Jarrett Edwards Expert Advice on PowerPro
Written by Russ Bassdozer
Some of you may know Jarrett Edwards. He's one of the most popular and liked young men in the bass fishing industry. Sponsored by and an avid user of PowerPro for many years, Jarrett shares his unique insights on PowerPro and he describes some of the best applications for PowerPro below.
Some of the most popular uses of PowerPro...
- Pitching and Flipping in Thick Grass. By far, I've found two main ways that the top pros on the BASS Pro Tour use PowerPro. First, to fish topwater lures (more on this in a minute). Second, to flip and pitch jigs or Texas rigs in thick grass. No other line provides the power and control that braid does when flipping or pitching. There's no stretch in PowerPro. That equates to 3-4 more handle cranks you can get on the fish. With other lines like mono or fluoro, you are losing 3-4 handle cranks just to tighten and stretch other lines. All that time, the bass is moving deeper into the heart of the cover while you're just trying to gain line control with mono or fluoro. On the other hand, PowerPro just jars and stops a fish right from the get-go. With PowerPro, a bass can't pull deeper into cover. It can't quite swim down into snags. PowerPro moves them a lot more toward you and therefore into the relatively more open areas right away. This is highly valuable line for flipping and pitching since PowerPro, by its no-stretch nature, helps to move fish away from snags almost automatically. Any effort a fish makes often works against it, and instead helps move it out of cover toward you.
I really emphasize that you shouldn't use an extra heavy rod when flipping and pitching with PowerPro in close quarters. A rod that's too stiff will cause break-offs with braid. Flipping and pitching, a medium/heavy rod is better with braid. A medium/heavy rod absorbs some of the initial shock of a hard hookset and prevents break-offs. Especially when a sinker is rigged on the line, that sinker location tends to be a breaking point with braid on initial hookset with too stiff a rod.
So a medium/heavy rod helps absorb the initial sudden shock, preventing snap-offs. Now let's discuss how a medium/heavy rod enables a higher hook-up ratio versus a heavy rod. A rod that's too stiff, you are not going to get good hook penetration. If you use a heavy rod, you'll hardly ever set a hook. Instead, use a medium/heavy rod with braid. I am really happy with the hook-up ratio achieved using a medium/heavy baitcaster in close quarters with 50 pound test PowerPro. Reason is, since PowerPro will not stretch like mono or fluoro, a fish needs to be able to pull against the flexure in a medium/heavy rod in order to sink the hook home. That's how a hook really gets set past the barb - when the fish pulls back - not when the angler pulls back. If a fish never pulled back, if it just bit and swam toward you, you'd never set the hook. You can pull back all you want, to no avail. It's only when the fish pulls back, then the hook sets. PowerPro line will stop a fish from being able to pull back deeper into troublesome cover. At the same time, a medium/heavy rod lets the fish pull enough to yank the hook home. The fish needs to have some flex from a medium/heavy rod to do that. A heavy rod won't work in close quarters with braid. You'll certainly lift fish, move them, get them halfway to the boat, but a heavy, inflexible rod with braid won't let the fish set the hook past the barb. Use a medium/heavy rod instead.
- Frog Fishing in Thick Grass. PowerPro is ideal for floating rubber frogs across thick grass mats. In many cases, frog anglers try to reach a thin sliver of open water right up against the shoreline. That inner edge is a high percentage strike zone, but it's impossible to get a boat close to the inner edge without spooking any bass. So you position the boat on the outside edge of the grass mat and cast completely across the mat to reach the inner open water rimming the shoreline. PowerPro braid, being thin and slick, allows longer casts than other lines. Second, with no stretch, PowerPro provides higher hook up ratios at the end of such long casts.
- Topwater Fishing. One other reason to use PowerPro, is to get really long casts in clear water. PowerPro is manufactured from polyethylene plastic. It's very slick, almost as slick as Teflon. It's the slickest, longest distance casting line a bass angler can use. In clear water, bass are notorious for hitting topwater lures at the end of a long cast. PowerPro lets an angler stay back and not spook fish by getting further casts. This applies not only to topwater fishing, but anytime that clear water bass require long casts, I've noticed my hook-up ratio goes up with PowerPro. You are simply able to set the hook more successfully on long casts.
With topwater lures, I've heard it said and have experienced that braid may tend to tangle in the front treble of a topwater. This can be true, but the advantage of a higher hook-up ratio at the end of a cast more than compensates for the times that braid tangles the front hook.
Tangling occurs more often with poppers or when you're not keeping a constant force on a bait.. With walking baits like a Spook or Sammy, you often have a sufficient amount of tension and you can get a constant rhythm going that keeps the line ahead of and away from the front hook. Like anything else, you'll need to make adjustments. With braid, you get a tighter wiggle and can cover water more quickly than mono. You can make a topwater bait move more water faster, and that's also the way to keep front hook tangles to a minimum.
