Monofilament vs Fluorocarbon vs Braided Fishing Line

There are three types of fishing lines, each one having its unique properties that some beginner fishers might not be fully aware of. In this article, we’re going to discuss what goes into their materials and construction and how you can best use them for your style of fishing.

The three principle types listed in the title of this article are monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braided types of fishing line. Each one gives you a different property for a certain style of fishing.

These fishing lines won’t be adaptable for all situations, and some will be massively detrimental to harder or softer fishing styles. As you blossom from a beginner to an experienced fisher, you’ll become more aware of the intricate similarities and differences between them.

But which is the best fishing line for your particular style of fishing? What are the material similarities between the monofilament and the fluorocarbon, and how will they help or hinder your fishing style? How much can you be looking to pay for a decent braided fishing line?

Well, reading this article will give both beginners and expert fishers that extra advantage when it comes to their fishing capabilities. By knowing what types of line is suitable for a certain style of fishing, you’ll be able to hone your ability to hook the best and biggest fish in the river, lake, or ocean.

Monofilament Fishing – What Exactly Is It?

The word ‘mono’ in the title of this style of fishing line reveals the main aspect of its composition – that it is made from single-strand synthetic fiber, usually nylon. A monofilament was lauded for having excellent knot strength and almost invisible to most fish in the deep sea.

This line is manufactured by simply heating the fibers in your line to the point where they become molten, fusing them using an intricate extrusion process. This means you can increase or decrease the thickness and strength by altering the intensity of the extrusion process.

By increasing the thickness and strength, you increase the overall tensile strength of the line. This is the best method of testing how much of a load your line will be able to bear before snapping and allowing your sought-after fish to escape.

This is one of the most popular types of fishing line, making up two-thirds of the market for fishing lines sold in the UK. One of the reasons this is a popular range is because of the low price. You can get one of the best quality lines on the market for very little with this line.

Make sure that when you pick up your next filament line that you’ll go with a well-established brand rather than one of the cheaper options, as this can result in a decrease in quality and an increased chance that your line will break after a few uses.

If you are a beginner or even a child that is about to get into angling, the chances are you won’t want to catch a heavy bass fish on your first go. You can easily find an entry-level line that functions at a lower test rating.

Once you have established yourself as a fisherman, you’ll want to try higher catch weights, which will need a line capable of bearing the weight of larger fish. This will mean that you’ll want a better grade of monofilament in your tackle box, which in turn will mean spending a lot more money on your line.

That’s one of the many great things about a monofilament line – there is a lot of versatility when purchasing various models. This makes it the perfect choice if you want to change your fishing area to something a bit more challenging so that you can catch different species of fish.

When purchasing your monofilament, you’ll want to make sure that you make a note of the pound-test ratings. For a monofilament, this starts at around 8-pounds and can go up as high as 130-pounds, which makes it perfect when fishing for big game fish.

Pros and Cons of Monofilaments Fishing

Pros:

  • This line is more buoyant and will sink a lot slower than many other models, allowing you to present your lures properly before they approach the bottom of the ocean or river bed. However, this line also works well if you have a surface lure.
  • Colorful and translucent – If you have bought a plastic version of a monofilament, you can purchase them in plenty of different colors. This will often be a matter of preference rather than performance. However, the brighter color options will give you better visibility when the sun is lower, whereas a blue or green color line will give you the advantage over fish in the water.
  • Strength – tying off your line should not jeopardize the knot strength or the integrity. If you have paid a lot for a lure, you can be sure that your line will run well underneath.
  • The price – this is quite simply the most reasonably priced fishing line you can get on the market. Also, the price won’t limit you to one style or strength of line; you can get plenty of tensile strengths, colors, and designs that will aid your fishing abilities.
  • Stretching – this will give you a pretty decent amount of stretch, usually at around 25 percent of the original line’s length. This will certainly help you when trying to snag those fish that like to swim away quickly, keeping them on the line without any snagging or snapping.
  • Perfect for novice fishers – the combined flexibility, price, and tensile strength will be perfect for beginners. The speed of the setup will also appeal to these users, allowing you to get the knots tied off and into the water with minimum hassle. This line will also work well with all different types of reels.

Cons:

  • This line is very sensitive – with increased stretchability also comes the risk of snapping. Having a line that drags out like this will result in a weaker tensile strength, which will give you a decreased feeling of being able to get those bites.
  • It absorbs a lot of water – over time, your monofilament line will break down from increased water absorption, resulting in your knots failing after a few uses.
  • UV exposure – one thing you might not consider is how UV exposure will eventually cause your line to weaken. If you are out in the warm sunlight, this can compromise the integrity of your line. We recommend that you switch out your monofilament line once a year to avoid snapping and allowing your catch to escape.

How Can You Use A Monofilament Line?

