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Written By Pete Robbins
Updated Aug 29, 2022 7:50 AM
The best monofilament fishing lines have come a long way since their introduction in the 1950s. Today’s offerings produce fewer tangles and are nearly invisible — not to mention how many specialty lines exist. The choices can be overwhelming, but I’ll help you decide if mono is right for you, and how to choose the best fishing line.
What Are the Advantages of Monofilament?
Monofilament is readily available at just about every sporting goods or big box store from coast to coast, typically in a wide range of line sizes and spool sizes and at a very reasonable price. Beyond its accessibility, mono has several other advantages: First, it tends to be the most manageable option, helping it excel in novices’ hands or in extreme weather situations. Second, it has a lot of stretch, which means it absorbs shock easily. When setting the hook on a short line (into a fish or into a log) you’re less likely to break it, and it’s forgiving when a big fish surges at the side of the boat. Third, while it doesn’t float like braided line, it doesn’t sink like fluorocarbon, either, which means that it’s often the best choice for topwater lures. Finally, it’s so manageable that it makes tying knots easy and reliable.
What Are the Disadvantages of Monofilament?
Remember that stretch that was touted as an advantage above? Well, that was accurate, but its benefits are situational. If you’re trying to set a hook at a distance with mono, you’re going to have to pull extra-hard to drive home the steel. Also, that presumes you feel the strike in the first place. Denser lines like braid and fluorocarbon tend to be much more sensitive. Finally, when fish are line-shy, then fluoro may be a better choice because it’s harder for them to see.
The Best Monofilament Fishing Lines
Best All-Around Monofilament Fishing Line: Stren Original
Stren has been the standard-bearer for monofilament fishing lines for decades, and while it’s now produced under the same roof as some of its past competitors like Berkley Trilene, it still commands a large share of this market sector. Those of you who’ve been around since the 70s may remember its blue and high-visibility gold versions, and they’re still available, as is clear Stren and low-visibility green. The blue is still especially good for fishing at night with a black light. It glows above the water and allows you to see your line jump even on a subtle strike. It comes in sizes from 4-pound test up to 30-pound test, in spools of 100, 300, 330, 1000, and 2400 yards, and remains very inexpensive.
Best Mono for Saltwater and Big Swimbaits: Berkley Big Game
Big Game may come in strengths as low as 8-pound test (and as high as 130), but make no doubt, it’s aimed at the intense quest for big fish. In order to achieve that goal, it’s built with high shock strength prioritized, so whether you’re after monster catfish or toothy muskies, you can set the hook hard. That’s also made this Berkley fishing line a popular choice not only for dedicated saltwater anglers, but also for ardent bass swim baiters, who may spend hundreds on a lure but won’t have to spend nearly that much for their line of choice. Big Game is available in both clear and green versions for most presentations, as well as blaze orange, coastal brown, pink coral, solar collector, and steel blue hues for specialized uses.
Best Monofilament for High Visibility: Sunline Super Natural
Sunline has gained the admiration of serious anglers for their high quality and varied fluorocarbon options, as well as braid, but they offer distinctive monofilaments, too. One of them is their “Natural Metered” option, which has alternative sections of 12 inches of bright chartreuse line and 48 inches of clear line. That means that line watchers, particularly those with declining eyesight, can see even their most subtle strikes clearly and easily. It comes in strengths from 4-pound test up to 20-pound test, and while it’s slightly more costly than some of the other options, it’s by no means expensive.
Best Monofilament for Heavy Cover: Suffix Siege Camo
Sufix claims that their “XV2 Technology” provides greater strength in the same diameter as competing monofilaments, and is also more abrasion-resistant than the competition. That means if you want a mono for heavy cover, particularly if you’re in heavy vegetation or green-tinged water, this may be your best call. Despite its strength, it retains more than adequate manageability in strengths from 4-pound test up to 20-pound test, in affordable 330-yard spools.
A Note on Copolymers
As described above, monofilament fishing lines denotes a single strand of material, but there are also copolymer (multi-strand) lines that offer many of the same characteristics at a similar price point, sometimes with even greater manageability. In fact, sometimes they’re lumped together, or the terms are used interchangeably. Some of the most popular copolymers include:
- Gamma Copolymer
- Izorline Copolymer
- Hi-Seas Copolymer
- McCoy Xtra Clear Copolymer
- P-Line C21 Copolymer
Brief History of Monofilament Fishing Lines
“Monofilament,” as the name suggests, consists of a single strand of material — usually nylon. Prior to its introduction, most anglers used opaque, braided lines that required substantial care to maintain. When mono came along, not only was it comparatively inexpensive, but its translucent nature arguably made fish more likely to bite. Not entirely coincidentally, the introduction of manageable single-strand nylon lines was roughly contemporaneous with the increased distribution of open-faced spinning reels, which demanded a flexible line to avoid line twists. Over time, monofilament has lost market share to other specialized options. Still, it remains a solid choice for a wide variety of presentations for expert anglers, as well as a solid choice for those just entering the sport.