Just keep these three things in mind: 1) in clear water, bass prefer to hit at the very end of long casts, and 2) PowerPro enables further casts, and 3) higher hook-up percentages at the end of long casts. This is true for topwater, swimming jigs, burning spinnerbaits or rattle baits or any tactic in clear shallow water when the end of a long cast is a high percentage strike zone, PowerPro has a higher long distance hook-up ratio than other lines.
- Rat-L-Traps in Shallow Grass. Ripping Rat-L-Traps in shallow grass can pay dividends. One problem is that at the very start of a cast, before you can engage the reel, a Rat-L-Trap will sink and can get bogged down in grass right from the get-go, before you even get started. With PowerPro braid, this will still happen, but you can whack the bottom of the rod with the heel of your reeling hand and just slap a Rat-L-Trap right out of the grass, getting a clean start. You just can't do that with any other line type. So in shallow grass, PowerPro goes great with Rat-L-Traps.
Jarrett Edwards Top Ten Power Pro Tips
- Use lighter tip rods, both spinning and baitcasters. This allows for the compensation for the near zero percent stretch found with braided line. For most applications a medium to medium/light rod will work. For flipping or pitching very thick cover, a medium/heavy rod.
- When applying Power Pro to the reel spool always make sure you put a small piece of scotch tape over the knot on the spool. Due to the light slippery nature of Power Pro this will force the line not to slip when spooling it for the first time.
- When casting and retrieving with Power Pro try closing the bail manually instead of snapping it down. This will allow the line to have wrap around the spool with a nice easy tension.
- Unlike monofilament, copolymers and fluorocarbon lines that can have significant stretch to them Power Pro has very little stretch therefore a much lighter drag is needed to absorb for the hook set. This will compensate for those TV hooksets!
- When fishing light weight or weightless baits like the Yamamoto Senko every so often make an extremely long cast and apply pressure to the line when retrieving. This will allow the angler to re-pack his line on the spool for optimum casting distance. Also try this after most hook sets, this will avoid the line digging into itself.
- Finicky fish often means extremely clear water. When you’re faced with clear water try adding a 2 to 4 foot leader of Sugoi fluorocarbon line to your Power Pro. This will allow you to have the best of both worlds! The fluorocarbon will absorb a lot of impact on the hook set. To attach the 2 lines either tie a Uni-to-Uni knot or a tiny barrel swivel.
- When fishing plastic baits with Power Pro make sure that your using the latest Super Line hooks available instead of the traditional hooks we use with mono. The Power Pro line even with a slight hook set will almost always straighten out traditional hooks. The Super Line hooks were made just for braided lines and are manufactured using thicker stronger steel.
- After a while all super lines color will start to fade. Simply get the permanent marker color of your choice to re-color your line. This is a great trick to customize the color of Power Pro for your particular fishing situation.
- Always remember to pack scissors for cutting and handling of the line. This will prevent fraying of the line if trying to cut with a knife!
- In order to pull snags out with PowerPro, especially the heavier lines, some anglers use a short section of old wooden broomstick, wrapped with electrical tape, which keeps the line from slipping. Simply wrap four of five turns of the snagged line around the center of the tool, grip each end with both hands and pull. With lighter pound tests, you can simply use the section of your fishing rod blank between the handle and first guide. Simply roll the rod 4-5 times, wrapping the line around the blank until the line won't slip and pull with both hands on each side of the wraps. This will not damage the rod and won't harm PowerPro line.
My Personal Favorite Application for PowerPro is...
- Wacky Worming. I just love the 15 pound test (4 pound diameter) PowerPro to fish weightless wacky worms in heavy cover and to skip under docks. I favor the 4-inch 9S-series Senko for this.
Wacky worming in more open water, the 10 pound test (2 pound diameter) PowerPro is ideal since it casts really far, and the PowerPro toughens up an otherwise medium/light application. It adds muscle in a way that mono or fluoro can't.
With all the applications mentioned earlier: 1) flipping and pitching in grass, 2) frog fishing, 3) topwater fishing and 4) Rat-L-Trap fishing, I tie direct to the PowerPro using a Palomar knot without any leader.
For wacky worming, or any finesse spinning application (tube jigs, drop shot, etc), I use a really small barrel swivel and a short length of fluorocarbon leader, usually two feet long, up to a maximum of four feet.
