHOW … PUTT FOR DOUGH

The last time you went golf shopping, how much time did you spend researching drivers? Probably a lot more time than when you got your putter, right? True, drivers are a lot more complicated (and expensive) than putters. And while drivers have a huge impact on our golf egos (we all want to be longest off the tee), it is our putter that will have a much bigger impact on our scores.
 
For a scratch golfer, about half of his or her strokes are on the green. And while the ratio may be lower for high handicappers, the importance of putting can’t be overstated. You can recover from a bad drive—not so for a missed putt.
 
Putting technology has changed dramatically since the days of Bobby Jones’ famous wood-shafted “Calamity Jane” (still a very good putter, by the way). The advancements have all sought to improve that ephemeral “feel” that all golfers need on the green. Regardless of the head design—blade, peripheral-weighted or mallet, you can take advantage of high tech enhancements.
 
Metal Inserts
 
Inserts are added to the face of a putter. Technically, they increase the “Moment of Inertia” (MOI). Non-technically, that means there’s less chance the head of the putter will twist, causing the ball to go places you don’t want it—say, anywhere besides the hole. Steel is the traditional insert and it usually gives soft and responsive feedback for a solid, controlled feel. Various other metals are also available—bronze, aluminum, brass, copper, zinc, titanium—all with their own distinctive “feel.”
 
Non-Metal Inserts
 
Lightweight non-metal inserts allow the weight of the putter to be redistributed elsewhere on the putter face. The MOI increases, as does the “forgiveness” (at least in theory). The downside of non-metal inserts is they produce less sound than metal, reducing the feedback, which for some golfers means less “feel”.
 
Groovy Putters
 
The key to accurate putting is to achieve forward rolling motion immediately upon striking the ball. Grooves on a putter can help achieve this motion and keep the ball on line. At impact, the grooves grip the surface of the ball and simultaneously lift the ball out of its resting position and give an over-the-top rolling action.
 
Putting Is Personal
 
Finding the right putter is definitely a trial-and-error process. When your putter is working well, you are on top of your game. When it’s not, well—time to go shopping again.
 
-Par Shooter
 
*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.

A Bicycle Built for You

With today’s emphasis on inexpensive transportation and physical fitness, two-wheeled people-powered vehicles have become extremely popular. But choosing a bike isn’t just a matter of picking out a stylish ride. To get the most out of your bike choose a model that fits both your needs and your physique. Mismatched bikes end up gathering dust in the garage, but the right bike can serve you well for years to come.
 
Form Follows Function
 
The first step in choosing a bike is deciding what kind of riding you’ll be doing. While there are numerous categories of bicycles, the most common are mountain bikes, racing or road bikes, and comfort bikes.
 
Mountain bikes are for off-road use. They have knobby tires that can grip in dirt. Mountain bikes are built with sturdy frames and wheels. Some have suspension systems. The gearing is wide, with emphasis on low ratios that can flatten out steep hills.
 
Racing and road bicycles are built on lightweight frames. They’re designed for speed and the gears range from mid to high ratios. The handlebars are dropped and the rider assumes a low and aerodynamic position.
 
Today’s most popular bikes are called comfort or hybrid bikes. Comfort bikes have low rolling resistance tires and are built with sturdy frames, comfortable saddles, and upright handlebars. Some have suspension or a shock-absorbing seat post for an ultra-comfortable ride. Because comfort bikes are built to travel moderate distances without overtaxing the rider, they’re ideal for commuting or general cruising.
 
Fit to be Ridden
 
Bikes are classified by wheel size, with bikes having 26-inch or larger wheels being appropriate for adults. Itty-bitty kids might start on a 17-inch bike, then graduate to a 20-inch. Bridging the gap between kid bikes and full-size rides are 24-inch bikes. Adults of less than 5’5” might be happier on a 24-inch bike.
 
Once you’ve chosen a bike, it should be adjusted for fit. Pedal crank length can be changed on some bikes. Finding a length that’s best for you makes pedaling easier. One guide suggests that the optimum crank length is equal to 18.5% of the distance from the bottom of your foot to the top of your femur.
 