What Other Options Are Available?
It’s important to know all the options to determine which line is best for your application. In the mid-1990s, when many freshwater anglers saw monofilament to be the only game in town, braided line made a comeback. Specifically, synthetic fibers like Kevlar and Spectra were woven together, typically in four-, eight-, or 16-strand configurations, to produce a line that is opaque (although it has far less stretch and far less memory than monofilament). It typically has a far smaller diameter than mono in a line of equal strength, and cuts through vegetation much more cleanly, making it ideal for flipping into grass mats and frogging over heavy cover.
Over the next decade, fluorocarbon, typically a single strand of polyvinylidene difluoride gained traction with many serious anglers. While it’s typically less manageable and far more expensive than monofilament, it also has far less stretch, less visibility, and greater abrasion resistance. It has gained traction for a wide variety of presentations, but excels in clear, deep water, especially with finesse techniques like dropshotting. Not only is the low-visibility product less likely to spook reluctant bites, but the lack of stretch also ensures better hookups with light line.
There are also “combination” products which combine elements of multiple types of fishing line. Many anglers gain this same advantage by using a braided line as a main line and then adding a fluorocarbon or monofilament leader.
Q: What size fish can you catch on the 8-pound line?
Giant fish can be caught on an 8-pound test line. The IGFA has world records for varying line test categories. The current yellowfin tuna world record caught on 8-pound test is 87 pounds and 1 ounce. However, 8-pound line is best suited for smaller game fish like bass and trout in areas where abrasion resistance isn’t needed.
Q: What is the best monofilament fishing line for saltwater?
The best monofilament for saltwater is Berkley Big Game.
Q: Does the color of fishing line matter?
Fishing lines come in various colors to match your needs. Clear is a go-to choice and works well in most conditions. In stained water green or camo can be a great option. If you need help seeing your line, some of the hi-vis colors are the best choice for that situation.
Final Tips for Finding the Best Monofilament Fishing Lines
No matter which of the best monofilament fishing lines you choose, proper spooling and storage will go a long way towards maximizing its effectiveness and longevity. Particularly with spinning reels, improper spooling techniques will result in line twist and weakening. No matter what type of line you use, store it in a cool, dark place — preferably not in direct sunlight or a musty shed. You can also treat your lines with a variety of widely available lubricants and conditioners to keep them in tip-top shape.
Finally, one huge advantage of monofilament is it’s typically the least costly of all varieties of line. When in doubt, change it out. Fresh line can save you hours of aggravation and it may be your one direct link to the fish of a lifetime. Once you find some that you like, buy it in bulk spools to save even further and to ensure that you don’t run out at an inopportune time.
What monofilament has the least memory? ›
If you want a line that has little to no memory, the KastKing SuperPower Braided line is your best bet. It never spiraled off the spool and was straight as an arrow even after weeks on the reel. With its classic monofilament construction, the Berkley Trilene XL also proved strong in this metric.What color monofilament is best? ›
While the properties of fluorocarbon may make it less visible underneath the surface, clear monofilament works well in all situations. There is another clear option on the market, and it is typically called clear blue. The line is relatively clear underwater, but the blue tint makes it easier to see above water.What is the thinnest and strongest fishing line? ›
Braid. Braid is very strong for its diameter, and it has virtually no stretch. Because it's the thinnest of the line types (by breaking strength) and very soft, it casts well. Because it's the most opaque and visible of the line types, many anglers choose mono or fluoro in clear water.What type of fishing line casts the farthest? ›
Braid proved to be the better choice compared to traditional monofilament line in terms of casting distance for both experiments. The first test with a heavier weight showed a 7% advantage to the braid. And the updated test with wet lines that were both newly spooled showed a whopping 30% advantage for the braid.Should I soak mono line before spooling? ›
Always prior to spooling up with mono, leave your line submerged in a bucket of warm water. This will allow the water to soak into the line helping not only when you come to wind the line on but also allowing the line to bed down property on your spool.What line is best for distance casting? ›
Braided line in the 20- to 40-pound range is a good choice when fishing in open water with a clean bottom, and for extreme distance. For snag-infested waters, turn to monofilament no heavier than 25-pound test.How long will Unused monofilament last? ›
There is no official answer for the life of these products, but we've compared estimates from various fishing publications and have gathered that monofilament has an average shelf life of two to three years, while fluorocarbon lines can last up to seven or eight years without losing its edge.How often should you replace monofilament? ›
Monofilament lines should be changed at least once a year, though many anglers recommend changing them after every fishing trip. Their durability depends on how much you use them: If you are a heavy fisher, you should change monofilament line 3 to 4 times a year. Moderate fishers can change it 2 to 3 times a year.How often should monofilament line be changed? ›
Mono and fluoro lines become brittle over time and weaken when they're exposed to saltwater and UV rays. I'd recommend changing it out at least once every 6 months to 1 year. And if you notice that it starts to coil, it's time to go ahead and replace it. For braided line, there's no reason to replace it within a year.What is the best all around fishing line weight? ›
In freshwater, a 4-12 lb test is standard. For small trout and sunfish, a 4 lb test is okay. For bass or general freshwater fishing, 6-8 lb test is the norm. In saltwater, 12-15 il test is standard when using light tackle for smaller species, while 17-20 lb test allows you to target bigger fish.
