Mono Or Braided?
By: Leo Watson

This is a question that I frequently get asked. The first question I usually ask the person is what species they are fishing for or what baits they intend to use. Both lines do have their place.

Lets take a minute and examine the characteristics of both. Mono is available in unlimited sizes and colors. This line also offers about twenty percent stretch. This is critical. The extra stretch can be an advantage when fishing certain baits. To give you an example when fishing a spinnerbait with braided line I was actually missing fish at first because braided line has approximately two percent stretch. What this translates to is with braided line I could feel the blades stop turning as the fish sucked the bait into its mouth. This would cause me to set the hook before it was actually into its mouth cost me fish by setting the hook to early. This same scenario also holds true for wide wobbling crankbaits. To solve this back in the beginning I went back to mono.

Now lets look at the braided or super lines. Much like mono there is multiple companies who manufacture the so called super lines. All lines though are not created equal. I can remember earlier on in my career when braided lines first came out I was chomping at the bit to try them. For my style of fishing (shallow water) I thought they would be ideal. Was I ever disappointed. The first lines were not in my opinion very good at all. Yes, they were smaller in diameter and stronger but, their casting and performance were not very good at all.

The new versions of braided lines are very much improved. The older lines used to eventually cut into your rod guides however, the newer lines won’t bother your guides at all. The newer lines also retain their coloration much better than the older ones. These lines also spool just like mono on either spinning or baitcasting reels.

Enough about the lines lets get back to the question at hand. It still comes down to personal preference. Both will work and each one does have its place. As mentioned before mono is good for your crankbaits and spinnerbaits. This Pro does prefer braided as opposed to mono. I have adjusted with braided to fish spinnerbaits and crankbaits as well.

Let me go into this a little further as to why I prefer braided over mono. For starters let me talk a little about feel. This goes back to the stretch factor. With braided line that only has about two percent stretch the difference in feeling your bait is incredible. This allows me to detect subtle strikes that others using mono would never feel. Keep this in mind the next time you are fishing a jig, tube, worm etc. By using braided line you are again putting the odds in your favor.

There are other distinct advantages to braided line. Let me talk about line weight and size. By now alot of you should be aware that one of my sponsors is a tube bait manufacturer. This is not only one of my favorite baits to fish but, it is also one that is very versatile. Just the other day I was bed fishing in clear water. With mono you would be throwing 6 to 8 pound test so that the line wouldn’t be visible. With my sponsors line I am now able to throw a 3 3/4” Gitzit with a 1/16 ounce sinker coupled with a 2/0 hook on 30 pound braided line.

You might ask yourself why such heavy line? My answer is simple. This heavy line is again another way of putting the odds in my favor. Stop and think. This 30 pound line only has the diameter of 8 pound test mono. This means I risk little in the way of breaking a fish off. I don’t have to set the hook as hard to penetrate its mouth. With the heavy line I can steer the fish where I want it to go and not where it wants to go. When you fish for the amount of money we do one broken off fish can cost you a bundle. Whether you are a recreational fisherman or a seasoned Pro nobody likes to lose fish.

What it comes down to is that the choice is yours. I have explained to you my reasons for using the new braided lines. In my opinion these new lines out perform mono hands down. By the way if you are curious of my choice of braided lines just check my sponsors list within this web site. I can honestly say I have tried all the different manufacturers brands and the line that I am now using in my opinion is by far the best.

Good luck,
Leo Watson
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