Saddle tilt is adjustable on most bikes. The best position is a comfortable position. If the saddle is tilted down at the nose, you’ll slide forward, if the nose is high, it will be uncomfortable. Level is usually best.
 
Saddle height can be adjusted on all bikes. The goal here is to find a height that will allow a slight bend in your leg when the pedal is at the bottom of its travel. To adjust height, center yourself on the saddle. With the pedal at the bottom of its travel, your heel should rest on the pedal when your leg is fully straight. This will result in a slightly bent leg when riding.
 
Many saddles have a fore and aft adjustment. How far back the saddle is located relative to the pedals determines how balanced your body will be. All riders bend forward some amount, but when bending forward you don’t want to have to support your weight with your arms. If the saddle is positioned correctly, most of your weight will be on the saddle.
 
Handlebar position is related to saddle position. With your seat positioned correctly, you should be able to reach the bars without upsetting your balance.
 
Safe in the Saddle
 
No one, child or adult, should ride a bicycle without a helmet, and many cities and states require their use. Choose a helmet from a reputable manufacturer that fits properly. A cheap, ill-fitting helmet is not much better than no helmet.
 
If you’re going to ride at night, equip your bike with front and rear lights. The front light generally mounts on the handlebars, while the rear light is mounted on the seat post. Bicycle lights are inexpensive, but the extra security that a light provides is invaluable.
 
-Two Wheeler
 
*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.

Spring Training!

Dunham’s baseball training aids can aid in the development of baseball skills — in both the backyard and the team’s training facility.
 
Baseball is America’s game, and learning to play it well can be very beneficial for young men and women. Baseball provides exercise opportunities while improving muscle coordination and mental concentration, but it’s not an easy game to master, so a bit of extra help can go a long way in terms of building skills.
 
Dunham’s stocks a wide range of baseball training aids, ranging from inexpensive exercise devices to pro-caliber pitching machines. Dunham’s can supply training products suitable for college or semi-pro training camps as well as basic equipment meant for use in the backyard. Product choices include training aids designed specifically for both hardball and softball.
 
Among the Pik training aids that Dunham’s stocks is the Arm Strong muscle developer, which is designed to improve throwing arm strength. Another Pik offering is the Power Trigger, a device that can help hitters develop a strong and balanced swing (shown at left). Pik’s patented EZ Tee batting tee (shown above) is the company’s top-selling product. Designed for simple adjustment the EZ Tee has a rubber topper that won’t damage a bat. Pik’s Swift Stik is a lightweight training bat that gives aspiring hitters lots of extra swings without the muscle fatigue that a game-weighted bat can cause.
 
Of course, Dunham’s carries a wide selection of products from other manufacturers as well. With everything from pitcher’s targets to portable backstops, and ball-return nets, Dunham’s has the training aids that can help any young man or woman fully develop their natural baseball skills.
 
-Home Run Hitter
 
*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.

Attracting Wildlife

Hunting is a waiting game. But that wait can be lessened by attracting animals to your position. A variety of food and mineral products will do just that.
 
Animal are naturally attracted to food, so anything they want to eat will generally attract them.  Minerals, on the other hand, contribute to long-term animal health.  Calcium and salt help promote antler and bone growth in deer and elk, and a variety of minerals will contribute to the general health of animals (just like with human).
 
Knowing Where to Put Attractants…
 
While food and minerals will attract wildlife, knowing where to put them will improve effectiveness.  The key is to put the material where animals feel comfortable.  “The biggest mistake hunters usually make with attractants is to put them out in the open, where animals are going to be skittish,” says Tim Carnahan of Evolve Habitats.  “You want animals to feel protected, so choose places that have natural cover and where the animals will naturally gravitate.  You don’t want to just put them out in the middle of a field–the animals won’t feel safe.”
 
Some liquid gel products can be effectively spread over a decaying log or stump and will slowly soak into the wood, making the whole thing a treat that your deer will consume.  Reapply until the entire stump or log is consumed.  It can be used to create a lick on bare ground by just pouring over the site and letting it soak in.
 
