Monofilament fishing line is the old-school, classic line that’s been in use for decades. While newer fishing lines continue to improve the fishing experience, monofilament still holds its ground as a tried-and-true fishing line, dominating in certain categories. If you’re just starting out and unsure which kind of line to get, then we recommend monofilament fishing line. You can’t go wrong, and here’s why.
Best Monofilament Fishing Line
If you want to get out and start fishing without understanding fishing line, here is your answer: Just spool your reel with 8lb monofilament freshwater fishing line. This fishing line is thick enough to handle all the general species in freshwater, yet slender and clear enough to target smaller fish. When you get use heavier line (15-20lb), your line can be too thick to effectively tie and cast a lot of common fishing lures. If you go too light (4-6lb), you will limit yourself to trout and panfish without the backbone to consistently land big bass and pike. Don’t worry about braid, fluorocarbon, or other specialty lines for now, just spool up with 8lb mono. As you get more interested in particular species and specialized styles, you can optimize your fishing line material, size, clarity, etc. according to your quarry.
Tying Knots with Monofilament
Knot slippage is one of the top causes for lost fish. This is why learning to tie a quality knot (or two) is essential. A poorly tied knot can slip just by casting and retrieving. After thousands of casts and hundreds of new knots, things like this just happen. Knot tying is one of the inescapable tenants of fishing; that you’ll need to tie a minimum of two secure knots to start fishing. One knot to connect one end of your line to the reel, and another knot to connect the other end to your lure.
If you want to add a leader, however, you’re looking at additional knots—increasing the chances of slippage. This is why tying quality knots that won’t slip is essential. Enter monofilament fishing line—it dominates in this category. You can learn how to tie knots in our How to Fish Ebook.
Is there really a difference in knots tied with mono vs. braided fishing line?
Yes—there is a significant difference between tying knots using braided line versus monofilament. Monofilament just holds knots better. As a result, a larger array of simple knots can be used with mono, taking less time and effort to tie. Braid has no memory when the knot forms, while mono remembers the knot and holds to position. This doesn’t mean that braid won’t hold a knot, it just means that mono is more forgiving to a poorly tied knot.
Monofilament is More Affordable
Monofilament line won’t break the bank. It has been around the longest and has the largest distribution. If you’re just starting out or buying line for a general fishing pole, then mono is a great buy to get out fishing and test the waters. It’ll handle all your needs and excel in some categories. Fluorocarbons and braided lines sometimes cost 2-3x as much as monofilaments. This isn’t usually worth the price if you’re learning how to fish. Not only will you pay less for mono, but you can get more for your money and use it to spool multiple reels. We designed our monofilament fishing line with this issue in mind, giving you enough line to spool 2x reels for the price of one premium fishing line spools.
It’s Easy to Handle
Monofilament is by far the easiest line to handle. It’s less prone to tangle on and off the reel, and if it does tangle, it’s usually easier to untangle than braid. Monofilament is simply the best option for trouble-free fishing.
A key characteristic of monofilament is the line’s ability to stretch. Compared to braids and fluorocarbons, monofilaments can significantly stretch. This can be great or challenging depending on the situation, but too much stretch is never good. It can result in poor hooksets and less sensitivity when feeling for a bite. However, stretching is forgiving when you make mistakes while fighting fish or getting hung up on rocks and branches. The bottom line is monofilaments are always prone to some degree of stretching. This is why we recommend using one designed for minimal stretching, like the monofilaments we designed.
Mono Fishing Line for Leaders
Mono and fluorocarbon leaders are common for many reasons. For mono in particular, its knot strength and low visibility play a key role. But so does its ability to resist abrasion, that is, its ability to handle cuts and scrapes. The first yard or so of line is the section that receives the most abuse. Abrasion can occur from a large scaly fish you’re fighting or from places with lots of rocks and branches that constantly contact the line. Mono leaders do a great job helping you land fish successfully. Just make sure to change your leader every time it gets cut or nicked. Failure do so has resulted in many lost fish! Fluorocarbon is a superior option for fishing leaders, but it is expensive and the benefits are not extremely valuable to a beginner.
Mono is Hard to See
It’s no secret that monofilament line does a good job staying invisible in the water. Ideally, you don’t want fish to see your line, only your lure. Fluorocarbon is the best at this, but monofilament also does a great job. Monofilaments come in other colors such as clear blue, yellow, green, and red; however, we recommend colorless, clear line. Colored lines have specific uses. For example, if your body of water has a blue hue, then a clear blue mono might conceal your line the best. However, clear line provides low visibility at various levels of water clarity. Stick with a colorless clear line for general purposes.
How to Choose Monofilament Fishing Line
For the beginner angler, choosing the right fishing line might seem daunting. But like we mention above, reels show which line weight (in pound-test or diameter) they work best with. Just make sure to match your line accordingly. We always recommend beginner anglers go with a rod and reel that best suites 6lb and 8lb test monofilament. 8lb mono will perform for the common freshwater species like bass, trout, walleye, perch, pike, and panfish. However, if you want to specifically target smaller species like trout, bluegill, and crappie, select a lighter 6lb mono since it has a smaller diameter. To tackle bigger bass, pike, and walleye, you will want to upgrade to 20lb braid as you improve your fishing skills.