Braided vs Mono Fishing Line: Which is Best for You?

Thomas Krik

Written by

Thomas Krik

Marc Lowe


Marc Lowe

braided vs mono fishing line

Among the available types of fishing lines, monofilament and braided fishing lines remain two of the most popular options among anglers. However, it is not a competition of which fishing line is the best, but an assessment of the advantages of the two according to various criteria.

The criteria include water conditions, fishing line strength, and target species. It could also be a personal preference. Both monofilament and braided lines have different uses and benefits that can be helpful to guide you in choosing which type best suit your fishing experience.


What is a Monofilament Fishing Line?


Monofilament is a traditional fishing line that is beginner-friendly. From its name, “mono,” it is a single-stranded fishing line made from a strand of synthetic materials. Nylon is the most commonly used material which gives it the ability to stretch under pressure.

With their material makeup, monos are good for top-water fishing. Their buoyancy and shock strength keep the bait suspended with a maintained tension, preventing fish pullouts. Their lightness in water makes them suitable for spinning reels when fishing in freshwater.

What is a Braided Fishing Line?


Braided fishing lines are often referred to as “super lines” which are made up of interweaving synthetic materials together. Unlike monofilament fishing lines, they have minimal stretch which means that they have increased sensitivity to detect bites, especially in murky waters.

Is braid stronger than mono fishing lines? The answer is yes. Although with a smaller diameter than monos, braided fishing lines are abrasion-resistant. Because of their durability, they can easily cut through kelps and other obstacles underwater. They are also generally more effective in catching larger fish.

When to Use Fishing Lines: Braid Vs Mono

Target Species (lb) Bait Fishing Type


– Trout, Small Native Fish, Panfish, Trout, Bluegill, and SmallMouth Bass(2-4lb)

– Bream, Flathead, Salmon, Larger Native Fish (6-10lb)

– Small Tuna, Salmon, Kingfish, and Snapper (12-20lb)

Live Bat Trolling, Kite Fishing, Top Water Fishing,


– Largemouth Bass, Catfish, Walleye, Smaller Salmon (6-10 lb)

– Small Tuna, Salmon, Kingfish, and Snapper (12-20lb)

– Marlin, Large Tuna, Sharks, Large Kingfish (30-130 lb)

Casting Plugs, Lures Bottom Fishing, Jigging, Fishing Kelp, Shore Fishing

The table above shows when monofilament and braided are more advantageous to use. Looking at the target species column, we can see that there are some types of fish where both lines can be used.

For bass, salmon, tuna, and kingfisher, both types of fishing lines can be used depending on the weight of the species in the area of fishing. It is important to note that knowing the average weight of fish in the area can help you choose which type of line to use.

Comparison of the Two Fishing Lines


1. Fishing Line Diameter Chart: Braided Line vs Mono

Fishing lines have a variety of sizes to choose from which is based on diameter. The strength of each diameter can be determined through a line test. This measures how much weight the line can hold without breaking.

Line Test Monofilament LineDiameter (un) Braided Line Diameter (in)
2lb 0.005in N/A
6lb 0.009in 0.005in
10lb 0.011in 0.008in
20lb 0.016in 0.010in
40lb 0.024in 0.013in
60lb 0.030in 0.015in

2. Fishing Line Strength Chart: Monofilament vs Braid

Diameter (in) Monofilament Pound-Test Strength (lb) Braided Pound Test Strength (lb)
0.005 N/A 6lb
0.010 8lb 15lb
0.016 20lb 40lb
0.020 30lb 65lb
0.025 50lb 100lb
0.030 80lb 150lb

The pound and strength tests above tell us that the best way to ensure your fishing line doesn’t break is to know how much strength it can carry.

If thinner fishing lines are used to catch heavier fish, there is a chance for the line to snap.

  1. The thinnest Monofilament diameter is 0.005 inches which can cover smaller fish species such as Panfish, Trout, Bluegill, and Small Mouth Bass.
  2. On the other hand, larger and more common fishes such as Large Mouth Bass, Catfish, Walleye, and Smaller Salmon can be caught by 0.009 inches of monofilament or 0.005 in braided fishing lines.
  3. Some beginners choose to have a 10lb monofilament fishing line– a safe choice as this can effectively catch many common fish species. In deciding between a mono or braided line, it is worth noting that knowing fishing line pound tests can help you determine which line is best for you.

When comparing mono vs braid based on the tables above, we can notice that despite having the same diameter of 0.005in ( braid equivalent to mono), the braid capacity is much more than mono. With a smaller diameter and greater strength, this line can have a longer capacity.

3. Spinning Reel Line Capacity: Mono Capacity vs Braid Capacity


Line capacity is determined by the largest length of a line the spool can hold without overloading. Different fishing line sizes can affect the ability of the spool.

For example, if the reel has a capacity of 180 yards, you can spool a 12lb monofilament and 40lb braided line with the same length. The difference between both lines would generally end up in characteristics and cost.