…And when to Put Them Out
 
Feed can be put before or during the hunting season, while minerals tend to have a longer lasting effect.  Putting a mineral mix in the ground will bring animals back over and over.
 
Time release products mean you don’t have to keep going back to a site, which adds convenience.  Place one or two blocks of the attractant product in an established mineral site to provide months of attraction without having to return to the site.  To establish a new site, place one or two blocks in the middle of a bare spot, 4′ in diameter.  Rainfall will be needed to activate the site, allowing the minerals to fully leach into the ground.
 
Mineral supplements attracts deer by application, moisture will cause these minerals to keep reacting and attracting deer.  Bucks seeking minerals for overall health and rack development will drawn to site to lick, paw, mark and consume the minerals.
 
Bucks will want to protect the sire by rubbing, scraping and rolling in the mineral site to mark it as their own.  The buck’s action will naturally lead to the attraction of more deer.  Over time, a large deer wallow will be created as many deer develop the habit of frequenting the site to consume the beneficial minerals.
 
*Regulation vary from state to state ( and even from county-to-county) on feeding wildlife. Be sure to check with your appropriate government agency before developing your feeding plan.
 
-Deer Abby
 
*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.

Gun Safety Starts At Home

You’ve spent a lot of money on your guns. You want to protect that investment. You want to protect your family. You need a gun safe — a good gun safe. A haphazard collection of guns around the house is a recipe for disaster, especially if you have children. Anyone with more than a single rifle or shotgun should invest in a high quality, secure and fire resistant safe to store weapons and appropriate hunting paraphernalia.
 
Size — Buy More Than You Need
 
The first thing to decide is how big the safe needs to be. Experts agree here — buy more size than you need, at least more than you need right now. Your gun collection is bound to grow over time. A good safe is more than just a gun locker — it becomes a secure storage device for your family’s other valuables as well. You’ll find you quickly fill up even a large safe. Spend the money for the size, protection, and features you want. Your gun collection may be worth many tens of thousands of dollars. Some people who visit Dunham’s wouldn’t hesitate to spend $450 on a EOTech Sight or $1100 for a custom action, yet they don’t want to spend more than a few hundred dollars on a safe. That’s not common sense.
 
“The most common mistake gun enthusiasts make in buying a safe is to not plan ahead,” says Ken Wolowicz of Stack-on-Safes. “People will think ‘I have 10 guns, so I need a safe to hold that many.’ But just because you have 10 guns, doesn’t mean you won’t get more. You can always use the extra space now for other items — hunting accessories or even other family possessions.”
 
Fire Protection
 
One of the biggest reasons to have a gun safe is to protect those guns in case of fire. Fire protection ratings vary a great deal among safes. That rating is usually expressed in terms of temperature (degrees) and time. A safe rated at 1200 degrees for 30 minutes means that a fire of 1200 degrees (typical for a house fire) can burn for a half hour without the interior exceeding 350 degrees — enough to damage contents. Considering that most house fires are put out in 15-20 minutes, that half hour protection is usually adequate.
 
To be especially cautious, if you keep other valuables (jewelry, documents, etc.), consider having a smaller safe within the gun safe — that way you are doubly protected.
 
What Kind of Lock?
 
Standard combination locks remain the most popular with gun safes, but electronic versions are becoming more popular. Both kinds of locks offer security, so it really comes down to personal preference. Electronic locks tend to add a bit to the cost, so you pay for their convenience — it’s up to you.
 
Be Flexible
 
Ken Wolowicz says the most important consideration in shopping for a gun safe is to be flexible. “You want a safe that you can modify to fit your own particular needs,” he says. “You might want special shelving, and you might want to change things around based on new purchases you make, or new things you want to store. Look for a safe that lets you be creative in how you arrange things inside.”
 
You can easily build a replacement that fits the guns you own, not the guns some marketing director thinks you have. For scoped guns, you need to increase clearance from the sidewalls 3” or more (assuming scope-side faces the safe wall). To ease access, you should also increase the spacing between guns. If you have a number of benchrest rifles with square, 3”-wide fore-ends, consider building a shelf with 3.5” rectangular slots instead of the typical tight half-circle cutouts. This will give you a rock-solid mounting point that won’t allow the rifle to bang into its neighbor.
 
