Benefits of braided line

Growing up, 8-pound monofilament line was all I really used. In my teen years, braided line started showing up and while I didn’t jump on the wagon as soon as it was available, within a couple of years I was spooling all of my spinning rods up with it and haven’t done anything different since the late 90’s.

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve all caught fish with monofilament line on our spinning reels but there are several advantages to using braided line. For those unfamiliar with the differences between the two, monofilament is clear, soft and easy to tie knots with. Braided line is coloured and made up of actual braided filaments. It is extremely strong for the small diameter it’s available in.

The advantages to braided line over monofilament, in addition to the additional strength for its small diameter, is that it has zero stretch and it doesn’t really carry any memory, so it will last a lot longer. Monofilament, while it’s inexpensive, is very stretchy and doesn’t last all that long. After a few uses, it will get coiled up so it’s not as user friendly.

Fluorocarbon is a third type of line that is used by anglers today. It is clear, similar to monofilament, has less stretch than mono and is a lot more abrasion resistant. I find it does not perform that well spooled up on a spinning reel because it will hold memory and it always seems to “explode” off the reel for me. Instead, I always use fluorocarbon for a leader at the end of my braided line. Its toughness makes it a good choice for the leader and it provides an invisible link to your lure. I’ll usually tie on my leaders about eight feet long.

If you ever see a photo of my reels, you’ll notice that I always have yellow coloured braided line on my reels. I have always used original Power Pro braid. It’s been around for a long time and it’s reliable, good stuff. The reason I choose the bright yellow line is because it’s easy to see. Since I always attach a fluorocarbon leader to the end of it, the fish never see the line. The fluorocarbon is invisible in the water so the fish won’t see the line.

There are a couple of reason why I like to be able to see or watch my line. With some of the techniques that I use, I’ll often see my line “jump” when I fish bites my bait. It can be subtle, but I always watch my line and sometimes you’ll see the bite before you ever feel it. It also helps me know the second my bait hits the bottom, so if I’m using a bottom technique, I can instantly start my retrieve, which will help with reducing snags. Sometimes, if your bait stops falling before you think it hits the bottom, you can get tipped off that a fish has your bait. The coloured line, throughout a season, will help you catch more fish.

One final thing on the braid, while it is more expensive, it will last much longer, years in some cases because it doesn’t get all coiled up over time. The fact that it has zero stretch is also a benefit for anglers because we can feel everything that is going on with our bait so much better. It also gives us the ability to get a much better hookset on a long cast or when fishing in deeper water.

Try spooling up some braided line on your spinning reels this season and you’ll be happy you did. When it comes to attaching the fluorocarbon to the braided line, you can use a tiny swivel at first but you should learn how to tie the two lines together. I use an FG knot, which is the best one I’ve tried, but it’s an advanced knot to tie. There are some other good ones that are easier to tie, like the uni-to-uni and the Alberto knots. You can find instructions on how to tie these on YouTube. Most often, I’ll go with ten pound test braid and attach an eight or ten pound fluorocarbon leader.

Try spooling up with braided line this season to up your fishing game.