In 2003, Bill Wallace who is the marketing/PR guy from PowerPro spent some enjoyable days fishing together with me on the clear waters of Lake Powell, Arizona where I live. We were wacky worming with Senkos, my favorite way to fish, in the crystal clear water for which Lake Powell is famous. I was using a short fluorocarbon leader and some of the smaller diameter 10 and 15 pound test PowerPro I favor. However, Bill suggested we try thirty pound PowerPro. Since Bill's the director of PowerPro's pro team, we fished his way the rest of the week with thirty pound PowerPro, and the fish never let on they noticed the heavier line (a dichotomy, since "heavy" 30 pound PowerPro is as thin as "light" 8 pound mono or fluoro). After Bill returned home, I went on a mission of my own, using only 30 pound PowerPro in clear water and 50 pound in slightly stained water, without any leader whatsoever. I ended up feeling pretty good about all the bass I was catching that way. That was a great learning experience and really opened my eyes.
Even though clear water bass may or may not anguish over the sight of the fishing line, an angler getting within close casting range will spook them. Therefore, I still favor and use the lighter 15 and 10 pound test PowerPro for wacky worming since longer distance casts are possible without spooking fish in clear water.
And I do use a short fluorocarbon leader when wacky worming (or for any finesse spinning application). The first reason is, a two foot leader of fluorocarbon and a small swivel helps a weightless wacky bait sink better. Second, you can set the hook too hard without a leader. So the small leader is enough to absorb the sudden shock of initial hookset, preventing snap-offs. Third, that little two-foot section of leader adds enough elasticity so a fish can better yank the hook past the barb. You would not think it, but try this. Put on a pair of heavy work gloves. Wrap some PowerPro around your gloves, and leave a two foot section between both hands. Try to stretch that. It's just not going to happen. Next, wrap some fluorocarbon around your gloves, leaving two feet between and yank on that. You'll prove it does stretch. Indeed, the difference is like day and night. So you see, even a short two foot section of fluorocarbon provides enough stretch to absorb the sudden shock of a hard hookset and to sink the hook home past the barb.
To attach this short shock leader, I use a Palomar knot from swivel to braid; a San Diego knot from the swivel to leader; and another Palomar knot to tie the wacky hook or lure to the leader.
PowerPro Gains EZ Spool Technology
Power Pro has recently announced new EZ Spool technology that lets PowerPro's packaging function as a portable line spooling tool. The photo above shows the EZ Spool package open so you may see the intenral components. Along the lines of how it works in a nutshell, is you thread the line from the spool out a center hole in the package. Then close the package. Thread the end of the line through the first guide above the rod handle, tie to your reel and start spooling line from inside the package onto your reel. A partner can assist by holding the line package and squeezing both sides between his/her hands so the line spools on nice and tight. If alone, an individual can squeeze the package between your own knees to apply tension to spool the line tightly, says PowerPro. The package has a built-in line cutter to clip the line when the reel is full. For more information, visit the EZ Spool website at www.ezspool.com.
About Jarrett Edwards
At age 28, he has been fishing the Bassmaster Trail for 9 years. He has competed on the Bassmaster Elite Series for four consecutive seasons placing him as one of the top 100 best bass fishing professionals.
In 2007, after surviving cancer, Jarrett chose to pursue his own fun, educational and young approach to the outdoors through TV. Jarrett has made special TV appearances on national stations ranging from ESPN, ESPN2, Fox Sports and ABC news world Tonight with Peter Jennings, and he's host of his own new show for the 2007/2008 season, Jarrett Edwards Outdoors National TV.
- Jarrett is a proud cancer survivor.
- He holds the Colorado state record for largemouth bass at 11.6 pounds.
- Jarrett and his wife Rebecca own and operate “Edwards Entertainment” an HD production company specializing in outdoor production through boat, helicopter and underwater shots.
- Jarrett and his father Jim Edwards, own and operate “Blue Water Promotions” which is the leading firm in demo tank technology with three of the world’s newest and largest tanks traveling from coast to coast. These tanks range from demonstration bass tanks to unique kids trout ponds on wheels. In the last 36 months, over171,000 kids have fished in these tanks which are average over 125 kids fishing days per tank per season!
- Jarrett promotes bass fishing to tens of thousands of anglers during public appearances throughout the country. He averages over 65 days of sponsor appearances annually at major sport shows, in-store promotions and events.
- After surviving cancer and having climbed to the top professional ranks of bass fishing, Jarrett has a remarkable story to share with other young people, and Jarrett speaks with thousands of today’s youth while traveling to many public and private schools. He often gives motivational speeches on being drug free and living your dream.
- Jarrett is a contributing writer to three national fishing publications that combined publish 25 articles by Jarrett annually. In total, Jarrett has had over 100 articles published with more on the way!
- For more information, please visit: JarrettEdwards.com