December 16, 2020 4 min read

If you’re just getting started fishing, you might notice two ubiquitous types of lines advertised on the market: braided or monofilament. Each line has its own distinct advantages and disadvantages and is better suited to tackling some tasks than others.  

If you’re a beginner, choosing the right fishing gear is crucial for a successful fishing trip. However, it can be confusing to decide which type of line to spool your reel. Here are some tips on each type to help you make the right choice for your next fishing trip. 

Understanding Monofilament Fishing Lines

Monofilament lines are threaded from just a single plastic fiber, often nylon. They are inexpensive, but consequently, slightly less durable than other types of lines and more prone to abrasion. Mono lines absorb water, weakening their tensile strength over time, which means you may need to change lines regularly. 

However, this line’s malleability also offers substantial benefits. Mono lines’ synthetic fibers naturally have more stretch and elasticity, giving the line slack. This extra pull is useful if your catch is raring to put up a fight. The last thing you want is for a big game fish to cause an abrasive line break and get away, so having that extra stretch and range gives you time to reel in your catch.  

While a monofilament line has a wider diameter than a braided line, it is also less visible in the water, making your bait more appealing and increasing your chances of a bite. Monofilament lines also come in a wide range of colors, allowing you to choose the right shade for the environment and weather. 

When it comes to knot tying, a monofilament line is ideal for a novice. The smooth texture of the line makes it easier to tie and retain knots. A mono line’s ease of use makes handling accessible for anglers of any age, skill level or tying expertise. In areas such as weeds, coral or rocks, mono lines are also less likely to break.

Understanding Braided Fishing Lines

fishing reel with a braided line

Source: PhotoStudioPlum/Shutterstock.com

Braided fishing lines are woven from multiple synthetic fibers such as Dacron, Micro-Dyneema or Spectron. These types of lines are dense, thin and taut, providing little stretch as a result. 

Braided lines are durable and more resistant to wear than mono lines. They are also better suited to deep-water fishing as they’re simultaneously thinner and heavier, cutting through the water to reach the bottom faster. However, while braid lines have a narrower diameter than mono lines, their opaque design makes it easier for fish to spot them underwater. 

Due to their structure, they are usually more expensive than monofilament lines; however, the robustness means you won’t need to replace the line as often. It might take some getting used to for novice anglers to knot braided lines. Once you get the hang of it, though, various fishing knots are ideally suited to braided lines, which provide outstanding strength. 

That robustness isn’t always advantageous in every scenario, though. While braid lines’ taut pressure is useful for wearing out smaller game, their lack of stretch makes them far less ideal for fighting bigger game like tuna or swordfish. If you’re trying to catch a bite that’s upward of 600-1,000 pounds, their strength can easily rip the line in two, damaging both the rig and the fish.

This rigidity becomes especially problematic if you just intend to catch and release your fish. Braided lines have a greater risk of injuring the fish with a bigger hook wound than a monofilament line. 

The tension in the braided line allows you to feel the pull of the fish, allowing you to make more responsible decisions when it comes to reeling in your catch. However, this same quality makes it challenging for the novice or young anglers, who may be unable to control the fish’s powerful movement. 

Which One Should You Choose?

fishing in rough water

Ultimately, the line you should choose is a matter of personal preference. When it comes to choosing between braided line vs. mono, what might be valuable perks to some anglers might be drawbacks for another.

You might prefer the extra stretch of a mono line, or you might dislike the hassle of having to put up such a fight with certain catches and replace those lines so frequently. Conversely, you might prefer a braided line’s tautness, but you might not like having such a weighty, break-prone pull with bigger game. 

If you’re a novice angler, the simplicity and accessibility of mono lines might be beneficial for starting out anything other than deep-water fishing. However, for experienced anglers, the braided line offers responsiveness that can increase your chances of landing a fish and is widely considered the best line for spinning reels.

A Fine Line

The line you choose depends on your level of experience, fishing location and prey. Explore our blog series for more information on fishing and fishing apparel to get the most out of your outdoor fishing adventures. 

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