Pros: Much stronger than mono at same diameter. No stretch, very sensitive.
Cons: Expensive, more visible in clear water, can create wild knots.
Pros: Good all-purpose line, inexpensive, stretches for shock absorption.
Cons: Susceptible to abrasion, less sensitive and has ‘memory.’
Pros: Virtually invisible underwater, low memory, tougher than mono.
Cons: Expensive, best used as top shot or leader.
By Capt. Joe Kent
Almost every experienced angler has his or her favorite type of line. For the most part, the choice was made early on in their fishing days and many just continue using the same type of line. This decision is usually out of habit and the fact that they are used to it and are satisfied.
Today technology has advanced the quality of most types of line and created a few new varieties.
The title of this article was chosen to prompt a discussion about what is available to anglers in the market place today. We will explore some of the more popular types of fishing line and comment on each.
The most common types of fishing line found in tackle shops are Braided Nylon, Braided Dacron, Ultra-thin Braids, Monofilament and Fluorocarbon.
The most popular of the group is monofilament. It continues to be touted as the all-purpose line for most types of fishing. It is ideal for just about all reels whether spinning, casting or trolling.
It is the least expensive of all and used for leaders as well.
Braided Nylon still is favored by a large number of anglers who use conventional revolving reels. Surf fishermen are a large part of the group who chooses this line. It is softer and limper than monofilament and spools better on revolving reels. While less likely to backlash, it is thicker, more visible in water and more expensive.
Braided Dacron is the choice of many offshore anglers for trolling. It is thinner than braided nylon and has very little stretch.
Ultra-thin line was invented in the early 1990s as part of a technologically advanced research project having nothing to do with fishing. It has become a very popular choice for certain types of fishing. We will have more on this when comparing it to monofilament.
Fluorocarbon is another high-tech product. While considered a monofilament, it is tougher and has better abrasion resistance. It also is less visible in water; however, it is more expensive. Fluorocarbon line finds its calling in use for leaders.
Monofilament line is getting a lot of competition from the new variety of ultra-thin braids and among the more popular brands are Spiderwire, Sufix and PowerPro. The appeal of the new variety of braids is in its strength to diameter ratio. These lines have several times the breaking point of most monofilaments of comparable size. The thinner lines offer longer casting distance, more capacity on the reel, faster sinking capabilities and far greater stretch resistance.
Of the qualities mentioned above, the two most attractive to anglers are the higher breaking point, meaning less fish lost due to the line breaking or popping as we commonly call it, and the stretch resistance which translates into quicker hook sets and being able to easily feel a soft strike.
The higher cost is one of the big drawbacks for the Spiderwire type of line. I recall a friend purchasing a small spool of Spiderwire not long after it was introduced and before placing it on his reel, he spooled off about half of the monofilament and attached the new line to it then reeled it in with about half of his line being monofilament and the other half the new braid. While cost savings was an issue, the other thought was in protecting the reel spool as Spiderwire and others tend to cut into the spool.
All in all, the new thinner braids are superior to monofilament; however, they come at a higher price. Whether it is the price savings or just a habit of the anglers, monofilament continues to outsell all other types of fishing line.
Now comes the question, which line is best for your needs? If cost is not an issue, the thinner and strong braided lines are probably the best choice. Monofilaments still dominate the market and probably for good reason they continue to be an excellent choice for fishing line.
The best way to answer this question is to use various types of fishing line and make your own decision as to which best suits your fishing style.