Walk the isles of any tackle shop, and you’ll see row after row of braid fishing lines. So, how the heck are you supposed to know which is the best for your needs? Much of the decision hinges on personal preference, but as you search for the best braid line for saltwater fishing, keep these considerations in mind.
Which braid is best for saltwater fishing?
You’ll commonly see four-strand braid fishing line, and eight-strand line. As a general rule of thumb, four-strand lines are more rope-like and since they have thicker individual strands, are more abrasion-resistant. However, eight-strand line is much limper and smoother. As a result, it casts better and isn’t as noisy going through the guides.
Color is an important factor, not only due to visibility beneath the water’s surface but also because of its visibility above the water. As to whether or not colored lines spook fish, the jury is out – no one’s done any scientific experiments to prove one way or the other. That said, most anglers experienced with using high-visibility lines agree that if there is any effect, it’s minor. More importantly, the high-visibility lines are easier for we humans to see. On a crowded boat this can make it a lot easier to avoid crossed lines. And when lines do get crossed, straightening them back out is also much easier.
Multicolored braids are useful mostly for trollers. The color pattern repeats over a set distance, so you can watch the line as you let it back and know exactly how many feet are out.
Fused lines are ones where during the manufacturing process, the fibers of the line are essentially melted together. This greatly improves the line’s abrasion-resistance, which is a major weakness with most braids. However, it also cuts castability and in some cases can make knotting more difficult.
The size of the braid that will be best for you will, of course, depend on the size of the fish you’re after and the size of the rest of your gear. That said, be careful about overloading your rods and reels. Braid can be strong enough that if you crank down the drag and hook bottom or a really big fish, shattering your rod becomes a possibility.