Line selection is one of the most important choices an angler has to make; it is also one of the most difficult. There are four types of lines available to anglers today; monofilament (mono), copolymer, fluorocarbon (fluoro), and braided/fused lines. In this article I am going to go explain the different types of lines on the market and tell you how to choose the correct line for each application.
Monofilament is the oldest line on the market; DuPont produced the first monofilament fishing line back in 1938. Monofilament fishing line is made from a single strand of nylon fiber. This single strand is very strong and abrasion resistant, but also extremely stretchy. Monofilament has its drawbacks, number one being the stretch, many anglers want a line that does not stretch six inches to a foot on the hook-set. However, the stretch can also be an advantage. On fast moving baits, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and chatterbaits to name a few, anglers want the extra stretch in the line to allow the fish to take the bait in deeper before the hooks take hold. Monofilament line also has one more important characteristic, the ability to float. Floating lines are important when fishing topwater, nearly every angler you talk to will tell you he/she uses heavy mono line for topwater fishing. Having a line that floats on the surface will allow the bait to lay flat on the surface; if you were to use a sinking line, the nose of the bait will point down in the water causing it to lose its important action. Having a floating line when using topwater is important, but for virtually all other applications the floatability will have a negative effect. The single most important lure you do not want to use monofilimant line with is the deep diving crankbait, the floating line will pull the bait up causing the bait to run shallow.
Copolymer is a newer line, it came onto the market fairly recently. Copolymer was developed to be more abrasion resistant, have increased knot strength, and to have a thinner diameter. Copolymer is the second most abrasion resistant line on the market, behind braided. Copolymer line excels when fished around structure but can also be used in many other situations. Copolymer also has another great characteristic, the knot strength. Copolymer is very slick on the outer coating which allows knots to tighten without damaging the line. Copolymer has many great features, but the single most important is that unlike monofilament, copolymer does not float so it cannot be used for topwater. However, copolymer can be used for every other situation. Due to the ability to sink, copolymer can be used for deep diving crankbaits whereas mono cannot. Using a combination of monofilament and copolymer lines an angler can fish every type of situation imaginable at little cost.
Fluorocarbon is the newest line on the market. It seems like every time you turn on the television you see a professional angler talking about the use of fluorocarbon fishing line; this is due to the unique characteristic that only fluorocarbon has, the ability to disappear underwater. Many lines claim to disappear underwater, but the only line that is able to truly disappear is fluorocarbon. Due to this unique ability, fluorocarbon is by far the best choice of line when fishing clear to partially stained water. Having a line that is virtually invisible underwater will certainly increase fish strikes. There are a few drawbacks to using fluorocarbon that anglers need to be warned about, number one being the durability. Fluorocarbon line has a terrible reputation when it comes to breakage, when fluorocarbon lines get scraped against rocks or wood they will develop a weak spot. This weak spot will break under little pressure with fluorocarbon line. However, with most of the newer fluorocarbon lines the poor durability has been resolved. The second drawback to using fluorocarbon is the tendency to sink; like copolymer, fluorocarbon cannot be used for topwater due to the tendency to sink. Due to the ability to sink, many anglers fish deep diving crankbaits exclusively with fluorocarbon line. Fluorocarbon can be used as a direct replacement for copolymer lines.
The last type of line I am going to talk about is braided and fused. This type of line is made with many fibers braided or fused together to form an extremely strong, abrasion resistant line. There is no comparison; braided line is the most durable line on the market. Many anglers choose braid when fishing around rocks or logs because they will not have to re-tie after only a few casts. Braided line has no memory and ages extremely slowly, many anglers can get one or even two years out of a spool of braided line. Like mono, braided lines tend to float on the surface making them able to be used with most topwater lures. Braided line is often used when fishing heavy cover; many anglers will use lines in the 50- 80 pound test range for fishing in dense cover. Heavy braided line is able to literally cut through most weeds and even lily pads. Unlike monofilament, braided line has no stretch allowing for extreme sensitivity. However, there are two major drawbacks to using braided line; firstly, braided line is highly visible underwater making it a poor choice when fishing clear water. There is a remedy to this; many anglers are now using heavy fluorocarbon leaders tied directly to the braid making the lure invisible once again. The second major drawback to using braid is the tendency to slip when spooled onto the reel; this can be fixed by simply adding ‘filler’ line under the braid. Filler line can be any cheap monofilament line you have laying around, simply put 25-50 yards of monofilament line on the spool under the braid. Adding filler line gives the braided line something to bind onto, holding it in place. Braided line is a good all-around line when fishing stained water.
I hope that I have cleared up any confusion you may have on the different types of lines on the market. Going to the bait shop uninformed can be overwhelming, it is important to know which line to use in which scenario. Remember, line is the link between you and the fish.
I use P-Line. I have used Evolution, CXX and Flouroclear. All good lines. I used Flouroclear all of last season without any problems. Trying out CXX and Evolution this year. Been running alot of CXX lately. Bought about 2000 yds of it, so I do like it so far.
I’ve been using 8lb Gamma co-poly on my drop shot set-up & it works great & supposedly has a 15lb breaking strength. Haven’t used it too much, since the ponds I’ve been fishing have turned into weed pools & I’ve had to break out the heavy tackle for the most part. I’ve read good things about Yo-Zuri Hybrid Ultra Soft for spinning gear. I thought about getting that, but I was in store when I decided to make my co-poly purchase & it wasn’t an option in the store I was in.
Well I ordered some McCoy Mean Green in 10lb. for my spinning set up. I have been looking for a good line that sinks for my spinning reel because I don’t like a braid to flouro leader and I ain’t paying 40 bucks for flouro that will work good on a spinning reel.