Do it with Dacron, Part II
Brighten things up: Using brightly colored Dacron proves quite convenient during any fish fight, allowing both angler and captain to evaluate the line-out status at a glance. One combo would be orange Dacron and yellow mono for the top shot. Both lines are “hi-vis” but very different colors, so the captain can immediately see when the top shot’s completely off the reel. That way he knows whether to keep backing down or turn the boat to chase the fish.
As you regain line, you can watch the last of the bright orange Dacron enter the rod tip, providing you with information. You now know how much line’s off the reel, giving you more confidence when adjusting the drag, knowing when to tighten it as a marlin gets closer.
Low maintenance: Giving the backing an occasional bath helps keep it in optimal condition. It’s important to wash Dacron, but you don’t have to remove it from the reel to do so. Just dribble water over the spool to flush salt off the line.
But when you consider the Dacron sits under a half-inch or so of mono top shot, not much water really reaches the deeper layers. Don’t hose down any reel under pressure. It’s a good idea to take off the mono and rinse the Dacron well, but you only have to do it once a year.
Diameter is key: Smaller than that of similar-strength monofilament, Dacron’s diameter helps anglers increase the amount of line on a reel. Besides contributing to extra mileage on the reel, Dacron’s diameter could help anglers who suddenly find themselves looking down at a half-empty spool.
Smaller diameter helps reduce drag when a belly of line forms behind a streaking marlin, reducing chances that water pressure alone will break the line. Diminished line drag is an especially important factor when fishing with 30- and 50-pound test, although it would certainly help with heavier line, too.
Although Dacron’s low abrasion resistance demands a certain amount of care, the top shot takes most of the heat when fighting fish. The list of positive attributes includes small diameter, longevity and low maintenance, all of which cost less than completely re-spooling reels with monofilament. Big-game anglers who use 50-pound and heavier tackle should weigh the pros and cons for themselves and decide of they can use the Dacron advantage. n