The Best Monofilament Fishing Line | Vital Fishing Gear
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 the number of specialty lines out there. 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 benefits of monofilament?
Monofilament is readily available at almost any sporting goods or big box store coast to coast, usually in a wide range of line sizes and spool sizes and at a very reasonable price. Beyond its affordability, the mono has several other advantages: First, it tends to be the most manageable option, helping it excel in novice hands or in extreme weather situations. Second, it is very stretchy, which means it absorbs shock easily. When you set the hook on a short line (in a fish or in a log), you’re less likely to break it, and it’s forgiving when a big fish pops up off the side of the boat. Third, while it doesn’t float like braided line, it also doesn’t sink like fluorocarbon, which means it’s often the best choice for surface lures. Finally, it is so maneuverable that it makes knots easy and reliable.
What are the disadvantages of monofilament?
Remember that stretch that was featured as a benefit above? Well, that was correct, but its benefits are situational. If you try to place a hook from a distance with mono, you will have to pull very hard to drive the steel. Also, it assumes you feel the strike in the first place. Denser lines like braid and fluorocarbon tend to be much more sensitive. Finally, when fish fear line, fluoro may be a better choice because it is harder for them to see.
The Best Monofilament Fishing Lines
Best All-Round Monofilament Fishing Line: Stren Original
Stren has been the flagship of monofilament fishing line for decades, and although it is now produced under the same roof as some of its former competitors like Berkley Trilene, it still controls a large share of this market segment. Those of you who have been around since the 70s might remember its high visibility blue and gold versions, and they are still available, as are the clear Stren and low visibility green. Blue is still especially good for night fishing with a black light. It shines above the water and lets you see your line jump even on a subtle strike. It is available in sizes ranging from 4 pound test to 30 pound test, in 100, 300, 330, 1000 and 2400 meter spools, and is still very inexpensive.
Best mono for saltwater and big crankbaits: Berkley Big Game
Big Game can have forces as low as 8 pounds (and as high as 130), but have no doubt that it’s for the intense pursuit of big fish. In order to achieve this goal, it is built with high shock resistance, so whether you are looking for monster catfish or toothy muskies, you can set the hook strong. It has also made this Berkley fishing line a popular choice for not only dedicated saltwater anglers, but also ardent bait anglers, who can spend hundreds of dollars on a lure but won’t have to spend as much on their favorite line. Big Game is available in clear and green versions for most presentations, as well as fiery orange, coastal brown, pink coral, suncatcher and steel blue for specialty uses.
Best monofilament for high visibility: Sunline Super Natural
Sunline has won the admiration of serious anglers for their high quality and varied fluorocarbon options, as well as braid, but they also offer distinctive monofilaments. One of them is their “Natural Metered” option, which features alternate sections of 12 inches of bright chartreuse line and 48 inches of clear line. This means line spotters, especially those with declining eyesight, can clearly and easily see even their most subtle strikes. It comes in strengths ranging from a 4-pound test to a 20-pound test, and while it’s slightly more expensive than some of the other options, it’s by no means expensive.
Best Monofilament for Heavy Blanket: Suffix Siege Camo
Sufix claims its “XV2 Technology” provides greater strength in the same diameter than competing monofilaments, and is also more abrasion resistant than the competition. This means that if you want a mono for thick coverage, especially if you’re in heavy vegetation or green-tinted water, this may be your best bet. Despite its strength, it retains more than adequate maneuverability in forces ranging from 4-pound test to 20-pound test, in affordable 330-yard spools.
A note on copolymers
As described above, monofilament fishing lines refer to a single strand of material, but there are also copolymer (multi-strand) lines that offer many of the same features at a similar price, sometimes with even greater maneuverability. . In fact, they are sometimes grouped together or the terms are used interchangeably. Some of the most popular copolymers include:
A 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 high maintenance. When mono arrived, not only was it relatively inexpensive, but its translucent nature arguably made fish more likely to bite. Not quite coincidentally, the introduction of manageable single strand nylon lines was roughly contemporary with the increased distribution of open face spinning reels, which required a flexible line to prevent line twists. Over time, monofilament lost market share to other specialty options. Nonetheless, it remains a solid choice for a wide variety of presentations for expert anglers, as well as a solid choice for those new to the sport.
What other options are available?
It is important to know all the options to determine which line is best for your application. In the mid-1990s, when many freshwater anglers considered monofilament the only game in town, braided line made a comeback. Specifically, synthetic fibers like Kevlar and Spectra were woven together, usually in four, eight, or 16-ply configurations, to produce an opaque line (although it had much less stretch and much less memory than monofilament). It is generally much smaller in diameter than mono in an even line of force and cuts through vegetation much more cleanly, making it ideal for turning around in grass mats and weaving through thick cover.
Over the next decade, fluorocarbon, usually a single strand of polyvinylidene difluoride, gained traction with many serious anglers. Although it is generally less manageable and much more expensive than monofilament, it also has much less stretch, less visibility and greater abrasion resistance. It has gained ground 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 scare away reluctant bites, the lack of stretch also ensures better connections with a light line.
There are also “combination” products that combine elements of several types of fishing line. Many anglers get this same benefit by using a braided line as the mainline and then adding a fluorocarbon or monofilament leader.
Q: What size fish can you catch with the 8 pound line?
Giant fish can be caught on an 8 pound test line. IGFA holds world records for different categories of online testing. The current world record for yellowfin caught on an 8-pound test is 87 pounds and 1 ounce. However, the 8-pound line is best suited for smaller fish like bass and trout in areas where abrasion resistance is not 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 the fishing line matter?
Fishing lines are available in different colors to suit your needs. Clear is a go-to choice and works well in most conditions. In tinted water, green or camo can be a great option. If you need help seeing your line, some of the high visibility colors are the best choice for this situation.
Final Tips for Finding the Best Monofilament Fishing Lines
Whichever best monofilament fishing line you choose, proper spooling and storage will go a long way to maximizing its effectiveness and longevity. Especially with spinning reels, improper spooling techniques will cause the line to twist and weaken. Whatever type of yarn you use, store it in a cool, dark place, preferably out of direct sunlight or a moldy shelter. You can also treat your lines with a variety of widely available lubricants and conditioners to keep them in top condition.
Finally, a huge advantage of monofilament is that it is generally the least expensive of all line varieties. If in doubt, change it. A fresh line can save you hours of aggravation and may be your only direct link to the fish of your life. Once you’ve found some you like, buy them in bulk to save even more and to make sure you don’t run out at an inconvenient time.