If red disappears underwater, then why……

  • Avatar of b-robinson b-robinson 
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    #1254323

    This is a question I get asked often by people who know I fish a lot, and I never really seem to have a good answer for them, so here it is.
    Red is proclaimed to disappear underwater. Then why all the fuss with red hooks on lures and the like? Is that disappearing too?
    Of course, then I always get my dad chiming in with “fish are colorblind anyways”. Do you think that’s true? (personally I don’t, but it’s been a while since I’ve seen scientific info on this)
    What are your guys’ answers to these questions? Can’t wait to read em.

    Avatar of slop_bass slop_bass 
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    #558670

    The amount of color that a fish sees depends on how much light is available.

    Red probably isn’t as much of a factor in deeper or dirtier water b/c there isn’t enough light for the fish to see Red .

    In cleaner and more clear water is when the red hooks and such will be a factor.

    avatar GNFISN 
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    #558675

    Marketing – half the people marketing , and doing the demographics and research on this dont even know what it is. I’m with you , clear red glass beads have been around forever, not to mention hooks , etc. for ALL speces of fish. The”red line” will be gone in short time – once people think about it. Unless you think it looks cool on you reels -

    Avatar of b-curtis b-curtis 
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    #558674

    I just saw this same question in a fishing magazine. I don’t remember the exact explanation, but it was something like the fact that the fishing line allows light to pass through it so with a red line it does indeed become transparent. With red hooks, they are solid object that do not allow light to pass through so it is not transparent.

    avatar Fife 
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    #558681

    I have heard the theory that in clear water red works better. Question: Lake of the Woods is the most stained water I ever fish, yet that is the only place I have consistent success with red crankbaits or red jigs through the ice? I have pulled around these same red crankbaits on Mille Lacs with very little success.

    avatar trumar 
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    #558685

    I agree with B Curtis as it is the most logical answer so far.. “transparent line versus a solid hook

    avatar Ferlin Cobb 
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    #558687

    This is the explanation from Power Pro’s website of what’s happening with their new red line:

    “As line descends below the surface, water absorbs the wavelengths of light selectively, one by one, as depth increases. Red is the first color to disappear, at a depth of 15 feet (which is why underwater photographers often use red filters to restore red colors in their pictures).”

    It still doesn’t explain red baits, hooks, etc. Some people say the red just goes dark or black. I don’t get it.

    Avatar of cougareye cougareye 
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    #558704

    There was some discussion on this subject back in January……here web page

    avatar zachary fries 
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    #558707

    Great Question B I am reading and learning as we go

    avatar jldii 
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    #558715

    All colors disappear eventually as the different wave lengths of light filter out. Colors only exsist because of the different waves of light that shine on them. When you look at a red shirt, it appears red because of the infra-red light waves. If you filter out those infra-red light waves, that shirt will appear as a washed out gray, or lack of color. That is pretty much why sunsets tend to have a lot of red in them as the dissapear, the infra-red light waves are the easiest to bend. Same as in the water. The water bends those light waves to the point that they don’t penetrate the water enough to give a red hook any color. Same with all colors. Your blue/purple colors are the last to disappear since ultra-violet light waves are the longest and the last to be filtered out by water. Black, while still a color, doesn’t fade away per say, it just disappears for lack, or absence, of any light.

    As for fish seeing colors, yes they do. The sensory cones in a walleye’s eyes are known to see green and yellow the best.

    Red works good with fish because it is the same color as blood. Regardless what depth the water, fish recognize that color as the same color as blood, which they interpet as a wounded/bleeding fish, and thus more susceptable as prey.

    avatar Coreyc 
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    #558723

    I dont have an explanation but I would like to point at that all colors we see are apart of the visible light spectrum, falling from 400-700 um in wavelengths. Infrared waves are not apart of the visible light spectrum, its wavelengths are 700+ um, so it has no affect on our ability to see certain colors….same goes with ultraviolet light

    Avatar of rmartin rmartin 
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    #558731
    Quote:

    When you look at a red shirt, it appears red because of the infra-red light waves. If you filter out those infra-red light waves, that shirt will appear as a washed out gray, or lack of color.



