Fishing Line Types: Pros and Cons


By: bigtunaonline

Fishing line is arguably the most important equipment for anglers. It is the life-line and connection from you to the fish. There are several types of fishing line out on the market to choose from, but three of them are the most common and practical to use in our region.

  1. The first line type is called monofilament.. This line is often made of nylon and other plastics. Manufacturers will sometimes mix different varieties of nylon to give the line different levels of stretch, abrasion resistance, and strength. Monofilament is the most popular and widely used fishing line for good reason too.

Pros: Monofilament is the most cost effective line you can get, so if you’re price-conscious and looking for a reliable line, this is the way to go. As mentioned before, monofilament also stretches to help absorb some of the tug from fish. It is more abrasion resistant than other lines which can be vital when fishing around structures in the water such as rocks, sunken trees, or docks. It also is easy to tie knots in, and once knots are tied they are not likely to slip. Lastly, this line comes in a variety of colors. Clear, blue, and green shades are the most popular since they virtually become invisible to the fish underwater.

Cons: Monofilament is not as strong of a line relative to its diameter. This means that the higher strength lines will be thicker and take up more of the valuable space on your spool. Though the ability for this line to stretch is often helpful, it can also work against you by sacrificing some sensitivity. This is because the line stretch will require more force from the fish for you to feel the tug. The last downfall of monofilament is called “memory.” Simply put, the line will be looped in the shape of the spool when casting (resembling the shape of a corkscrew) sometimes causing it to get tangled.

  1. The next type on our list is braided fishing line. As the name suggests, braided line is made up of multiple strong, thin fibers “braided” together to form your fishing line.

Pros: Unlike monofilament, braided line is super strong relative to its diameter (often twice as strong)! This allows for more line to be on your spool at a time, even with a higher pound test. Also, this line is super smooth, doesn’t have memory, and has great casting distance to get your lures further from shore. Braided line is well known for its extreme sensitivity because it doesn’t stretch. This is important when detecting a soft nudge or bite from fish is vital.

Cons: The biggest disadvantage of braided fishing line is its knot strength. It has a tendency to slip if knots are not tied tight and will result in lost fish if the knot fails. It is also a difficult line to cut, so when fishing this line you will always need to carry nail clippers or scissors. Another downfall to this line - it is not see-through line monofilament. When fishing in clear water, many anglers will tie a leader to their braided line (an extra segment of line, such as monofilament, tied to the end of your main line) so the fish will not be as likely to see your braided line. The last two disadvantages are the lower levels of abrasion resistance and lack of stretch. Yes, the lack of stretch can be a good thing. It can also be bad if the drag on your reel is set too high because it puts more stress directly on the line, making it more likely to snap.

  1. The last type of line for today is fluorocarbon line. This type of line mixes some of the characteristics of monofilament and braided line into one. However, it is a bit more pricey than the two previously mentioned fishing lines. For this reason, it is more common to use as a leader from the main fishing line.

Pros: It is see through like monofilament line, has good abrasion resistance, and has good knot strength. It resembles braided line in the fact that it does not stretch, giving you some extra sensitivity to detect bites. This line is denser than the previous two and it will actually sink. This can be helpful when trying to get lures or bait lower in the water column.

Cons: Fluorocarbon line is considerably more expensive than the other types of line. It does have slight “memory,” but varies based on brand. It does not stretch or absorb shock from the fish tugging.


Brady Stevens is a senior undergraduate student at Malone University studying Biology. He also runs cross country and track for the Pioneers. As he works towards his Bachelor’s Degree, Brady has a job with Bass Pro Shops as a fishing outfitter. He loves to fish in just about any body of water he can find where there might be fish. Brady’s favorite place to fish is the Maumee River in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio. Further questions? Email Brady at bstevens1@malone.edu and follow his fishing page on instagram @no.bs.fishing.

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