Monofilament vs. Braided Line

The heated argument about whether monofilament or braided lines are better can confuse even the most veteran anglers because there are always new modifications to both types anyway.

To tell you the truth, there is no one type of fishing line that works in every single fishing scenario, so your choice will heavily depend on the fishing choices you’d like to make.

With that aside, let’s explore the qualities of both monofilament and braided lines.

Short Answer: 

You are the only one who can decide which type is better for you. I can only give you some advice. 

If you are a beginner, getting a monofilament line would probably be better and easier for you to use. You can also get a monofilament line if you do not want to pay a lot of money. In case invisibility is crucial to you, a monofilament line won’t disappoint you. 

On the other hand, if you will fish in muddy water or if visibility is of no importance to you, a braided line will suit you. It is also suitable for those who need a line with high sensitivity. 

1. Monofilament

It is a fishing line made from a single strand of synthetic fiber.

Affordable

We can’t talk about mono without mentioning the fact that it’s the most affordable fishing line on the market. So, if you find a monofilament line that meets your needs, there is no need to look somewhere else when you can save so much by getting a mono.

Beginner-Friendly

Besides its affordability, mono is the most beginner-friendly type because it’s the easiest to use. But why is that? 

Well, mono is the most fuss-free when it comes to cutting the line, as you won’t need a specialized tool. In addition, tying knots couldn’t be easier, and the knot strength is superior. So, its manageable nature made it extremely popular among beginners.

Higher Stretch

People are divided about needing stretch, so we’ll tell you why it’s a good thing for mono.

Stretch gives mono superior shock absorption because it stretches under pressure instead of breaking suddenly during sudden hits. You also need a high-stretch line if you’re after soft-mouthed fish that react fast so that you don’t tear the fish’s mouth while dragging it.

This stretchiness is beneficial for trolling, jigging, casting crankbaits, kite fishing, live-bait fishing, or any kind of fishing that targets larger fish.

Lower Visibility

Is mono as invisible underwater as fluorocarbon? Of course not. However, its clarity is way superior to the clarity of braided lines.

Such a quality is essential on sunny days or when fishing in clear or shallow water. It would also help to have such a low-key line when trying to catch easily-spooked species.

Floatability

Mono has a neutral buoyancy, which means it has a slower sinking rate than other lines. This quality makes it perfect for surface lures and suspended subsurface presentations in fly fishing.

More Color Options

Line colors can affect your fishing experience dramatically. Sometimes you need a high-viz color to keep track of your line, and other times you need a low-viz one to hide it from the fish.

Mono is easier to dye than other fishing lines, so it has a wider variety of color options to cater to all of your visibility needs.

Thicker Diameter

Mono has one thick diameter, and that gives it extra strength. However, it can be a disadvantage since it limits the amount of line you can have on your spool. Also, a thicker diameter doesn’t cast as long and as far as a thinner one, at least not easily.

Low Sensitivity

There are many occasions where you need your line to be sensitive to keep you aware of light bites or any sudden changes such as in ice fishing or deep-sea fishing. Well, due to its stretchy nature, mono won’t help you with that.

Not Durable

The fact that mono doesn’t last long explains its affordability. Mono changes its properties when wet because it absorbs water, especially saltwater. Also, exposure to UV rays weakens it. Since it deteriorates fast, you’ll have to change more frequently.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Better knot strength
  • Better shock absorption
  • Lower visibility
  • Buoyant
  • More color options

Cons:

  • Thicker diameter means less spool
  • Limited casting distance
  • Low sensitivity
  • Deteriorates fast

2. Braided

It is a fishing line made of threaded or woven fibers.

Great Abrasion Resistance

Braided lines have superior abrasion resistance. Even if they fray on the outside, they are much stronger than other fishing lines. So, they are the perfect lines to use around structures and heavy vegetation to catch bass or other fish that really like to hide.

They also come in higher pound tests to widen the range of the fish you can catch.

Thinner Diameter

Having a thin diameter gives a line many advantages.

First, you have more line capacity on the spool, which means you can go after bigger fish with smaller reels. Second, thin diameters give you better casting distance and allow you to cast farther, so you can fish with braid on elevated structures or reach very deep in the water.

High Sensitivity

Since braided lines have little to no stretch, they have much higher sensitivity than mono and even fluorocarbon. So, if you’re fishing with a braid, prepare to feel every single bite or movement no matter how light they are.

Durable

Braided lines are highly resistant to UV rays. In addition, they are waterproof, so their breaking strength when wet is the same as when dry. Generally speaking, braided lines are unaffected by environmental elements, so they last much longer than mono.

Expensive

It comes as no surprise that something as durable, strong, and sensitive as braided lines would be the most expensive type of fishing line. They can be almost twice as expensive as mono. Although their durability saves a lot of money, it’s better to look elsewhere if on a budget.

High Visibility

If your biggest concern is visibility, consider mono or fluorocarbon instead, or maybe use them as leaders for your braided line.

Braided lines have the highest visibility out of the three types, which is why they’re commonly used in stained waters and areas where line visibility doesn’t really matter.

Not Beginner-Friendly

Unlike mono, braided lines aren’t beginner-friendly. It takes time to understand how to work with them.

First, they are much harder to cut than mono, mainly due to their frayed edges. You have to find some quality cutting tools in order not to make the split ends worse.

Due to the slippery nature of braids, their knots don’t hold well. In fact, you can only use certain knots with braids. So, you have to know your knots well and tie them properly, or they will fail. Some people use superglue on knots to keep them tight.

Lacks Stretch

The little to no stretch thing is cool because it means that braided lines are sensitive, but it’s not all sunshine and roses. If a big fish attacks suddenly, the lack of stretch may lead to tearing the fish’s mouth. The lack of stretch may also lead to breaking the rod itself

Pros:

  • Great abrasion resistance
  • Thinner diameter
  • High sensitivity
  • Durable
  • Buoyant

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • High visibility
  • Not beginner-friendly
  • Lack of stretch

Final Thoughts

Nothing would be easier than telling you that mono is better than braid or vice versa, but that won’t be accurate. There are times when mono meets your needs best and times where braids do.

Mono is an excellent choice for beginners and people on a budget. If you’re fishing in clear water or on a sunny day, mono should be your only option.

What about sensitivity? If you want your line to update you with every bite or move, there’s nothing better than a braided line for that. Also, you can use a braided line for your long and casting needs.