Monofilament fishing line or braided fishing line?
Should I use a monofilament or a braided fishing line? This question will have to be dealt with sooner or later within your fishing career. The decision monofilament vs. braided fishing line, however, also depends on the environment, target fish and fishing method. In recent years, we have gained a lot of experience in practice, including the one that you can do everything wrong and still bite fish. The following article is, therefore, the differences or the advantages and disadvantages of the two types of line. First, some basic information about fishing lines.
Fishing line quality features: load capacity, thickness, and color
When people started fishing with fishing line for the first time, they still had to resort to materials such as animal gut, horse hair, animal tendons or plaited silk. At that time it was primarily “only” about the carrying capacity of something that could still be described as a string. Today you should pay attention to further quality features in successful fishing. Well-known manufacturers of braided or monofilament fishing line are Daiwa, Shimano, Berkley, Cormoran, Sunline or DAM.
Carrying power fishing line
The carrying capacity of a line depends on the material (see comparison braided and monofilament fishing line below) and then of course on the thickness or the diameter. The carrying capacity is stated in kilograms or British pounds (lbs) for a fishing line. Likewise, length information for fishing lines can also be found in yards. England is definitely the country of origin of angling, so this information has been kept in British units. Here is a brief guide to converting these English units of measurement.
Converting pounds (weight pounds) to kilograms and yards to meters:
Diameter/thickness of the fishing line
The diameter of a fishing line is important due to several factors:
- Each fishing reel has a certain line capacity and this capacity depends on the diameter. logically, the thicker the fishing line the less it fits. With the indication of the diameter, one knows therefore how much line one gets on his fishing reel.
- The higher the diameter, the more visible the line is to the fish.
- Likewise, thicker lines have a negative effect on the cast, as they have a higher air resistance when ejected. Therefore, you should not use unnecessarily thick fishing lines when fishing.
The right color of fishing line
The color of the fishing line becomes crucial when it comes to not frightening the fish by discovering the line. The better the color of the water or the environment, the less inconspicuous it is for the target fish. If you are fishing, for example, it is advisable to sit on brown or green fishing lines. If, on the other hand, you want to do spin fishing in a clear water, the colors blue and white are better because they are not similar to the water surface and the sky.
Let us now compare monofilament and braided fishing lines, the two have their advantages and disadvantages depending on their approach.
Monofilament fishing line
The monofilament fishing lines consist of a single strand of plastic. This strand is drawn in a single manufacturing process using as a material almost exclusively polyamide, also known as nylon. In the manufacturing process, the polyamide is heated to about 250 ° C and then pressed through a nozzle. This manufacturing process is somewhat simpler compared to the braided fishing lines, which is why these types of lines are also cheaper. The nylon plastic that makes up the monofilament fishing line should not be permanently exposed to the UV light, ie the sun, as this will damage the cord. If you store your fishing reel with unrolled monofilament fishing line directly on the windowsill you risk an immediate break of the first bite on the next fishing trip. To store in places with large temperature fluctuations causes the polyamide cords to age faster, ie lose their load capacity. Saltwater also does not contribute to a long life of monofilament fishing lines. If you fish in salt water, you should then clean the line or possibly the entire fishing assembly with fresh water. Due to the mentioned susceptibility to external influences, we generally recommend replacing the monofilament fishing line approximately every two years. If necessary, clean the entire fishing rig with fresh water. If necessary, clean the entire fishing rig with fresh water.
Monofilament fishing lines have a self-elongation, which means that they are slightly longer under load. Depending on your perspective, you can now see this as an advantage or a disadvantage. Due to this stretching, the contact with the fish is not so close, but the angler will also forgive (drilling) mistakes more easily. The stretching of the fishing line serves as additional cushioning and prevents, for example, the slitting out of the fishhook of a chopped fish which makes a few strokes with his head shortly before the landing net. The stretching of the fishing line acts as a buffer here. Therefore, the monofilament cords are also recommended especially for beginners.
Another advantage of the monofilament fishing line is its robustness to objects that often occur in the water. Wood, stones or other obstacles in the water can damage fishing lines. This is of course usually bad because it allows the carrying capacity of the line to weaken. The surface of the monofilament plastic fishing line can be thought of as relatively homogeneous or smooth. Thus, they are not so vulnerable to damage when they stroll past a stone or piece of wood. If you fish in fishing areas or use fishing methods where you have to expect frequent contact of foreign bodies (eg low brooks, bottom fishing), the use of monofilament fishing lines makes a lot of sense.
Braided fishing line
The biggest advantage of the braided fishing line compared to the monofilament is the much higher load capacity (with the same cord diameter). The fishing line does not consist of a single strand but of several interwoven fibers, so these are often referred to as multifilament fishing lines. The fibers are made of Kevlar, Dyneema or Spectra. The production process in a braided fishing line is therefore on the one hand different as well as more complex, which first of all has the following effects:
- The cord withstands an enormous load or tensile force. The angler can, therefore, choose a thinner line depending on which type of fish is being fished than if he were using a monofilament. The advantages of a thinner fishing line have already been explained above.
