Saltwater Smack-Down: Braid vs. Monofilament

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Which fishing line is best, braid or monofilament?

Which is better, braid or monofilament fishing line? Those of you who fish regularly know that the answer to this question includes a lot of caveats, conditions, and conundrums. In fact, there is no answer. Because braid may be best for this but mono will be best for that – and both can be used for the other thing.

fishing with fishing line

Which fishing line is best, braid or monofilament?

So which will it be, anglers? Braid or monofilament?

There are a few rules of thumb which can be applied by anglers of all types:

  • Braid is usually best while trolling or retrieving lures, since its no-stretch properties lead to faster hook-sets. There are, however, some specific exceptions, such as topwater plugging. In this scenario, the no-stretch braid can cause the plug to come cart-wheeling out of the water all too often.
  • Monofilament is usually best when live-lining, since predators don’t immediately feel the resistance (as they might with braid) when they take the bait. For the same reason, mono often works best when chumming or fishing cut bait, too.
  • Braid may cost more initially, but it also lasts for years longer than monofilament does.
  • Monofilament costs less than braid, and if you get spooled by an unstoppable fish, it’s not a tragic event.
  • Braid has better castability, and will increase your shooting distance.
  • Monofilament has better abrasion-resistance, and will handle being dragged across oyster bar or rocky structure much better than braid.
  • Braid’s thinner diameter means you can pack a whole heck of a lot more line onto a reel.

Taking all of these factors into consideration, one commonality becomes clear: as a general rule of thumb, braid is better for fishing lures and monofilament is better for fishing natural baits. So, which should you choose? This is what we call really good news, fellow anglers – you need both. Because of the braid-vs-mono debate, you now have a perfectly valid reason for buying twice as much fishing gear. In fact, we suggest you show this article to your spouse. Explain your dilemma to them, and hopefully this information will help them understand why it is that you obviously need two sets of gear for each of the fishing situations you face: one spooled up with braid, and the other with monofilament.

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