If you have a variety of AR-type rifles, some long and some short, you can build a simple stepped box that sits on the safe’s floor. Place your 20”+ ARs on the bottom step and the short-barreled ARs on the upper step.
 
Water Protection
 
One much overlooked aspect of gun safe performance is the ability to protect the contents from water damage (due to floods, plumbing leaks, or water from fire-fighting). In the aftermath of the flooding in New Orleans, more people are thinking how they can keep water out of their safes. The first thing you can do is create a raised concrete platform. This will also make it easier to access items in the bottom of the safe.
 
Then, you should ensure that all holes in the safe base or sides are sealed with heat-resistant silicone or similar caulking material. This will also help safeguard the contents from fire damage.
 
-Deer Abby
 
*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.

Practice Makes Perfect

Sharpen Your Deer Hunting Skills all Year Long
 
If bagging a whitetail buck or doe on your annual fall hunt has become more of a challenge, patience or practice are most likely at the root of the problem. And while patience is a virtue, a consistent practice regime using a variety of different deer targets can definitely help maximize your in-field results.
 
“Bow hunters who bag trophy deer know the importance of staying physically fit and mentally sharp all year long,” according to Jake Stark of Delta Sports Products. “They’ll make time to practice with a bag target during the spring and summer, hone their shooting skills with realistic 3-D targets as the season approaches and then take a quality foam target along on the hunt to dial-in their technique during any downtime.”
 
Top-notch sportsmen and athletes make time to practice all season long. They know the importance of exercise and a consistent approach. Eye sight, muscle memory and physical strength can all fade if not exercised periodically throughout the year.
 
Bag Target Benefits
 
If you haven’t shot a bag target in some time, you’ll really be surprised how dramatically they have evolved and how much bang for the buck they offer. Available in a wide variety of sizes and styles, new bags are super-durable, weatherproof and engineered to stop field point arrows from even the heaviest bows and crossbows.
 
The Team RealTree® Bag Target from McKenzie Targets offers a huge surface area with a realistic full-color deer image on the front and RealTree camo design on the sides. It features a tough durable synthetic filler, and allows easy two-finger arrow removal.
 
A new Speed Bag from Delta is designed specifically for practice with today’s high-speed, high-performance bows and crossbows shooting up to 400 feet-per-second. It offers a massive 24-inch surface plus all the benefits of the Speed Bag series, including easy arrow removal, a tough filler, and a heavy-duty outer shell for unbelievably long life.
 
“At the very least,” according to Stark, “you should start a few months before the season begins and shoot 30 to 50 arrows per session. Practicing with a partner may also help you improve each other’s form and technique.”
 
3-D Drama
 
As the season approaches, hone your shooting skills with a realistic 3-D practice target. Affordable tournament and practice 3-D targets are available in a variety of styles. Many include removable antlers, flexible ears, replaceable vitals, either ASA or IBO scoring options and twist-lock assembly for easy setup and teardown.
 
The new Challenger 3-D target from Delta Sports a big buck body and big rack to help prepare you for the moment of truth in any blind or stand. Tough, durable microcellular foam ensures exceptional arrow stopping, extended core life and easy arrow removal.
 
The new McKenzie Smackdown Series E-Z Mack Buck replicates a life-size deer with a huge body, aggressive posture, and a big rack. It’s designed to stop arrows that might blow through other targets and E-Z Pull Foam technology ensures it will stand up to hours of heavy practice.
 
Delta’s Archer’s Choice Real-World Magnum elevates any practice session to the next level. The AC Magnum comes with a rotating stand that spins up to 180 degrees when the target is struck by an arrow. So, once it comes to rest, you experience another shooting angle.
 

Delta’s new Kill Zone target is designed specifically for hunters on the go. The compact life-like mid-section features a handle for easy, go-anywhere portability. The durable lightweight design also ensures it fits easily in a travel bag, cargo compartment or bed of a pickup truck.
 
