At a Glance: Wire, Copper & Lead Core
Wire, Copper, and lead core lines are thick, heavy fishing lines designed to take advantage of both the strength and weight of the lines for deep water trolling. Wire lines are single-strand or multi-strand stainless steel or copper wire and require rods with guides and Twili tips designed and used only for wire due to the abrasive qualities of the lines. Single-strand stainless wire is being phased out but has been used to gain depth with shallow and deep diving lures. Multi-strand stainless wire allows anglers using dipsy divers to achieve great depths with less line deployed than superlines require because of the weight and the stiffness of the wire cutting through the water. This is an advantage as an angler can better manage the lines being deployed with less of an opportunity to tangle. This tactic increases the need for proper drag settings and angler attention because hard-hitting fish can be lost due to the extreme strength and lack of stretch in the wire. Terminal tackle and the fish themselves can be damaged if not set properly. Copper line is comprised of multiple strands of copper wire, wound into one long, bare strand of copper and is the heaviest of trolling lines. Copper wire line is designed to penetrate thermoclines, whereas lead core lines will ride along them without achieving further depths. Trolling dive rates for copper are typically 20 ft of depth for every 100 ft. of copper line deployed. Lead core lines have a braided Dacron outer covering with a single strand of raw lead inside, and the braid has a color change every 30 feet which eliminates the need for linecounter reels. The test strength is determined by the amount of Dacron, as the core is uniform for each test. Stronger lead core lines ride slightly higher in the water column due to the thicker profile. Lead core lines are also a bit more manageable than wire lines as they do not retain spool memory like wire, but lead core does not sink as fast. Lead core typically dives at a rate of 5 ft. for every 10 yards, or one color. Lead core can also be used in fly fishing as a sinking tip in addition to its primary use as a trolling mainline. Since these lines are highly visible to fish and dampen lure actions, anglers must use long monofilament or fluorocarbon leaders. Copper and lead core lines require large capacity reels with large line-guides due to the higher diameters and the large knots resulting from the connections to leaders and backing lines. Keep in mind when using copper or lead core lines, the entire amount of the heavy line must be deployed so the backing line is out beyond the end of the rod or the rod tip will damage the line. This also applies to the use of release clips for planer boards. FishUSA offers wire, copper, and lead core lines from the best names in the industry to allow deep water trolling programs to catch the big predators that other setups just can’t reach.