Besides the bait, the most important thing for most fish is the line. Sure, you could catch a catfish in dirty water on a piece of yarn, but for most fish that rely on eyesight, line and leader choice is key. Taking a look at those great big eyes on a ladyfish, it's easy to see that these fish have superb eyesight, and below we describe the best fishing lines and leaders for catching them.
Fishing Lines for Ladyfish Fishing
Between the three main types of line materials (monofilament, braid, and fluorocarbon), it's important to always keep the end of the line, or the leader if one is used, clear, because of that excellent eyesight. Although ladyfish can reach up to 15 pounds, they commonly weigh about two-to-four pounds, so use as light of line as you wish for the sport of it.
Monofilament Line for Ladyfish
Monofilament line is recommended for the main line when targeting ladyfish because the stretch in the line may give you a little slack when the fish jumps or runs unexpectedly. When a fish jumps -- and ladyfish jump a lot -- they sometimes land on the line, resulting in a quick tension break in the line. It's also a good choice just based on its clarity and cost.
Braided Line for Ladyfish
Braided line has both benefits and costs when it comes to catching Ladyfish. For one, it has a thinner diameter than the other line types, which means the line is lighter and more sensitive, allowing you to cast farther and control smaller lures more easily. The negative side of braided line however is that it completely lacks stretch, so the hook may easily rip out of the fish's mouth after a strong run or jump if the drag is not set appropriately.
Using Fluorocarbon for Ladyfish
Fluorocarbon line is always a great leader, but can also be a great main line when using light test (heavier test can get cost-prohibitive to spool an entire reel). The best thing about fluorocarbon line is that it is essentially invisible underwater, which will increase your catch on days that the fish are line-shy. It is also more resistant to abrasions than monofilament or braided lines.
Using Fly-Line for Ladyfish
A forward-weighted fly-line is recommended for targeting Ladyfish, so that you have more control casting into the tight spaces where the fish are. Forward-weighted line is also a bit easier to cast against the wind, which is usually pretty breezy near the coasts during the cooler months. At the end of the line, use a fluorocarbon tippet, as it will sink well and have good clarity for presenting the fly well.
Final Notes about Ladyfish Lines and Leaders
In summary, a light monofilament line may be all that you need to have a good day catching ladyfish. If choosing braided line for its better casting ability and sensitivity, use a monofilament shock leader to absorb some of the tension. Either way, make sure the end of the line is either clear or a clear leader is used.