What are the 3 most popular types of fishing lines? ›
What Are the Three Main Types of Fishing Line? Anglers have three main options when it comes to fishing lines. They include monofilament lines, braided lines, and fluorocarbon lines. Depending on their unique characteristics, they are most effective for different fishing methods, tactics, and conditions.What fishing line has no memory? ›
Remove the spool from the reel and soak it in a bowl of warm water for a while. An hour should do it, but for best results you'll need to soak it in advance of fishing. If you discover a fishing line memory problem at the lake, try soaking the spool for a short while before using it.What fishing lines are made in the USA? ›
MADE IN USA - KastPro 4 carrier Spectra braid fishing line is proudly manufactured in the USA in our ISO 9001 and Aerospace AS 9100 certified facility to ensure the highest quality possible.What fishing line sinks fastest? ›
Sink Rate—Fluoro sinks faster than mono, so it's not the best fishing line for topwater lures and small baits you want to suspend in the water column. On the flip side, fluoro is perfect for pinning bait close to bottom and getting more depth from weightless presentations.What fishing line is best for not tangling? ›
Many anglers use monofilament because it is easier to cast and untangle. Monofilament has memory, meaning it retains its shape when bent. It is also stiffer than braided line, so it is possible to pick out a tangle caused by an overrun.What is the most versatile fishing line? ›
Mono is the most versatile option and is likely the best choice for trolling. Fluorocarbon is similar to mono. It's abrasion-resistant and invisible but can be difficult to handle. Braid is sensitive and strong but not stretchy.What line is best for shore fishing? ›
Monofilament, or mono, is not only the best saltwater fishing line for most applications, it's also the most popular. Mono is thin, strong and subtle, water resistant and has good knot strength.What rod action is best for casting distance? ›
As a rule of thumb, longer rods increase casting distance, while shorter rods provide better leverage. So if you'll primarily cast with 12- to 20-pound lines, consider a 7-foot, fast- to extra-fast-action rod for lures or live baits, or medium action for smaller lures or natural baits.What is 20 lb braid mono equivalent to? ›
For example, you can buy 20lb test Power Pro braided fishing line at a diameter of . 009” which is equivalent to 6lb mono at the same diameter.How much mono do you put on a reel before braiding? ›
Conclusion. You should use 8-10 lb. monofilament as backing for your spinning reel. Any heavier than that and you start running into problems like your braid not laying flat along the backing or your braid getting caught in the mono to braid knot.
How do you get memory out of monofilament? ›
Stretching: One good method of removing memory from fishing line is to stretch it out. Take 50 to 75 feet of line off the reel, then tie the end to a strong object and work your way up and down the line, stretching it as you go. You should see a noticeable difference after just a few minutes of doing this.Does thinner line cast farther? ›
Line size can be a drag
The short of it a heavier, thicker line will not cast as well as a thinner, lighter line will. So 10-pound line will throw a lure much farther than 20-pound line will. There is less drag on the line in both the guides and in the air.
- Use The Right Rod/Reel. To maximize casting distance, you need to choose the proper rod, reel, and line. ...
- Use Lighter Line. ...
- Don't Throw As Hard.
Having a heavier line will put more bend in the rod, making it easier to feel the loading. This, in turn, will make it easier to throw accurate casts. Loading with less line or long leaders - Another big benefit of overlining, for experts and beginners alike, is being able to load a rod with less fly line out.Do pros use monofilament? ›
Most professional anglers today use very little monofilament line.Do I need backing for monofilament? ›
If you use normal monofilament, you can just fill your reel right up with it, but if you use braid, you need to put a base layer of monofilament on the reel beforehand. This is called mono backing, and it could save you from losing the biggest fish of your life.How do you keep a monofilament from twisting? ›
All you have to do is think clockwise and counterclockwise. If you hold the rod in your hand and look down at the reel, you'll notice that when you turn the handle the spool rotates clockwise. Set the filler spool so the line comes off counterclockwise as you look at it. That's all there is to it.How long can you store monofilament fishing line? ›
In my own experience, I found that an unused spool of mono maintains its strength for about 3 or 4 years and will then last on the reel for a single season before getting weak. Other sources agree and also suggest that fluorocarbon keeps its integrity after 7 or more years in the packaging.Should you use a leader with monofilament line? ›
Mono has a much higher stretch capability than fluorocarbon, so if you need a shock leader or something to have a little give mono can be a great option.Where do you place monofilament? ›
Hold the monofilament perpendicular to the skin. Place the tip of the monofilament on the sole of the foot. Ask the patient to say 'yes' when s/he feels you touching his/her foot with the monofilament.