“Whichever 3-D target you choose,” adds Stark, “remember to concentrate on shot placement; draw back slowly and steadily, and release each arrow smoothly.”
 
Foam Targets on the Hunt
 
On the hunt, don’t waste downtime away from your blind or stand. Remember to bring along a quality foam target to dial in your shooting technique. Foam and foam plank targets are available in a variety of sizes.
 
McKenzie’s ShotBlocker® targets are the ultimate in layered foam practice targets. They feature a patented Welded-Core™ technology that eliminates the need for plates, cables, wires, straps or bands. What you get is a tougher target with layers or sheets that can’t shift, move or fall apart. They can be shot on all four sides, and best of all, the foam slivering that you get from most layered targets when shooting broadheads is practically eliminated.
 
“Make time to practice throughout the year,” says Stark, “stay physically fit and mentally sharp, practice with a variety of targets, and you’re sure to increase your chance of bagging that trophy whitetail you’ve been dreaming about.”
 
-Deer Abby
 
*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.

Four Thousand Years Old, Getting Better Every Day

The kayak may be one of the world’s oldest watercrafts, but the latest designs show a lot of fresh thinking.
 
Kayaking is one of today’s fastest growing recreational activities, but the kayak is not a new concept. The first kayaks were built over 4,000 years ago by some of the first inhabitants of North America — indigenous residents of the Arctic region. Made of animal skins and driftwood, these early boats were ideal transportation for a hunter who wished to navigate frigid waterways in search of dinner.
 
A wide variety of kayaks are available today, and thanks to many years of development and advanced design techniques, the venerable watercraft is now a superb way for one or more adventurers to explore the world’s waters.
 
Recreational Kayaking
 
While kayaks are still used for fishing or hunting, recreational paddling has become the most popular activity of kayak enthusiasts, and boats designed specifically for that role are widely available. Recreational kayaks provide go-anywhere freedom, and because they move almost silently, they are a comfortable fit in a wilderness environment.
 
According to Mark Palinsky of Old Town Kayaks, today’s recreational kayaks are engineered with plenty of stability and gear capacity. Made of tough space-age plastics and easy to control, recreational kayaks are well suited to leisurely exploration of lakes and rivers. Because modern kayaks are roomy and provide easy entry and exit, the sport imposes no boundaries. Kayaking is enjoyed by young and old alike, and unlike most recreational activities, men and women participate in equal numbers.
 
The most common type of recreational kayak is the 10- to 14-foot sit-in design, where a single occupant sits in a comfortable padded seat that is positioned below the kayak’s deck. According to Lisa Senecal of Pelican International, sit-in kayaks are more popular than sit-on-top designs, because the paddler is better protected from spray. That makes a difference when the water is uncomfortably cold.
 
Today’s better recreational kayaks are equipped with a number of hatches for stowing equipment,  bulkheads that can help keep compartments dry, handles for carrying the kayak, adjustable foot braces, thigh pads, and perhaps even a cup holder for your favorite beverage.
 
Variations on a Theme
 
While recreational kayaks are today’s best sellers, other types are available as well.
 
Whitewater kayaks are specialized watercraft, and you’ve probably seen them shooting the rapids on television.Short and maneuverable, they work best when pushed by a fast-moving stream. Because whitewater kayaking can be challenging, it requires training and preparation.
 
Touring kayaks are another configuration. Very long and less maneuverable than a recreational kayak, they are capable of higher speed on open water. Touring kayaks are usually about 16 feet or more in length and can rapidly cover a lot of water, so they’re a great choice for a long trip across a bay or large lake. Many are designed for two or three occupants and include plenty of gear-stowage room. Some touring kayaks have rudders to assist in control and an upturned bow to deflect waves. At rest, they are generally not as stable as recreational kayaks.
 
Kayaks designed for fishing are lightweight and extremely stable. They can include features like rod holders, mounts for electronic gear, a means of securing the paddle, and an anchor system.
 
