Line Hum a Factor in Cranking?

Been going over some BassGold data for Lake Fork (a popular request), saw in an article on the PAA tourney there in 2008 iwhere Kelly Jordon – who headed the winning team – said this about using 12-pound fluorocarbon to crank Fork’s heavy timber:

Any heavier and they wouldn’t bite it. You can still get the bait down with heavier line, but they won’t bite it. I don’t know why that is. I think maybe the heavier line hums more in the water. Ten years ago it didn’t matter, but the fish are a lot smarter now.

Line hum?

I buy that the basses feel things we can’t comprehend. And for sure they somehow get habituated to stuff. But line hum?


Or maybe while the rest of us are worried about getting the baits down where they need to go and not losing one, the pros can a) do that and b) not worry so they can afford to think about stuff like that…maybe?

Btw, Ike’s team, which finished 5th in that derby, used 10-lb fluoro for cranking.



  1. Chad Keogh

    February 22, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Line hum? Sounds a little “out there”. The thicker line affecting running depth or lure action I can buy.

  2. Dan Roberts

    February 22, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    I’ve seen times when you couldn’t use braid while flipping wood because of the hum it when you jig it in the brush.. What he’s talking about seems a little out there though.. Then again, he’s the pro not me.

  3. Cliff Peterson

    February 22, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    I don’t know about hum, but a think the formulation of the line is very important, because I think it provides a certain “tension” or “tensile connection” between you and the bait that contributes to the action, the amount of vibration you get out of a crankbait. I don’t think that it is just the design of the crankbait and size (test and/or diameter) of the line that determines the action you get out of the bait. I use to like Spiderwire Super Mono and I could feel a crankbait’s action with that line like no other and I caught more fish. Then they changed it to Super Mono LS or something like that and it was softer and I could not feel as much vibration from my crankbaits and I did not catch as many fish. I still have not found a crankbait line that I am pleased with to replace the Super Mono.

  4. Flip 'N' Pitch

    February 22, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Well, Cliff Claven here, but you don’t necessarily have to be an Elite to understand what he seems to be observing/describing (or even be a fisherman) but there’s nothing like first hand experience on the water. We all can agree that fish are optimally tuned to detect just about any and everything in their watery environment. So if I told you the speed of sound varies based on the density of the substance through which it is traveling, would it make sense that the vibrations we perceive as sound in relatively thinner air are more pronounced under relatively thicker water (even more so the deeper you go)? Think about that “WHOOSH!” you can hear when you really whip a cranking rod on a long cast. Imagine how it would sound/feel to a fish underwater. Or even think about a twangy guitar string when you pluck it. Isn’t that kind of like fluoro stretched taut against the pull and vibration of a deep crank? The thicker the guitar string the deeper the sound, right?

  5. admin (mostly Jay)

    February 22, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    That’s right Cliff! This sounds like a case for John Prochnow at Berkley…

    • Flip 'N' Pitch

      February 22, 2012 at 10:55 pm

      Hear, hear! Also of Berkley fame is Dr. Keith Jones, whose book “Knowing Bass” I can not more strongly endorse and recommend to geeks and non-geeks alike. I do apologize to everyone for being one of the resident “Cliff Clavin’s” on this blog. 😉 With good intentions, I’ll try to help shed light when I can but of course I’m no Ken Cook! The coolest thing to me is a lot off stuff like this is already captured in many a “Crusty Ole Bank Fisherman’s Tale of Wisdom”. For example, to me this kind of falls under the heading of “Half the hook, twice the fisherman”. We may figure out the technical “why” after the fact, but the elder statesmen of our beloved pastime have most of it figured out by their vast experience on the water. We just have to be smart enough to listen!

  6. 5bites

    February 23, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    I don’t remember where but I read one time about the same thing only it was spinnerbaits. Hank Parker (he’s caught a few fish btw) said he was throwing spinnerbaits around willows in shallow muddy water. Obviously a perfect time for heavy line. He went on to say that he couldn’t get bit or his bite improved greatly when he switched to a lighter line. If fish feel much smaller fish twitch in their neighborhood I don’t know why they wouldnt feel the displacement or vibration from heavy line. Also it makes sense that the dirtier the water the more this would be true. They will rely more on feel rather than site. Maybe they feel that something isn’t right before they can see the lure and go on guard?

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Gitcha Bassin' Fix

The best, worst and funniest in bassin'! Jay Kumar is the guy who created, co-hosted Loudmouth Bass with Zona, was a B.A.S.S. senior writer and a whole lot more in bassin™. Make sure you sign up for the BassBlaster email!

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