Just hitting the stocking shelves at your local tackle shop as you are reading this, Ande’s new Monster Mono in “Gulfstream” blue is a line that’s born and bred for rough and tumble action in the blue water. It’s funny how different anglers can have completely opposite polar views concerning high-visibility (hi-vis) fishing line. It’s been around for over three decades now, so it’s nothing new. I have been on both ends of this philosophical spectrum and can understand the plusses and minuses of using hi-vis line from firsthand experience out on the briny, from catching bass, makos and tuna in the Northeast, to hooking line-shy tarpon down in Key West, to working the Pacific waters off Cabo San Lucas for a variety of pelagics.
As an angler and charter boat guide, it’s a major advantage to be able to follow the antics of a large pelagic that’s fighting for its life and will do anything to tangle your line on some underwater obstruction in an effort to earn its freedom. On the other hand, if you don’t use the appropriate standoff when using hi-vis running line, like a camo-colored or fluorocarbon wind-on leader, the hi-vis line is like a neon sign and will usually give away your intentions to wary gamefish and cause a case of sudden lock-jaw.
Ande’s Sales Manager Joe Antonacci has had similar experiences with Ande’s hi-vis Monster mono that they introduced a few years back. It was on a recent offshore trip to the Bahamas with a fishing buddy that Joe showed him his offshore reels spooled with their hi-vis mono and asked hi, “So what do you think…would you ever use this stuff?” When his buddy offered a less-than-enthusiastic response, mirroring some of the reasons described above, Joe then asked him, “So what color line would you use?” His buddy simply pointed down to the cobalt blue Gulfstream water and said that he’d use this new-and-improved offshore line if it was the royal blue color of the surrounding water and that’s how Blue Monster Mono was born.
HARDER, TOUGHER, STRONGER
In either color, the hi-vis yellow or the new royal blue, Monster Mono is formulated by the Ande engineers to be the “ultimate” offshore mono line that is more resistant to the usual nicks, scrapes, cuts and tail whacks that occur when pursuing large billfish, tuna and sharks. When asked about this mono’s mettle, Joe Antonacci described Monster as, “a medium-hard mono that is more abrasion-resistant than our Premium, Tournament IGFA, Back-Country or our new Ghost (more on that later) monofilament fishing lines. Monster over-tests by roughly 50% of its stated line strength on the label (i.e., 50-pound Monster will break at about 75 pounds of pressure) and it’s closer to our Back-Country mono in its lack of memory and knot-tying ability. The added strength of Monster comes with no spool capacity penalties - the 50-pound-test Monster is roughly 0.028-inch diameter, basically the same thickness as our other mono lines. The added strength of Monster is a function of its proprietary copolymer formulation."
Like the other aforementioned Ande products, the new Blue Monster mono is manufactured in Germany and has been since William Gerlach founded the company back in the late 50s. Ande is still a family-run business that’s now under the leadership of William’s son, Chuck Gerlach, and based out of West Palm Beach, FL. I have used Ande line of one type or another since I started freshwater fishing as a youth back in the early 60s and graduated to using some of the heavier pink Premium and green Tournament mono when I started serious saltwater pursuits in the early 70s. The sample spool of 60-pound Blue Monster mono that the Ande folks sent me perfectly ties most of the “9-for-99%” knots (Improved Clinch, Palomar, Spider Hitch, Dropper Loop, Snell, Perfection Loop, Blood Knot, Improved Surgeon’s and Reverse Albright with a Lock) that I teach at my LI Fishing School seminar classes…like when using competitive line, just don’t forget to moisten the knot with a little bit of saliva before cinching it up. Monster mono is offered in 20-, 30-, 50-, 60-, 80-, 100- and 125-pound-test.
I SAW A GHOST!
When I was speaking with the Ande folks about Blue Monster mono, they told me a “ghost” story about a new mono that was just introduced at the recent ICAST tackle show and will be making it to dealers in the coming weeks. The new Ghost mono is essentially the same formulation as their Premium mono, but with a matte finish and is available in only one color, opaque white, so they can offer it at a lower price for anglers who are on a budget. Like Ande Premium, the Ghost mono will over-test its rated strength by about 15 percent, so 30-pound mono will usually break somewhere around the 35-pound benchmark. Ghost is a “softer” line than the aforementioned Monster and it will be slightly easier to tie your fave knots. With over 1,780 world records and counting, no matter what flavor of Ande mono line you prefer, this line catches fish.