Sit-on-top kayaks are exactly what the name suggests. Rather than sitting within the hull, the paddler sits on top of the hull. Because this raises the center of gravity, sit-on-top kayaks are wider than traditional kayaks in order to gain stability. They are popular with scuba divers who want to easily get in and out of the water. They are also the choice of some fishermen, who like the freedom of movement that this kayak provides. The latest designs are almost unsinkable and are a great choice for those who want to play on and in the water.
 
Inflatable Kayaks are usually made of hypalon, polyvinyl chloride, or polyurethane-coated cloth. Because they can be deflated and folded, they are easily carried to a destination. A pump is required for inflation. Electric pumps that connect to a vehicle’s electrical system are a common choice.
 
What’s New?
 
“The kayak market is beginning to see the emergence of recreational kayaks that are slightly modified so that they can be used as touring kayaks for longer trips,” said Pelican’s Lisa Senecal. She added that people are increasingly looking for increased comfort in the way of padded ergonomically designed seats, dry storage and bulkheads that form watertight compartments.
 
Old Town’s Palinsky said that improved water-resistant hatches are featured on some newer kayaks. For example, his company recently introduced a Quick Seal hatch design on its Dirigo series kayaks. The hatch features gasket technology that is very resistant to water.
 
Kayaking Paddles
 
Kayak paddles are made in a variety of styles and of various materials, including aluminum, plastic, fiberglass and carbon fiber. Aluminum paddle shafts with plastic blades are light and inexpensive, and are a popular choice. Carbon fiber paddles are rigid and lightweight, but they are expensive. While not as light or rigid as carbon paddles, fiberglass paddles are also very high quality, and they can be more affordable.
 
Many paddles offer blade-angle adjustment. Varying the angle can change the amount of effort required to pull the blade through the water.
 
Kayaking Accessories
 
As the popularity of kayaking grew, the list of accessories expanded, but some are more necessary than others. For example, a personal flotation device, or PFD, is an absolute requirement. In addition, most kayakers don’t want to be without a dry bag — a watertight sack that protects your cargo if water enters the hatch. Fishing-related accessories are quite popular. Among these are swivel rod holders and anchor kits that will adapt a recreational kayak for angling.  Other available extras include carry straps, seat cushions, tie-down devices, worktables and more.
 
Paddle to that Special Place
 
It doesn’t take a large investment or a lot of skill to enjoy kayaking. Perhaps that’s why the sport has grown so rapidly. A kayak on your favorite lake or stream gives you freedom to wander that most other types of watercraft can’t match. So strap those kayaks to the roof of your car and head off to the great outdoors. That special place awaits you.
 
-Paddle Bum
 
*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.

What’s Your Line?

Think about it! No other tool in your tackle box is more important than the fishing line you use. No other has also improved more dramatically over the past few years. Higher quality materials, advanced manufacturing processes and continuous improvement based on testing by pro anglers have made modern fishing lines stronger, smoother, tougher and more high-tech than ever before. Today’s new-generation of lines can be grouped into four types: monofilament, braided, fused and fluorocarbon. Each type offers its own benefits and advantages.
 
Monofilament
 
Monofilament lines are formed by extruding molten material such as nylon into a single strand. Mono lines are easy-handling and have larger diameters than other lines. They are also more buoyant, so spinnerbaits, poppers and frogs sink slower and stay closer to the surface, even on long casts. Early monofilaments, however, had high “memory,” meaning they tended to come off the reel in coils or loops after being stored for a long time. They also tended to weaken when exposed to heat and sunlight. Higher quality materials and advanced manufacturing processes have practically eliminated those problems. Today’s new-generation monofilaments are available in a wide variety of different colors, pound-test weights, and special formulas for different types of fishing and water conditions.
 
“No one offers more choice in quality monofilament line than Berkley,” says Mike Polus of Pure Fishing. “Trilene XL is an extremely versatile monofilament line that is good for a wide variety of baits and techniques”. Trilene XT is extra strong for fishing in heavy cover.
 
Big Cat has controlled shock absorbency for fighting big catfish. The high visibility solar green color lets you see the line more easily in muddy water and even glows at night under a black light. TransOptic has a special additive that absorbs sunlight, so you can see it above water but it becomes completely invisible under the surface.”