This line is good for many reasons; it is very easy to use for beginner fishers and economical, and available in various types of strength and colors. It is often the choice of fishers who are picking up a rod for the very first time.

If you are more of a casual fisher who won’t be hitting the water more than once a week, this is also a great choice of fishing line. Remember that when purchasing your next line, you’ll want to think about water type, buoyancy, distance, stretchability, bait, and how well your line works with your rod.

If you are a tournament-level fisher, then you’ll be wanting to think about how resistant it is to abrasions, how strong the tensile strength is and what color you want to give you and your rod that distinctive presentation.

A Good Backing line

A backing line is a line that is used as a protector between the line you cast into the water and the connection to your reel.

Choosing a monofilament is ideal for the backing line, as it is not that expensive, so you won’t have to worry about it getting damaged over repeated use.

Tight Knots

You can tie knots very firmly with this style of monofilament, making it a great choice for getting those cinches nice and tight.

Having a solid knot is very important for using a braided line with a backing line.

Riggings

There are plenty of good choices for rigs with a monofilament, each one giving your fishing certain capabilities, optimal for deep and shallow water. A topwater bass catching setup, for example, is best achieved with a treble hook, with a monofilament with a 20-pound rating for shallow water.

If you are hunting trophy fish, we recommend that you get a mid-weight monofilament for catching catfish, pike, muskies, and bass fish.

Versatility

Monofilaments give the casual and seasoned fisher a lot of choice in terms of colors, coatings, and test ratings, which is perfect for fishers who want to progress dramatically over time and transition from ponds to lakes, rivers, and seas.

You can get a reasonably priced monofilament that will sink your bait close to the bottom of whatever waterbed you happen to be fishing in. You’ll also have to make sure that you have a monofilament backing line for your fishing expedition.

Fluorocarbon Fishing – What Exactly Is It?

This next fishing line is another single-strand variety of monofilament, except it is much thicker and has a non-toxic composition. This is made from a non-reactive type of plastic used in many different applications such as tubing, sheeting, films, and wire insulation.

Fluorocarbon fishing lines have an inherent resistance to a lot of oxidants and salt solutions. It is also FDA-approved for a lot of food products. It has a massive share of the US fishing line market, a testament to its popularity.

Pros and Cons of Fluorocarbon Fishing

Pros:

  • Density is a much thicker fishing line than many others on the market, denser than water and monofilament. If you want your lures or your bait to get closer to the bottom of your fishing area, then we would certainly recommend that you give this type of line a go.
  • Abrasion-resistant – if you are planning to fish in areas that have increased debris, such as pond rock and other obstacles, then you’ll want to try out the fluorocarbon line. This will make it a lot less vulnerable than other lines, having a thicker tensile strength that will result in very minimal breakages.
  • The flexibility – despite it being thicker, this type of fishing line is very flexible and perfect for tying various knot styles.
  • Resilient to both water and ultraviolet light – unlike the monofilament fishing line, this one has a higher tolerance to both larger volumes of water as well as intense exposure to sunlight over time.
  • Low visibility – also, you might be forgiven for thinking that the increased density will make it more visible to oncoming fish, but this is not the case. Because of the material, this line will still maintain very low visibility, evading your fish’s gaze up until the moment they clamp down on your hook.

Cons:

  • Stiffer than other brands – the fact that this line is very strong and durable can also have its drawbacks, one of the main ones being that it will be a lot more cumbersome to handle.
  • The price – Fluorocarbon lines are a lot more expensive than your average monofilament line. However, if you are a tournament fisher and want that additional strength and durability, you probably won’t mind forking out extra.
  • Density – the density of the fluorocarbon can also be a negative as well as a plus point. To keep your tackle box ready for any type of water and depth, you’ll want to stock your box with both monofilament and fluorocarbon lines.
  • Lack of stretch – this could be seen as either a pro or a con, depending on the type of fishing. If you have a non-stretchy line like this, it will certainly have a great feel. However, if your line will be snagging on various types of debris, you should expect a line like this one to be far less forgiving.

How Can You Use A Fluorocarbon Line?

This line is probably the most versatile that you can buy on the market, which is probably why it’s so popular with both beginner fishers as well as seasoned professionals who often compete in tournaments.

This fluorocarbon is an excellent choice if you want to cast into a medium-depth level with hearty protection against debris. The flexibility of this material makes it very easy to work with, with the decreased level of stretch giving you a more accurate feel of how the fish are responding to your bait.

Deep-Diving Crankbaits

Crankbait or plug lures are traditionally very small, hard plastic lures with two dangling three-pronged hooks on the end. If you are planning on using crankbait lures, we recommend using a 10-15-pound test line. 

You can use the combination of a fluorocarbon line with a crankbait lure to get a deeper dive on your casting, mimicking the kind of depths that minnows and other baitfish swim at. If you are using a lipless crankbait, you should know that they don’t dive too aggressively. Instead, they will veer from side to side, which you can use to your advantage for getting different breeds of fish.