    Infra red is not part of the visible spectrum. The visible spectrum is what colors you see in a rainbow. A red shirt is red because it absorbs all of the other colors of the visible spectrum except red. The red is reflected and that is why the shirt looks red. A red item in an area devoid of red light will appear gray to black depending on the amount of available light.

    I think the red line, red hooks is 90% marketing, but if it gives you confidence, use it.

    Avatar of rmartin rmartin 
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    #558732

    I see you posted as I was writing.

    avatar jldii 
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    #558738

    Seems like we are saying the same thing, but your explaination sounds better and in not as many words as mine!

    avatar matt_grow 
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    #558741

    JLD is on the right track though. Visible light are color reflections with wavelengths of 400 to 700 nanometers(nm). To be able to see these wavelengths, the human eye’s receptors have been trained through evolution. There are creatures who can see ultra violet and such. I’m not a fish biologist so I don’t know what visible light is for a fish.

    But if we were to limit our conversation strictly to the human eye,…. Then yes the color red is the first to “disappear”. However it does not become invisible. Instead the human eye will see shades of red.

    This whole idea is based on what is known as dispersion. White light contains all colors. When white light passes through a medium whether it be air water or space, its colors are dispersed in that medium due to the different wavelengths of the various colors.

    Think of a colors wave length as the amount energy it carries. The longer the wave length the lower its frequency. High frequency waves carry more energy. Gamma rays and X-rays are extremely high energy and dangerous and lucky for us these rays emmitted from the sun are absorbed by the atmosphere before they reach us. Even this scenario is a form of dispersion. Now we’re talking about dispersion of light in water. Red light has the longest wavelength and the smallest frequency and therefore is the first color in Visible light to be dispersed when traveling through any medium. In this case the medium is water and red light is the first to be dispersed from the human eye. Now fish? They have different receptors from humans and may see differently from us. (no pun)

    Avatar of rmartin rmartin 
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    #558742

    Hey we could still talk about shades and hues and flourescence.

    Avatar of chris-tuckner chris-tuckner 
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    #558744

    I have a little different take on colors. Take out the argument of whether or not a fish can see color or not. I try to create different contrasts in lures in my tackle box. I try to take the color argument out of the equation and try to think about it like a fish can only see in black and white. And if that is the case, what color patterns can be most easily seen under the water conditions you are presented with. That is why my tackle box contains many Firetiger patterns of different colors, or straight white/black or craw. I will use a lot of Chromes in sunlight/moonlight for reflective qualities, and contrasting colors for most other applications. Most of those colors have a variation of black with additional brighter or midrange colors like gold, silver, white or orange. Oddly enough, I have not had much success with colors such as yellow. White (Devoid of color.) on the other hand can be absolutely bulletproof at times.

    Avatar of ottomatica ottomatica 
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    #558751

    Here is a cool graphic about a walleye’s vision:

    avatar zachary fries 
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    #558753

    Why is the width of this tread screwed up now??

    Avatar of ottomatica ottomatica 
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    #558755

    There’s also an interesting advertisment for Berkley Transition where they compare how the color “disappears” between their line and the red Cajun line. The Cajun line basically gets greyer and darker the deeper you go and the Transition stays clear. Couldn’t find this on the interent but maybe I can scan it in.

    avatar GNFISN 
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    #558777

    Explain 1 advantage of “red” line vs. a clear or even florescent mono. (too much $ in the marketing department budget.)

    Avatar of ottomatica ottomatica 
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    #558784

    If you’re asking me (as you replied to me), I would have to say that I do not buy the theory that is “disappears.” So I don’t think there is any advantage in that category.