 
Braided
 
Braided lines, often called superlines or microfilaments, are made of multiple individual synthetic fiber strands joined together in an intricate, time-consuming braiding process. The result is a line that’s ultrathin, superstrong and extremely sensitive. In relation to its diameter, braided lines are the strongest. A 15 test-pound braided line, for example, may have the same diameter as a 4 test-pound mono line. The smaller diameter allows anglers to spool more line on reels. That’s a huge advantage for shore-bound anglers. Braided lines are engineered with less stretch, so they transmit strikes more quickly when fishing in deep water or slow trolling. More visible than mono lines, braided lines are available in a variety of float and sink rates. Look for one that offers the optimal performance for the type of fishing you do.
 
“Sufix 832 Advanced Superline™ changes the game,” says Matt Jensen of Rapala USA. “Unbeatable strength, fine diameter, and line consistency are the reasons Sufix 832 was selected Best New Line of 2011by Field & Stream. An advanced precision braiding process weaves together eight superstrong fibers, including one GORE® Performance Fiber, at a tight 32 weaves per inch. And because it’s both rounder and tighter, castability is amazing.”
 
Fused
 
Fused lines are also made of multiple individual synthetic fiber strands thermally fused or glued rather than woven together. Using more or fewer strands determines the pound-test. The thin diameter and strength of fused line makes it ideal for fishing in and around vegetation. Fused lines are more abrasion resistant than mono lines, but less abrasion resistant than braided lines. They often come in bright colors that you can see and watch jigs or plugs for bites. Choose a fused line when you need a slick, strong line that doesn’t have much stretch.
 
“Fused lines, like Berkley Fireline, deliver longer and more controllable casts than mono or braids of the same pound-test,” according to Mike Polus. “Low memory helps fused lines come off the reel faster and with less friction. The smaller diameter means it’s not affected as much by the wind. That improves both casting accuracy and lure control.” If visibility is an issue, Polus recommends tying on an 18- to 36-inch leader of low-vis monofilament or fluorocarbon.
 
Fluorocarbon
 
Fluorocarbon is a polymer made by bonding fluorine and carbon together. Fluorocarbon lines are water repellent and highly resistant to deterioration by sunlight. They are also nearly invisible in water, which makes them ideal in clear-water situations. Line diameter is typically the same as monofilament lines. . Fluorocarbon lines are very abrasion-resistant, so they are ideal for sub-surface fishing in heavy cover. They stretch slower than monofilament, so they’re more sensitive. They’re also denser, so lures dive deeper and faster.
 
“Vicious Pro Elite Fluorocarbon is great when pitching a worm or diving plugs in rocks or logs,” says Chris Armstrong of Vicious Fishing.”It’s tough, smooth and strong. Instead of an 8-10 pound mono, you can spool 12-15 pound Elite Fluorocarbon and go a lot deeper. This line also detects even the slightest of bites, so you’ll get more strikes and put more fish in the boat.”
 
Know More, Land More
 
Knowing the different types of line to use will help you catch and land more fish. Use the line that suites the conditions and style you fish. Remember to also respool at least one per season, or more often based on how frequently you fish.
 
Monofilament

  • Easy handling (easy casting, good on spinning and baitcasting reels)
  • Most versatile, special formulas available
  • Controlled stretch (more time to set the hook)
  • Most buoyant (great for topwater fishing)

 
Braided

  • Ultrathin (more line on the spool)
  • Superstrong (strongest in relation to diameter)
  • Abrasion resistant (great for heavy cover)
  • Low stretch (high sensitivity)
  • More visible than mono
  • Available in variety of float or sink rates

 
Fused

  • Thin diameter
  • Superstrong
  • More abrasion resistant than mono
  • Less abrasion resistant than braided

 
Fluorocarbon

  • Virtually invisible under water
  • Water repellent
  • Resists deterioration by sunlight
  • Abrasion resistant
  • Low stretch (high sensitivity)
  • High sink rate (lures dive deep and fast)

 
-Hook, Line & Sinker
 
*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.

 
 
string(0) ""