Putting a cheap line on a quality rod is like putting a lawnmower engine in an Indy car—a frustrating and senseless waste of potential. And it goes both ways. As I discovered with that first pike-fishing outfit of mine, a premium line can elevate the performance of a budget rod. If you only make 20-foot casts on small streams, a value line might do. For anything more challenging, however, buy the best line you can afford. The difference in durability and performance is immense.