Every day we get asked which fishing line is the best: Braid, fluorocarbon, or monofilament. Of course, the answer is always the same…it depends on the desired application. Each line has its own set of characteristics that make it better for certain techniques.
It takes a basic understanding and a little trial and error to know exactly which line to use for the given presentation. In order to help you decide which line is best for you, we will look at each of them individually and then draw some conclusions at the end of the article:
Fishing the Extremes: Braided Line
Braided line, when used in the correct situation, is a pretty incredible product. It has little to no stretch, which makes it supremely sensitive. There is no type of line on the market that can compete with braid when it comes to sensitivity.
Today’s braided lines are typically woven from either Spectra, Dacron, or micro-dyneema fibers that are formed into a single line. This process delivers a product that is not only exceptionally strong, but also substantially thinner than any other type of line on the market. Because of this, braid is the ideal line choice for the extremes of the bass fishing.
Whether it is flipping heavy grass or tossing and umbrella rig offshore, braided line is almost amust. Its strength and lack of stretch can pull big fish out of even the tightest of places. That being said, braided line is very well suited for fishing a light spinning outfits.
The line lies very well on a spinning reel spool and allows an angler to use a 10 lb. braid that may have the same diameter as 1 lb. monofilament. This gives you some fantastic casting distance but still has the sensitivity and power to perform. But, braid is not perfect. Since it utilizes actual woven fibers, it is visible to the fish and often requires a fluorocarbon leader to avoid spooking the fish.
Fooling the Fish: Fluorocarbon Line
As the sport of fishing has evolved and tournament fishing has become more and more popular, it seems like the fish are becoming increasingly wary. This makes the need for an invisible line even more important. Well, that is where fluorocarbon really has its place.
The idea behind fluorocarbon line is that it has the same light refraction as water, making it nearly invisible to the fish. In clear water or when fishing highly pressured bass, this is the way to go. Less visibility to the fish means more bites. Fluorocarbon is not only more invisible than monofilament, but also has less stretch.
This makes it ideal for fishing bottom contact baits or anything where sensitivity is at a premium. In fact, there is really only one presentation where fluorocarbon cannot be successfully used, and this is any type of topwater lure. One of the characteristics of fluorocarbon is that it sinks, making far from perfect when working a topwater bait.
Using the Old Standard: Monofilament Line
Monofilament line has been around for a long, long time and until recently was really the default line of choice. Mono is great for a myriad of presentations but really excels with a few different techniques. The line, by its nature, has a lot of stretch. Because of this, it does not transmit vibration quite as well as the fluorocarbon or braided lines. However, mono floats, making it perfect for working topwater baits. It really shines throwing poppers and walk-the-dog style lures.
Monofilament is probably the most versatile line because it can be used for everything, but in a lot of cases, there is a better option. Any bottom contact bait is going to fish better with fluorocarbon line due to the sensitivity.
A lot of guys are even going to fluorocarbon with their crankbaits to get some added depth (due to the sinking characteristic). That being said, whether it is a crankbait, spinnerbait, jig, or shakey head, mono can be effectively used. Because of the increased amount of stretch, the line is less likely to break on impact. The stretch creates a rubber band effect and you will break less fish off on the hookset.
Overall, the combinations of when to use what line are endless and there is no right or wrong answer. But, will some trial and error you will certainly find that some lines work better in certain situations. Hope this has helped you save some time and reduced your experimentation time. Below is a guideline for popular presentations and what line to use with each:
- American Legacy carries a HUGE selection of fishing line.
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