How accurate is the monofilament test? ›
Abnormal monofilament testing has positive likelihood ratios >7 and negative likelihood ratios ranging from 0.07 to 0.61 for diagnosing neuropathy in patients with diabetes.Does fishing line ever go bad? ›
Fluorocarbon and especially monofilament, on the other hand, can break down or otherwise go bad meaning that you're better off replacing spools every few years. Fishing line will degrade faster while on a reel, but line can even experience issues while in the box.What kind of fishing is monofilament good for? ›
Monofilament is neutrally buoyant by nature and is effective in fishing topwater lures as well as lures which require a line to neither sink nor float, such as hard jerkbaits. Additionally, monofilament line has long been used for backing (A.K.A. "filler") for fishing reels.Is thicker fishing line better? ›
Thicker line decreases casting distance and accuracy
If you're not covering enough water, or placing your lure exactly where you want it to go, you'll miss out on fish that you might've otherwise been able to catch.
If you fish with line that's too heavy, you increase the risk of breaking your rod. Getting the right advice from your local tackle store will take the guesswork out of choosing a balanced outfit and it avoids using the wrong gear for the job.Is lighter fishing line better? ›
When you are choosing fishing gear the general advice is to use the lightest fishing gear in order to keep weight down so it is less tiring and because it requires more skill to use a lighter line. This has to be balanced with the fishing line's capabilities.What line do most pro bass fisherman use? ›
For many of the most popular bass presentations, fluorocarbon line (or a fluoro leader) is an excellent choice.Which line is best for bass? ›
- MONOFILAMENT. A classic line option for any fisherman, monofilament is an individual nylon fiber that is usually inexpensive and is easy to work with. ...
- BRAID. Braided fishing line is another trustworthy option for bass fishermen. ...
Line choice for spinning gear
Of the two, braided line is superior on a spinning reel. It is small in diameter, casts far, has no stretch, is incredibly strong, is extremely durable, and, most importantly, has virtually no line memory. All of these attributes make braided line a dream come true for spinning gear.
For spooky or pressured fish, the best fishing line for bass are clear, at least where the lure joins the line. When using opaque braids, think natural colors such as moss green if the lure is tied directly to the braid, or high visibility shades of yellow, green, or even pink if using a fluorocarbon leader.
What line do tuna fishermen use? ›
For trolling, fluoro in the 100- to 150-pound range is typical, chunking for tuna will usually require anywhere from 30- to 80-pound fluoro, and light tackle mahi fishing uses 15- to 40-pound fluoro.Which bass has the best sound? ›
- Fender Deluxe P-Bass Special.
- Cort Jeff Berlin Series Rithimic Bass.
- Schechter Stiletto Custom 4.
- Yamaha TRBX174EW.
- Yamaha TRBX305.
- Epiphone Thunderbird PRO-IV Bass.
- Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar Bass Special SS.
- Squier Affinity Series 5-String Jazz Bass V.
Braided line's low stretch makes it a natural choice for sensitivity and connectededness when lure fishing. The thinner diameter allows the line to cast significantly further than monofilament.What is the hardest bass line ever? ›
- 1 YYZ - Rush. ...
- 2 Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth) - Metallica. ...
- 3 Panic Attack - Dream Theater. ...
- 4 Tommy the Cat - Primus. ...
- 5 Hysteria - Muse. ...
- 6 Jerry Was a Race Car Driver - Primus. ...
- 7 The Pot - Tool. ...
- 8 My Generation - The Who.
However, baitcasting reels have the most precise and surest drag systems, which are a big help in fighting large fish. The line capacity of baitcasting reels, especially those made for trolling, is the most of any type of reel.What line do you put on a 3000 reel? ›
Choosing a fishing rod to go with this size reel: 3000 or 30 Sized spinning reels being of fairly light class would normally be most suitable for pairing up with a rod that is around 6-7ft 6 inches in length which has a line class between 3Kg-7Kg.How often should you change line on a spinning reel? ›
Mono and fluoro lines become brittle over time and weaken when they're exposed to saltwater and UV rays. I'd recommend changing it out at least once every 6 months to 1 year. And if you notice that it starts to coil, it's time to go ahead and replace it. For braided line, there's no reason to replace it within a year.