Walking down the aisles of your tackle store or searching online for fishing line can be pretty confusing. There are many different brands, and the prices for each spool can vary greatly. Adding to the confusion is the fact that there are also three major line types that are common with anglers. Braid, fluorocarbon, and monofilament all have their time and place in fishing.
Here is a rundown of each line, what makes them unique, and where to use them.
Most often simply called “mono,” this is a line type that has been around for years, and it is still one of the most popular types of lines. It is less expensive than the other two types, but also stretches more. This stretch can eventually lead to breakage, but it is still a viable tool for fishing.
Another property of monofilament is that it floats. This makes it an excellent choice for topwater lures and leaders on Carolina-rigs. Mono can be used for anything, but there are often better choices for some fishing techniques.
This line type has become the go-to for anglers everywhere. Unlike monofilament, it has less stretch and also sinks. Another important note for fluorocarbon is how clear it is under water. These properties make it an excellent choice for just about every fishing application.
Baits fished along the bottom like plastic worms, jigs, and tubes greatly benefit from a fluorocarbon line. The same is true of all reaction baits. One place where it does not perform well is for topwater fishing due to the sinking properties.
Braid offers many advantages, and the biggest one is sheer strength. A small diameter line can cast well and still hold up to monster fish and thick cover. It also has zero stretch, which means hooksets can better penetrate the mouth of your catch.
Braided line comes in several different size and color options to match any technique. Some of the best uses are fishing frogs, punching matted vegetation, and when topwater fishing. Like monofilament, braided line also floats and this helps with topwater techniques.
One popular way to fish braided line is on spinning gear with a fluorocarbon leader. This allows anglers to have the best of both worlds and get strength and casting distance of braid and the stealth of fluorocarbon.
Knowing the different line types can help make you a better bass angler, and by utilizing all three, you will always have the right tools for the job.