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Braid vs Mono: Which One is Right For You

Braid vs Mono? When it comes to what's the best fishing line for in-shore fishing, there's really no competition between braid and monofilament. In this article, we're going to talk about the differences between the two and attempt to put to rest the “braided or mono” controversy.

Let me start off by saying that it wasn't until a recent kayak fishing trip that I decided to make the change from monofilament to braid. A buddy and I were fishing for big bull reds along a rock lined jetty. He kept landing red after red, but as for me, I kept getting broken off.

We were essentially using the same gear with one key difference! All of his spinning reels were outfitted with braid and I was using mono. Lucky for me, he had brought along a few extra reels and let me borrow one for the rest of the trip. I immediately started landing fish, including a monster sized snook.

Needless to say, I was hooked! Before our next trip I re-spooled all of my reels with Sufix's 832 Advanced Superline Braid. Now, I'm not saying that you need to stop everything and immediately change all of your fishing reels to braided fishing line! In fact, I would highly discourage it until you check out the rest of this article.

But don't just take my word for it! I've included the help from expert pros and local fishing guides as to which one they think is truly the “best fishing line” for in-shore fishermen.

Braid vs Mono

Strength

Most in-shore fishermen, including kayak fishermen tend to fish a lot of structure. Docks, oyster bars, mangroves and rock laden jetties can play havoc on monofilament lines and causing tiny abrasions, which could result in the loss of that trophy red fish you've been eagerly pursuing ever since you could hold a fishing pole.

Braid is much more resistant to abrasions, which means that you'll never have to lose sleep again thinking about the one that got away.

However, what really sets braid apart from mono is how they compare when it comes to diameter. That's because pound for pound, braid has a much smaller diameter than monofilament does. For example, a 40 lb braid has the same diameter as a 10 lb mono.

Here is a little chart that will help give you an idea of the diameter comparisons of braid vs mono.

Braid (lb test)

Diameter

Mono Equivalant

8

.005

1

10

.006

2

15

.007

4

20

.009

6

30

.011

8

40

.013

10

This means that you could actually spool your reels with a heavier pound test, while taking up the same amount of space on your spool as you would with mono.

Now that doesn't mean you should spool your medium to light spinning reels with 40 lb braid! In fact, I highly discourage you from doing that unless it's appropriate for your style of fishing. For us kayak fisherman, a good quality 15-20 lb braid is all you'll ever need.

Castability

Due to it's smaller diameter, with braid, you'll be able to cast much farther too! This is one of the reasons why Redfish-tournament pro Bryan Watts prefers braid.

Being from the west coast of Florida, we still have a lot of fish on the flats that are spooky and wary. The primary reason for braid is casting distance. We want to get the bait as far as possible away from the boat.

Bryan Watts 
Redfish Pro

I agree with Capt. Bryan 100%! As a kayak angler, I rely on stealth to catch spooky fish. Braid allows me to cast a good 25 yards further than if I were to use mono.

Durability

Aside from it's strength, braid also has a longer shelf life, especially when fishing saltwater! It will last much longer than mono, before needing to be replaced.

This may not be an issue if you only go fishing several times a year, but if you're like me and wet a line every chance you get, this is a real plus.

Another quality that separates braid from mono is it has no stretch, which makes it super sensitive to the slightest nibble. No more missed bites for you! The lack of flexibility will also make it much easier when trying to muscle a fish away from structure.

Now some people who target Tarpon argue that the stretch that mono provides, makes it a far better fishing line than braid, when it comes to their style of fishing. I usually don't target tarpon, so I neither agree or disagree, however I will say that their claim makes sense.

Where Monofilament Wins

Like I mentioned above, monofilament does have some advantages over braid. The first thing that comes to mind is it's price. Mono is much cheaper than braid! While you can get 300 yards of a good quality mono fishing line for under $10 bucks, that same amount of braid will cost you almost double.

The good news is that although your spinning reel may hold up to 300 yards of braid, you really only need to spool it with half of that amount. The first half can be spooled with mono.

Also if you primarily fish the flats where the water tends to be less than 3 feet deep and super clear, braid may not blend in with the water as well as you would like. In this case a good quality monofilament such as Spider Wire's Ultra Cast Ultimate Mono might be best.

Final Thoughts

The type of fishing you do can play a huge role in determining if mono or braid is right for you. I tend to do most of my fishing around structure, such as as docks, oyster bars, rocky inlets, and saltwater mangroves, so for me braid made sense.

We would love to hear your thoughts on the whole "braid vs mono" debate!

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