Since the advent of braid about 25 years ago, the great debate about whether braid or monofilament is better has raged on. Hard-headed traditionalists often bemoan braids for its tendency to tangle, while many new age braid users think of monofilament as a thing of the past.
Both have uses in everyday fishing, and both are still great tools to have in your fishing arsenal. Let’s have a look at monofilament first.
Monofilaments have been available since the 1930s with the invention of Nylon and have been improved with other products such as fluorocarbon. What they still have over braided fishing lines is their ability to withstand abrasion, and their ease of use in terms of tangling. Some monofilaments float, while others, such as fluorocarbon will sink. Some widely-used monos include Suffix Advance HPME Mono, Platypus Lo-Stretch Mono Pink and Platinum Super 100 Mono and Berkley Fluoroshield.
Game fishers still like to use heavy monofilaments to avoid anything breaking the line when it’s under such heavy load, and tournament bream anglers have taken to using straight through fluorocarbon on some of their reels, sometimes as light as 2lb, to avoid casting a shadow with their line.
Braids on the other hand have only been used for a few decades, but are already the preferred mainline for most anglers. It’s advantage is it can withstand greater load for a smaller diameter, it can be cast further with more ease, and more of it can be packed onto a spool. However, as mentioned above, it has the tendency to knot, tangle, and does not stand up to abrasion as well. Trusted braids in today’s market include Daiwa J-Braid Grand, Spiderwire Stealth Braid, Sunline Super PE and Berkly X5.
Whether you decide to use monofilament or braided fishing lines, be aware of the pros and cons, and remember that while one may be good for one thing, it may not be good for something else.