Reel Capacity Monofilament Braided
180 yds 12lb or 0.13in 40lb or 0.13in

In another case, A Penn Battle II 3000, the mono line capacity would be 120 yds of 12lb and 250 yds of 15lb braided. As braided lines are more durable because of their material makeup, smaller diameter lines can carry much more weight than monofilament lines.

  Monofilament Braided
Penn Battle II 3000 120 yds 12lb 250 yds 15lb

If you wanted to have a line that can reach further distances and catch heavier fish, you would most likely benefit from using braided lines. But if you prefer topwater fishing, mono lines with a capacity of 12lb can be a good choice for lesser costs.

Pros and Cons: Monofilament Vs Braid

Besides knowing the factors to consider in choosing the right type of fishing line, it is also important to get to know the pros and cons of these two fishing lines.

1. Monofilament Fishing Line

  • Shock Strength
  • Buoyancy
  • Cheaper Cost
  • Excellent Knot Strength
  • Easy to Use for Beginners
  • Reduced Sensitivity
  • Not Very Durable
  • Line Memory

2. Braided Fishing Line

  • Durable and Long Lasting
  • Better Sensitivity
  • Thinner Diameter, Same Strength
  • Higher Costs
  • Less Effective in Clear Waters
  • Not Beginner Friendly
  • Lack of Stretch

Mono Vs Braided Line: Which Kind of Fishing Line to Use?

When choosing the right fishing line, it is essential to consider the varying factors that would affect the effectiveness of fishing.

As mentioned in this article, anglers can choose between mono and braided fishing lines depending on water conditions, target species, and line strength.

1. Why use Monofilament Fishing Line?


  1. Monofilament is generally more cost-effective than braided lines because of the material used.
  2. It is also perfect for beginners as it is easy to use.
  3. When targeting lighter and smaller fish, monos are the best choice.
  4. This type of line is better when fishing in fresh water and best used for trolling as they are less visible compared to braids.
  5. These lines are also praised for their shock strength, making catching fish easier without pullouts.
  6. They are versatile and come in different colors, sizes, and strengths.

2. Why Use a Braided Fishing Line?


  1. Braided fishing lines are commonly chosen by intermediate anglers who have more experience and skills in fishing.
  2. Despite the cost difference when compared to mono lines, braids are more durable and have greater strength despite their smaller diameter.
  3. These lines are used for fishing heavier and larger fish.
  4. Their decreased stretch makes them more sensitive, so it’s easy to know when there’s a catch.
  5. They can also sink faster, making them a good choice for deep-water fishing.

Choosing the Right Fishing Line


The three main considerations for choosing which fishing line is best for you need to answer these three questions.

  1. How much are you willing to spend?
  2. What skill level are you at?
  3. What type of fishing are you going for?

Answering these questions will help you narrow down your choice, and eventually, you’ll end up with one that would best suit your fishing goals.

It is also recommended that you should compare strengths, weaknesses, and other fishing factors to determine which type of fishing to use. By understanding the characteristics of the two fishing lines, you will be able to find the fishing line for you.

How to Use Each Line Effectively: Braided Line Vs Monofilament


  1. When using mono fishing lines, choosing the right pound test is important as they are not as durable as braided ones. Maintaining the line tension is also essential to minimize the risk of breaking during a fight with a fish.
  2. Braided lines, on the other hand, have little to no stretch. Although sensitivity is raised, the equipment is prone to breaking when fighting with bigger fish. Knowing how to adjust the drag settings to properly handle the fight is important.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Braided Line Good For Saltwater Fishing?

Braided lines are great for saltwater fishing. Their lines are stronger and more durable than mono-fishing lines and can withstand both salt and the sun’s heat. They can also cut through the fasting faster, which is an advantage when fishing in the sea.

How Often Should I Replace My Fishing Line?

Mono fishing lines are not great when exposed to seawater and the sun so it’s recommended to change them at least once every 6-12 months. On the other hand, as braided lines are stronger, they can be changed as often as every two years.

How Long Does Braided Fishing Line Last?

The lifespan of a braided fishing line can vary. When used and maintained correctly, it can last for 2-5 years. However, when constantly exposed to hot and salt water, this may affect its quality and, ultimately, its lifespan.

Can You Tie Braids to Monofilament Lines?

Tying braids to monofilament lines is possible especially when you want to tie braided lines to your monofilament lines. The best knot to use is a double uni knot which is about 90% effective when tied correctly.


When it comes to deciding between braided vs mono fishing line, the choice ultimately depends on the assessment of specific fishing conditions and individual preferences.

Braid offers high strength, sensitivity, and a smaller diameter, making it suitable for longer casts and saltwater fishing. On the other hand, mono provides buoyancy and easier handling, making it the ideal choice for beginners.

Considering the specific requirements and fishing style will help you choose the kind of fishing line to use that aligns best with your needs for a successful fishing experience.

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