Are you planning on going fishing for the first time and looking to maximize the experience? Or you are looking to step up your game and return home with the biggest catch so far? Either way, it is essential to pack the right equipment, and fishing lines can be a crucial part of your gear.
They are that piece that may get you closer to the dream catch or break at the critical moment and keep you dreaming. If you want to ensure the best performance of your equipment, you need to know about different fishing line types. That is what we are focusing on in this article.
We will not only tell you about different lines but also their uses, advantages, and disadvantages. You will realize that the best fishing line choice also depends on your fishing goals. If you are not certain whether you can pick smartly, make sure to read the article and find out how to suit the line to your angling style.
Different Types of Fishing Line / Uses
It may be difficult to pronounce, but you might start practicing because the chances are you will start your fishing journey with monofilament lines. They are the most frequent choice of anglers these days. That is because they are a nice mixture of an easy to use line and all the modern features it needs to have to tackle the challenging fish out there.
Since it is not that simple to say “monofilament,” many fishers also call this a mono line. The crucial thing to know about it is that nylon is used in the manufacturing process. You probably know what nylon is, but allow us to get a bit scientific and tell you that it is a polymer. It is essentially plastic, but it has molecules that are interchained and long.
A Man-Made Line That Has Been Around for Decades
You can’t find nylon in nature, which leads us to conclude that mono is an artificially made line. Humans produce nylon in plants that specialize in processing plastic. It is a rare case that a single line is made from multiple varieties of nylon.
In most cases, a single material strand is turned into a long fishing line. There is no joining together or fusing – it is simply a nylon line and nothing more than that. Still. It seems that nylon is doing the job for most anglers since mono lines have been around for over six decades and they are still commonly used throughout the world. Some statistics indicate that a third of the lines that anglers buy are monofilament lines.
Why Anglers Like Monofilament Lines?
The primary reason why people love this equipment piece is its versatility. If you have a checklist of necessary things that a fishing line should do, the monofilament type will provide decent performance in every category.
We shouldn’t hide the obvious – a crucial point in favor of monolines is their affordable price. It is not that difficult to make them, which implies their cost is acceptable. The chances are that most beginners out there do not want to push their budget to do limits, and this line is a great choice to keep things affordable.
Additionally, it is vital to mention that monofilament lines are simple to use. When you do not know that much about fishing equipment, that is important to you. You don’t want to spend hours mounting the line, and that won’t happen with monofilament ones. Furthermore, you will easily discover how things work. Monoline is stretchy, and you can manage it easily. On top of that, making knots is as simple as ABC.
You can easily dye nylon, and that explains why you can find monofilament lines in different colors. The choice you make will depend on the type of fish you want to catch, but also weather conditions. When it is dark, and the waters are murky, you want the line not to stand out, but you also want to see it clearly at all times. It is all about striking the right balance, and finding what suits for you.
Stretchiness Can Be an Advantage and a Flaw
Even though it is affordable, monofilament lines are tough. Due to their stretchiness, they can withstand a lot of pressure and are not that prone to breaking. The same applies to absorb shock, although huge fish can still prove to be a challenge. A monofilament line is a good choice for those who like to keep their lures close to the surface. It won’t sink quickly, which ensures an optimal level of control.
We already mentioned that monolines are versatile, and that is both their advantage and a flaw. As a result, you may not be able to sink the line deep. The problem with improved stretchiness is that you might notice a movement unless it is obvious, especially if you are a beginner. That may result in the fish biting the lure, and you missing it. Fortunately, a bit of practice should help with this issue.
If you keep in mind the affordable price, that should explain why monolines are not that durable. The UV rays coming from the sun can damage the line and can affect its longevity.
Monofilament Lines – Advantages
- A versatile line suitable for beginners
- Easy to use and make knots
- Available in different colors
- Stretchable and can withstand plenty of pressure
- Affordable price tag
Monofilament Line – Disadvantages
- They do not excel in any category
- Not suitable for casting too deep
- It may be difficult to detect movement
- Limited durability
The next in the line of fishing lines we will present is the group made of fluorocarbon. Unlike monolines, these use a different approach. Monofilament pieces were all about versatility and providing adequate performance in all areas. On the other hand, fluorocarbons are something like role players in basketball – they are brought on the court to do a job.
Before we get into the details about fluorocarbon lines, allow us to mention one thing. If you don’t have any fishing experience, fishing lines may all look similar to you. That is why it is important to scratch under the surface, and you will quickly start realizing the differences.
When it comes to fluorocarbon lines, their name is not that easier to pronounce than monofilament. Additionally, fluorocarbon seems like something that would be mentioned in a chemistry class, and you are not wrong.
Believe it or not, the chances are you will find fluorocarbon near you even if you are not an angler. If you are at home, try finding a Teflon pan, or checking if your fridge uses freon. However, anglers use a specific type of fluorocarbon.
A Single Strand and Durable Line
The scientific name for it is polyvinylidene difluoride, but we will refer to it as PVDF. You can get PVDF through a specific bonding process under the condition you have the necessary lab equipment and some chemistry knowledge. But why would you go through the trouble of all that when you can order a fluorocarbon line and enjoy one created by professionals?
Fluorocarbon lines also use a single strand which means there is no fusing or joining together. The result that you get is a line that is more durable than the monofilament ones. It also seems heavier and denser, which you might like or not depending on your fishing preference.
The primary setting when you would want to use these lines is when the water is clear. That would usually imply a sunny or cloudy day without any rain. The good thing about fluorocarbon lines is that you can use them for hard or cover hooks, and they are a suitable choice for leading.
Why Anglers Like This Line?