We recommend using 12-17-pound test fluorocarbon lines on open water fishing to ensure that they won’t break during the catch. If you are fishing in heavily weeded areas, we suggest that you transition to a braided line.

They Are Good WIth Jerkbait and Chatterbait

Having a 10-12-pound test line coupled with jerkbait is a great method of snaring deep-sea fish. You can get two or three-pronged hooks with jerkbait; they come in a soft or hard plastic style that will resemble the movement of dying bait if you use it with a twisting motion on the rig.

You can also combine these with chatter bait, giving you great vibrations and light reflection in the water. They come with bladed swim-jigs and a long plastic tail, and colored plastic tassels, which will encourage more aggressive attacks from your bass fish. We recommend that you use a higher tensile strength if you are trying to snare these heavier fish.

Spinnerbait

This type of bait is perfect for catching pike, perch, and bass fish; they resemble smaller baits that often twist through the water. They have colored blades and artificial scales, which both reflect the light and cause the right amount of disturbances in the water. They will prove very tempting to larger fish.

You can also get Texas Rigs lures made from soft plastic molds that resemble worms and other small prey. These rig types are established with bullet-shaped rigs and fluorocarbon lines cast to the very bottom of grassy water areas.

Finesse and Football Jigs

These are two jigs that also go very well with this type of line, and that’s the finesse and the football jigs, both of which are very good for use in cold water to attract smaller fish. These lures are often used with a lighter hook and a quarter-pound weight, so we would recommend that you use a line with a 12-pound minimum test strength.

The football jigs are a single large hook decorated with silicone and plastic lures that often resemble the fins of small fish, with a weight attached that will easily allow it to be sunk into the ground.

These lures work very well with bottom areas such as ledges, valleys, rocks, and other places where bass fish often hang out.

These kinds of jigs pair very well with fluorocarbon fishing lines, as they use a sinker weight that helps you get extra depth to your fishing experience. These jigs also can have rounded heads with various colors, shapes, sizes, and designs that resemble prey such as frogs, lizards, insects, and smaller fish such as minnows.

If you are angling for bass, then having a low-visibility, a high-strength line such as this will better complement the fluorocarbon’s abrasion-resistant and deep sinking characteristics. 

Even though this costs slightly more than the standard monofilament fishing line, you won’t mind spending the extra money, as they will come with plenty of amazing features like UV and water-resistant materials.

We recommend that you don’t use a fluorocarbon line for topwater fishing as it increases weight. Ideally, you should use your fluorocarbon line on clearer waters where the vegetation is much lower to the ground.

Braided Fishing – What Exactly Is It?

Finally, we have the braided fishing line, which is slightly different from the other fishing lines. It is made up of many different types of materials woven together to create a super-strong line. This kind of line is often thicker in diameter than the monofilament and the fluorocarbon lines.

This line is much more generous and will give you a lot more room when it comes to spools, with a long line that has an increased tensile strength rating. The most common materials used for this line are Micro-Dyneema and Dacron, polymer fibers braided together.

Polymers are used in a wide variety of extreme sports and hobbies, whether it’s climbing ropes, cut-resistant gloves, riggings on boats, sails, and paraglider equipment. They are renowned for having less elasticity, less weight, and an amazing amount of strength.

Pros and Cons of Braided Fishing

Pros:

  • Resistant to snagging – this is very important when it comes to negotiating underwater debris. Because these are so tightly twined together, it makes them super durable and lubricated, owing to the amazing properties of the polymer weaves.
  • Lower stretching – this will give you good feedback on your line when you have snagged yourself a lively fish.
  • It doesn’t absorb too much water – this keeps the same tensile strength, no matter how dry or wet it gets. It is perfect for use on deep-sea fishing where the conditions are a little bit more extreme.
  • UV resilient is very important if you plan to fish in exposed sunlight, which can often reduce the shelf life of many fishing lines like this.
  • There is no memory – these lines will easily straighten out, even after you have been using them for an increased length of time. This will prevent you from having cast and reeling in problems when you next hit your favorite fishing spot.

Cons:

  • The price – the cost of purchasing a braided line will be far more expensive than the two previous lines we’ve had. However, bear in mind that it will last you twice as long as monofilament and fluorocarbon because of its increased durability.
  • Visibility – because of their thickness, braided lines will be a lot more visible to fish. This might not be good for pro anglers who want a more subtle presence in the water.
  • Tangling – Dealing with tangles on this denser line is more difficult than some thinner models.
  • Knots – having greeting lubrication will result in your braided lines being a lot more difficult to tie off, resulting in knots often coming undone if you haven’t cinched them correctly.
  • Fading – if you have a brightly colored line, you can expect it to fade over time, reducing its visibility in low lighting.