Fishing Lines 101
By Benaiah J Fogle
It does not take a beginner long to become confused when deciding on what line to put on their reel. Here we will explain a little about the various fishing lines on the market today along with their pros and cons. At the end of this article we will also explain what size (lbs test) line is best for your reel.
Monofilament, or just “Mono,” Fishing line is probably the most well-known type of fishing line. Here in the Philippines we typically have two types of mono. The first is the more widely available Nylon. This line is also known as “Local Nylon.” It is it used mainly by commercial and subsistence fishermen because it is cheap and readily available all over the country in fishing supply shops. This line has a thicker diameter than the higher quality imported line and also tends to have poorer knot strength. Its main use is for handlines because of its thicker diameter.
The second type mono lines available are the branded fishing lines from the USA, Australia, Europe and Japan. These are more specifically designed for sport fishermen and usually have a thinner diameter and better knot strength. Like the locally available nylon these mono line do stretch when put under pressure. These lines made by Momoi, Ande, Stren, Berkley, and others are harder to find and usually can only be found in sport fishing tackle shops and sports stores around the country.
Polymer (multi/co) These lines are very similar to monofilament lines however they are usually quite a bit more stretchy. They have their place in certain applications of fishing however in general these types of lines are not recommended.
Fluorocarbon is another type of fishing line similar to Mono. The main differences however are that it typically has less stretch than mono, it is alleged to be less visible in the water, and it is supposed to be more resistant to abrasion.
Braided Lines are another very different type of fishing line that have become quite popular. There are many brands and types of these lines available on the market today. -PE Most of these lines are made from poly ethylene strands that are woven together to form a thread. The number of fibers woven together is often expressed by the word Ply or with the letter X4, where the number corresponds to the number of fibers. The lower the number of strands the less smooth the line (and usually the cheaper the line is) the more strands the smoother the line and thee more expensive. Today most lines range from 4Ply to 32Ply. Braid has virtually no stretch which makes it ideal for deep sea fishing. It also has a very thin diameter while still having a high lbs test rating. Cons of this type of lines are that commonly used knots have a tendency to slip. Special knots are needed to secure the line. Also the line can become hopelessly tangled when casting or trolling. It is much harder to untangle than mono lines and often needs to be cut. Braid is also quite a bit more expensive than mono lines. Beginners who use braid often make mistakes using it and end up losing a lot to tangles. It is however one of the best types of fishing lines available once an angler learns to use it. -Dacron is an older version of the modern PE lines that is still available. It is woven like some of the higher ply PE lines with a hollow core. This creates a flat line when tension is put on the line. Mono lines are often spliced into the hollow core to create knotless leader connections. Dacron line is only of use too ocean fishermen who troll and bottom fish.
Nylon Twine is another type of line that can be found around the country. It is not used very often as a fishing line except by subsistence fishermen as an alternative to a mono line. The main reason it is included in this list is because it is label as “Fishing Line.” This can be confusing to people unfamiliar with fishing lines because it resembles braided line but has a great deal of stretch. For sport fishermen this does not make a good fishing line to put on reels. Instead it makes an excellent line to wrap rod guides, decorate rods and to use for other household projects.