When it comes to benefits, the crucial one is that it is difficult for the fish to notice it. PVDF is a specific material that doesn’t have any light distortion. That enables it to blend in with the water perfectly. Thanks to that, you can tackle smart fish that stays away from visible lines. While we are at it, allow us to give you a free tip – always use the fluorocarbon line when you are in cover to maximize its efficiency with challenging species.
If you compare fluorocarbon to monolines, fluorocarbon still features a single strand, but their composition of molecules is tight. Thanks to that, they act differently once they get in touch with the water. For starters, fluorocarbon lines will sink quite quickly.
They are also quite stretchy, which means they can withstand pressure every bit as well as monolines. Additionally, fluorocarbon lines are incredibly sensitive, which means you won’t risk missing a movement because your mind wandered away for a second.
The overall durability of fluorocarbon lines is impressive, especially because of their UV and abrasion resistance. That makes them a smart long-term investment as the chances are you will enjoy fishing with this line for a long time. The increased durability makes this line suitable for saltwater environments. If your location or style is to fish in seas and oceans, this may be a fine choice for you.
A Fantastic Option for Bottom Fishing
However, that doesn’t mean fluorocarbon lines are perfect. One of their drawbacks is that they have more memory, which is particularly noticeable if you go too far with filling the spool. The fortunate thing is that this depends on the model, and the newer units tend to deal with this downside far better.
The shock absorption of the line can be better, which is why the experts advise loosening the drag a bit. Additionally, it is important to note that you should only tie up the line when it is wet. The knot strength is not the strongest suit of fluorocarbon lines.
We already mentioned that these lines sink quite quickly. While that may be great if you plan to do some bottom fishing, it may make them unsuitable for topwater angling. It might take a bit more to learn how to work with fluorocarbon lines, especially if you a beginner. But overall, you get a durable equipment piece even though its price is a bit higher compared to other lines.
Fluorocarbon Lines – Advantages
- Low visibility makes them suitable for smart and easily scared fish
- They can withstand the pressure well
- A great choice for bottom fishing
- Excellent for the saltwater environment
- They are quite sensitive to movement
Fluorocarbon Lines – Disadvantages
- The shock absorption could be better
- They may not be a great choice for topwater fishing since they sink quickly
- Their price tag is a bit high
- Tying up should only be done when the line is wet
While monofilament lines are old-school and fluorocarbon ones are relatively new, braid lines are somewhere in between. They first appeared about two decades ago, and they quickly became a hit among the anglers.
Strong and durable polyethylene microfibers are used to design a braided line. The manufacturers use a special braiding machine to spin them together and make the core line. Additionally, they may use other materials to coat them during the process.
The manufacturing process is a bit demanding, but the result is worth the hassle. The companies are constantly working on improving braided lines, which means you can expect new ones with a better performance every year. The forecast made by the angling experts is that we are not that long from a time where all fishers will use these lines.
Not That Cheap, but Very Valuable
It may be surprising, but the price of a braided line is quite acceptable for an angler’s budget. They might not be as cheap as monofilament lines, but they offer excellent value for money. Their crucial benefit lies in microfilament parts that are strong as if they are made of steel. In most cases, braided lines will last the longest of all you can purchase on the market.
When it comes to stretchiness, it is quite low, but that is what expert anglers will appreciate. Thanks to that feature, you can consider battling large fish that puts up a fight. Another useful characteristic of a braided line is that it is sharp enough to cut through light obstacles, such as seaweed.
The UV resistance of these lines is impressive, and they are waterproof. If you are looking for maximum abrasion resistance, look for lines that haven’t been coated with anything.
An Extra Thin Line with Admirable Sensitivity
As soon as you take a look at a braided line, you will realize that its diameter is extra thin. It may be surprising that the line is that durable then, but the performance testing proved its durability. The thinness additionally contributes to the lines being less noticeable, which can be useful for stealth fishing. However, they are still not as good in hiding as fluorocarbon lines.
The sensitivity of braided lines is impressive, and they sink rather quickly. That is where we come to the question of what is your fishing style. While you can use these close to the surface, they deliver the best results if they sink deep.
The good news is that the manufacturers are working on finding ways to improve braided lines in the future. They are not at their maximum at the moment, which is why they do come with some downsides.
For example, sudden impacts can still surprise the line as it could be better at absorbing shock. Additionally, only certain knots are compatible with braided lines, and you should practice tying them before you head on a fishing trip. Ultimately, a braided line is already a dependable choice, and it can only become better in the future, so keep an eye on its development.
Braided Lines – Advantages
- A premium line of incredible durability
- The best bet when tackling large fish that put up a fight
- Excellent UV resistance
- Great value for money
- Plenty of room to improve their performance further in the future
Braided Lines – Disadvantages
- Some lines with coarser coatings are more prone to damage and abrasion
- Can suffer damage from sudden impacts
- Not that visible, but still more noticeable than fluorocarbon lines
- Only work with certain knots
That rounds up our fishing line types comparison, and we can only hope it will make your choice easier. Keep in mind that you may also encounter fused lines. They have the same characteristics as braided lines, and the only difference is that they are made out of multiple microfilament layers.
Picking the best fishing line for your needs depends on many factors. They all relate to your angling skills and fishing style. As a beginner, you should probably start with monofilament lines. Once you practice your skills, it wouldn’t hurt to try out different lines until you find your favorite.
Another consideration is that the fishing line should fit with the rest of your equipment. It may take a bit of time and effort to find the best unit for your needs but think of it as a journey filled with experience. The idea is to have a good time and a lot of fun while using every moment to become a better angler!
3 thoughts on “Fishing Line Types – (Pros & Cons / Uses – Definitive Guide)”
Very informative article
Thanks for the positive feedback Gary!
Our team cherishes all the feedback they can get!
We’re glad you enjoyed it Gary!
Stay safe and keep fishing!