    The only thing I could think of is it may have some attracting qualities. The fish may see it as a flash of red or something, who knows. Just the same it could be a detractant or even depend on the situation. It would be hard to prove, therefore until somebody whips my butt with it in my boat, I won’t be buying any.

    avatar riverfan 
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    #558798

    All,

    The anatomy of the eye and the physiology of vision is very complex. Plus, we are applying what we see as humans to an animal we don’t completely understand. Through in where an object is in the water column and all bets are off. What a fish see when looking toward the surface and into the sun vs. to the side or against the bottom is completely different. Below is part of the January discussion that I abstracted fro Dr Rob Neumann’s In-Fisherman article from April/May 2005. It’s the most comprehensive article on fish’s vision I ever seen. If you are really interested in the answers I’d suggest you get a copy and read it

    “Dr. Rob Neumann did an excellent article in the April/May 2005 In-Fisherman. I dug it out and reread it. Right of the bat he quoted study done at the UofM that demonstrated that walleyes cone vision (daylight vision) is most sensitive to the wavelength around red and orange. However, walleyes rods, the part of the eye that is most sensitive in low light DO NOT discriminate color. The heart of the article looks at walleye vision in different water depth, colors and light intensity.
    In very clear water absorbs red and UV wavelength faster than blue and green. That’s why clear lakes look blue. Clear water with a moderate amount of phyto-plankton change things and yellow and green become dominate water color. Stained water such as silty or tannic lakes actually transmit red wavelength the deepest so the light in this water is red.
    Another interesting characteristic of walleyes eyes is their cones are large (like large digital pixels) so walleyes likely don’t see fine detail.
    Because a walleye eyes are red sensitive, clear water (primarily blue green light) is actually dark to a walleye. Green water, water with algae, would be medium bright and off colored (red/brown) water might be the brightest to a walleye. In addition to the water color the angle of incident light and the direction a fish is viewing further changes a walleyes vision.
    The bottom line is color alone is not that simple. It’s the contrast to its surrounding that counts. I’d suggest everyone read and reread the article”.

    John

    Avatar of dave-barber dave-barber 
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    #558810

    Quote:


    White light contains all colors.


    Back in college… I had a freind that, though claimed to know everything, was not all that intelligent (didn’t we all know someone like that?). Anyway… he was an art major… and I happen to ask him if he knew that White was all colors and Black was the absences of color. He swore up and down that I was wrong. Black was ALL colors and white was NO color. Needless to say I got quite a laugh out of this considering he was an art major. Thus was born the “crayon” theory (his reasoning is that if you take all colors of the crayon box and scribble them on paper… it makes black, not white).

    Avatar of rmartin rmartin 
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    #558813

    If you took all of the crayons in a box of crayons and melted them all together you would have a mess!!

    Avatar of mnfishhunt mnfishhunt 
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    #558814

    i was jsut thinking along that line dave, howere I haven’t yet finished my thinking although it has something to do with relecting light and black doesn’t reflect light so that when you add one color at a time you blosk the relecting, or something like that.
    very interesting comeing from someone who has a printing back round with 4 color presses, reb, blue, yellow, and black but I think the black is just to save money

    Avatar of mnfishhunt mnfishhunt 
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    #558816

    Quote:


    If you took all of the crayons in a box of crayons and melted them all together you would have a mess!!



    and then you add that mess to white paper to that you get an art piece that could be worth millions

    Avatar of b-robinson b-robinson 
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    #558829

    Hey all,
    thanks very much for the replies. The comment about a line being transparent and a hook being solid really rings with me quite a bit, mostly because it makes great sense to me for some reason. It’s also true, that if you have confidence in something and you think one little thing you’re doing is putting fish in your boat and nobody else’s, it’s good to just stick with it. I’ve been using some red hooks on cranks the last couple years, but have found it difficult to figure out if they’re really working or not. I won’t even try red line……I really don’t like the Cajun line at all. I’m going to order some red hooks and get to pouring….sure isn’t going to hurt! Thanks again guys……

    avatar Castaway 
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    #558832

    Im not sure if fish can see colors or not but just like color blind people they probably can interpet shades to tell what color it is.I do like using colored hooks and red seems to work well but isnt my favorite color but Im not 100% sold on this catching more fish than a plain hook.The way I look at it fish have 2 things to worry about.Eating and being eaten.You cant catch fish if there arent any there and a hungry fish will eat almost anything.Spend the money on quality electronics and learn how to use them and you will catch more fish even on a plain hook,line and sinker.

    Avatar of Brian Klawitter Brian Klawitter 
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    #558861

    I can say one thing for sure…red line is harder to see at night.

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