Braid vs. Monofilament

This informative KLP segment (Knowledge, Location, Presentation—the Fish’n Canada formula for fishing success) aims to clarify the differences between monofilament line and braid, and help anglers determine when to use one or the other.

To see Ang and Pete put this knowledge into practice, check out the full 2014 Fish’n Canada episode from which this segment is taken, “Soft Stick Baits in the Junk.”

2 Replies to “Braid vs. Monofilament”

  1. Mono-a-Mono or Tight Weaves, the choice can get pretty “hairy” for the average fisherman. Understanding the complexities of these types of fishing lines shouldn’t be a matter hit and miss. If it is, you certainly will.

    As Angelo has stated, Braided line is very popular in some situations because of its high knot strength, lack of stretch, and great overall power in relation to its diameter.

    Braided lines consist of a man-made materials like Dacron, Spectra or micro-dyneema, woven into a strand of line. It is wise to keep in mind, these fishing lines have low resistance to abrasion. Sharp objects can easily cut them but their actual breaking strength will commonly exceed their pound-test.

    A rule of thumb : Due to the minimal stretch of braided line, hard-hitting fish will frequently cause the line to break. It is very important to set the drag on your reel at a lower than average tension for that specific reason.

    Braided lines increased flexibility allows for longer casts as compared to monofilament and since it typically floats, it is a common go to line for top water fishing. One obvious drawback, they are highly visible to fish. Tying on a length of monofilament or fluorocarbon line to the end of the braid will act as a leader, reducing it’s visibility. A blood knot is best used for this purpose.

    Keep in mind, when cutting braided line use a sharp pair of scissors, since nail clippers will fray
    the ends. Also, flexibility, lack of stretch and slippery surface, make braided lines hard to knot properly as we all know. The knots I recommend for tying braid to your lure are a Palomar knot, improved clinch knot, the Trilene knot and the nonslip loop knot. Tie them very carefully.

    One word of caution. Make absolutely sure you have a rod suited to braided line. I have learned through experience these lines will damage the guides of you fishing rod, if they are not coated with a ceramic or other protective material cutting the braid to shreds. A good quality rod is your best choice. Don’t “cheap out”.

    Now speaking of Monofilament, it is at the other end of the spectrum in a sense. Manufactured from a single fiber of plastic by melting and mixing polymers and then extruding the mixture through different size holes. This extrusion process controls the thickness and tensile strength of of the line. As you see, they are cheaper to produce than braided line.

    Polyvinylidene fluoride more commonly referred to as as fluorocarbon, is very much like nylon monofilament and has several advantages. Optical density is lower, The surface is harder and more resistant to sharp fish teeth. It does not absorb water, is resistant to UV-light and since It is denser than nylon, it sinks a bit faster.

    Tying monofilament to your lure can be accomplished with just about any good fishing knot. Make sure to wet the knot before tightening as this will prevent over stretching and weakening the line.

    Get into the habit, whether using Monofilament or Braided, to check your line often for nicks or other damage after every fishy encounter. Yeah, I had a audacity to pick up my wife’s rod after she hauled in a Pike thinking, “Hey, I can do that to”. Well, I didn’t! I gave it one mighty cast and Snap, Crackle, Pop! That little embarrassment cost me $10.00. She now has a colorful new lure for her tackle box.

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