- The meter price of the braided line is higher. The more elaborate manufacturing process makes them more expensive.
- Negative one: I should also mention that the braided fishing lines in the extreme cold should not be used. The fibers can stick to each other, which then freezes and robs the cord of its high resilience.
In addition to the immense strength of the braided fishing lines, these have even more advantages:
- UV radiation and salt water cannot harm these types of line. Therefore, the braided fishing lines have a longer shelf life and here you can then again claim that the higher prices amortized.
- The key advantage of braided fishing lines is that they do not stretch. This allows more direct contact with the fish. When attacking, spin fishing or trolling this has special advantages, especially if you are not a fishing beginner anymore and know exactly how tight an attack must sit, or you can react in the act of swearing or jumping from a lost fish.
However, the biggest drawback of braided fishing lines is their susceptibility to damage. This has to do with the fact that the strings consist of several fibers. While the monofilament cords consist of a single strand of plastic, you may imagine the braided fishing lines more like a woolen thread. The multiple fibers of the braided make this more vulnerable when the fishing line pulls on a stone or a piece of driftwood. In such situations, it can be the individual fibers are damaged which in turn causes the carrying capacity of the fishing line decreases greatly and it can come to a broken line when a big fish bites and brings the fishing line to its load limit.
The last drawback with braided lines that is often mentioned is that there are fewer reliable fishing knots than monofilament lines. In fact, there are fishing knots that hold very well on monofilament fishing lines, but fail with multifilament laces or have only a very low knot-carrying power. However, this knot-carrying power is also somewhat dependent on the quality of the fishing lines and here you can not get around a practical test and experience around. Regarding fishing knots, we make it very easy, we use the improved clinch knot in both types of strings. This knot has very high knot strength for both monofilament and multifilament fishing lines when properly tied.
Video: STOP LOSING FISH! Improved Clinch Knot Tutorial. Suitable for monofilament as well as braided fishing line
Combination of braided mainline and monofilament leader line
A braided fishing line can be used as the main line with the leader line of monofilament fishing line. When float fishing this can be combined very well. We also favor this procedure with spinning rods, whereby we often have a steel leader, a hard mono or a particularly reinforced fluorocarbon between the main line and the spinning bait.
Eye-catching – spin fishing and where you should see the line
We have explained above that the color of the fishing line has something to do primarily with adapting to the fishing environment and “hiding” from the eyes of the fish. There are also fishing situations where it is more helpful if the fishing line is clearly visible. One of these situations is spinning or group fishing from the boat. Here it is very helpful to see where the fishing line is, and thus the guided bait is currently running. In these situations, very fancy colors such as yellow, pink and red fishing line would be the best. We can confirm that these bright colors are very helpful, for example when spinning at twilight. With inconspicuous colors, one often no longer knows where the spinner, wobbler or turn signal is currently running in the river. In how far the fish really can be influenced by a color of the fishing line you can not clarify.
Comparison monofilament fishing line vs. braided fishing line
The following table again compares the pros and cons of monofilament and braided fishing line. Depending on the target fish, fishing method or preferences, you can not always say whether it is an advantage or a disadvantage … but in the end, the fish always decides if he bites or not.
|Monofilament fishing line||Braided fishing line|
|Cheaper to purchase||Higher load capacity with the same diameter|
|Elongation – prevents slipping||Direct contact to the fish|
|Elongation – stop will not work||UV light and salt water resistant. Load capacity does not diminish with proper storage.|
|Susceptible to UV light and salt water. Should be replaced regularly||Freeze in very cold weather conditions|
|Not so easy to damage by other items||Can be easily damaged by obstacles in the water|
|Is partially “invisible” in the water||Special knot science is required|
Table: Comparison of monofilament and braided fishing line
Tip for a happy fishing life
No matter which type of fishing line you choose, there is something that applies to both. The wear of the used line is higher on the first few meters (seen from the bait). For example, on this first meter, the fishing line is most often in contact with objects in or out of the water. If you fish very intensively or for several days, you should occasionally cut the last piece of fishing line by two to three meters. Otherwise, there is a danger that the carrying capacity of the fishing line has decreased and you lose the fish by a broken line.
Conclusion: When to use which fishing line
For all types of fishing or fishing methods where you can often have contact with stones and branches in the water, you should rather use a sufficiently thick monofilament fishing line. This is, for example, the case of basic fishing but also in spin fishing with surface baits in a water lily field. Also, as a beginner, it is recommended to start with a monofilament fishing line for all fishing methods.
When fishing methods in which the direct bite detection or particularly large, the cast is crucial. The practical relevance of fishing has shown that braided fishing lines are beneficial.